We found the butcher in Colmurano by accident, having parked in front of his shop to use the ATM across the street. Viale de Amicis is the only road that bisects our village, so naturally it is where most of our shops are services are. But there was no “Macelleria” sign on the building. Indeed, there was no sign on the storefront at all. I just happened to see a small placard with opening hours, and peeking through the window, meat in a display case.
Ever since, we visit Alessandro, his mother Ivana, and his wife Eleonora for more than just meat. It’s amazing what they fit into their small store. One of our early favorite discoveries is a “rotolo,” a chicken breast with meatball stuffing, wrapped in guanciale, rolled up and tied. Their mortadella, porchetta, and turkey alla porchetta has fed us sandwich lunches countless times, and they sell delicious local breads too! We also have fun learning what things are in Italian. They make a wonderful “cannoli,” but rather than a sweet dessert from Sicily, this is a roll of prosciutto cotto with mozzarella stuffed with olives.
When we order meat, Alessandro always asks what we’re using it for, to make sure we get the right cut. Matt has been making a fantastic pork or chicken stir-fry and we told him it was like Chinese food, not knowing the Italian word for stir-fry. Their steaks for grilling are beyond delicious. I was never a big steak eater, but the meat here tastes better. I really appreciate their pre-formed meatballs and their pre-breaded cutlets. It makes kitchen preparation so much faster, especially for my Prosciutto and Fontina cutlets recipe.
Most of all, their homemade sausages have become a staple. Matt uses them to make American breakfast, and crumbled on pizza. I use them in an easy and delicious sausage and cream sauce with pasta, in risotto with sausage, in lentil soup, or on skewers with vegetables. We will have many more recipes for you that feature their local meats.
There still isn’t a “Macelleria” sign. Look for a cream building on the corner across from the bank. The door has beads in it and when you walk through those beads, Alessandro, Ivana, or Eleonora (or all three) will greet you with a smile, a “Ciao” and then “dimmi,” which means, tell me (what you would like). In addition to their extensive selection of meats, they also sell a wide variety of pantry goods, fresh and dried pastas, sauces, beer and wines, excellent local cheeses, and much more.
Francesco and his mother Lorena run the fruit and vegetable store, and they also ask what we’re making with our produce. A tomato for a salad is different than one for a sauce. Of the 3 different types of Radicchio they had, one is better with grilled mortadella and balsamic. Their shop is just down the block on the other side of the street. A “Mercatino della Frutta” sign makes it easy to find. Everything is fresh, almost everything is local, and it’s always reasonably priced. In addition to fruits and vegetables they also sell home-made marinated olives with garlic and orange peel, and farm-fresh eggs. Often they have stuffed and/or breaded vegetables ready to cook.
Heading back up the street a half-block, Isabella’s Alimentari is on the same side of the street in a green building with a small sign and beads in the doorway. With an impressive selection of items packed in a small space, she’s also a good source for pantry staples, cheeses, and eggs. Matt gets his breakfast cookies here. She is super friendly and often has pre-made meals of lasagna, porchetta, or fish ready to re-heat.
Down the street below the city walls, I Sette Artigiani is our local bakery, famous throughout the region. They make the best baked goods and also sell pantry staples and local specialties. Their tarts and cookies are amazing. Really, everything is! They are also super friendly and welcoming and can suggest the perfect type of bread for whatever we’re looking for.
Further down the road is our favorite local winery, Saputi. For everyday drinking, we buy their 5 liter “Bag in Box.” Our favorite is the Rosso Piceno for red and Passerina for white, although they have a variety of wines available in the box. An organic winery, their award-winning bottled wines are impressive. They are famous for their Ribona, a white wine made from a local native grape that is very typical of this area. It’s the wine we selected to gift to our summer guests. It’s local, unique, delicious, and chilled in the refrigerator upon arrival. So when you run out, now you’ll know where to get more!