About Autumn and the "Green gold of Umbria"

We are about at the end of the Autumn.

I have mixed feelings about this season: when it starts I feel melancholic because of the end of the summer, no more staring at the beautiful sunset at the seaside, the long days become shorter and shorter, going out after dinner become less and less attractive because of the cold outside.

But when November starts, something changes inside me; everything suddenly seems so lively and all the things around me makes me feel full of joy.

Maybe because living in a place surrounded by nature makes me enjoy to the fullest the color changing of the trees; autumnal trees are so beautiful, even if they are taking a long winter's nap, they yet seem full of life, it looks like they are saying: “don’t be sad! we will be back for sure, for now let’s celebrate the remaining time we have together!

An Autumn landscape here in Umbria (near the city of Montefalco)

And it’s not only the nature, the autumn food is delicious and colorful: chestnuts, roasted in an oven or in the fireplace, mushrooms (anyone said Porcini?), saffron, persimmons, tangerines, truffles and pumpkins.

This is an homemade pumpkin bread and Italian Cheese, it was delicious.

Chestnuts, persimmons, walnuts and a pumpkin, yummy!

This is also the time of the year when in Italy Risotto is made the most: saffron risotto, mushroom risotto with chestnuts, pumpkin risotto and so on.

Last but not least, autumn is when olive oils are picked from trees.

Umbria olive oil and wine are considered between the most delicious in Italy and are really important for the local economy, this is the reason why olive oil here is called the “green gold of Umbria”.

Production of olive oil is not only a company related business, here almost every family has a little farmland with at least 30-40 trees, with some of them having more than a thousand.

Olive oil culture is so deep rooted that we use it for almost everything, as seasoning and even instead of butter when making a Dolce (sweet or cake).

Since it is so widely used and deep rooted in our culture, we avoid the use of any chemical substance to the fields, we use only natural fertilizer coming from animals and we pick them using the less invasive method as possible, trying to not stress the tree and to respect them.

In Italy there are many different olive tree species, some of them existing in just one specific small area; the DNA diversity is incredible making Italy the country with the biggest number of olive tree species in the world.

Umbria is no different talk but the most common species are: Moraiolo, Leccino, Frantoio, San Felice and Pendolino.

Moraiolo is probably one of the most loved tree by the people of Umbria, thanks to it's unique flavor.

Olive trees in Montefalco, one of the most famous place in Umbria for olive oil.

After writing about olive oil I am starving, I think I will go to eat a bruschetta! (grilled bread rubbed with garlic and topped with olive oil and salt).

Hope you enjoyed Autumn too, and sorry if I made you feel hungry!

A presto.

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