A visit to Tuscia Land cannot do without a good culinary experience!
Indeed, in addition to its artistic and landscape richness, the Viterbo area offers a wide range of very high quality food and wine products who master on the tables and are repeated with pride in traditional dishes.
And for foodies who are not satisfied with trying traditional products during a lunch between a visit and another, but instead want to know more about wines, extra virgin olive oil, hazelnuts, chestnuts, cheese, legumes, and butchers and dairy products, I strongly recommend to book a guided tasting, a visit to an oil mill, a historic wine cellar or a cheese factory … the experience will certainly be sublime!
But look more closely at what this wonderful country has to offer.
So let us begin by the offer of Tuscia wines!
I surely would start from the 8 D.O.C. wines and definitely from the most famous one, linked to the history of the prelate Defuk and his passion for good wine.
I’m talking of course of D.O.C wine ‘East! East!! East!!!‘, a white wine produced in Montefiascone, which goes well with appetizers, pasta dishes with fish, and fried salt or fresh water fish.
Remaining in the area of the Lake Bolsena, I must mention the D.O.C Aleatico of Gradoli, a red wine that goes well with pastries and sweets with hazelnuts and which is produced sweet, liqueur and liqueur reserve.
Moving along the coast we find the DOC Tarquinia, white, if produced with grapes of Trebbiano and Malvasia, or red, with Sangiovese, Montepulciano and Casanese. Also along the gentle slopes of the coast, we have the DOC Cerveteri, in the version white or red.
Returning to the interior, in the mountains Cimini area, we find the DOC Vignanello, white if produced with grapes from the Chianti Malvasia, Trebbiano Toscano and Greek, and red with Sangiovese and Ciliegiolo grapes. Both combine well with soups and cereals, roasts and other meats. In the same area we find the D.O.C. Colli Etruschi Viterbesi, including types of expression of single-varietal wines, as Procanico, Grechetto, Lipstick, Muscat, Violone, Canaiolo and Merlot.
Finally, we have the Tiber Valley wines, among which the DOC Orvieto, produced in Castiglione in Teverina, having a characteristic pale yellow color, produced dry and sweet, drunk as an aperitif or with dishes of seasonal vegetables, white meats and fresh cheeses.
As for the wines IGT , remember the Lazio, the Colli Cimini, and the Civitella d’Agliano.
If you want to taste the wines of the Bolsena lake basin you can visit one of the historical cellars of Montefiascone, combining the same to a tour in the village, or to the close Civita of Bagnoregio, to Bolsena or to Viterbo.
If you are interested in the coastal wines instead, then surely I would not miss the chance to visit the Etruscan necropolis of Banditaccia in Cerveteri.
Then there are the specialty stores, which will be glad to let you taste wines that I just mentioned above, combining them skilfully to culinary specialties.
We now come with extra virgin olive oil, considered the gold of this land and produced in two varieties: DOP Canino and DOP Tuscia. Influenced by the Greeks, who imported the cultivation into Italy, the Etruscans spread the techniques of extracting and using it both for the preparation of their dishes and to anoint the body of athletes or turn lamps.
The high quality of our extra vergin oils, produced mainly in the territories that extend between Vetralla and Blera and Canino, passing by Viterbo, is guaranteed by a process that seeks to preserve the organoleptic qualities conferred by a volcanic soil, fertile and rich of valuable nutrients.
The extra virgin olive oil dominates in the dishes of the province of Viterbo and is used as a basic ingredient in most recipes, from simple “bruschetta”, to various vegetable soups and seafood recipes.
You can taste the DOP Canino, spicy and fruity, in a local mill or in any shop specialized in local products and, if you want, you can combine the culinary experience to culture, visiting the archaeological park of Vulci, or the Etruscan necropolis of Tarquinia.
If you prefer to move further south, you can do the same thing with the DOP Tuscia, in its varieties Tuscia Teverina DOP and DOP Colli Cimini combining a visit to Tuscania, Viterbo, Farnese Palace in Caprarola or Altieri Palace of Oriolo Romano.
” Tonda Gentile Romana“, is the hazelnut variety cultivated in the low Tuscia, in the area of the Lake Vico and the Cimini Mountains, where local people call it “nocchia“. The seed, this exquisite pearl cultivated for centuries in these places, is eaten fresh, dried or toasted and can be used both whole or chopped. It is suitable for the preparation of cakes, cookies, ice cream, creams and even liquors. Try it in this regard the famous cookies called “tozzetti”, drenching them in a glass of local Aleatico wine, as we like to do, or indulge yourselves to hazelnut cream produced by local industries … really superb!
You can try the hazelnuts during a tasting, or in specialized shops perhaps combining them on a guided tour with me to the Farnese Palace of Caprarola or to the archaeological park of Sutri or to Viterbo !
And after the hazelnut, we cannot overlook the chestnut, present in Tuscia in the varieties “Marrone dei Monti Cimini” and “Marrone di Latera”. Its plantation is another outstanding food and wine product sector in the province of Viterbo and also the base of the economy of many villages like Caprarola, Soriano nel Cimino, Canepina, Viterbo Vallerano, in the Cimini Mountains area and, and Latera the Northen Tuscia.
We like to use our delicious chestnuts fresh, especially rosted or boiled in a pan with the aroma of wild fennel, or as an ingredient for first and second courses. If we want conserve them instead, we turn them into “mosciarelle” (dried chestnuts) from which we get the flour to make a special cake called “Castagnaccio”.
In October the small towns of the area dedicate many events to the chestnut with festivals where it excel over food stalls and in the dishes served in the magical atmosphere of the wine cellars dug into the tuff.
So do not miss this opportunity, come and experience firsthand the chestnut of Tuscia!
You can match the festival with an amazing guided tour to the Farnese Palace of Caprarola.
Remaining in agriculture I want to remind other quality products such as potatoes of Northen Lazio, the lentils of Onano, the Chickpeas of Valentano, the Beans of Gradoli, the spelt of Acquapendente, all of them basic ingredients of our delicious soups. And then the cherries of Celleno, the Artichoke of Tarquinia, the White Cauliflower , the Asparagus of Canino …
Even livestock (cattle, sheep and pig) plays an important role in the economy of Tuscia, and could not be otherwise, in a land so rich in pastures!
Among the products of excellence in this sector, we cannot avoid to mention the Lamb of Tuscia, the meet of Maremmana cows, or the Green Rabbit “Leprino of Viterbo”.
Among the cured meats, only the thought of the aroma and flavor of cheek lard, “porchetta”, ham and salami makes me drool.
And finally comes the cheese, made from cow’s milk, but also from sheep or goat one. Delicious ricotta, pecorino and caciotta, delicacies which match well with local honeys or mustards.
After a long tour in Viterbo would not be too bad to delight your palate with a a nice tasting in a specialised shop!
IF YOU WANT TO GET IN DEPTH THE MATTER DO NOT HESITATE TO CONTACT ME, A GREEDY LIKE ME ALWAYS HAS SUGGESTIONS TO GIVE WHEN IT COMES TO GOOD FOOD!