Umbria Blog | UNTO event in Assisi

UNTO stands for Unesco, Natura, Territorio, Olio and is an event in Assisi where the new DOP Umbrian olive oil is celebrated. UNTO is organised around the Frantoi Aperti from October 28 to November 26, 2017. In Umbria this is the period that the olives are picked and the new olive oil is being pressed. Olive oil mills open their doors and  many activities are being organised.

The first weekend of UNTO on the main square in Assisi, there was a large tent with market stalls where you could taste and buy many local specialties. I pleasantly strolled along the stalls and enjoyed the sight of all these local products.

Umbrian craft beer is a real delicacy for beer lovers. At the entrance of the huge tent in Assisi, I found Giovanni serving his locally brewed beer. Giovanni is the owner of the San Biagio brewery in Nocera Umbra, not far from Assisi.

A few years ago I had a beer tasting tour at the San Biagio brewery. We tasted all kinds of Umbrian craft beer. I was with friends from Belgium and when Belgians say that San Biagio craft beer is of high quality, you can trust it!

On the first day of the UNTO event there were a lot of visitors in Assisi. Italians, but also foreign tourists. During this event quite some activities are on the program, from exhibitions to tastings, from courses to music performances.

And again I discovered a great food event in Umbria where I will definitely return.

Umbria Blog | Pizzeria Calandrino in Castiglione del Lago

Marco comes from Rome and since this summer season he works as a waiter in pizzeria – osteria Calandrino in the centre of Castiglione del Lago. My apartment is situated just above this restaurant. When passing by the good smells stimulate your appetite  but in the four years I live here, I have never eaten in this restaurant… until today.

The cook is from Sicily and knows very well how to prepare the best fish, truffle and local meat dishes. His name is Rosario, a classic Sicilian name. Marco instead is a normal name you frequently hear in Italy. I have never had a real chat with him. He once helped me carrying the water bottles I had bought in the supermarket like a real gentlemen.

Restaurant Calandrino Castiglione del Lago

Today I decided to have lunch in Calandrino. I took a first course “linguine allo scoglio” with a good glass of Umbrian white wine, a Grechetto. Linguine looks like thick spaghetti which is good to combine with fish. On the terrace there were more people enjoying their Italian lunch. It is also possible to have pizza for lunch, but not for me: an Italian eats pizza for dinner, never for lunch.

Restaurant Calandrino Castiglione del Lago

Marco told me his story how he got in Castiglione del Lago. He is a “Romano”, but he lived for many years in London. He travelled around the world with his partner, but decided to return to Italy this spring. He missed his home, the sweat life in Italy “La Dolce Vita”.

I know Rosario ever since I live in Castiglione del Lago and now I finally tasted his pasta: I can recommend this restaurant to everybody. The smells coming from the restaurant are compatable with the dishes he prepares. Delicious! Calandrino is a nice and cosy osteria-pizzeria for those who love eating fish or other local dishes on an outside terrace in one of the most wonderful villages along the Trasimeno Lake, Castiglione del Lago.

Osteria Pizzeria Calandrino
Via Vittorio Emanuele 107
Tel. +39 (0) 75  9653101
Castiglione del Lago (PG)

Restaurant Calandrino Castiglione del Lago

Umbria Blog | Massimo’s Truffle Book

Massimo Fignani is chef-cook and he owns an organic farm in Tuscany. The farm produces Italian products like truffle and Lardo di Colonnata IGP.

Massimo was present at the yearly Christmas market in Siena, Il Mercato nel Campo. On a portable electric cooktop he prepared the most delicious pasta dishes with truffle sauce.

I have made a video of Massimo in which he explains the story of the precious and delicate flavor called ” truffle”.

The truffle “fungo” epigeo grows underground. For the development of the truffle the environmental conditions are essential. The climate, the soil humidity, type of soil and trees determine whether truffles can grow. The white truffle is one of the most precious and wanted truffles in Italy. One finds them mostly in Tuscany and Piedmont. There are many different kinds of truffles, also black truffles are cultivated in Italy.

Il Mercato nel Campo Siena Tuscany

white truffle

The best period to eat the white truffle “Bianchetto” is March to Aprile, while the black truffles “Nero Estivo” and “Nero Uncinato” are mainly harvested in the summer.

Black truffles can be used raw or lightly cooked, while white truffles are carefully wiped clean and should never be cooked. White truffle is more fragrant than the black truffle.

Massimo Fignani is the author of the book “I Tartufi … secondo me – Truffles … in my opinion“. The book contains 58 truffle recipes which are easy to prepare. It is written in Italian and English. You can order the book directly via: info@massimofignani.it

“”Tuscany experience. There is only one thing that has a more exciting scent then truffles… the skin of a woman”. By Massimo Fignani.

Enjoy the truffles!