La Tacchinella - Raising the flag in the ice-house
What to do

“Every tradition was once an innovation that was a success in its time”. These words of a great Italian wine maker are equally true of this recipe, which is now a classic and ultra-traditional, (protected by a consortium of producers from four communes, the ‘4 Cs’ of Canzano, Castellalto, Cellino and Cermignano, with animals raised locally and rules for its cooking) for Tacchino alla Canzanese (Canzanese Turkey). Female turkey, to be precise, because the rules state that only hen turkeys should be used because the meat is better: it is prepared (with the bones specially ‘worked’, with salt, garlic and spices) to produce a superb broth and from that the delicious aspic in which it is then cooked slowly and then served in beau- tiful thin slices. Innovation, he said: because the recipe ‘only’ dates back to the mid 19th century, and it still needed time, because a couple of quick-witted butchers turned this celebration dish into a brilliant takeaway tour de force, a gourmet dish when eaten at a table, but also high-end street food. There is a place where the banner for this dish is held high under the eponymous sign (La Tacchinella, to be precise), managed by two families, from the simplest of beginnings (a room where you could enjoy home-cooked turkey and a glass of wine), and grew with a continuous flow of people thanks to the renowned talent of Signora Aurora in the kitchen, now with the support of the next generation. The menu is strictly local (as are the wines), plus the most special of special attractions, the beautiful underground ice-house. The ice-house is thousand years old and is a former storehouse and ‘refrigerator’ of Arabic origin, a gift of Mother Nature and now the setting for delicious meals in an amazing ambience.

Where & what

Turkey, sturgeon and old lace. This delightful village placed on the sweet hills between Vomano and Tordino would have just surely enough, with his delicious “Tacchino Canzanese” dish and the art of lace, here still widespread with exhibitions dedicated to the tradicional bridal kit, to merit visit and memory. But it seemed not enough: and so Canzano adds also the “sturgeon”. Nothing to do with the Northern Seas fish; it is however a tasty dessert made up of marzipan and chocolate cream and covered with sugar icing. The recipe was passed on for generations. And so Canzano can demonstrate once more how Apenines are a true chest of treasures . You will found the sweet “sturgeon” home made in the local menus in the big days and anniversaries, but it has been publicly “rediscovered” for celebrations and events like “Tacchinando” (end of July) and “Winter Turkey” (in the pre-Christmas period and perfect season for the slaughtering of turkeys strictly outdoor reared and called “razzolanti”). From the profane to the holy, Canzano has also its Church of Miracles: the Madonna of the Alno (solemn celebrations in May). But the whole village merits an tidy visit, in order of its concentration of ancient houses and historical arches, towers, gates and stairs, surrounded by a ring of walls above which you can contemplate the open Valley and the enchanting Gran Sasso.