casa carlotta
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Enjoy the local cuisine
and wine

Restaurants, large and small are abundant throughout the Marche region and prices are very reasonable, you will enjoy the local food and excellent wine. Along Le-Marche's coast you will enjoy some of the world's best sea food dishes. Venture inland and the variety of meat and pasta dishes (with ingredients bought at the local market) are amongst the best Italy has to offer.

Cooking in the Marche is deeply rooted in peasant tradition and remains untouched by the Western influence of fast food and take away establishments. Here the home cook rather than the professional chef rules and even the smartest restaurants seek to produce food just like nonna, or grandmother, used to make.

The use of fresh, top quality seasonal ingredients assembled with the minimum of fuss marks marchigiano food. But as dishes are strictly based on tradition and local produce, each local area has its own varieties of the same dishes making every restaurant you visit a truly unique experience.

Eating - keep an eye out for...

Official statistics claim that marchigiani eat more meat than any other Italians and it shows. In many country areas going out to a restaurant is basically an excuse to fuel up on enormous platters of charcoal-grilled meats - grigliata mista di carne. Relief, however, is on hand along the Adriatic coast with some of the peninsula's best fish .For an antipasto, mountain salt-cured ham and lonza (salt-cured fillet of pork) reign supreme. If you see it, also try ciauscolo (a soft, spreadable pork salame).

The classic primo is a generous plate of tagliatelle dressed with a sugo, or meat sauce. The region's unique pasta dish is vincisgrassi, a rich baked lasagna without the usual tomatoes. Urbino is also famous for passatelli, strands of pasta made from breadcrumbs, parmesan cheese, and egg cooked in broth. Apart from the ever-present meat grilled alle brace, on embers, delicious stuffed pigeons (piccione ripieno) and rabbit cooked with fennel (coniglio in porchetta) are a Marche speciality. In some areas, stewed snails (lumache) occasionally creep on to the menu.

By the coast, particularly around Ancona, try brodetto, fish stew which must be made with 13 species of fish, no more, no less. Thin spaghetti dressed with vongole, or baby clams, is always good here as is spaghetti allo scoglio, "on the rocks" dressed with seafood.

In the northern Marche look out for piadina, a flat, unleavened bread often served with cold meats at roadside snack-bars. The sheep's' milk pecorino cheese is excellent here and is best eaten in the spring with young raw broad beans or fave. Look out, too, for formaggio di fossa - (a strong-flavoured cheese aged by being walled up in limestone holes in the ground).

At Casa Carlotta you will find a file with information and directions to local restaurants/markets we have tried and enjoyed ..... Buon Appetito!!