Up The Adriatic Coast - Blog Blog at Allrecipes.com - 281875


Up the Adriatic Coast 
Aug. 15, 2012 7:21 am 
Updated: Aug. 16, 2012 4:55 pm

My last few days in Basilicata were full of exciting food. Over the weekend, my friend Stefania took me to dinner at an equineria in the small town of Bernalda, An equineria is a butcher’s shop that specializes in horse meat. Most places in Italy will have at least one, but in Bernalda they are unusually popular. You have the option to either buy meat to cook at home or have them grill it for you. We chose to eat in, and after a couple minutes of snacking on olives, bread, and hot peppers, our food began to arrive: carpaccio of raw horse to start, then bresaola, a dried and spiced preparation, followed by tender strips of steak and then horse sausage. As a group of 18, we probably finished half a horse! (sorry to all the animal lovers, but when in Rome…)


The next day we traveled to the city of Matera, which has served as the setting for several films, such as The Passion of the Christ. We went to a farmhouse outside the city that serves as a summer camp where children learn about agriculture, wine making (!!!), and some rustic cooking. That night there was a feast to celebrate the end of the program, and in the big wood fired oven they cooked focaccia, peppers and eggplant, and several roasted meats. I heard some great stories from the camp counselors, including one about a little girl who, seeing a live chicken for the first time, was shocked to see they only have two legs, because whenever she ate it at home her mother had always served four drumsticks!


After leaving Basilicata, my next stop was halfway up the peninsula, in the medieval town of Fermo in the Marche. The summer is the time for sagre, town festivals celebrating local dishes, and on the road to Fermo I passed dozens of signs advertising the sagre of all the small hill towns in the Marche. My host Marianna and I had time to go to the sagra of maccheroncini, an angel hair, style pasta made with egg, and the sagra of mussels. Meanwhile, back at her home, she showed me how to make a delicious fruit tart with peaches.

The most exciting part of my trip to the Marche, though, was the abundant availability of one of my all-time favorite snacks - olive ascolane, green olives stuffed with meat and spices, then breaded and fried. Since these are traditionally produced in the Marche, they could be found at all the sagre and even at the beach! I've never been able to find them back home because they are so labor-intensive and tricky to make, and I can't find anyone who imports them, so I ate them at every chance I had during my stay in Fermo.

Carpaccio di cavallo
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At the equineria
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Children at the Fattoria didattica
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Salumi at the Fermo market
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Sagra dei maccheroncini
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Marianna showing off our crostata
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Aug. 15, 2012 7:31 am
Mmmm Raw horse sounds delightful. A beautiful animal something I would never eat for dinner.
Aug. 15, 2012 11:56 am
Was this in the south of Italy?
Aug. 15, 2012 9:23 pm
A summer camp to learn about agriculture...hopefully we have that in the U.S.! Enjoyed reading about the highlights of your trip...what an adventure! Thank-you!
Aug. 16, 2012 11:38 am
I probably could have eaten the roasted or grilled horsemeat but to eat it raw, as pictured, really turns my stomach. And I am one who will eat steak tartar and carpaccio. Somehow it just looks really "animal" in that photo. I commend you for going with the flow and participating in the culture. I have been to Italy but knew nothing of the horsemeat. I probably ate it without knowing.
Aug. 16, 2012 1:13 pm
I know there are countries and even places in the USA where you can buy horse meat, but to me eating a horse is like eating your pet dog.
Aug. 16, 2012 4:30 pm
don't goto Asia King. Woof woof.
Aug. 16, 2012 4:55 pm
I was In Korea Twice for a total of 24 months. We had a dog for our unit, once he was missing never to be seen again on a gated military installation. The Korean workers eating out back seem very happy right after he first was missing. It is common In Korea that the older generation eat the dogs they raise, more so on a Hot summer day.
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I'm a recent graduate of Tufts University. I was born and raised in Italy by American parents (archaeologists). Living for many years in various other parts of the Mediterraneanas well, my family and I have become passionate fans of Italian, Greek, and Middle Eastern food. I also have a younger sister adopted from Chengdu, China, so I have developed an interest in Sichuanese cuisine, which is fortunate because I love spicy food.
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