Week one of our recent Italian cooking trip was spent exploring the quaint hill-towns of Umbria. We traveled from town to town exploring the architecture, history and of course the food.
One of our excursions included an interactive farm-to-table tour with Jennifer McIIvane owner of Life Italian Style Tours. Jennifer, like myself, is a Philadelphia native living in Umbria. She not only hosts a variety of food tours throughout the region, she is also a private chef.
Our farm-to-table tour started at a stone flour mill/wood fired bakery where we learned about the milling process and got to taste plates of freshly baked cookies.
Did you know that Umbria's most popular bread is unsalted? This is due to a tax placed on salt by the Pope back in the 1500's.
Next we headed to Societa Argricola Fratelli Angelucci, a working farm in the town of Cannara, where we learned how to make cheese and fresh pasta with Nonna Rita.
Participation in the process is entirely voluntary, and of course yours truly put herself forward to roll out some fresh pasta dough.
After some time in the kitchen with Nonna Rita our group gathered at a beautifully set table to enjoy a homemade 11 course lunch.
Hours passed as we ate our way through never ending plates of homemade pasta,
and platters of meats, among other things. It was a delicious and enjoyable day.
If you find yourself in the Perugia region and want to immerse yourself in the traditions of Umbrian food and life I would highly recommend Jennifer's farm-to-table tour.
This experience was provided complimentary, all opinions are my own.