The cuisine of Abruzzo reflects the simple, genuine nature of the region, because it is based on the products of the land and the sea, yet there is a touch of magic in it on account of the recurring presence of odd numbers of ingredients and multiples of odd numbers. There are three ingredients in its famous traditional dish known as "Le Virtù". Then there are seven types of pasta, seven pulses and seven vegetables: an apparently simple yet calory-balanced "minestrone", poetically declaiming the gifts of the women of Abruzzo, veritable queens of the home. There are thirty or more dishes of dry pasta or "bottega", variously seasoned with the salty flavours of the sea or with lamb and pork, but always enriched with the perfumes of the mountain herbs; saffron and pepper, mint and parsley, sage and basil, and everywhere the magic tang of chilli pepper. There are just as many dishes of fresh pasta, produced by the house-wife using plenty of "elbow-grease" and never lacking in this typical cuisine where imagination reaches heights of creativity unknown elsewhere: "maccheroni alla chitarra" or "alla molinara", the delicious scraps of pasta in broth known in the local dialect as "mbusse" or the monumental timballo formed of layers of pasta, always made of the same basic ingredients: water, flour and eggs. And how can we describe the sweet ravioli filled with ricotta cheese, with their sweet yet salty Renaissance flavour, whose recipe was mentioned by Cristofaro da Messibugo in his "Libro Novo" in 1537. Among these dishes we must mention some specialities that have become known beyond the regional borders, such as turkey "alla canzanese", lamb "cacio e ovo" and other pork-based dishes. In this brief panorama we cannot fail to mention the dairy products made of sheep's and goat's milk, such as the excellent Abruzzo "pecorino" cheese, "quagliata", a typical fresh product that is not fermented, known also as "giuncata" because it is set to dry in baskets made of reeds, and the tasty "ricotta" cheeses. The wines, too, are as fine as the foodstuffs. The essential merits of the white "Trebbiano d'Abruzzo" are its delicacy and vivacity, making it the perfect accompaniment for entrées, naturally dry and served cool. The red "Montepulciano d'Abruzzo" on the other hand goes excellently with all kinds of savoury dishes with strong ingredients, with roast meat, game and hard piquant cheeses. Lastly, the type of Montepulciano d'Abruzzo known as "Cerasuolo" has a subtle delicate aroma and a dry flavour with just a hint of sweetness; served cool, it is a delicate and tasty match for savoury dishes, both entrées and main courses, meat or fish soups with the scent of the Adriatic. Abruzzo fish soups are very famous, every place has its own variations on the theme, but the two most famous are the fish soups prepared at Vasto and Pescara. The former is a simple, homely recipe, while the Pescara version is more refined and piquant in flavour. Our journey is over.... this is the true, genuine Abruzzo, "strong and gentle" (as D'Annunzio said), hospitable and rich in human warmth. Proud to hear the comment so often made by tourists still ringing in its ears: "here they still live well". The best compliment anyone could pay to Abruzzo.

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