An incontaminated region and skilled hands make Extra Virgin Olive Oil of Lucania (EVOO) one of the best and genuine product of this little part of Italy, since the times of Magna Graecia. I have some experience with the production of olive oil since my granparents had a small olive grove in the hills surrounding Rapolla, …
The mathers in law prepare the nuptial bed by placing it under the pillow (or in the bedside) a diaper (it will prove the virginity of the bride) and some traditional means to fight the (six wheat berries, a pinch of salt, scissors open and sickle).
In addition, the bed should not be “seen” (watched) by anyone, except by-mothers in law, again to avoid the evil eye.
When the couple retired to the bedroom, two men, one for the groom and one for the bride, keep watch outside the door, to prevent someone to disturb the first night, and that is to put before the door carrion animal or a plow.
The next morning, the mother-in-law of the bride knocks at the door of the bridal chamber: if the groom says to come in, it means that the marriage was consummated, but if the groom says to ‘come back later’, then it is a bad sign, that there is a strong presumption that the outcome was not happy.
If all went well, the mothers-in-law enters the bridal chamber and inspect the diaper to see the signs of lost virginity.
In neighboring countries, the town is also called, in superstitious way more than derogatory, “that town“, in dialect Lucan “Cudde puaise”.
This is because for the superstitious belief that the evocation of the name is bad luck. It has become urban legend before World War II. The Mayor, highly educated lawyer and well-known person, at the end of his statement, would have said something like: “If I do not tell the truth, it will fall this chandelier”. Apparently the chandelier would have fallen really, according to some killing people, according to others in a deserted room.
More likely, the sinister reputation of the country is derived from the belief, especially the inhabitants of the neighboring countries, in the magical arts of some women who lived there in the last century, including the famous “Cattre“, as ” Maddalena La Rocca“, a “Masciara“, ie a local magician.
Aglianico del Vulture is the first and most famous doc wine in Lucania. It comes from the volcan Vulture. Aglianico del Vulture is a noble red wine that has seen a big improvement in quality over the last few years. This wine is produced from purely Aglianico grapes. Aglianico del Vulture cannot be sold until it has …
A spirit of noble aspect, handsome face, wearing a red hat, red color, “u cuppulicchii”. He appeared mostly to children like him, and they spent a lot of time playing, laughing and chasing each other. Who could take off “u cuppulicchii”, he began to collect gold coins that profusely fell to the ground with a characteristic rattling. The elf, unlike the evil spirits, appeared to the children during the day and at night. His presence never bothered, or rather was pleased because it appeared in the guise of an elf and was, therefore, very lively, playful and playful. His favorite jokes were: remove the covers from the bed, tickling feet and whispering sweet words in the ears of the little girls. To these, especially if they were plump, she licked her cheeks gently. Many times he rested like a nightmare on the person’s body, or moth whilst visiting the bed to lift the pillow from his head and blow into the sleeping ears. Often it enjoyed during the night, to tie the hairs of the tail of donkeys and mules and the mane of the horse, under whose belly was found at dawn, when the peasants rose from the bed. In the morning, while the owners of the animals were busy melting of nodes, a gnome watched amused the patient work and laughed out loud if they could not untie them. Then, entirely happy, clapping his hands, disappeared into his fantasy world where he lived in a cave full of treasures.
Pantano of Pignola “Red Drafted Bean” has its natural habitat in a large natural amphitheater formed by the mountains of Maddalena, near the Lake of Pantano of Pignola, in the middle of a WWF Oasis, a few kilometres from Potenza. Imported from America by the Spaniards, has quickly become a fundamental support of peasant families of Lucania. Today Pantano of Pignola “Red Drafted Bean” is a very valuable and well known for its delicacy and its versatility in the kitchen. It’s in the land and culture of Lucania that this bean has its real strength.
Pantano of Pignola “Red Drafted Bean” is cultivated in Pignola and Abriola municipalities, altitude over 600 meters above sea level, with temperatures never exceeding 30° C. The 15 producers, still family run small vegetable gardens, are now joined in a growers association, with its own production protocol and a brand that identifies the authentic red beans. Cultivating this legume requires much work, care and attention and is now very rare. It’s just a passion because young people gradually abandoned the countryside and went to work in the cities. Pantano of Pignola “Red Drafted Bean” has not a real market. You can buy it directly from the producers.
The climbing plant produces a round, ovoid seed, beige in color with the dark red streaks that give the name of Pantano of Pignola “Red Drafted Bean”. The harvest runs from around the first week of September. It is very rich in fiber, iron and other trace elements, B vitamins and contains proteins of good quality.
The Lucanian cuisine, in a still uncontaminated context of ancient perfumes, culture and nature. It is more and more appreciated by the foreign tourists, from each part of Europe and of the world what they discover this little hidden hospitality casket. A blessing for health are Pasta e fagioli (home made pasta with beans), Passata di fagioli con i peperoni cruschi (beans puree with dried peppers), Luganighe e fagioli (lucan sausage with beans), Strascinati e fagioli (another home made pasta with beans), Fagioli con le cotiche (beans with pork rind), Fagioli in pignatta (beans in pot) and many other ancient and healthful recipes. Their very tender skin means that the beans are suited for use in for appetizers and side dishes.
Today I will tell you a very simple sweet that was prepared at Christmas time: the crunchy almonds, another typical recipe of Lucania.
It is an ancient dish with simple ingredients and very tasty.
When I were small, my mother prepared that and I was very delighted. They were like cherries!
In the winters of the years ’70, in my home town, Potenza, fell a lot of snow. So, at Christmas time, we were all at home playing bingo.
On the table there were not too many sweets and even gifts and so much waste. For us children, the party was also nibble those small and delicious homemade sweets, crunchy almond.
Difficulty: very low
Toast time: 5 min
Cooking time: 10 min
Total time: 15 min
4 tbsp shelled almonds
3 tbsp sugar
1 tbsp water
1 teaspoon of lemon
The origin of this sweet, enjoyed by young and old, is somewhat controversial.
According to an ancient legend told by Ovid, almond was born into one of those unlucky loves of ancient Greece.
Some historicals attribute the authorship to Spanish pastry chefs while others argue that the crunchy sweet origins in southern Italy, around the 13th century, as a descendant of an Arab cake made with almonds, honey and spices.
In Lucania, just in the south of Italy, this cake is known as “asleep mother-in-law” to say that is so good that it can “sleep” the mother-in-law!
It is said that once a young, to be alone with his girlfriend without being under the watchful eye of her mother-in-law, brought to her the crunchy almonds. The mother-in-law was distracted by the goodness of sweet and so the young man could embrace his girlfriend.
Today, unfortunately, it is a story of the past…
1. Place the shelled almonds on a baking sheet with parchment paper and toast for 5 minutes.
2. Place sugar, water and lemon juice in a pan, add the toasted almonds and stir continuously over low heat with a wooden spoon until the sugar melts and begins to bubble.
3. When the sugar begins to thicken and begins to coat the almonds, continue to stir quickly.
4. Remove from heat when the mixture takes its amber color and place in a baking tray lined with greaseproof paper.
5. Place the crunchy almonds so you get a rectangular shape.
6. Let cool the tablet until it is solidified.
7. In order to enhance the flavor, put half a lemon over the surface of crusty before it is completely cold.
At this point, choose a movie to watch, sit on the couch with the little bowl of crunchy almonds right and the love of your life left and enjoy your evening!
Christmas night means savor tradition, love and joy: this is a magic moment where love melts with lights, perfumes and flavors of the past. Today, I would tell you about an ancient legend on Christmas night which is told in some villages of Lucania. On Christmas night, a poor mum wanted to prepare the pettole to …
Lucania or Basilicata is a beautiful region in southern Italy, thoroughly embraced by other wonderful lands of Puglia, Calabria and Campania.
It is an archaic land, unique in its kind in Italy, which jealously guards landscapes with all its colours, its flavours and its ancient flavours.
Visit Lucania gives the visitor unforgettable sensations.
The purpose of Ancient Flavors is just that: try to convey to readers these emotions through the discovery of its ancient traditions and its more delicious recipes.
The food of a land should not be just eaten! It should be savored slowly in front of a fireplace or at a table, with the family or friends and slowly mixed with the traditions and legends that bind that dish. Try a new recipe is not only a change in the menu, instead is a real cultural and gastronomic experience that gives harmony and wisdom, a real pleasure of life!
Lucania is a land of magnificent forests, a spectacular landscape with a pure air and where you can eat genuinely all year.
The mountains encompass its small villages that bear witness to a long history, from the Magna Greece to the Roman Empire, from Pythagoras to Quintus Horatius Flaccus to satisfy every desire of knowledge.
It is washed by two seas, the Ionian and Tyrrhenian coasts offer amazing landscapes and pristine blue waters and with many shades and beaches of pebbles or fine golden sand surrounded by scents of wild lilies, eucalyptus and lush pine forests.
THE MAIN CITIES
Potenza, major site of Lucania, is a city of ancient origins become, next, Prefecture of Rome.
Matera, instead, is the City of Sassi, a unique and fascinating place, now UNESCO World Heritage site, with its hundreds of churches and a network of caves dug by its ancient inhabitants for their homes and shelter for animals. A unique example of archaic peasant civilization that appalled consciences for beauty and for the feelings that leaves the visitor. Matera was the setting for scenes of hit films last Mel Gibson’s “The Passion” and today is preparing for an important world event: is the European Capital of Culture (Matera 2019), a prestigious Italian goal.
THE ANCIENT TRADITIONS
Lucania, due to its location, always on the edge of the great roads, is a land where traditions and customs still survive whose origin is lost in the mists of time.
Anciet Flavors will lead you to discover these cultural and gastronomic traditions related to the life of a population that has been able to keep a healthy and natural life. A precious world cultural heritage, which is still transmitted to new generations.
THE TRADITIONAL FLAVORS
The gastronomy of Lucania is entirely based on local products skillfully combined according to ancient traditions and customs.
Ancient Flavors task is to slowly reveal these secrets.
The protagonist is the durum wheat semolina pasta, handmade by lucan housewives whose techniques are passed down to their daughters even today.
Lucan women kneading still bread at home with the addition of local potatoes that give the “panelle” (up to 3 kg) smoothness and flavor.
Respecting the original tradition, widely used is the lamb and pork, from the gut to the stew.
The use of the brace is very important.
Sausages and cheeses, also represent the cutting edge of unspoiled and simple cuisine scents and flavors.
Queens of lucan gastronomy are vegetables and legumes, in many antique plates.
We begin this journey together in the beautiful Lucania!