The typical products of the Pontelandolfo gastronomy are those derived from peasant production. Pontelandolfo, is characterized by the presence of olive groves, woods and pastures, for dairy production and for the production of extra virgin olive oil. Of particular value are the cheeses produced in Pontelandolfo. Even today, in many peasant houses you can watch the production of homemade cheese according to a tradition handed down from generation to generation. Many of the typical recipes of Pontelandolfo are therefore linked to dairy production. Among these we have the “Pizza piena”, a typical Easter rustic. Despite its different variations, the full pizza is essentially characterized by the filling of cheese, eggs and sausage. In the past, the “Pizza piene”, produced in large quantities on Holy Thursday, were cooked in a wood-fired oven, which is still present in many rural homes. Currently, the local baker produces a simpler version of the “Pizza Piena”, but just as tasty, called panzarotto or rusticacio.
Typical of the Pontelandolfo tradition, thanks to the massive presence of woods from which bees draw nectar, it is the production of honey. Once, in the absence of sugar, honey was the basis of all Pontelandolfo’s sweet recipes. Very often, honey is combined with fresh ricottas produced in Pontelandolfo, in a combination of flavors, simple and at the same time perfect, worth a visit to Pontelandolfo. You can buy honey at the various local beekeeping companies. Fresh ricottas can be found, instead, at the dairy in Pontelandolfo or at the various local farmhouses. Another typical sweet recipe of Pontelandolfo are the so-called “nocche”, generally produced on the occasion of the main feasts, and characterized by sheets of pasta made in the shape of garland, fried in abundant oil and seasoned with honey.
The typical peasant tradition of Pontelandolfo, cannot fail to contemplate the first course, with the famous “cicatelli”, obtained from the mixture of water and flour and drilled directly by hand, obviously accompanied by a very full-bodied sauce based on pieces of pork, all seasoned with abundant sheep’s cheese. Among the first courses, widespread in the Pontelandolfo tradition, we also have the dish called “lavanelle e ceci”, a particularly tasty pasta and chickpeas, in which the pasta is handmade and cut into strips of small size (the “lavanelle”) . Most of Pontelandolfo’s recipes are also linked to seasonal agricultural production. The “Ciambotto”, for example, represents a sort of minestrone with large cut vegetables, mostly potatoes and zucchini, tomatoes, seasoned with extra virgin olive oil, wild fennel and stale bread. The extra virgin olive oil is the main element of Pontelandolfo’s recipes. Known for its beneficial properties, Pontelandolfo olive oil, produced from the ortice cultivar, is world renowned and represents the symbol of local peasant production.
Among the liqueurs we have a well-known distillate in Campania (like the Liquor Strega di Benevento) called Chromel liqueur, it is made with a base of aromatic herbs, its recipe dates back to 1745 by a coenobite friar. The original recipe, handed down over the centuries, was bought by Filippo De Blasio in 1970 and is re-proposed in its entirety. It was appreciated over time, to the point of receiving, between the end of the 19th and the beginning of the 20th century, various national and International; only as an example do we recall those assigned to the universal exposition of Paris in 1900, to the international exposure of Bordeaux in 1897 and to that of London in 1907.
This is just one example of Pontelandolfo’s many recipes. If you are interested, you can find others at the recipes section of this site, where local cooks will be pleased to periodically share their recipes. We are waiting for you to taste the typical products of Pontelandolfo, because a place is known above all through the flavors of its land.
This post is also available in: Italiano (Italian)