Delicacies hunting around Abruzzo
Prosciutto di Paganica
A picturesque, tiny village just 90 minutes' drive northeast of Rome, Paganica sits outside the small town of Aquila. While it is well known for its saffron production, Mr De Paulis was our stop in his delicatessen and salumeria. His family have been making prosciutto for four generations, meaning that his salumi ranks amongst the very best in Italy. Just 150 legs of prosciutto are produced every year because they craft the pork in ancient, time-consuming methods. They season the legs and then let them dry in the pristine mountain air of Gran Sasso, a beautiful and wild region that is typical of rural Italy: stunning landscapes, honest, hard-working people - and incredible produce.
The shepherd's cheese of Scanno
Another tiny artisanal producer is Gregorio Rotolo, near the gorgeous lake town of Scanno. Never without his fabulous woolly hat, this very special cheesemaker makes the most of the oak barrels from the famed Valle Reale vineyards down the valley. He uses their unique notes and flavour profiles to make pecorino, ricotta, caciocavallo barricato and many more. As in Paganica, he is also immensely proud of his salumi using sheep legs that he flavours with wild fennel, salt and pepper. Visiting him is like a step back in time and another reminder of Italy's deeply passionate artisan producers.