Terre del Conero

In this section you will find many interesting facts and insights about our area, its food and traditions. You will also come across many tips about healthy eating, and there are some simple recipes that you can use to enjoy our products.

Wild plants in the Parco del Conero Nature Reserve, and their culinary use.

The area of the Parco del Conero Nature Reserve boasts a wide variety of wild plant species used for centuries in popular local cuisine.

In order to enhance the vast natural abundance of this area, some organic farms, the Faculty of Agriculture of the Università Politecnica delle Marche and the Parco del Conero authorities are collaborating on a new project, whose main objective is to identify some products , fresh or processed, from indigenous plant species of the native flora of the Conero Park. This development should represent a new economic resource for local farms and at the same time it will promote the preservation of natural habitats, through sustainable techniques, the growth of environmental quality, the ecological improvement of the agricultural system as well as the conservation of biodiversity.

Too often, in fact, the area in which herbs are produced is not specified and there is no certificate of origin of the herbs used. This serves to trivialize the product and leads to the risk that food is put on the market that is substantially different from its origins, sometimes being altered by the use of fertilizers and plant protection products, in the same way as conventional crops.

For this reason, some herbs have been identified that are characteristic of our area, and are of particular interest for a form of culinary preparation that has recuperated and innovated ancient customs and traditions. Moreover, the development processes in specific areas where the plants were found were also examined in order to facilitate their diffusion. At the same time information was gathered on local traditions related to culinary uses of herbs, on environmental issues of agricultural land in the Park and on the productive potential of the enterprise. Then the proper techniques of propagation or cultivation, harvesting and storage will be examined.

A good example of how the project functions is provided by the samphire, or  rock samphire (Crithmum maritimum), a species that is typical of cliff areas, and which contributes to typical dishes of the Conero Riviera, especially as an accompaniment to fish. Given that picking this herb is prohibited inside the Natural Park of the Conero, and that it grows naturally in soils, it was decided to experiment with organic cultivation, so as to guarantee a product that is very similar to what can be found in the wild.

The initial results of this project will be available in 2015.

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Terre del Conero Agricoltori per Natura, soc. coop. agr. Via Peschiera 30, 60020 Sirolo (AN) P.IVA 02474980428
European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development