- Region: Marche
The small village of Cantiano is tucked away in a deep valley of the Apennine Mountains near the border of the Marche region with Umbria. The small village of 2,400 inhabitants has an Alpine feel to it because of the steep mountains and thick forest surrounding it. The forest is filled with wild apple, pear, plum, mulberry, sour cherry, chestnut, and a thick carpet of blackberry, raspberry and wild strawberry bushes. During the foggy Autumn months the forest is a treasure chest of porcini mushrooms as well as the precious white truffle.
Most of the villagers at Cantiano have a tradition of gathering and preserving much of the wild fruit from the forest to enjoy during the cold winter months. This tradition inspired our friends Ivan and Igor Lupatelli to build a small laboratorio on a steep 4 hectare piece of land right outside Cantiano. Every year they plant lamponi (raspberries) and fragoline di bosco (wild strawberry) as well as little off-springs from wild sour cherry trees. Together with a small team of friends, Ivan and Igor forage the forest and gather the fruit which is used in making the Morello Austera preserves and syrups.
Preserving wild fruit is not an easy endeavor. Compared to conventional fruit, wild fruit is fragile and soft, so Ivan and Igor had to create a system for preserving each type of fruit in order to keep the essence of the fruit alive.
Three important elements make the Morello Austera preserves unique: the quality of the wild fruit, the amount of sugar for each type of fruit and the short time of pasteurization.
The amarene (sour cherries) are referred to as Visciole in Cantiano, also known as the dark-red morello cherry. These wild cherries grow on smaller trees than regular cherries, and the fruit is small and crimson-near-to-black in color. The fruit is very acidic, almost unpleasantly so when eaten raw. Ivan and Igor pit the small stone off the fruit and let the pulp drain overnight. The resulting juice, which they find the following day, is blended with sugar and reduced until thick. Once the syrup is cooled down, the pulp is mixed in with a special blend of spices, brought to a simmer and jarred immediately while still hot. A short pasteurization takes place and then the jars are placed in a cool storage room for two months for the flavors to blend in prior to distribution. Ivan and Igor are very proud of the amarene in syrup not only for the quality of the product as far as flavor is concerned, but also for its nutritional values.
Morello Austera’s confetture (jams) are also quite unique. The right density, balance and sweetness are a common denominator to each fruit without the use of pectin, additives or preservatives. Since the sterilized jars are filled when the mixture is at a temperature of 95° C and then flipped immediately, they do not require sterilization thus keeping more of the flavors alive.
- Street: Localita' San Rocco Meleta
- Postcode: 61004
- City: Cantiano
- State: Pesaro e Urbino (PU)
- Telephone: + 39-0721-789-235