I Nebrodi a Tavola: Tradizione e Presidi Slowfood.

The Nebrodi mountains, also known as Caronie, are a mountain range located in the northern part of Sicily.

Set between Etna and the sea, this mountain range enjoys spectacular landscapes and unique flora and fauna.

It is fascinating to see how nature has remained almost unchanged over time, maintaining an almost fairy character over the millennia.

PARCO DEI NEBRODI LAGO BIVIERE

Anyone would be enchanted by the beauty and magnificence of the griffins and golden eagles that nest on theRocche del Crasto.

But the territory offers much more: like the Mistretta waterfalls, a succession of seven jumps in total, which end with thePietrabianche waterfall more than thirty meters high.

Precisely in these territories a particular flora and fauna has developed over time, which the locals have tried to preserve since ancient times.

Slow Food Presidia.

As time goes by, industrialization leads to cutting out all that isè harderto do orless productive, in favor of what offers more results at a lower cost.

Fortunately, there are Slow-Food Presidia…

The aim is to avoid there’extinction traditional cultures, crafts and processing techniques, but also safeguarding biodiversity, ancient varieties of vegetables, fruit and animal species.

The Nebrodi boasts, among other things, three Slow-Food Presidia:

  • Nebrodi Black Pig
  • Small Olive
  • Provola dei Nebrodi

Until about 20 years ago the production and sustenance of these products was very difficult and very unprofitable. It follows that many small producers changed jobs, leaving the practices handed down from generation to generation almost in disuse.

Nebrodi Black Pig.

The black pig of the Nebrodi it is a very particular pig breed.

MAIALE NERO DEI NEBRODI PRESIDIO SLOW FOOD

These pigs are characterized by a dark coat, typical of all native pig breeds and live in the wild or semi-wild within the 50,000 hectares of park available to them.

They are small-sized animals and despite their size, they are decidedly wild animals, not at all gentle and friendly.

This is because the nature of the Nebrodi black pig is much more similar to that of the wild boar and not to that of the pig.

Until recently this species was on the verge of extinction, to date there are about 2000 head of cattle.e.

Nebrodi specialties are decanting by everyone, but really only a few people have the opportunity to have a sausage on the tableof original black pig.

This is because over 90 of the production is actually consumed within thee large families of small local farmers.

However, there are alternatives on the market of hybrid black pigs that are able to give emotions for the palate. Norcine specialties such as fellata salami, Nebrodi sausage, pancetta, salami, capicolli,, or the buccularo, or raw ham which, in addition to having an exceptional taste, is good for health. Read here the article onraw black ham from Nebrodi Agostino La Paisanella.

Obviously, despite the black pig meat it isperfect for seasoning, it is also exceptional consumed on the grill. It thus manages to release the typical taste notes of meat raised in the wild.

 

Small Olive.

The Nebrodi mountains have a characteristic microclimate, dictated by its position: backed by the sea and Etna.

Here it is possible to witness the growth of an ancient type of olives unique in the whole world: le Olive Minute.

oliva minuta dei Nebrodi Presidio Slowfood

About 90 of the olive groves in the mountains are planted in minute, which, among other things, is very resistant to adverse climatic conditions. This allows it to be grown up to higher altitudes than usual.o.

Loliva minuta has exceptional nutritional qualities::

  • High component ofortofenoli, useful to our body for cancer prevention
  • Good levels ofVitamin E, excellent antioxidants useful to our body

These plants have been cultivated for hundreds of years, as shown by some of the oldest olive trees in the Nebrodi. The resulting fruit is medium / small in size from here Minute, but with a medium / early ripening.e.

A characteristic aspect in the collection of these olives is that it takes place on the basis of the cultivation quota.

Minuta oil is very delicate, rich in fruity and floral notes, with a taste that finds a balance between bitter and spicy, an unusual characteristic for a Sicilian oil, which usually presents itself much more decisive..

 

Provola dei Nebrodi.

In the Nebrodi mountains, in addition to a fauna and flora that differ from the rest of the world, there are also traditions, specifically dairy, that have survived for generations.

This is the case of Provola dei Nebrodi, a dairy product handcrafted by cheesemakers on the Nebrodi mountains and which has origins in a distant past.

Depending on the production area, the size of the cheese changes:

  • North Western Nebrodi: they produce pieces ranging from kilogram to kilogram and a half Castel di Lucio, Caronia, Mistrettaa)
  • Central Nebrodi: they produce pieces that weigh about two kilograms
    (Mirto, CastellUmberto, Ucrìa, Florestaa)
  • Eastern Nebrodi: they produce pieces that weigh up to five kilograms
    (Montalbano Elicona, Basicò)

It presents itself with the typical aspect of caciocavallo, therefore with an ovoid shape and with the classic onehead, needed to hang the cheese and let it mature.

Made exclusively of raw cow's milk, it is coagulated with kid or lamb rennet and then spun.

Provola dei nebrodi presidio slow food Agostino La Paisanella

A typical feature of the processing of this product is that before the spinning of the pasta, the Provola dei Nebrodi is handled vigorously, almost as if it were bread dough.

The result is a unique taste and guarantees the typical consistency of this cheese: it seems to flake in the mouth.

A fundamental role is played by the seasoning period, in fact we can notice how the flavor of this cheese can pass from an absolutely sweet fresh taste, to a very vigorous taste, almost tending to seasoned spicy. You can try the ricotta of Suino Nero dei Nebrodi produced by the Agostino La Paisanella Dairy, award-winning and used by the greatest star chefs throughout Italy.ia. 

 

Conclusion

The Nebrodi mountains are a mountain range that seems to have come out of some fantasy book.

The abundance of life, natural wonders, open-air museums and dishes that have survived hundreds of years are the complementary aspect of this wonderful corner of paradise.so.

Here on these mountains pages of human culture have been written, stories of hunters, of families, which are still handed down from generation to generation.

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