I had the opportunity to finally visit one of my favourite regions in Italy: Abruzzo. I landed in Rome on the 13th January 2014 and after collecting a car, my trip started. The A25 motorway is a very panoramic route and after a quick stop for a needed espresso at the services station I reached the beautiful Sulmona, the world renowned town of confetti. Once there I met the owner of one of the oldest factory producing these delicious confectionery products: William Di Carlo Confetti di Sulmona. He took me for a tour around the production area where I had the chance to see all these little almonds becoming pretty gems covered in sugar. The machine used to make these classic sweets is called a “bassina” which is a big permanently rotating mixing ball. Then I had a walk around William’s shop which is simply breath-taking: beautiful edible flavours, soft and hard torrone, Sicilian pistachio sugar coated in one section and another section is totally dedicated to the wedding planning. After about 3 hours, sadly, I had to leave to carry on with my journey. Thank you William for showing me your world.
The next stop was Lanciano, only for the night. I had a lovely dinner with Francesco, my “guide” for these two days. We ate in a typical Abruzzese restaurant and obviously we ate the classic dishes of that area: Arrosticini, vulgarly translated in sheep meat skewers. The meat is very tasty and tender and it still cooked on stones. No other drink apart from the local Montepulciano d’Abruzzo was tolerated by my body, what a great combination. The morning after Francesco and I went to his land in Rocca San Giovanni where a few years ago he started his project of creating a new concept: the 0 metres. Basically every single jam, conserve and chutney produced by his company is made using the beautiful products that are grown literally in front of his house in the countryside. Tomatoes, citrus trees, all different grapes, this is simply a great idea. I had a tour of the production plant where they were producing one of my favourite conserves: carrot and ginger.
After a quick lunch we went to Francavilla al Mare to pay a visit to the producer who makes one of the new products for the Simply Good range by Peter Sidwell line: Mario. He has made pasta for more than 20 years, using the best durum wheat from Abruzzo and using the technique and the machine to die the pasta bronze. Very high in protein, perfect for all the Italian dishes you are going to cook, one of its peculiarity is that it stays al dente even if you over cook it a little bit. The following hours were spent visiting two new potential suppliers but for further details, follow our blog. And if you have the chance, go to Abruzzo!!!