Passions & Places

Bread, Pastries & Savouries

Bread, Pastries & Savouries

Even if often dimmed, of the ancient rhythms of work and the cycle of the season, dictates the rites and flavours that accompany festivals. One of the most heartfelt in Le Marche, significant for the specialities that gladden the table, is Carnival.

Cicerchiata and aniseed Frittelle, the former spread a little through Le Marche, from Pesaro to Piceno, the latter present above all in the Macerata and Piceno areas: they have the aromatic “mistrà” in common, distilled from wine too weak to drink, mixed with aniseed, fruit and herbs. Dry and decisive in taste, it shares with the lighter Anisetta the regional alcoholic leadership; it is indispensable also for Castagnole, another Carnival must, often enriched with hot honey, and for the magnificent Ravioli di castagne (chestnut ravioli) which can also be filled with chocolate and coffee, and are cooked in flaky pastry. Sfrappe e Scroccafussi complete the most usual regional repertory, together with the special Funghetti di Offida”. Popular etymology, for all that, is evidently the origin of the names of other widespread sweets like frustingo, that derives from a poor origin, the frusta (whisk). Distinct, even though related is Bostrengo or Frustengolo, particularly widespread in the Pesaro area and traditionally linked to the Madonna di Loreto festival. Even in the small differences in making Easter sweets are Piconi, Pizza dolce (sweet pizza), Pizza al formaggio (cheese pizza): Ciambellone is linked to autumnal wedding feasts. The various biscuits and ciambelline which use must and panetti di fichi di Monsampolo del Tronto,  Pannociato di Camerino, i Calcioni , i Cavallucci

The refined simplicity of Polenta dolce con marmellata (boiler maize flour with jam) or a Ricottino di pecora (soft sheep’s cheese) mixed a little childishly with hot coffee and mistrà, might well be enough to bring some joy while awaiting the spring.

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