One of the many surprises awaiting you during your stay at Lake Trasimeno and in Umbria in general is most certainly the discovery of the region’s celebrated foods and wines, all strongly linked to the places where they are produced. DOC wines (among them, Colli del Trasimeno, Montefalco, Orvieto and Torgiano), fine extra virgin olive oil, fish from the lake (carp, eel, perch and tench) and speciality meat dishes inland make Umbria also worth discovering for its exceptional cuisine.
The Trasimeno Bean
Cultivated by the Greeks and Etruscans, the bean (cowpea) spread throughout the Trasimeno area where it found its ideal soil and climate. The main feature of this legume is the small size of the seed, which can take various colours. Used by gourmets and top chefs for the preparation of traditional dishes and new recipes, in 2002 the Trasimeno Bean Consortium was founded to protect the bean’s production and ensure its quality. In 2000 the Trasimeno cowpea was included in the Slow Food Presedia in recognition of its uniqueness.
Lake Trasimeno Fish
Since ancient times, fish has been an important source of nutrition for the local population. Fishing today is practised by professional cooperatives of fishermen who catch carp, eel, tench, perch, pike and smelt. Carp, which is excellent cooked in porchetta (with ham, fennel and rosemary), is the most widely known and consumed fish in the Trasimeno area. Its prized eggs are used for soups and first courses. Also worth mentioning is tegamaccio, a delicious fish soup which takes its name from the earthenware pot in which it is cooked.
Saffron from Città della Pieve
Saffron is a magical plant with a beautiful violet flower and the fiery red stigma that provide the powerful, bright yellow colorant ‘saffron’, used today as an ingredient by most local restaurants. A special consortium formed to safeguard the saffron plant aims to disseminate its use and promote its production and sale while protecting its distinctive characteristics and uniqueness.
The generally mild climate and the characteristics of the soil in the Trasimeno area favour the important production of various kinds of high quality honey. Wildflower honey is the main type of honey produced by Umbrian beekeepers, but there is also chestnut, sunflower, acacia, heather, clover, arbutus, Italian sainfoin and honeydew. Beekeepers also produce royal jelly, propolis and mead, which is an ancient beverage with mythical origins lost in the mists of time.
The ‘Colli del Trasimeno’ wine route is an invitation to travel through a land of vineyards and wineries on an itinerary that winds its way among the bright hills between Lake Trasimeno and the Tiber, an area associated with grapes and wine since ancient times. Enjoy vivid sensory experiences on a slow journey to the places where men and women live and produce Umbria’s great wines. This is a relaxed and intriguing meandering journey, framed by Lake Trasimeno in all its varying seasonal colours, in an exceptional area composed of water and rolling hills, followed by the Tiber valley between Perugia and Umbertide. Taking the ‘Colli del Trasimeno’ wine route is a way to learn about the food and wine traditions of the area, along with its artistic and cultural heritage and landscapes, through the ‘slow’ and sustainable enjoyment and appreciation of its distinctive features and local traditions.
Our excellent wines of celebrated, award-winning quality, provide the theme for a journey of discovery in an area of countless environmental, artistic, historical and cultural treasures. The wine route has five itineraries. As you follow them you’ll discover the peace and sweetness of Perugino’s paintings, the bitter battles fought on the fields against Hannibal, the strength of the towers of the towns and castles, the harmony of the Tiber’s flowing waters and the wind among the branches of the oaks and cypress. http://www.stradadelvinotrasimeno.it You’ll be welcomed on your journey by hospitable men and women, dedicated to nurturing the vine and the good life.
CONSORTIUM FOR THE PROTECTION OF TRASIMENO WINES
The Consortium for the Protection of Colli del Trasimeno Wines was founded in January 1997. Its trademark, a detail from a painting by the artist Il Perugino, is reminiscent of the rolling hills that surround the lake. Inspired by the beauty of the area, the Consortium’s objective is to promote the wines with the help of the winemakers who have been working for years for the certification of their product.
Olive oil is one of the oldest and most typical products of the Trasimeno area. The vast hillside olive groves that characterise the local landscape produce excellent extra virgin olive oil, guaranteed and certified by the Umbria DOP (Protected Designation of Origin), and by the geographical appellation ‘Colli del Trasimeno’. The typical olive variety of the Trasimeno area is the Dolce Agogia, which gives the oil a green to golden yellow colour and a moderately fruity taste: light, with subtle bitter and spicy notes, making it particularly suitable for all delicate dishes and for fish. Excellent olive oils are produced in the area from various varieties of olives, such as frantoio, leccino or the moraiolo, which yield excellent blends. Each producer’s DOP allows for variability in aromas and flavours depending on the percentages of the different varieties of olives used. The creation of the ‘Umbria Extra Virgin Olive Oil DOP Route’, of which Trasimeno is part, aims to connect the oil, the olive and the culture of this product with the history and traditions of each the areas it covers. http://www.stradaoliodopumbria.it
In this area the pig is the animal par excellence (‘Divin Porcello’), and its meat is the ‘Queen of the Table’. Over the centuries this has led to a thriving business of preserving pork. Many local firms produce pork products such as ham, sausage, salami, coppa and capocollo.