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What to Eat in Italy: a Marche food guide

I was lucky enough to be born in one of the best places in the world for food – Italy!
Tortellini, lasagne, pizza… many tourists have a long list of specialties to try when they arrive.

But what to eat in Italy?
Not many people know that Italian cuisine is very much regional: in the northern part specialties are veeery different from the specialties in the central or the southern part of the peninsula, and again, different regions in the same area do not always share the same dishes.

I strongly recoomend sticking as much as possible to the regional specialties of the place you are visiting – this way you’ll be sure to go back home satisfied and with a couple of kilos more!
You already know what to do in the beautiful yet relatively unknown Marche region, now you’ll discover waht you eat with this Marche food guide.
Next time the waiter will come, you’ll know what to order!

Starter: Olive Ascolane & Cremini

Olive all’Ascolana are stuffed fried olives typical of the Ascoli Piceno province: this special variety olives are so  big that it’s easy to stuff them with different kinds of meat.

Cremini are deep fried custard cubes: they are known in some other regions as dessert but here they are a sweet starter… a good way to start your meal if you have a sweet-tooth like mine!

olive scolane cremini typical starter marche foodStarter: Ciauscolo

Ciauscolo is a regional variety of Italian salame (it’s the pink one in the image below): it’s a smoked and dry-cured sausage that remains very soft, so soft that can be spread on bread the same way you would do with a paté.

ciauscolo starter marche food italy

Main Course: Brodetto alla Sanbenedettese

Brodetto alla Sanbenedettese is, as the name says it, a fish soup typical of San Benedetto del Tronto, a town in the southern part of the region. The recipe comes from the old fishermen that prepared this dish with the parts of the catch that went unsold.

Fished used for the soups are cuttlefish, squid, weever, horse mackerel, white skate, sea-hound, monkfish, scorpion fish, shrimp and mantis shrimp; all of this is combined with white onions, red-green peppers, yellow peppers, unripe green tomatoes and extra virgin olive oil.

Brodetto alla Sambenedettese is a typical main course from Marche region, Italy

Photo: Vacanze San Benedetto

Dessert: Frustingo

Frustingo is a typical dessert from the region, usually eaten during the Christmas season.
It’s a quite simple recipe, yet very energetic (and super good!): it contains dried figs, almonds, walnuts, sugar, pieces of chocolate, honey, cinnamon and nutmeg.

frustingo dessert food marche italy

Photo: Il Marchigiano Doc

 Liquor: Anisetta Meletti

In Italy you never end a big meal without an espresso and some kind of liquor.
Anisetta Meletti is a liquor produced for the first time in 1870 in Ascoli Piceno and made with aniseed and different herbs. Today the liquor is still made the same way it was made in 1870!

anisetta meletti anise liquor

Photo: Spirits Journal

Have you tried any of these recipes?

  • Stefania Guglielmi

    Stefania Guglielmi is the founder of Every Steph. Originally from Bologna, Italy, she's been traveling full-time since 2016 and has visited over 50 countries across 6 continents. She believes sustainable travel and luxury travel can go hand in hand and has been advocating for responsible tourism since 2014. Stefania's advice and travel experiences have been featured in important publications such as Business Insider, Refinery29, and Yahoo Money.

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...and they taste fabulous! I can find you the recipe if you want to try them!