|'Wine Break', Italy, Apennine Mountains, Umbria, Castelluccio di Norcia (Photo credit: WanderingtheWorld (www.LostManProject.com))|
By Giovanni Balboni
Ask people what their favourite food is and chances are pretty high they'll answer 'Italian'. From pizza, to pasta, to the most amazing entrees and desserts, everyone is sure to have a favourite Italian dish.
A holiday to Italy is the trip of a lifetime, and die-hard foodies agree one must-visit is Umbria. Villas in the midst of green rolling hills, medieval castles and churches, and crystal lakes are a certainly a feast for the eyes. The selling point for most foodies, however, is definitely the superb cuisine of Umbria. Villas offer the perfect holiday getaways, with beautiful scenery, casual and relaxed atmosphere, and the opportunity to explore the cuisine of the region at your leisure - much of which would rival the best in world-class restaurants and hotels. The Umbrians use centuries-old recipes and only the freshest ingredients, most from their own gardens, in the nearby farms, or fish caught fresh from nearby lakes to create the most amazing dishes. While characteristically rustic, dishes from this region are stunning in their simplicity, allowing the ingredients to speak for themselves. Listed below are some of the signature ingredients and dishes that definitely must be savoured when visiting the region.
In Umbria, villas nestled amongst olive groves are common and are the perfect place for a long and relaxed holiday. Here, olive oil is considered liquid gold, and is used in nearly all savoury dishes. Olives themselves are also found in many dishes, especially antipasti and pasta. Olives are harvested in the autumn so are especially abundant and delicious at that time. In fact, if you're in the area at the end of the year, some small mills open their doors to visitors, allowing you to see how olive oil is made and to taste the pure, new produce.
Truffles are prized by chefs around the world, and among these rare fungi the most sought-after and expensive are white winter truffles. More aromatic and delicate than their black summer cousins, they are a feature in many winter dishes served across the region. The people of the region love these truffles so much that they hold multiple fairs dedicated to the product every winter. White truffles can be used in pasta or sauces, or can be used to enhance the flavour of other ingredients such as cheese and eggs. Whether used in intricate or simple dishes, the flavour truffles bring to any dish make them go from delicious to sublime.
You may be surprised to hear that legumes are among the most loved ingredients in Italy - nothing is as hearty as a hot bowl of creamy bean soup and crusty bread on a cold winter day. In Umbria, heirloom legumes are indigenous to the area, such as the fagiolino, the extremely rare fagiolo,and the earthy cicerchie. Lentils are a staple of many dishes and play a big part in the food of New Year celebration feasts.
With such a wealth of scenic beauty, warm Italian hospitality, and the most amazing cuisine, in Umbria, villas are the perfect holiday getaways for the foodie.
Giovanni Balboni works for To Tuscany, who specialise in finding the perfect [http://www.to-tuscany.com/]Umbria villas as well as villas in Chianti and Puglia. To Tuscany is proud of their villas and their reputation. All our [http://www.to-tuscany.com/reach-tuscany/tuscany-villas-to-rent/]Umbria villas are personally selected and visited by our representatives to ensure we offer only the best in the region.
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