Umbria, the green heart of Italy, is also a land of flavors and traditions. Especially at the table.
In fact, the food here is really slow and follows a slow, or rather very slow, cycle of the seasons through recipes and secrets that are often handed down from generation to generation. They almost always end up on the table, you can be sure of it, the authenticity and simplicity.
From cured meats to cheeses, from homemade pasta to bakery products, from game to dessert, through tubers, oils and wines, alongside the names of a thousand Umbrian specialties there are almost always the words Dop, Igp, Doc and Docg. Hallmarks of the fact that here, for centuries, people have eaten well and healthy!
Your tasteful journey in Umbria cannot fail to start from the menus of excellence: the strangozzi, the testo cake – good as an appetizer, as a main course, as a main course -, and then the cheese cake and Ciaramicola, an all-purpose donut ‘Alchermes covered with a special white icing dusted with colored sugared almonds.
The truffle is the king of the table in Umbria. Here it is grated like Parmesan on the first courses but also on the second ones and it flavor various bruschettas and appetizers. Some pastry shops on Christmas also experiment with panettone!
Instead of bread, consume the testo cake which is so called because it is cooked on a special “text” of circular shape, which recalls a bit the brick tile on which the ancient Romans cooked buns. Stuff it with herbs and sausage but also with ham and cheeses.
Before asking for a second review in the restaurants of the regional capital, also ask for Gobbi alla Perugina, a sort of Parmigiana prepared with thistles instead of aubergines that are marinated with oil, lemon and chopped parsley and then arranged in layers and flavored with meat sauce and then finish in the oven with a nice sprinkling of cheese on top. At one time this dish was one of the great classics of the Christmas banquet. Today the Gobbi are also served in another version: sautéed in the mushroom, bechamel and fontina sauce after being fried. A real sin of gluttony!
Perugia is however world famous for its chocolate. That of the Baci, the Baci Perugina, has conquered the universe almost as much as the sentences of the starry wrapping containing phrases and aphorisms to be recited to the beloved or in a moment of pleasant solitude.
Do you want to eat well in the city? Go to the A Priori tavern, in the center, five minutes on foot from Piazza IV Novembre and a stone’s throw from Corso Vannucci. The cellar is excellent, too.
Near the Etruscan Arch is Il Giurista. The menu also includes pecorino soufflé, eggplant rolls and chicken livers but also an experimental tagliolini with rabbit and orange ragout.
Also excellent is the cuisine of Al Tartufo, behind the Duomo, where the “king of the table” can be presented as an excellent and pleasant choice even on the palate of those who usually do not like this tuber which is also found here in the version, certainly more valuable but expensive, white. In the end, finish with a dessert. This too with truffle, of course.
If you are looking for something fast but delicious and different, run to the Antica Salumeria Granieri Amato, in Piazza Matteotti. A temple of good taste, you only have to choose whether to dedicate yourself to the famous Umbrian porchetta or the equally well-known delicatessen.
For dinner in the winery, however, we recommend La Fraschetta di Ponte Valleceppi. You spend the right and eat tastefully in a “rustic” place where you can taste the typical flavors of Umbria.
If you move to Terni instead, have Ciriole alla Ternana served, a typical dish of these parts like Strangozzi and Umbricelli. It is a homemade pasta similar to Tuscan Pici which is prepared by simply working with water and flour. It assumes the color of wax and goes very well with mushrooms and truffles but also mushrooms and ragù. Someone also appreciates it in the pork butcher version with cream and sausage.
If you are served real Terni bread at the table, you will taste “Pane Sciapo“. Its goodness seems to derive from the water with which it is mixed but in reality it contributes to the other, such as double leavening.
In the center look for Il Vinaio, a restaurant with a rich and varied menu dedicated to local tradition and with the right quality-price ratio. Or you could look for “Crunch” awaits you with beautiful dishes to behold and not only to eat. For lunch there is also a quicker menu. Another level restaurant is Umami.
For a quick thing that recalls the temporary and Umbrian tradition, from the pan to the liver in yogurt sauce passing through the mazzafegata, go to Da Panzerotto in via Garibaldi. He defines himself the true Ternan fast-food!
Taste all the traditional Umbrian dishes with the Doc and Docg wines of these territories: from the red Torgiano reserve to the Sagrantino di Montefalco to those of the Colli Perugini, Amerini, Martani, Altotiberini. And then always start a good meal with oil. The Umbrian one is delicate but, at the same time, has a strong personality!
So, did you get a little hungry too?