Right here the famous mediterranean diet was born. In 1962, in fact, a biologist and nutritionist from the University of Minnesota, Ancel Keys was so fascinated by the small amounts of cardiovascular and gastrointestinal diseases in the region of Campania and the island of Creta.
The expert became a promoter of a pilot study, moved to Pioppi, a small village near Pollica, and after decades of studying realized that an alimentation based on bread, pasta, fruits and vegetables Extra virgin olive oil,fish and a little meat was responsible of the extraordinary effect on local people’s health.
This kind of alimentation was called “Mediterranean Diet” and all the results of his studies were translated and spread through his famous book “Eat well and stay well”. Keys lived in Pioppi for another 20 years or more and died in 2004, at the age of 100.
Enjoy the numerous flavours of these lands, so precious and yet so simple:
The extra virgin olive oil: the tradition says that the first olive trees in Cilento were brought by the Focesi, a displaced population of Greek origin. They brought the most oldest type of local oil, “la Pisciottana” (that could resist the winds of the land). It’s rather fluid and straw yellow.
To be a part of the DOP oil production, the olives have to be picked up by hand and to be pressed within 48 hours.
The white fig: Brought by the Greeks in the 6th Century b.C., the white fig has become one of the most important typical product of Cilento. It is a priviledged food, with a yellow and wrinkled skin. You can have it fresh or dehydrated. You can eat them just the way they are or “impaccati” (filled with almond, lemon or orange skin, slices of mandarin and fennel. The ones covered in chocolate are to try
The anchovies of Menaica: the “Menaica” is the net used for fishing in the past by the Greeks, which allows to select the biggest anchovies. This kind of fishing
is still practised in Pisciotta by a few fishermen. The anchovies are cleaned at dawn and put in salt in terracotta pots.
The Buffalo milk mozzarella: the Paestum area has become the homeland of the sweet Salerno mozzarella, which is to compare to the Caserta one which is more salty. This mozzarella is realized with 100% of buffalo milk, these animals are kept almost in the wild and fed with hay and erbs of the territory.
The mozzarella “co’a mortedda”: the myrtle spontaneously grows and blooms into the woods of Cilento. In the past, in order to move mozzarella and save it in a perfect way people used to roll it up with myrtle sticks: this is probably the origin of the mozzarella with mortella. The contact with the myrtle gives the mozzarella a particular taste, almost herbaceous to the classical mozzarella.
“The soppressata” from Gioi: its color is burning red, this sausage is thin and thick with a lard in the centre. It’s a very ancient product named after the village of Gioi, where it’s realized during the winter.
The bean from Controne: famous for its optimal nutritional qualities and its delicate flavour. Its thin peel makes it easy to digest. It is small and round, white in color with no spots.
The “Caciocavallo podolico”: this cheese ows its name to a certain kind of cow, descendent of the “Bos Primigenius”. It has a thin, smooth skin , with a changeable colour, from alabaster white, in the newest, to amber yellow.
The white artichoke of Pertosa: the main characteristics of the white artichoke of Pertosa are numerous, but among them the most important are the resistance to low temperatures, the light color (a light green, almost white), the sweetness and extraordinary delicacy of the bracts inside. These are the features that make it an excellent artichoke to eat raw with the typical extra virgin olive oil of these places.
Some typical products :
– Lagane e Ceci
– Fusilli con il ragù
– Cavatielli con i fagioli
– Pizza Cilentana
– Foglie e patate