American/Italian Club news

Frank Nechvatal

Our club closed the 2018-2019 season with a patio party. We will be on summer hiatus until the fall when we will begin our monthly meetings on the second Tuesday of the month. Mark your calendars for Tuesday, October 8, 2019. The meetings will continue to be in the Lakeview Room starting at 6:00 p.m.

As stated in the May article, we will begin this month with an introduction to the various regions (states) of Italy. This month, we will highlight the region of Abruzzo. This region lies about 50 miles east of Rome. It is considered a central south region that borders the Adriatic Sea. There are four provinces in Abruzzo. They are L’Aquilla, Teramo, Pescara and Chieti. This region is divided into two areas, the mountainous west portion and the coastal lowlands along the Adriatic. Abruzzo has been called the greenest region in Europe. Almost half of the region is set aside as national parks. The mountainous land is filled with a vast plateau at 9,554 feet. The Adriatic coastline is known for its long, sandy beaches to the north and pebbly beaches to the south. The hillsides are rich in vineyards and olive groves, while the low lands are noted for parks and nature reserves. In the latter half of the 20th century, Abruzzo has developed into a tourism area. The coastal areas offer the parks as an attraction; the inland mountainous area contain several popular ski resorts.

There are four main ports in Abruzzo. They are Pescara, Ortona, Vasto and Giulianova. Pescara has become the most important tourist port. The cuisine in this region is amongst the best in Italy. One of the most popular dishes is spaghetti alla chitarra. It is made by pressing or cutting pasta through a chitarra, which is an implement that forms long thin noodles similar to spaghetti. The pasta is served with a tomato based sauce, often flavored with peppers, pork, goose or lamb. The dish is complemented by regional side dishes such as bean and noodle soup. This soup is flavored with tomatoes, garlic, oil and pepperoncini. Other popular dishes include gnocchi carrati – flavored with bacon, eggs and pecorino cheese; scrippelle – a French-style crepe served with either ‘mbusse (a type of soup) or used to form a sort of souffle with some ragù and stuffed with chicken liver, meatballs, hard boiled eggs and cheese; pastuccia – a polenta stew with sausage, eggs and cheese. Lamb dishes are also popular, and seafood found along the coastal towns.

Until next month, ciao.