Food in La Marche
Like most regions in Italy, La Marche has a distinctly unique cuisine. Unsurprisingly, being one of the country’s coastal regions, seafood has had a massive influence, whilst its proximity to Tuscany means a fine range of wines is also available.
The most famous dish of the Adriatic Coast is Brodetto, a fish stew which varies in composition from town to town. Cuttlefish, squid, shrimp and mullet are all regional delicacies, which are served with varying quantities of garlic, lemon juice and saffron depending upon the local recipe. Bream, clams, mussels and sole are also popular, but again their availability varies. La Marche is famous for its fishing villages and fresh cuisine, with choice dependent upon how well the day’s catch went.
In Ancona, La Marche’s main city, stockfish (stoccafisso) is a particular favourite. This dried codfish takes significant preparation but is a famous gastronomic delight in the area.
Away from seafood, locals enjoy vincisgrassi, a baked pasta dish made from beef or pork mince. Tomato, mushrooms and béchamel sauce are typically added, whilst local wild truffles serve as garnish. In some variations of the dish, chicken giblets are added for flavour. Continuing the porcine theme, porchetta is something of an institution in La Marche. A whole pig is stuffed with flavourings before being roasted on a spit over wood. The result is a moist and fatty meat which is traditionally eaten at times of festival.
Desserts in the area are not particularly sweet, with cheeses like Ricotta adding a saccharine flavour to many dishes. Frustenga (a cake of figs, sultanas, raisins and walnuts) is also popular.
La Marche is famous for some deep red wines including the Rosso Conero of Ancona and the Rosso Picenoand. However, the region excels in its white wines, particularly Verdicchio which is commonly drunk with seafood. Meanwhile, Bianchello del Metauro is often imbibed with shellfish.
This short review doesn’t do justice to the range of culinary experiences which will greet you on any stay in Le Marche. If you stay local and explore the region, you will enjoy a vast range of freshly produced regional cuisine which will be amongst the freshest and most satisfying you have ever tasted.