The people of this area are renowned for being inventive and organised cooks and it is said that if you have a chef from Abruzzo your restaurant will never fail.
Abruzzo is a mountainous region making it the perfect terrain for sheep and the lamb here is delicious. One traditional dish is arrosticini made from the meat of a castrated sheep, cut into chunks, theaded onto a skewer and then cooked over an open fire. Tender young lamb which has been fed only on mountain grass is also cooked over scented wood fires.
The winters can be harsh in parts here and cheeses and hams are cured during the summer months to keep them going in the winter. During this season warming, rustic soups are a favourite.
Crocus Sativus and Saffron
The province of L'Aquila is famous for its saffron, made from the pistils of the tiny crocus sativus. Saffron is still used quite extensively around Italy so although the growing and production is backbreaking it is a viable business. The medicinal properties of saffron are still being researched.