Food, Friendship and Wine: LeMarche Region, Italy.

By Posted in - Destinations & Italy on July 14th, 2014 Fave e Formaggio Fresco – Fava beans, salted and Italian Red Wine

By Cacinda Maloney

Academia del Padlòt at Pallazo Donati

Academia del Padlòt at Palazzo Donati kitchen

Academia del Padlòt at Pallazo Donati

Homemade, handmade pasta

Academia del Padlòt at Pallazo Donati

Coradella – lamb’s liver with garlic

Deep in the caverns of a palatial kitchen, we sang and laughed, as we tasted flavorful homemade food, high in the hills of Mercatello sul Metauro, Italy.  I heard the sounds of many languages, laughter and songs, as I popped fava beans the size of sausages into my mouth, after salting them on bread with a tiny slice of farmers cheese (Fave e Formaggio Fresco).  They were delicious!

Fave e Formaggio Fresco – Fava beans, salted

Fave e Formaggio Fresco – Fava beans, salted

Academia del Padlòt at Pallazo Donati

Fave e Formaggio Fresco – Fava beans, salted and Italian Red Wine

I then washed them down with Procecco and red wine.  The hours ticked away as the conversations flowed and the sounds grew louder and louder, as most things Italian.

Mercatello sul Metauro, Italy

Mercatello sul Metauro, Italy

 

Mercatello sul Metauro, Italy

Mercatello sul Metauro, Italy

This rustic region of Italy, LeMarche, has more charm in its little pinky toe than most places anywhere else on earth.  It is nestled between and among Emilia-Romagna, Tuscany and Umbria.

Map - Mercatello sul Metauro, Italy

Map – Mercatello sul Metauro, Italy

Mercatello sul Metauro, Italy

Mercatello sul Metauro, Italy

Mercatello sul Metauro, Italy

Mercatello sul Metauro, Italy

I was so excited to be invited to the dinner from this group of nine Italian men who arrived at our Palazzo’s commercial kitchen to cook dinner for our group.  During the day, we stopped by the kitchen several times to see their progress on triple ovens and multiple stovetops and then convened downstairs in the rustic kitchen with its flaming hearth stove and family style tables.

Academia del Padlòt at Pallazo Donati

Academia del Padlòt at Palazzo Donati

Academia del Padlòt at Pallazo Donati

Crostini con Paté – sliced baguette with sausage and liver pate

This cooking group call themselves the Academia Del Padlot.  They have gotten together every day for a drink, once a week for a dinner and one time a year for a trip for 18 years.  They yearly rent a tiny bus and travel to other regions of Italy seeking out other Italian gastronomy.

Academia del Padlòt at Pallazo Donati

Academia del Padlòt at Palazzo Donati, Mercatello sul Metauro, Italy

Their name means “the academy of a giant ladle or spoon that is used to pour wine!” The wine was, of course, flowing when we arrived and it never seemed to stop.  The glue that sticks this group together is the friendships they have formed, the love for wine, food and the joy of camaraderie.

Academia del Padlòt at Pallazo Donati

Lanfranco Pagliardini of Academia del Padlòt at Palazzo Donati

Each member of the group brings a different skill set in the kitchen and are different ages, different professions and may have opposing political views, but they are united by food and drink!  They are known to rarely prepare a meal for others outside of their group, but I was lucky and had a special feast prepared by them to help me learn about the culture of this region of LeMarche.

Pallazo Donati, Mercatello sul Metauro, Italy

Palazzo Donati, Mercatello sul Metauro, Italy

You, too, can have this experience, as it can be booked by your stay at the Palazzo Donati Villa, where they exclusively hosts dinners for their guests!  I can vouch for both, Accademia del Padlot and Palazzo Donati, that they are both such unique and charming experiences!

Curious as to what was on the menu that night?

Here’s whats for dinner:

Fave e Formaggio Fresco – Fava beans, salted with holiday cheese;
Charcuterie – salami and various cuts of meat;
Bruschetta - toasted bread slices with garlic, olive oil and salt;
Crostini con Paté – sliced baguette with sausage and liver pate;
Coradella – lamb’s liver with garlic;
Goletta con salvia e aceto o vino bianco - pig’s jowl with sage, vinegar and white wine;
Spezzatino di Cinghiale - wild boar stew;
Radicchio rosso in graticola  - Italian red chicory grilled crispy;
Patate Sotto il Fuoco - whole potatoes wrapped in aluminum foil, cooked in the ash 
from the firewood;
Torta Pascuela, a traditional Easter cheese bread (made with gruyere, 
pecorino and romanesco cheeses)
Crostata - A delicately laced tart made with butter, sugar,
flour and eggs and filled with plums, elderberry and tomatoes
Academia del Padlòt at Pallazo Donati

Fave e Formaggio Fresco – Fava beans, salted with holiday cheese

Academia del Padlòt at Pallazo Donati

Coradella – lamb’s liver with garlic

Academia del Padlòt at Pallazo Donati

Torta pascuela, a traditional Easter cheese bread (made with gruyere, pecorino and romanesco cheeses) with Charcuterie – salami and various cuts of meat

Academia del Padlòt at Pallazo Donati

Pasta by Academia del Padlòt at Palazzo Donati


Fave e Formaggio Fresco – Fava beans, salted

Fave e Formaggio Fresco – Fava beans, salted

 

Disclosure: I was a guest of Palazzo Donati, who hosted  Accademia Del Padlot to serve us this amazingly delicious and fun meal.  The words for this article dripped from my very own mouth with glee!

 

 

(28) awesome folk have had something to say...

  • Betsy Wuebker -

    July 14, 2014 at 9:02 am

    Aloha! Wow, what a fabulous experience. Drooling with envy! I’d like to be friends with these guys! Yum!

    • admin -

      July 14, 2014 at 9:18 am

      They were definetely a lot of fun!

  • Neva @ Retire for the Fun of it -

    July 14, 2014 at 9:06 am

    Your story and photos are so enjoyable to view. I can almost hear the camaraderie of their voices. You had an experience not normally tasted with hog jowls and lamb’s liver. I’m so glad that you also shared the photos of the doorways, just gorgeous.

    • admin -

      July 14, 2014 at 9:19 am

      It was quite an unusual dinner! And I am a doorway nut!

  • noel -

    July 14, 2014 at 9:54 am

    Well that’s a group of guys I definitely would like to hang out with along with an interpreter so nothing is lost in translation when it comes to food and preparation…looks sooooo yummy!

    • admin -

      July 14, 2014 at 10:41 am

      They were a great group of men! So much fun.

  • Patti -

    July 14, 2014 at 10:07 am

    Fava beans are a favorite in our house, although I’ve never tried them with bread and cheese. We usually just pop them in our mouths, or we make rice with fava beans and dill. Delish! Learning to cook authentic Italian, in Italy, is on my list, at the top of the list!

    • admin -

      July 14, 2014 at 10:40 am

      It was great fun and and I had never had a fava bean before.

  • kay dougherty -

    July 14, 2014 at 1:09 pm

    Wow – what a great group of friends that was! The food looks amazing but the people really sound special. I think Anne and I need to get back to Italy sooner rather than later!

    • admin -

      July 14, 2014 at 2:02 pm

      Yes, sooner than later.

  • santafetraveler -

    July 14, 2014 at 3:17 pm

    I’d not heard of LeMarche , but you had my mouth watering with the first photo. Love the shots of the people and buildings, too. Too may places so little time!

    • admin -

      July 14, 2014 at 4:56 pm

      LeMarche is a region in Italy, near Emilia-Romagna, Tuscany and Umbria. I love it, very quaint and untouched by tourists.

  • Irene S. Levine -

    July 14, 2014 at 5:17 pm

    You were absolutely right! Just loved this story. Food and fellowship is such a winning combination. I hope I get to LeMarche!

    • admin -

      July 14, 2014 at 5:49 pm

      I know you will make it one day!

  • A Taste for Travel -

    July 15, 2014 at 5:03 pm

    I wonder if the cooking group the Academia Del Padlot would welcome a middle-aged Canadian woman into their ranks? What a wonderful tradition of food, discovery and friendship! .

    • admin -

      July 15, 2014 at 5:09 pm

      I bet they would! I loved them! They were fantastic and super friendly.

  • Linda ~ Journey Jottings -

    July 16, 2014 at 2:28 am

    A picture tells a 1,000 words and here you totally sucked me in with your wonderful graphic imagery – The warmth of people and their culinary craft – delicious 🙂

    • admin -

      July 16, 2014 at 6:20 am

      Thanks for the compliment! I love photography, and you are right, a picture tells a 1,000 words!

  • Donna Janke -

    July 16, 2014 at 7:57 am

    What an interesting group and an interesting experience in LeMarche. My mouth is watering. I love the rustic photographs.

    • admin -

      July 16, 2014 at 8:40 am

      They were a fun group for sure!

  • Karen Warren -

    July 16, 2014 at 10:25 am

    Le Marche is one part of Italy I haven;t got to (yet). The food all looks amazing – especially that cheese bread!

    • admin -

      July 16, 2014 at 10:44 am

      It is truly untouched! I loved it!

  • A Cook Not Mad (Nat) -

    July 20, 2014 at 9:32 pm

    That menu sounds amazing! Italians know how to live, we can never get enough of Italia!

    • admin -

      July 20, 2014 at 11:02 pm

      So true! And when the dinner was over, they just went home, no clean up!

  • Alys Blakeway -

    December 8, 2014 at 4:43 pm

    Thank you so much for publicising Le Marche and its food, people and townscapes. I love the region and have been visiting it for over 20 years.

    • Cacinda Maloney -

      December 9, 2014 at 2:52 pm

      Yes, I love this region too!

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