Tag Archive: farro

A Break from the Heat

If you have been following the weather in Europe, you know that it is unseasonably hot in Italy right now. We are little better off in Perguia because there is always a breeze up here. Even so, yesterday we decided to escape the heat in the city and head up into the Sibilline mountains towards the plain of Castellucio. This is another area in Umbria famous for its lentils, farro (spelt), and peas. In the early summer the plain blossoms into a sea of colors. We were a little too early for the flowers this year, but the views were stunning nonetheless.


There is still snow on the mountains!


Castelluccio, population 150, 1452 m. asl

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A week of potatoes, farro, and lentils


The Colfiorito plain (through the windshield)

On our way back from Puglia last weekend, we left the Adriatic coast just south of Ancona and headed up into Umbria from the southeast. The road started off fine: two lanes in each direction with some elevated sections cutting across narrow valleys.  This road, however, soon ended and we were on a two-lane route (the SS77) that switchbacked along the mountain passes between Le Marche and Umbria. Half-drilled tunnels in the mountainsides and piers waiting to be bridged by concrete slabs gave plenty of evidence that someday the route from the Adriatic to Foligno would be fast and straight. But, for now, travelers seeking Umbria are compelled to go through every town on the way and honk as they make the next 180 turn around the slope of a mountain. We didn’t mind. Our goal was to see the Colfiorito plateau, an upland plain just inside the Umbrian border where the local products include lentils and farro. I was hoping to see the lentils growing, but Pedar reminded me that it is, in fact, winter. Instead we discovered the famous Colfiorito red potatoes. Continue reading

Sunday lunch: spelt and lentils


Bavicchi, Via dei Priori 15

Umbrians love their legumes and cereal grains. Since early autumn, soups made with ceci (chickpeas), lenticchie (lentils), and farro spelt) have been appearing on menus around Perugia. We have sampled several variations of these warm and hearty creations (such as the soups Pedar had two weeks ago at La Taverna) and I have been trying to recreate some of them at home. Yesterday (Sunday), I read in the Giornale dell’Umbria that this week Monteleone di Spoleto was celebrating its “farro d’oro” (spelt of gold), also known as “farro di San Nicola,” the patron saint of Monteleone (see more below). I was inspired to make a zuppa di farro for lunch. Fortunately, the Antica Spezieria e Drogheria Eredi Bavicchi (Bavicchi, for short) is open on Sundays and it is just up the Via dei Priori from our apartment…

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