Tuscany, Umbria and Marche
Cinderella: A tale of three Italian sisters and the search for authentic Italy
Italian cooking schools in Le marche
Le Marche is a special region of Italy. In the last 20 years or so many northern Europeans have discovered the delights it has to offer. Not least of these is the exceptional food and wine. There are only a few Italian cooking schools in Le Marche as much of the culinary tradition of Le Marche is passed down through the family. The Italian cooking schools and holidays at Italian Food and Flavours have been created to offer visitors the chance to learn first hand some of the secrets of the region.
The search for Authentic Italy
Once upon a time there were three sisters who lived in the centre of the magical country of Italy. The biggest and grandest was called Tuscana (sometimes Tuscany), she was handsome and opulent, she had the finest jewellery and people who wanted to visit Italy had heard of her splendour and came flocking to her court. They crowded round her pushing and jostling, lavishing wealth and praise on her. Tuscana came to believe all the wonderful things the travellers said and over time she became rather proud and self-important. Her haughty attitude towards visitors made some of them turn their interest towards her smaller sister Umbria in search of the authentic Italy of which they had heard so much.
Umbria too was handsome and she also had fine jewels, though not as fine as Tuscana. Like her sister Umbria too grew to be proud and rather puffed up by the attention of the travellers. Many of those who visited, doted on Umbria and Tuscany and would sing their praises. Even though they were treated poorly, had to pay fortunes for the privilege of visiting and had to suffer hot and crowded conditions, they could see no further than the two grand sisters.
Some of the more discerning and adventurous of the travellers were not convinced they had found the authentic Italy and they decided to visit the third sister. They had heard rumours about her but few had visited as she lived the other side of great mountains called the Sibillini. The mountains were named after the witch Sibilla who lived there and who cast spells on the reckless explorers who tried to discover her secrets. But the bravest and most intrepid of the travellers escaped the clutches of the witch and found paths through the mountains in seach of the promise of authentic Italy. On the other side they were rewarded by the sight of perhaps the most beautiful of all the three sisters and her name was Marche.
Marche’s jewels were delicate and fine and she possessed many other wonders. She served the hungry and thirsty travellers some of the finest food and wine they had ever tasted, exotic fish from her bountiful sea, delicious meats cured in the cool mountain caves, cheeses made from the milk of sheep, savoury and strong, soft and sweet, exquisite organic wines, wonderful fresh olive oils, mouthwatering fried olives stuffed with herbs. She showed them buried treasures called truffles that were worth more than gold and the finest porcini mushrooms they had ever seen. After they had eaten till they could eat no more she served them an ice cold potion with the name Mistra. The magical elixir soothed their swollen bellies and sent them to sleep to dream of the new wonders that Marche would reveal for them on the morrow.
Marche was pleased to see the people who wanted to travel to Italy. She was warm and friendly. She charmed the visitors not with her grandeur but with her beauty, bounty and welcome. And the travellers knew they had found the authentic Italy they had been searching for.