Between nature, history and territory: tradition meets science and innovation is our new bi-weekly column, which deals with typical products, organic at zero km, and surrounding ecomony. Stefania Montori and Lucia De Carolis will accompany us on this journey that turns 360 days on a very fascinating world to explore.
Stefania continues to tell us about her research. Our cereal was definitively supplanted and confined in some specific areas to the point of being called the grain of the poor. The replacement of spelled with barley begins with the organization of meals for the armies, considering this seed more energetic and nutritious.
The cultivation of this pure species fell into disuse around the 6th-5th century BC. when a hybrid species appeared in the Mediterranean area, the soft and hard wheat which has a higher yield. Under the Valnerina sky Three main varieties of spelled sprout: Triticum dicoccum the spelled par excellence, Triticum monococcum and a third species, Triticum spelta also called false spelled.
These three varieties, together with others less known, derive from Triticum dicoccoides, belonging to the order of the Gluminphorae, family of the Greminaceae and subfamily of the Orde. They represent an essential element both in rural practices and in the nutrition of the ancient Umbrians.
In the rural economy of Valnerina and, above all, in that portion of the plateau crossed by the Corno river belonging to the territory of Monteleone di Spoleto, spelled was sown for domestic use, two main varieties of this cereal were grown: spelled with white and large grains and spelled from the smallest grains.
If the atmospheric conditions of the highlands allowed it, the sowing of spelled took place in March or April and clayey soils were chosen with little exposure to the sun which guaranteed a slower and therefore better ripening process.
Myths and legends Among the Latins the hard work of the peasant was compared to the warrior's fight and an abundant harvest was considered a well-deserved reward for the value and tenacity of the farmer: a reward for glory.
The archaic reward with which the soldier who distinguished himself in combat was rewarded consisted of a good amount of spelled, called adorea because it was toasted in the oven (from the verb audere, to toast) according to the ancient customs of Umbrian - Sabine peasants.
The excellent farmer and the courageous soldier, therefore, were both rewarded with one of the most ancient and sacred gifts of Mother Earth: spelled. In Monteleone di Spoleto, an ancient hilltop castle located at a height of 978 m.
s.l.m., is among the most beautiful and characteristic villages of the Valnerina. Over the centuries, thanks to its position, it has earned the nickname of Lion of the Apennines. In Monteleone di Spoleto, on the eve of the feast of St.
Nicholas of Bari, celebrated on the sixth of December, the distribution of spelled seasoned with lean sauce and flavored with abundant pecorino cheese took place and still takes place today. Today the spelled of S.Nicola is prepared in the rectory of the church dedicated to the holy bishop of Mira and, after being blessed, it is distributed by the parish priest to the children, according to the millenary belief that identifies the saint as the protector of children.
The parish church of S. Nicola di Bari is located in the highest part of the historic center in correspondence with the original castrum of Brufa. It was in fact the primitive castle church directed by a Provost and eight Canons.
It has early medieval origins although nothing leaks today of the most ancient construction phases following the various reconstructions and changes. Let's find out how to prepare one of the typical dishes of the Valnerina, the Recipe of the Patron, with the spelled of the area, made Dop, represents an excellence with an archaic flavor and an expression of the centuries-old rural civilization of ancient Umbria.