Tag Archive: lentils


A week of potatoes, farro, and lentils

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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

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Sunday lunch: spelt and lentils

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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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