At An Italian Affair we are passionate about regional cuisine. Umbrian food culture, like all of Italy has tended to favor what is both locally available and in season.
Umbrian cuisine is simple, wholesome, flavorsome, robust and unique. It boasts an array of regional products recognized and protected by the European Union and celebrated by the Slow Food movement.
Fortunately in Umbria we are spoilt at many levels. Many agricultural holdings are still small family owned affairs, the pathway from pasture to plate is short and the expectation for freshness and quality is high.
In a similar vein many small producers are family run affairs that have enjoyed the continuity of many generations servicing the same communities from the same location. The authenticity of their techniques of production can be traced back many hundreds of years offering a unique perspective on the local culinary history.
The learnt history of local food preparation and presentation is apparent at all levels of Umbrian life. Nonnas in villages such as Casigliano prepare fresh pasta and sugo using ingredients from the fields in time honored ways whilst the hunters bring back fresh pheasants or wild cinghiale (boar) for a local feast.
The tradition of truffle hunting is strong and in most villages there are many truffle dogs highly prized for their ability to bring the owners the best truffles available when the truffle is in season. Breads, cheeses, grains such as spelt, saffron, lentils, prosciutto, wine, olive oils and local mineral waters are all a specialty of Umbria.
All these products are celebrated at a local level with many local festivals taking place almost every weekend to showcase the excellence of one or other of these products. What supports the continued success of these activities is the strong patriotism of the Umbrian consumer. Mass produced, preservative laden, long travelled goods simply will not do. Almost all social conversation in Umbria is about food, the various qualities, tastes or lack there of is often a point of disagreement with the inevitable outcome being that, whist a particular dish is acceptable, it lacks a certain this or that and really isn’t as good as the one Mamma cooks back in the village.
Our gift is that in the company of locals we can offer you a window to the best of Umbrian cuisine. We will introduce you to the most authentic and highly regarded participants in the Umbrian food movement. Our experiences are as diverse as experiencing the pastures of simple farmers and their kitchens to the insiders introduction to the secrets of some if Italy’s most renowned chefs. Our mission is that whilst you indulge in the best cuisine this region has to offer you are also initiated and educated and there after able to share a taste of the real Umbria with family and treasured friends.
Buon appetito !