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Basilicata - Food and Wines - Food

Basilicata is still an uncontaminated, sun scorched region whose territory declines from the high rocky hills towards the Ionian sea, cut by the "calanchi", along the river valleys.

Singular fusions of nature and man can be seen in the Sassi of Matera where the cave dwellings make up the town.

The Greeks left Eraclea and Metaponto and the passage of the Normans is marked by many fortified castles.

St Peter crossed this land after landing in Brindisi on his way to Rome. Some of the first Christian settlements and abbeys are here.

The cuisine of Lucania gets its taste from its strong spicy ingredients.

It is rich in pungent perfumes of wild herbs and tomatoes, silvery olives, and prickly pear cactus. Red peppers abound as do strong sheep and goat cheeses.

The cooking methods are simple with much baking and grilling. Little meat is eaten but the quality of the mutton, goat or pork is excellent.

The pasta, made from the strong durum wheat, is often still home made and comes in many different shapes.

Typical are the "lasagne"small rough shaped lasagneor the rolled "miniuch" similar to spaghetti with a hole.

The sauces use all the vegetables available, yellow with peppers, red with tomatoes, green with "grasses"chards or tops.

The desserts are simple but delicious based on grain, nuts and a particular use of local cheeses.

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