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Perugia and its surroundings
Perugia, the heart of the region, is the place where to find a synthesis of the simple and tasty regional cooking. Here, gastronomy has its roots in the cultivation of olives, in the grapes of the hills, in the pigs farms and cattle stations. Ancient recipes are simple and appetizing, such as the "arvortolo", namely fried bread, the "bruschetta" with the "nuovo" olive oil, walnut bread, typical pastas, such as the "umbricelli" to be served with various tomato and mushroom sauces.
The aromatic and scrumptious Easter cake with eggs and cheese has become a classic dish eaten all the year round. It is known as "Pizza" in Southern Umbria and as "Crescia" in Gubbio. It is excellent to eat with various kind of cold meat or with cooked herbs. The "Torta al Testo", an ancient bread made up of a simple dough of water, flour and salt and cooked on the "testo", a stone dish made red-hot with fire, is excellently served with the local ham, which has been seasoned with salt and that has properly matured, with sausages, cooked herbs or pecorino cheese.
In respect of the most authentic tradition, the "Torta al testo" is greatly served with stews and "coratelle". The most used meats in second dishes are pork and wild boar meat, cooked and flavoured according to various recipes. Lamb is another kind of meat, which is very used for main dishes. Just like the other kinds of meat, it is cooked in huge ovens with selected and perfumed wood. They are particularly tasty and aromatic. As for Perugia's cakes, the "torcolo" is without a doubt Perugia's traditional dessert, since it takes its name from one of the city's patrons, San Costanzo, that is celebrated on 29th of Gen.
Its recipe is made with bread dough enriched with oil, candied citron, raisins, pine kernels and aniseed. Another typical cake is the "torciglione" with a shape that recalls the eels of Lake Trasimeno. It is made with almond paste. Also the black truffle, which is present in all Umbria, seasons many dishes and also the "Pizza di Pasqua" (a sort of salty cake flavoured with pecorino cheese) with a unique flavour. Precious wines, such as the Colli Perugini, that reflect the taste and culture of the people living in these lands, accompany such a various cuisine characterized by very full bodied flavours.