(Broths of fish)
quite amazing to discover just how much literature is written, analysed
and discussed over something which appears so simple, ‘brodetto (broth)’,
a traditional Marche dish. A dish which probably originated from when
fishermen first went to sea and returned to a much awaited bowl of broth
after a hard day battling the biting winds and sea water.
also surprising to learn that the flavour, so tastily refined, is produced
with the use of less demanded fish, perhaps because they are too small or
too few in quantities to sell on the markets.
Whilst it was originally a poor man’s
dish although prepared with all types of quality fish and skilfully
seasoned with good quality Marche olive oil, it’s also a dish which
today is protected by the Broth Academy: a consortium of restaurateurs who
promote the typical Marche seafood whilst guaranteeing its quality.
become a popular and typical Le Marche dish, the broth is today enriched
with various ingredients such as shellfish and muscles, whilst maintaining
the recipes specific to the various areas of Le Marche, all of which
insist on the quality of the ingredients used and the origin of the fish
which must come from the Adriatic Sea.
place - and every cook – has its own “secret” recipe for the perfect
broth: the dish of the gente di mare,
the officially recognised versions are those tied to the four most
important marine towns of Le Marche, being Porto Recanati, Fano, San
Benedetto and Ancona.
Recanati’s broth requires a two stage cooking process: the first is to
obtain the broth (which is aromatized using quality saffron typical of
Porto Recanati) and the second is to mix the broth with the floured fish
and subsequently cook the dish by adding hot water and white wine. Porto
Recanati’s broth, which really is unique, comes served
with slices of toasted bread.
broth from Fano, whilst using
the same ingredients, in addition uses concentrated tomatoes and
substitutes the wine used in Porto Recanati’s version with vinegar. It
comes served with a quality Marche bread.
variant is that from San Benedetto
which was apparently enjoyed by Gioacchino Murat, in his retreat with the
Neapolitan troops. The dish is prepared with the addition of chilli
peppers, green tomatoes and red and green peppers, soaking all the
ingredients with the vinegar and serving the tasty dish with toasted bread.
the broth from Ancona, the
oldest and probably the most authentic recipe which insists on the use of
thirteen types of fish, cooked in an earthenware pan together with vinegar
and tomato juice. The recipe also relies on the importance of adding the
different types of fish a little at a time to ensure the exact balance of
harmony between flavour and cooking. It’s served steaming hot,
accompanied with home made bread.
cities, four places in which the sea acts as both the source of life and
its enemy. Four types of exquisite broth: reaffirming, as always, that in
Le Marche there’s a lot to choose from.