An Appetite for Umbria: The People, the Places, the Food
The diversity of restaurants in this book is mirrored by the variety of the people behind them. What all the restaurants have in common, however, is that they have been influenced by the proprietors’ own experiences, and it is not only their cooking, but their stories and views on food which are thought-provoking and entertaining.
Many of these establishments are small, and their owners have every intention of keeping them that way. In none of them is there a frenzied race for culinary decorations, nor are quality or innovation sacrificed for easy returns. These chefs and proprietors are ardent supporters of small, local food suppliers and producers, and all believe that offering good food – and wine – is a duty as much as a delight.
But then it’s no surprise that the Umbrians are proud of their local specialities. Castellucio lentils, truffles, fagiolina di Trasimeno, farro from Monteleone di Spoleto, all manner of pork products, Trevi celery, Colfiorito potatoes and the green, unctuous olive oil are all praised and sought after by an ever increasing worldwide audience.
If you have visited Umbria, you will doubtless have been to Assisi, Orvieto, Spoleto and other high-profile hill towns. All are represented here. However, you may have missed such gems as Terni and Foligno. Perhaps our modest efforts to promote their lesser-known but genuine charms will influence your next trip.
Here, then, is a snapshot of the heroes of food in Umbria, some of international renown, others unsung, accompanied by samples of the type of food you can expect to find at their restaurants, trattorie, osterie and enoteche. We hope that this book, and these recipes, will give you an appetite for Umbria and – who knows? – possibly even play a part in helping you plan your next (or first) trip to this wonderful region.