Dreaming Of Autumn In Umbria
I t's September and even though it's warm and bright outside, Mother Nature is giving us signs that autumn is near. The vendemmia, grape harvest, is productively underway as suntanned men cut grapes by hand and carry them to be pressed for the November wine, and a fruity wine scent perfumes the air even if there isn't a vineyard in sight for miles. As days become shorter, the smell of smoldering wood swirls and the cold Fiano wine of summer is replaced with vino caldo.
Another sign that summer is gently fading is the arrival of seasonal cheeses, like robiola al latte crudo di pura capra in foglie di castagno, an unctuous goat's milk cheese wrapped in chestnut tree leaves. Our purveyor friend and food expert, AnnaMaria, not only showcases milky rounds in her cheese shop, but she offers tastings too. Bite in, sip and swirl with a good glass of Taurasi.

Wishing you healthy autumn cooking,
  Table Talk
Umbria, often called Italy's green heart for its rolling hills and fields of green, is a land where cooking is based on simplicity. Most famous for its truffles, mushrooms, lentils and wild asparagus, Umbria's main courses too will impress. Lamb, pork and game, cooked over an open fire or made into cured hams and salami, will have every food lover having seconds.
Umbrian breads and desserts keep their country tradition as well with oven-baked delights such as pan caciato, pan nociato, pane di strettura and brustegnolo.
Delicious Umbrian desserts, made with apples, nuts, wine and cinnamon, are usually baked. One of the most famous desserts is rocciata, a roll of delicate pastry wrapped around a sweet medley of apple, nuts and raisins. Baked golden on the outside and kept moist on the inside, this traditional dessert is from Assisi.
The world famous Baci, meaning kiss, is made by Perugina. Made from ground hazelnuts and dark chocolate, it will win your heart. It was initially called cazzotto, however it was renamed by the Italian poet Gabriele D'Annunzio. So when traveling to Umbria make sure you try a Baci, wrapped in a love note with romantic words.
Pumpkins, zucchini and chestnuts are warming words that tell us autumn is here. Grilled, stewed, sautéed in pasta or served as a contorno, side, vegetables are a perfect ingredient for every recipe. This month we share with you antiche ricette umbre, old world recipes from Umbria, that will warm your heart.   

What's Cooking
Join us on our magnificent Estate in the heart the countryside of Perugia in Umbria, nestled between Todi and Perugia, for our 7-day cooking adventure with Chef Amelie. Here in our precious villa property, you will experience all the emotions this region has to offer -from the peace and beauty of the surrounding countryside to the top quality produce, wine and olive oil. And of course Chef Amelie's delicious creations!
Vineyards and olive groves surround you at the estate while you enjoy the prized wines and olive oils that come from the harvest.  There are green pastures with cattle and horses, and arable fields of cereals and legumes. Beautifully restored stone cottages, a medieval tower, and a lake inserted in a magical landscape of ravines and pine forests are also part of this property. In the kitchen, get busy with your Chef, transforming fresh, seasonal, local produce into delicious traditional Umbrian cuisine - roll out your own hand-made pasta into strangozzi or papparedelle and accompany with slow-simmered meat sauces or toss with wild mushrooms. Nature's gifts to Umbria are simple but delicious - even a bruschetta drizzled with a little extra virgin olive oil tastes different here! When you're not busy in the kitchen, visit the nearby town of Montefalco where you can browse through its exquisite linen creations, and the hilltop town of Todi with its impressive Piazza Del Popolo.

Recipes From Our Kitchen
Zuppa di farro e porcini
~ Farro and porcini mushroom soup
~ Strangozzi

Get the Recipe
~ Umbrian Caffè
Sipping & Swirling ~ Wine Picks

Zuppa di farro e porcini
~ Farro and porcini mushroom soup
Pair With:
Colpertrone Sagrantino di Montefalco DOCG  
As autumn arrives and soups like farro are on the table pair with a Colpertrone Sagrantino di Montefalco DOCG from Umbria. Sagrantino is a dark and dense wine unique to Umbria. Its fruit profile ranges from black cherries to ripe blackberry, with many secondary spicy and earthy characteristics. It's a a wine that is both sweet and savory. Sagrantino's high tannins and affinity for oak mean that it matures particularly well, which is reflected in the stipulation in the local wine law that it must not be released until it has aged for at least 30 months. Sagrantino is produced by only a handful of producers in Montefalco and hardly grown outside Italy at all. Consequently, its availability is limited.
~ Strangozzi
Torgiano Rosso Riserva DOCG is a blend of Sangiovese and Canaiolo that is aged for a minimum of three years in order to qualify for Torgiano Rosso Riserva DOCG status.
The most famous winery is Lungarotto, founded by Giorgio Lungarotti in the early 1960's and is now managed by his daughters Chiara and Teresa. This dedicated wine maker established the Torgiano area as a quality wine producing region secured the Torgiano's DOC designation in 1968 - Italy's first DOC - and played a major role in the subsequent upgrade to DOCG status in 1990.

Rubesco Riserva Vigna Monticchio is characterized by a bas-relief depicting the harvest from the Fontana Maggiore of Perugia, Italy's most beautiful 13th-century fountain. Made from Sangiovese and Canaiolo grapes grown in Monticchio's vineyard, this exceptional blend is incredibly elegant and fine with a solid structure and a superior aging potential. On average, this wine can be easily aged for up to 30 years and perfectly embodies the estate's winemaking expertise.
Deep ruby red in color, this sophisticated red wine is dominated by intense aromas of tamarind, spices, wild herbs, fresh fruit, wet earth and tobacco on the nose. Incredibly fresh on the palate, it has velvety tannins and a long, fruity aftertaste

With Love From Italy

  Cook Like An Etruscan
These Etruscans olives are hand picked in rolling green orchards and crushed the same day on granite stones then separated with a Sinolea machine without pressure. The results are in the tasting.
Buy it at:  www.igourmet.com

With Perugina's delicious chocolate Baci...   
Go to: new.perugina.com  

Kitchen Art
 Dress you table with the art of Deruta ceramics. Artisan tableware that turns an ordinary table into a work of art.
Go to: derutaitaly.com 

Italy On A Plate

Flavors Of The Season
By Germaine Stafford

Germaine continues her roundup of what's happening in the culinary world in Italy and gives you her chef of the month, book recommendation, and a list of seasonal foods for Autumn.
What's in Season?  
Sea Bass, Mussels, Oysters, Venison, Partridge, Wood Pigeon, Guinea fowl, Partridge, Duck, Grouse, Garlic, Ceps, Chanterelles, Spinach, Fennel, Onion, Kale, Beetroot, Squashes, Pumpkin, Figs, Apples, Pears, Grapes, Prickly pear

Taverna del Lupo
Chef Claudio Ramacci is a master at keeping tradition alive at the Taverna del Lupo. Come to this tavern hungry and be ready to try simple local cuisine and the prized truffles of the land. The protagonist here is the truffle, shaved over home-made tagliolini or in a creamy polenta.

Roasted meats top the charts with wild boar and baby lamb along with steaks and veal garnished with wild rosemary and juniper served with a side of golden potatoes. Not to mention lentils and farro, slow stewed with root vegetables to warm the soul. Desserts are humble and
homemade too always incorporating local fruits, honey and nuts. It's always a sweet note when a Perugina chocolate is served with your caffè in the land of chocolate, truffles and simple food.
Taverna del Lupo
Via Ansidei, 21 Gubbio

Book Corner 
U mbria: Regional Recipes from the Heartland of Italy
Julia della Croce takes you through Umbria - Deruta, Perugia, and Assisi on a culinary tour that dates back to the Etruscans.

She shares her hearty recipes rooted in vegetables, legumes, grains, and farm-raised meats and redolent of herbs and bold sauces. Create recipes for penci with sausage, lemon, and nutmeg sauce and lentils with seafood, both of which illustrate the region's simple cuisine
Check it out at:  Amazon.com
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