Food and Wines of Riviera del Conero
This recipe is becoming known by an increasing number of admirers, due to the work of a local food association, that drives for years a quality and link program between sea and land products. The traditional Stockfish is made by stockfih, potatoes, tomatoes and by the whole quality of the products made in the countryside of Ancona area.
The “Brodetto” is another tradional dish of this area. This recipe is made by a liquid soup of 13 different fishes.
The Brodetto counted: cuttlefish, red scorpion fish, priest fish, weever, pound fish, dogfish, race, monkfish, red mullet, prawns, corn, clams and mussels. You have to eat the recipe with bread.
Pasta with mussels and clams
Vincisgrassi is a dish traditionally baked in a wood-fired oven.The dish is then assembled (like a lasagna) with alternating layers of béchamel and the meat sauce. The top layer is covered with grated Parmesan and knobs of butter, and then baked. The cities of Ancona and Macerata dispute its origin and Ancona attributes the dish’s name to the post-Napoleonic campaigns and an Austrian General, Windish Grätz who was commander stationed in the Marches in 1799. Traditionally the dish is made with egg pasta sheets, about 10cm wide and as long as the oven dish used. The filling is made with ‘le rigaglie del pollo’, the chicken’s innards, e.g. giblets, hearts, livers, as well as the combs and wattles (the coloured, fleshy lobe hanging from the head of chickens). This version also includes sweetbreads, brains, minced veal, yearling or lamb and local mushrooms (which in Italy means not only porcini, but chiodini, finferli and many other species of wild mushrooms).
The red wine DOC zones of the Marches are Rosso Conero and Rosso Piceno and based chiefly on the Sangiovese and Montepulciano d’ Abruzzo grapes, sometimes blended, sometimes not. The most important in terms of wine volume is Rosso Piceno, dominated by Sangiovese. Rosso Conero, dominated by Montepulciano d’ Abruzzo, has gained even more praise, thanks to the devotion to quality shown by leading producers like Fattoria La Terraze. The zone covers the area on the slopes of the Conero massif south of Ancona. Both Rosso Conero and Rosso Piceno were habitually made to drink within two to four years, when they are persuasively round and fresh in flavour, though certain producers have made wines that age remarkably well from good vintages, sometimes for a decade or more.
White wines DOC:One of the most famous and historically noteworthy offerings in the Marches region, the dry white wines sold under this title are made from the ancient Verdicchio grape variety. Legend has it that when the troops of the king of the Visigoths, Alarich (370-410), marched on Rome, they were provided with barrels of Verdicchio to maintain their strength. Verdicchio means ‘little green one’, a name which holds true for the wines it makes in central Marche. These are typically straw colored with pronounced green tinges and have a correspondingly ‘green’ aroma profile, leaning towards herbaceous notes and fresh apples.
Verdicchio dei Castelli di Jesi
The Castelli di Jesi wine-producing zone encompasses the hilly territory around the town of Jesi in the province of Ancona. The two DOC (the official Italian equivalent of the French Appellation Contrôllée) versions are – Verdicchio dei Castelli di Jesi and Verdicchio di Matelica. The Riserva versions of both wines have now been given the elite DOCG category. The other Marche DOC whites include Bianchello del Metauro and Colli Pesaresi Bianco from the north, Esino Bianco and Colli Maceratesi from the central Marche, and Falerio, and Offida Pecorino and Passerina from the south.
Verdicchio di Matelica
This white is noted for its fresh, fragrant and harmonious character, displaying a slightly sharper characteristic than Verdicchio dei Castelli di Jesi, which is much rounder and mellower. It shows fine balance and structure and has great complexity when aged for several years. The versatile wine also combines well with small portions of Malvasia or Trebbiano, and can be made into a sparkling spumante version