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Food and Wine tours

All human beings eat and drink, but only a few can really appreciate goodflavours. (Chungung; Chinese proverb)

The Aspromonte area can be undoubtedly regarded as a natural postcard of Calabria.

In Aspromonte, beholders are invariably captivated by the eye-treating nature of the sights to be taken in: landscapes as sweets as cuddles, sheer “soul-jolting” cliffs, plants and animals nourished by the waters springing from the mountain contribute to turning this area into an animated post card, an adventure to be lived and savoured.

From such richness derives an abundance of culinary elements fit to express food culture in all its possible declinations.

Water, for example, is the element from which one might start a digression on the processing of stockfish, which reaches its apex in the towns of Mammola and Cittanova; it will also prove worth to enumerate the ample choice of herbs  used to distill some of the tastier liquors in the whole South of Italy.

The mushrooms of Aspromonte are also worth mentioning, as they are the absolute protagonists in some of the most famous and praised kitchens in the world, and so is the local olive oil.

The wide variety of meat cuts from Aspromonte is another thing that cannot go unmentioned, ranging from black pork with its many preparation methods to bovines bred in local pastures, whose milk is used to produce the many kinds of cheese eaten in the towns and villages of this area.

Furthermore, there are citrus fruits to be talked about, such as the unique bergamot orange or the fruits that come from local vineyards, all the tastier when eaten before enjoying a dessert with a glass of passito wine.

Aspromonte is almost synonymous with Calabria; should you agree with the commonplace that “this is no location fit to grow potatoes”, try considering two different options: the first is to taste at least one of the two qualities of potatoes that come from this area (either the Bellina or the Spunta), whereas the second is to come to Aspromonte with a backpack on your shoulders and discover for yourself whether Guido Piovene’s assertion – that “Calabria seems to have been created by a capricious God who decided to make many different worlds and mix them together” – is true or false.

Emilio Lupis

Aspromonte is a crossroads where many ancient wine and food traditions meet. Cold cuts and cheeses are among the local specialties, but there also are many different vegetables, pulses and cereals, as well as honey, pears and apples, mushrooms, chestnuts and above all excellent wines whose production dates back to the time when the Greek baptised Calabria as Enotria, namely, the land of wine.

The bergamot orange: the castle of Amendolea
The caciocavallo cheese of Ciminà: Mount Tre Pizzi
Vegetables: the Plains of Aspromonte
The stock-fish of Mammola: the path of the Greek
Cold cuts and cheeses from Aspromonte: Cardeto
Mycological path: Gambarie and environs
Wine: from the Ionian to the Tyrrhenian coasts