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Food in Umbria

Discovering Umbrian food was a massive highlight of our week in Umbria with Our Whole Village. Everybody knows Italian food is like, but food in Umbria has its own specialities and local flavours. We dined incredibly well during our week and have the expanded waistlines to show for it. So a look at the food, recipes, classic dishes and regional specialities of Umbria in central Italy.

Food in Umbria. Hand made ravioli. family travel blog
Home made ravioli, so simple, so good.

The Food of Umbria

I will never look at shop bought pasta the same way again after trying fresh, home-made tagliatelle and ravioli at our farmhouse cookery class, all arranged through Our Whole Village. Freshly made pasta is a million miles, in terms of flavour and texture, from the pasta most of us normally consume.

Umbrian food has Etruscan roots and is very rustic, relying heavily on the ingredients found in the area. Umbria has rich soil, forests, abundant farmlands and lakes, the produce is sensational and dishes rely on simplicity and seasonal availability. A dish will typically highlight a single, quality, ingredient. It’s peasant food, but peasant food done well is the best food there is, I think.

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Food in Umbria. Bruschetta and fine olive oils World Travel Family Blog
Simple bruschetta showcasing the best olive oil, fresh, ripe figs and tomatoes. Peasant food at its finest.

Everything starts with the basics, grains, good olive oil and the herbs that grow so abundantly in the Umbrian hills. Add to this Umbria’s star ingredients as their seasons come around and you’ve got some outstanding local dishes.

Truffles in Umbria

Food in Umbria. Black truffles. World Travel Family Travel Blog
Truffles used in such abundance, slices fall like autumn leaves on simply prepared pasta.

Truffles, both black and white, are found wild in the area. We were luck enough to go on a truffle hunting expedition with dogs, a unique experience with rich rewards.

Black truffles from Umbria, Italy. We found these!
We found these black truffles ourselves, with a little help from a gorgeous and highly trained dog and her owner.

We sampled truffles on pasta and risotto, in cured meats and in cheeses, always used in great abundance and always delicious.

Autumn and winter in Umbria is the time to visit for truffle festivals and markets, but the kitchen diamonds are available all year round.

Umbrian Meat Dishes

Food in Umbria. Pork, locally produced kebabs and sausages. World Travel Family travel blog
Pork and boar sausages are a premium dish in Umbria. Simple restaurant dish in Assisi.

Pork and wild boar were the kings of the table during our stay, but lamb and other game are also big favourites in the region.

Umbria has a long history in the arts of butchery, cured meats are a specialty and local top quality meats are produced with pride. Wild boar from the woods is so popular and abundant that whole shops are dedicated to boar products..

Wild boar salami with fennel or with truffles were part of our antipasti and were a hit with adults and children.

Wild boar salami . Food in Umbria, Italy. Family travel
Umbrian wild boar salami with fennel was a big hit with adults and kids.

Porchetta, although not exclusively Umbrian, is the street food of the region. Whole, boned slow roasted pigs, stuffed Umbrian-style with offal and herbs, typically including wild fennel and garlic is sold from vans at roadsides and in markets across Umbria.

Traditional Porchetta in Umbria. Italian food.
Porchetta from a roadside van in Gubbio. Simple, rich, delicious.

We tried it in a panino on the streets of Gubbio. It comes heavily salted, it’s not what your doctor would recommend, but it tastes pretty good.

Umbrian Chocolate

Biscotti, chocolate and original. Italian food in Umbria.

The Perugina chocolate factory, founded in 1907 is international popular and famous for Baci chocolate, made with ground hazelnuts and dark chocolate. Unfortunately Nestle now owns the factory, but there is a museum featuring the original machinery used for the production of Perugina chocolate. Perugia holds the Eurochocolate chocolate fair every October.

Umbrian Wines

Food in Umbria. Wine tasting lunch. World Travel Family blog
Table set for a four course wine tasting lunch in Spello.

Umbria has great growing conditions and wine production in the region goes back to ancient times.

I’m no wine expert, but the wines we sampled, many from traditional Umbrian grapes, were really rather nice.  You can read up on the Wines of Umbria here.

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Food in Umbria Italy Umbrian food


In just a week we saw some fabulous Umbrian dishes, dining opportunities were very much built into our trip. The dishes were all about simplicity and showcasing a particular ingredient to fully highlight its flavour. We enjoyed rustic bean soups, creamy courgette gazpacho and fresh tasty salads as well as the specialities mentioned here. It’s hearty peasant food at its finest, you could never go hungry in Umbria. Want to read more about Umbria? How about the surprising town of Gubbio and famous Saint Ubaldo?

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Alyson is the creator of World Travel Family travel blog and is a full-time traveller, blogger and travel writer. A lifetime of wanderlust and now over 7 years on the road, 50+ countries allowed the creation of this website, for you. She has a BSc and worked in pathology before entering the travel arena and creating this website. World Travel Family Travel Blog has been helping you travel more, better and further since 2012, when Alyson and James first had this life changing idea. On this site you can find endless travel information, tips and guides plus how to travel, how to fund travel and how to start your own travel blog.

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Shikha (whywasteannualleave)

Thursday 7th of August 2014

Believe me when I tell you how hard it is for me to read this post when I'm hungry!! I'm a big fan of exploring the food scene of a country I visit and I would love to try a cookery class in Italy, which is probably one of my favourite European destinations for food! And a whole chocolate fair - I think I might be visiting in October :)

Jagbir Sandhu

Thursday 7th of August 2014

Awesome food and great post, Thanks for this wonderful and awesome post. Loved it to the fullest. I am very happy that I found this during my search for something concerning this.

Regards Jagbir Sandhu

Erin

Wednesday 6th of August 2014

OMG yum yum yum yum!

Amy

Wednesday 6th of August 2014

Yum, the chocolate looks awesome and the pasta. I love Italian food, it's definitely my favourite!

SJ @ Chasing the Donkey

Wednesday 6th of August 2014

This looks all so very yummy! I was in Umbria is 2010 and we loved it so much, and said we'd love to go back.

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