Food in the Marches is not limited to one particular dish or type, but rather blends the flavours and tastes from the whole region, all with their own special characteristics.
The typical rustic tastes of the hinterland can be identified in meat dishes like roast suckling-pig and marinated lamb, as well as in dishes created around truffles like those of Acqualagna and Sant’Agata Feltria and mushrooms.
Among the first courses we find pasta: tagliatelle, strozzapreti(“priest stranglers”) and the traditional vincisgrassi, “progenitor” of all lasagne on the Italian peninsula.
The fresh, sweet flavor of the sea can be recognised in various fish dishes – the undisputed champion of these is brodetto, a fish soup containing more than 14 fish species; it is often enhanced with tomatoes (Pesaro and Ancona) or saffron (Ascoli).
Ascoli’s signature is the fritto misto all’ ascolana, a medley of stuffed olives, cream, zucchini, artichokes and lamb chops – all fried. The most famous desserts are ciambellotto con i funghetti all’anice (a ring-shaped cake with aniseed), cicerchiata (deep fried dough with honey), and fried ravioli stuffed with chestnuts, cream and ricotta cheese.
Additional must-tires are the pecorino sheep’s cheese from Talamello wrapped in walnut leaves and ripened in tuff caves (formed by limestone and calcium); ham, dried cured loin of pork and brawn salame.
Food is accompanied by the wines of Ascoli Piceno: the white Faleri dei Colli Ascolani, the red Rosso Piceno, Rosso Piceno Superiore, and finally sweet wine, stored in wooden casks, with a Mediterranean hint of the aniseed-flavoured liqueurs, anisette and mistrà.