At the foot of Pollino is Cersosimo, one of the ancient Lucanian villages in the Sarmento valley, where the attachment to the land and traditions has remained unchanged over time.
There are many typical food and wine products from this area, such as cured meats, in particular sausages and soppressata, made from pork. Another speciality is dairy products, ranging from delicate ricotta to pecorino, caciocavallo and cacio ricotta. Not to forget the oil, wine, pulses and much more. Each product has contributed to the origin of an important gastronomic tradition that is still handed down from mother to daughter.
Let's take a look at two traditional recipes that are always present on the tables in Cersosimo and are a must during the Easter period.
Kullurë o “Kəzzouə”, in local dialect
This is the typical bread of Cersosimo, made according to an ancient recipe handed down from generation to generation, using typical local ingredients, including some very special ones such as aniseed wild fennel.
This bread, which is traditionally baked in every household during the Easter period, has a very unusual shape: it is similar to a garland, which makes it very beautiful to look at as well as good to eat and is a perfect centrepiece during lunch.
It is made by combining two different types of flour and takes a little time to prepare, but the end result is well worth the effort and time involved.
According to the traditional recipe, it should be worked in an old wooden cupboard and baked in a wood-fired oven, in order to obtain the unmistakable sum of flavours and fragrances that identify it.
white wine or sparkling wine
extra virgin olive oil
suet (pork lard)
aniseeded wild fennel
Place the flours in the kneading trough, add the sourdough starter and then add the eggs, oil, white wine or sparkling wine, aniseed, fennel, pork fat, salt and milk a little at a time, slowly kneading all the ingredients by hand until the dough is smooth, soft and homogeneous.
Once it has reached the right consistency, leave the dough to rise for a few hours, covering it with a cloth.
Divide the dough into several loaves and knead them by hand to give them an elongated, cylindrical shape. Intertwine them two by two, placing a fresh egg with its shell inside one of the knots in the dough and close them in a circle as if to create the classic garland to hang on the door of the house.
We can also use smaller pieces of dough to create rosettes or other decorations to make the bread even more beautiful and festive.
Before baking, brush the bread with egg yolk to give it a nice amber colour. The bread is now ready to be baked in the oven and should cook until golden brown.
"A Frittat i sparii"
This recipe teaches us how to prepare the typical omelette, which is always cooked in every house in Cersosimo on Easter morning and which, according to popular tradition, should be eaten at breakfast.
It's a dish that makes you happy just to see it, as it contains many colours: the yellow of the eggs, the red of the sausage, the green of the asparagus, the pink of the bacon and the white of the toma cheese. To look at it, it looks like a real spring meadow in bloom.
It is made exclusively with typical local ingredients, processed by hand without the addition of additives or industrial products.
Cersosimese pork cheek
fresh toma cheese from local sheep or goats
typical Lucanian sausage
extra virgin olive oil
Start by cleaning the asparagus, washing them well and cutting them into not too small pieces. Cut the guanciale into cubes, the toma cheese into flakes and the sausage into slices. Cook the asparagus in a non-stick pan with a little oil for a few minutes. Add the cubes of guanciale and the sausage to the asparagus and brown slowly. In the meantime, break the eggs in a bowl and beat them well with a fork. Add the toma cheese to the pan with the other ingredients, stirring slowly with a wooden spoon. Now pour the beaten eggs into the pan on top of all the other ingredients and cook on both sides until the egg has set. Place the omelette on a plate and serve.
Enjoy your meal!