Here is the most delicious chapter of our trip that we are sure you really will not forget. Local delicacies of the Pontine area and the surrounding low mountain chains of Lepini come from a local agriculture (land and wood): sauces are made using meat and vegetables grown near the vineyard (broad beans,artichokes, peas, all together to make a good Bazzoffia soup).
A wealth cuisine with handmade pasta, a mixture of water and flour or eggs and flour.
Before the Agro Pontino settlement, lestraioli and some fishermen were the seasonal inhabitants of the land. In the lestra, a small fenced hut, lived shepherds, woodsmen and charcoal-burners who came down, from the hills to the plain, from September to June and take advantage of what the lagoons, forests and the few fields could offer.
In the lestra, they ate marinated frog legs and cazzimperio crabs (with oil dipping sauce), ricotta (soft cheese) and some forbidden fishes as the eel.
In the huts, game was always on the table and wild boars, pheasants, coots and roe deers enriched in proteins the lestra diet. This diet was very different from the present Pontine gastronomic tradition. Modern Pontine menus present malfatti mantovani (pasta of Mantua), risi e bisi (Venetian dish), Northern barley soups, lasagna from Ciociaria, area in Southern Italy, seasoned with sumptuous emiliana sauce (from a sort of knife-cut tartare).
Polenta, typical Venetian dish, is largely served with meat sauce, ribs or sausages. Artichokes of Sezze, where is organised a festival for these vegetables, are prepared in matticella method (char-grilled artichokes with some spices).
On Lepini Mountains, the specialties are bread and beans soup, lamb and sauced goat.
During our walks by bike or on foot, we will be stroken by the vast olive groves lying from the plain to the hills. It is a territory that relies on a heritageof more than 10.000 hectares of olive trees where is produced a high quality oil thanks to the wise tradition handed down from family to family.Award-winning labels, ancient oil mills, delicious tastings will be presented during the journey to make you discover the territory not only by sight but also by palate.It will be interesting to discover the family stories that dedicate themselves on this land with great passion for generations.We collaborate with some renowned farms that will host us for eating and sleeping.
The Agro Pontino area is not well-known for oenological tradition, at least not as much as the regions that have a long strong wealth.Stories relates to water and marsh, wine seems light years away.However we are sure that local wine tastings will be a surprise beyond all expectations. There are four designations: Cori, Aprilia, Circeo and Terracina.Each situation has its own history, philosophy and evolution in the way of working between the rows of vines and cellars.Nearly thirty companies now produce wine with professional commitment, that in many cases, has received international recognition.We collaborate even with these cellars and during our trips, we will be guests of a prestigious of oil and wine producer.
Kiwifruit are grown in Latina. Actinidia Lindl. is a plant native to China that, at the beginning of the last century, was the subject of numerous experiments of acclimatization.Actually, the world’s largest producer is New Zealand In the early 70s, farmers tried the cultivation in Cisterna (Latina) and in thirty years, it has become the feather in the cap of the Pontine agricultural production.Temperate weather, safe conditions and volcanic and sandy soil have made possible the success of the trial and the achievement of the PGI label.
Mozzarella di bufala
The whole area between the low mountain chains of Lepini, the sea and the boundary to Campania, is renowned for the production of one of the main Italian PDO cheese: the buffalo mozzarella.The buffalo, bred for its strength and its ability to adapt, it was the only animal that could survive in marshes.The buffalo was a protagonist, never properly thanked, for the reclamations in Roman and Agro Pontino areas.Buffaloes pulled wagons, turned over lands, provided sustenance to farmers and above all, they kept the canals clean.The main problems of reclamation were: the drainage work and the maintenance of the works.