Would like to discover the secrets of Le Marche cuisine? Everybody loves Italian food, but what if I told you there’s no such thing? Italian food is not the result of a specific culinary style. It is an incredible mosaic of many regional culinary traditions that mix geography, history, climate, and the culture of each region. Also, in Le Marche, this astonishing combination created a special and unique cuisine.
This month, I participated in the local gourmet event “Un mare di vita in un caffè“, which was organized by Orlandi Passion Caffè and Le Marchese del Gusto in Senigallia. 30 chefs, local producers, and food experts worked together to create this super gourmet event “Made in Marche”. Here, I received several inspirational insights to talk about this straightforward cuisine. Let’s discover some of its secrets!
1) Outstanding high-quality ingredients of Le Marche cuisine
Undoubtedly one the most important aspect of Le Marche food is the use of fresh and very selected ingredients. For them, the farming culture is the center of the food culture and excellent raw materials have a significant impact on the cooking process. Here, quality and freshness are really serious topics. Just taste it to understand the real difference!
2) The importance of seasonal food
A walk through a food market in Le Marche is enough to make anyone envious of the delightful produce on display. Here, seasonal vegetables and fruits actually taste as they’re supposed to, rather than the insipid imitations, which can be found in many supermarkets around the world.
The doctor and food expert Mauro Mario Mariani, talked about the importance of eating seasonal food to our healthy, during the event. Due to modern agriculture and food processing techniques, most foods are available all year round. Actually, we forget that food availability should change with the seasons. So, even though technology makes possible for us to eat tomatoes during the cold winter, that doesn’t mean it’s a good habit.
So, as in Le Marche, the people have a deep relationship with their land, the respect for the seasonality in their cuisine is very relevant.
Below you can find a very interesting vegetable calendar, prepared by the Sauardó Pizzeria, in Civitanova Marche.
Vegetables Calendar by Sauardó
3) Simplicity is the key
Le cuisine in Le Marche is primordially characterized by its simplicity. That’s the secret: just a few ingredients, but of excellent quality. This secret was valid also during this gourmet event, where chefs were invited to reinvent their recipes adding a new protagonist ingredient: the coffee. The component was unusual, so their creativity was in the center of the recipe.
Would you like to know the results? An astonishing and tasteful surprise, like the pizza with coffee and strawberries of Sauardò! But, also, I think the simplicity was the key in this case. It was a magic combination of just a few different ingredients, thought out of the box and prepared with special techniques and passion.
Before unveiling the next secret, let’s reflect on food simplicity. Does a combination of pasta and sauce seem too simple for an outstanding dish?
The question, probably, might be the quality of the tomatoes and the cooking techniques, not necessarily how many ingredients the recipe has. Delicate flavors should be savored slowly: so, when it comes to ingredients, less is more. Let’s think about it.
Moscioli alla Marinara (wild mussels of Portonovo): just a few ingredients
4) Food as a multi-sensorial experience
Authentic regional food in Italy engages all senses. The Italians’ philosophy about food is to create a dish that will satisfy all your senses including sight, smell, touch, and hearing: not only taste.
For me, this event was a journey to rediscover the senses, all made in Marche.
Two guests were invited during this occasion to represent the importance of food as a sensorial experience: Antonio Ciotola, owner of the restaurant “La Taverna Degli Archi”, a famous chef who lost his sight but not his strong passion for the cuisine, and Hilde Soliani, an Italian artist of smell and taste. It’s really interesting to perceive how in Le Marche and in Italy in general, the cuisine is a real 360° experience.
Probably, food for a chef has the same dignity, as an artistic medium, like the brush for the painter or the stone for the sculptor. Here, food is a multi-sensorial art.
5) Discover 4 local pillars of Le Marche cuisine
Wine is an intrinsic part of the Italian culture and the Marche region offers outstanding local wines. The most famous local wines in Le Marche are: Verdicchio, Rosso Conero, Rosso Piceno, Lacrima di Morro d’Alba, Vernaccia, Passerina, and Pecorino.
During the event, Paola Cocci Grifoni and Federica Pantaleone (Pantalone organic Wine) represented this important category. For me it was such a coincidence: some days before the event, I had the pleasure to visit the Winery Cocci Grifoni, a family-run company in the Ascoli Piceno province. I met personally Marilena Cocci Grifoni, one owner, who explained the incredible story of each bottle of wine in their cellar. This is a fascinating reality in this region: the possibility to know personally the story behind a good glass of wine and taste it between vineyards and olive groves. It’s not only a question about exquisite wine: it’s about people, stories, and dreams.
Travel tips: I recommend you participate in the event “Cantine aperte” (Open Wine Cellars), where you can meet the producers on their home turf while tasting the best wines in Le Marche. This national event is held in May and in September.
Tenuta Cocci Grifoni “A meal without wine is like a day without sun”
In Le Marche, the olive oil has outstanding quality and many varieties and flavors. Famous for the numerous benefits, olive oil is used both in the diet and in the daily life of people from Le Marche.
Daniele Paci, local agronomist, and olive oil passionate talked about the remarkable value of the local oil. In the Marche region, there’re many small olive oil producers, who still avoid large-scale productions. They prefer to use traditional methods, giving priority to the quality, instead of the quantity. This quality is one reason some local brands will not be found in other countries. When Daniele Paci has brought some regional local oil to some international food fairs, visitors were surprised with the excellent quality and flavor Made in Marche.
Shopping tips: during your travel, always prefer “extra-virgin” olive oil: it’s simply made by crushing olives and extracting the juice, with no additional chemicals. If possible, buy it directly from producers: you’ll have an exceptional olive oil and, you’ll support small producers and the local economy at the same time.
Le Marche is famous for the astonishing rolling hills of wheat fields and vineyards. This splendid rural landscape is the basis of one of the most loved food products in the world: la pasta!
Wide, narrow, short, or long, made with or without egg…what’s your favorite pasta? We can say that Le Marche could be really proud of its production of pasta.
Carlo Latini and Giuseppe Marconi represented this category, the heart of the Italian food.
Shopping tips: to guarantee a 360° local pasta experience, I suggest you check the descriptions on the pasta package. I always prefer a product “Made in Marche” and prepared with local wheat, instead of the description “wheat’s origin: UE and extra UE countries”. It’s also a way to support the local traditions and economy.
“Macchiato, lungo, decaffeinato, marocchino, cappuccino, o caffè d’orzo in tazza grande”: which one do you prefer? Ordering a coffee in an Italian bar is much more complicated than you can imagine!
The coffee here is an art, the heart, and soul of Italian daily life. Like most things in Le Marche and in Italy, quality is a priority, and many rituals surround the complex coffee culture.
Representing this national excellence during the event, there was Mauro Cipolla, the founder of Orlandi Passion caffè, in San Benedetto del Tronto. Mauro supplies prestigious coffees to make a cup of coffee like no other. Orlandi Passion invites you not only to take a good cup of coffee; take time to taste a happy lifestyle and to take a journey with your five senses!
Ph. Credits Facebook Page Orlandi Passion
Shopping and travel tips:
- The coffee has another important responsibility: it should conclude the gastronomic experience with honor. Choosing a good coffee after the food ritual is really important!
- A suggestion for a creative souvenir during your travel in Le Marche: a pack with a prestigious local coffee and a Moka, the traditional Italian coffee pot. I’m sure your friends will really appreciate it!
6) Discover the traditional dishes of Le Marche
Every city in Le Marche will be able to enchant you with a traditional dish and a distinctive story. Most of the typical dishes could not be found in the whole region, as they are produced in a specific area. So, you can imagine how difficult is preparing a must-eat list!
Vincisgrassi, olive all’ascolana, moscioli, tagliatelle with truffles, fish stew (Brodetto) are just some of the delicious dishes! Don’t miss them!
Tagliatelle with Truffles Ph. Credits Le Marchese del Gusto
Food plays an essential role in the travel experience: you can learn a lot about local culture by exploring their food. Are you ready to discover this amazing Italian region through its food?
The proceeds of this event will be donated: it will support the construction of a hotel management school in Amendola.
Thanks to Le Marchese del Gusto, Orlandi Passion and all the protagonists of the creative and tasteful event, in La Rotonda a Mare di Senigallia!
Special Location for the event “Un mare di vita in un caffè”: Rotonda a Mare Senigallia.
- Credits Cocci Griffoni wine
- Orlandi Passion & Le Marchese del Gusto, the organizers.
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