Cuisine of Abruzzo

The Abruzzo cuisine is the traditional cuisine of Abruzzo; it is very wide and is originally from the traditions of both pastoral and mountainous inland areas that marinate in the coastal zone; among the foods most commonly used are: bread, pasta, meat, cheese and wine. The isolation that has characterized the region for decades has ensured that it maintained a culinary art alive and independent.[1] Abruzzo boasts a cuisine distinct within Italy, well known for its variety and richness owing to the heterogeneity of its territory. The mountainous, agricultural, and coastal aspects of Abruzzo have contributed to its cuisine. Due to the mountains themselves, much of Abruzzese cuisine grew separated from the influence of international commerce and civilization until the 20th century, fostering a unique culinary tradition.[2] In 2013, the Italian organization Confesercenti led a research which indicated Abruzzo as the best region where to eat in Italy according to foreign tourists ratings.[3][4]

Due to the long history of shepherding and strong traditional shepherd culture in Abruzzo, lamb and mutton dishes are heavily associated with Abruzzese cuisine and are common in most provinces of Abruzzo, although these lamb and sheep dishes are mainly found in the mountainous areas of Abruzzo and are less common on the coastal plains.[5] Lamb and sheep are also an important source of Abruzzese cheese, such as sheep's milk ricotta, and lamb intestines are often used as sausage casing or for stuffed meat rolls.[5][6] Mountain goat meat is also common in Abruzzo. Other prominent ingredients and dishes in Abruzzese cuisine include truffles and mushrooms, often wild mushrooms from the forests and hills of Abruzzo; garlic, especially local red garlic; extra virgin olive oil; and rosemary. Hot chili pepper or peperoncini, regionally known as diavolilli or diavoletti, is ubiquitous in much of Abruzzese cuisine and often used to add spice to dishes, while saffron is a speciality spice specifically of L'Aquila.[6][7][8][9] In addition to mushrooms, Abruzzese cuisine commonly employs "rustic" or "peasant" vegetation such as lentils, grasspeas and other legumes, artichoke, eggplant, and cauliflower.[5][6][8][10] Famous Abruzzese dishes include arrosticini, maccheroni alla chitarra, and scrippelle.[5][6]


Among the products and dishes of Abruzzo that have entered the collective imagination of the world or become diffused in different parts of the world are:




The starters (called antipasti) include:


Maccheroni alla chitarra.

One of the most prominent dishes of the region is maccheroni alla chitarra. This dish is created by pressing or cutting pasta through an instrument called a chitarra, creating long thin noodles similar to spaghetti. The pasta is served with a tomato-based sauce, often flavored with peppers, pork, goose, or lamb.[24]

This dish is served with complementary regional side dishes, such as the bean and noodle soup known as sagne e fagioli. This soup is traditionally flavored with tomatoes, garlic, oil, and peperoncini.[25]

Other popular dishes include:

Main dish


Across the region, roast lamb is enjoyed in several variations. Some of these variations include:

Other main dishes usually containing meat include:

Seafood also plays a role in the cuisine of Abruzzo, especially in those areas located closer to the coast. The variety of fish available to the area has resulted in several fish-based Brodetti (broths), coming from such places as Vasto, Giulianova, and Pescara. These broths are often created by cooking the fish in an earthenware pot, and flavored with tomatoes, herbs, and peperoncino. Others seafood include the Scapece of Vasto (Fish marinade); is the only dish in Abruzzi to use saffron, although this spice is one of the most important regional products. It is a fish marinade (often skate) cut into pieces, floured and browned in a frying pan. Thanks to vinegar the dish can keep for 20 to 30 days in special wood containers handed down from generation to generation.[28]

Breads and Pizzas

Pizza di Pasqua.

Rustic pizzas are also very common. Some of these are:


Mortadella di Campotosto.

Also from Teramo are the spreadable sausages flavored with nutmeg, liver sausages tasting of garlic and spices. The ventricina from the Vasto area is made with large pieces of fat and lean pork, pressed and seasoned with powdered sweet peppers and fennel and all encased in the dehydrated stomach of the pig itself. Mortadella di Campotosto is another product famous in Abruzzo; is a small mortadella, longish oval-shape. Inside, it is dark red, with a white column of fat. They are generally sold two tied together. Together, they are about as big as two cupped hands put together. Another name for the mortadella in Italian is "coglioni di mulo" (donkey's balls.); using meat from the shoulder and loin and trimmings from making prosciutto, mixed with fat. In all, it is 80% lean meat, of which 25% will be prosciutto (ham), and 20% pancetta. The meat is finely minced, and mixed with seasonings (salt, pepper, white wine.) Some makers will also use cinnamon and cloves and no nitrates are used.


The principal cheeses of region are:


Atri and Rivisondoli also are famous for cheeses. Mozzarella, either fresh or seasoned, made from ewe's milk, although a great number of lesser known varieties of these cheeses can be found all over Abruzzo and Molise.

Pizzelle are a typical sweet of the Abruzzo region

Desserts and sweets

The sweets of Abruzzo are famous throughout the world. Some of the better known include:


The principal fruits of Abruzzo are:

Wines and drinks

A Montepulciano d'Abruzzo wine labelled as being made from old vines.

The principal wines of region are:

Others wines are:

The drinks include:

See also


  1. History of Italian Cuisine - Restaurants Abruzzo - the Kitchen <! - Title automatically generated ->
  5. 1 2 3 4 Rosengarten, David. "The Cuisine of Abruzzo: Easy to Love, Not So Easy to Describe". Huffington Post. Retrieved 6 January 2016.
  6. 1 2 3 4 "ABRUZZO IN TAVOLA". Academia Barilla. Retrieved 6 January 2016.
  7. Levinson, Debra (2012). Italy Luxury Family Hotels and Resorts. Max Publication, Incorporated. Retrieved 6 January 2016.
  8. 1 2 Braimbridge, Sophie (2005). Food of Italy. Allen & Unwin. Retrieved 6 January 2016.
  9. "Abruzzo, Italy". Delallo. Retrieved 6 January 2016.
  10. Nicoletti, Amy. "Wild Mushrooms in Italy - Kitchen Tips & Recipe Ideas". Delallo. Retrieved 6 January 2016.
  11. Abruzzo Tourism Promotion - Know <! - Title automatically generated ->
  12. Abruzzo Tourism Promotion - Know <! - Title automatically generated ->
  14. "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2014-11-10. Retrieved 2014-11-10.
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  16. "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2011-01-12. Retrieved 2016-08-15.
  19. Pro, Johnna A. (December 4, 2003). "Immigrant's success was struck when pizzelle iron was hot". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Retrieved 6 January 2016.
  20. "Pizzelle Partyin' like it's 1392". Philadelphia City Paper. 2010-12-17. Retrieved 6 January 2016.
  21. Hollman, Laurie (November 26, 1992). "Going Whole Hog This Holiday Think Carving A Bird Is Hard? Try This Italian Treat.". Philadelphia Inquirer. Retrieved 6 January 2016.
  22. Evans Sorid, Barbara (November 25, 1990). "Medford Market's Old World-style Roast Pork A Hit". Philadelphia Inquirer. Retrieved 6 January 2016.
  23. Wilson, Bee (Oct 15, 2010). Sandwich: A Global History. Reaktion Books. Retrieved 6 January 2016.
  24. Abruzzo Tourism Promotion - Know <! - Title automatically generated ->
  25. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 Di Gregorio, Luciano (2013). Bradt Abruzzo. Bradt Travel Guides. Retrieved 6 January 2016.
  27. Abruzzo Tourism Promotion - Know <! - Title automatically generated ->
  29. "Abruzzo and Molise Heritage Society". Archived from the original on 2013-03-09. Retrieved 2013-03-12.
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