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The “Marche”, a region between land and sea. The first ingredient in the cuisine of the Marche is the Adriatic fish in wonderful stews and soups. Here also the “passatelli” are cooked in broth sea. And bream, mullet, squid, monkfish, anchovy and the stockfish, tomato or “all’anconetana” create dishes not to be missed. Come from the earth instead the truffles. Famous are those whites of Acqualagna and blacks of Camerino widely used in the cuisine of the Marche. Very widespread, also, are the cold cuts from “ciauscolo”, salami paste that is spread on bread as a pate, the Fabriano salami and Carpegna ham. Also important is the production of cheese: “casciotta” of Urbino and “pecorino di fossa”, left to season in holes dug in the tuff. Rich are the fresh pasta first courses still prepared by the owner of the house to make “lasagne”, specialties of Ancona, “vincisgrassi”, but also simple noodles or macaroni of Campofilone. And finally, to end the lunch, delicious fried cream or, on feast days, a very traditional “cicerchiata”.
Beekeeping is an ancient tradition of the Marche still practiced and that is widespread throughout the region. Once the honey, precious food, rich in enzymes, vitamins and minerals, was the sugar of peasant families and was used in the preparation of sweets and as a sweetener in beverages of children. The bees were reared in a special hive placed close to the lodgings. Today are used the most advanced farming systems and beekeeping is widespread on the hills of the Marche, cultivated extensively in alfalfa and sainfoin, excellent nectar plants where the bees find their ideal habitat.
The quality and characteristics of the honey of the Marche is also linked to spontaneous plant species and in particular to a weed, the stachys annua. There are different varieties of honey in the Marche, determined by the nature of the nectar from which they originated. In any case we obtain a high quality product, sweet, slightly aromatic and light color.
The cultivation of oil in the Marche has a very ancient origin. Early as the eighth century B.C. in the Piceno area the olive tree was planted among the wheat and the vine; this is confirmed by the discovery of large containers: the “doli”.
Subsequently, the olive tree was abandoned, confused with the natural vegetation and became one of the plants of the forest. The arrival of the Benedictine monks in the lands of Marche fostered economic recovery and agriculture as early as the seventh century with the reclamation of the land and the increase of crops. There are hundreds of varieties of olive, oil, tableware and dual purpose, which have different shapes and sizes and are characterized by a different relationship between core and pulp and then by an average content of oil varying from 18 to 27% . Their productivity depends on many factors, climatic and cultivation that determine the biennial rhythm of full production.
The presence in the Marche of over 12 wines with a protected designation of origin is perhaps a proof of variety of this region unique in Italy to be “in the plural”. The region enjoys a climate favorable to the grapevine, thanks to the breezes that rise from the sea to the interior along the sunny hills of the Marche which follow from the Metauro to Tronto, aligned and degrading the Adriatic Sea. These hills are the ideal habitat that favored over the centuries, the selection of particular strains of screws and the birth of wines. The cultivation of the vine is now one of the most important agricultural activity in the Marche. With 20,000 hectares of vineyards, of which one third for the production of DOC and DOCG wines, and with a production of 1.3 million hectoliters of wine, with a predominance of white wines, the Marche entered in the excellence of Italian wine. Just to mention some of the areas of Ancona: Verdicchio dei Castelli di Jesi, Rosso Conero and Lacrima di Morro d’Alba.