MOLISE Food Tour, part2: CULTURE & CUSINE
Isernia and Termoli are beautiful cities. Enjoy some lamb in the first and seafood in the second.
SMALL AND BEAUTIFUL
There is so single best time of year to visit Molise — the small, new region is beautiful year-round!
If you go during the summer, you can enjoy Molise’s Adriatic coast, but if you choose autumn or winter, you can enjoy its many mountains and lakes.
Molise’s traditional cuisine is considered povero, meaning that it is very simple and uses rustic ingredients. All of the region’s traditional pasta shapes are handmade, and seasonings and sauces are always made with few ingredients, usually including vegetables. Molise is also well-known for its cheeses, especially goat cheese.
ISERNIA AND MOLISANA LAMB
Molise’s unique terrain makes it ideal pasture land for goats and sheep. So, many of the region’s traditional dishes are made with goat and sheep meat: ragù with lamb or agnello alla molisana, for example. Travel to Isernia, one of the major cities in Molise, to try the best agnello alla Molisana. Rich in culture and history, Isernia was viscously bombarded during the second world war, and subsequently obtained Italy’s gold medal for civic valor. Between one monument and the next, like the Fontana Fraterna or the Duomo, stop by one of the many little restaurants in the city. We recommend you try two of the city’s specialties: the first, of course, is the agnello alla Molisana, lamb cooked in lard and sautéed onions with a splash of white wine. Otherwise, try the pezzata, boiled mutton cooked with potatoes, vegetables, and spices.
Before leaving the city, don’t forget to buy some cipolle di San Pietro. These onions have a sweet flavor, and can be eaten raw on a slice of bread. Isernia hosts a food festival every June in celebration of this peculiar onion!
TERMOLI, SEAFOOD IN AN ANCIENT VILLAGE
Next, take a drive to Termoli. You can’t leave Molise without visiting this ancient village, which stands on a promontory overlooking the sea. Taste the town’s many traditional seafood dishes, such as u bredette, a local fish broth delicious in both summer and winter, or Sécce e ‘pisille, pan-seared cuttlefish with extra virgin olive oil, onions, water, and peas.
- Donatella Mulvoni