Anne's Blog

  • Ascoli Piceno's Fritto Misto Feast

Ascoli Piceno’s Fritto Misto Festival

Date: June 2, 2015 - categories: , , , - 6 Comments

Fried foods might not be prevalent in the Mediterranean diet, but they’re definitely present… and you’ll find “il fritto” (or derivatives) in a few Italian idiomatic expressions, too:

– “siamo fritti”, “we’re fried” means “we’re in trouble”

– “mandare a farsi friggere” is best translated as “send someone off to fry themselves” i.e., ” tell someone off.”

-“un fritto misto” (a fried foods mix), refers to a mix of unrelated people, objects or words

…and “fritto” takes the stage Ascoli Piceno’s festival, Fritto Misto.

During the festival, white tents fanning out before the medieval travertine buildings in Piazza Arringo and encircling the whimsical fountains, offer an array of fried foods from all over Italy – and not only – as well as tastes of the Marches region’s wines and olive oils. Visitors line up to order tempura, samosas (vegan ones, too!), fajitas, empanadas, fish and chips and even gluten-free fried chicken, all served in paper cones.

White food tents fan out in Piazza Arringo

White food tents fan out in Piazza Arringo

The Fritto Misto festival takes over Ascoli Piceno for 10 days in springtime

The Fritto Misto festival takes over Ascoli Piceno for 10 days in springtime

At some stands, you can taste olive oils of the Marches region

At some stands, you can taste olive oils of the Marches region

Do try the Marches region wines at Fritto Misto

Do try the Marches region wines at Fritto Misto.

…and fried foods from all over the worlds to taste at this Tutto Fritto festival

…and fried foods from all over the worlds to taste at this Tutto Fritto festival

!cid_197D3D98-1319-438D-828E-7D2B00ADA399@homenet_telecomitalia

But the Italian specialties seem to take the lead: fried cheeses, panzerotti (from Puglia) stuffed with mozzarella and tomatoes, fried codfish with fried artichokes, mixed fish fry, fried zucchini flowers – and even fried pizza! And how not to mention the Sicilian goodness: arancini (fried rice balls), cannoli (the cones are fried) and ricotta-filled zippole?

Fried trout at this booth

Fried trout at this booth

Even fried pizza

Even fried pizza

Fried rabbit draws many

Fried rabbit draws many

Fried shrimp, fried cheese and fried chicken tidbits

Fried shrimp, fried cheese and fried chicken tidbits

Panzerotti stuffed with tomatoes and mozzarella

Panzerotti stuffed with tomatoes and mozzarella.

Enjoying the fritto misto

Enjoying the fritto misto.

Trying the fried cheeses

Trying the fried cheeses

Pino tries the fried cheese

Pino tries the fried cheese

Fried mixed fish coming up

Fried mixed fish coming up

Ready for the zippole, Sicilian goodness

Ready for the zippole, Sicilian goodness

Sicilian zippole for dessert

Sicilian zippole for dessert

Near the food tents, a sommelier conducts wine-tastings while in a nearby booth, beers of micro-breweries are the choice for fried food-pairings for some visitors. In one tent, an organic olive oil producer offers tastes of her “green gold,” and you can sign up your children for organic farming workshops at their farm.

Wine-tastings, too, at this festival

Wine-tastings, too, at this festival

Didactic workshops at an organic farm entice the children

Didactic workshops at an organic farm entice the children

Olive ascolane, the giant, stuffed olives of the Ascoli Piceno area, are certainly one of the festival stars, for sale at many a booth. Not only: cooking classes for pre-schoolers and grade school children teach the little ones how to make this marchigiano specialty.

You’ll find olive ascolane to fry up at home, too

You’ll find olive ascolane to fry up at home, too

Some of the olive ascolane are stuffed with truffle

Some of the olive ascolane are stuffed with truffle

“Try olive ascolane - the best!"

“Try olive ascolane – the best!”

Cooking classes by noted chefs are also part of ten-day festival program. We talked to chef Rosaria (from the Marches coastal area) as she and assistant Samantha prepared their “bomboloni” (fried “bombs”… well, they’re not light..!), one with fillings of pecorino and ciauscolo (a fresh salami), one with anchovies and another made with wild field greens, pistachios and sesame.

Rosaria and young assistant prepare her bombonloni

Rosaria and young assistant prepare her bombonloni.

Bomboloni in-the-making

Bomboloni in-the-making

Samantha, Rosaria’s assistant, works on the bomboloni

Samantha, Rosaria’s assistant, works on the bomboloni.

Rosaria's menu

Rosaria’s menu

Her fried sandwiches are filled with three kinds of mousse: one of fave beans, another of pecorino (sheep’s milk cheese) and one of ciauscolo. “Why did you choose these ingredients?” I asked Rosaria as she mixed and molded with her assistants, Damiano and Chiara. With a reply she smiled, “Because on May 1st – Worker’s Day – workers in the villages would go into the countryside for picnics with simple ingredients, made from foods they grew, animals they raised.”

Rosaria’s mousse panino

Rosaria’s mousse panino.

Damiano at work on the mousse

Damiano at work on the mousse

Pino’s not sure he’ll taste it!

Pino’s not sure he’ll taste it!

When you’re satiated with the foods and tasted the Marches wine varieties, you’ll need a walk. Guided walking tours of Ascoli are offered by local guides – or hop the trenino, put on the earphones and enjoy the guided tour (in English, too!) as the train winds down medieval backstreets, past the Roman arches, in front of Roman amphitheater ruins and into the charming porticoed Piazza del Popolo.

Guided tours are offered of the town of Ascoli Piceno

Guided tours are offered of the town of Ascoli Piceno

...or you might wish to hop the trenino, put on your earphones and ride about the town

…or you might wish to hop the trenino, put on your earphones and ride about the town

!cid_7BB57C77-E321-4EE5-9B5A-F550883855A8@homenet_telecomitalia

!cid_204969D2-3C8B-49AB-BCC0-E7E9DF2B8876@homenet_telecomitalia

!cid_E339EDDF-C11A-4ECB-8AB3-2266C08E0221@homenet_telecomitalia

Ternino passes the booths

Wondrous Piazza del Popolo

Wondrous Piazza del Popolo.

Roman city gate of Ascoli

Roman city gate of Ascoli

And if you missed this year’s Fritto Misto festival (the eleventh edition) in Ascoli Piceno, take heart: the Marches region has chosen Fritto Misto as one of the marchigiano culinary events representing the region at EXPO 2015 (in Milan), dedicated to foods.

Fritto Misto draws people from all over to Ascoli Piceno

Fritto Misto draws people from all over to Ascoli Piceno

!cid_A3591BFC-2380-46EF-AF51-E452975CFB8F@homenet_telecomitalia

!cid_64D57C34-8943-4531-B199-EABEB7C1EDE9@homenet_telecomitalia

!cid_0EB9ECA1-5867-4A9A-805E-A374DB4BC1B4@homenet_telecomitalia

!cid_84F568F2-0C7F-49EF-A233-6F444EA9E75A@homenet_telecomitalia

!cid_DD5283F4-6336-4D41-9C79-F254AB897D35@homenet_telecomitalia

Read about another Marches gem, not far from Ascoli Piceno
Click here to read about our favorite Marches region seaside spot
Read about why Sirolo, Marches seaside town, entices
Read about a fascinating Marches “underground”

6 Comments

  • Virginia Lupori says:

    I a already looking forward to going to this next year!

  • Jenny Hannan says:

    Yum – Pino looks as though he is enjoying his fritto. Lucy both of you!

  • Janet Eidem says:

    Fantastic trip to the Marches Anne! I’d love to try the bomboloni. Our last meal in Italy was at Gastone’s in Fiumicino. I had the seafood Fritto Misto. It was wonderful and the memory connects me with your post. Thank you.

  • Anne Robichaud says:

    Thanks to each for your notes..and yes, good times, good eats!

  • Janine Belveal says:

    A festival I certainly would enjoy! My mouth was watering as I went through the photos.

  • Anne Robichaud says:

    Janine..come back and visit and we’ll go together!~and mille grazie for your card – and lovely note – just arrived!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

 

Privacy Policy

Privacy Italian Legislative Decree n° 196/2003 Under Article 13 of the Italian Legislative Decree no. 196/2003, regulations with regard to the Protection of Personal Data, this is an informative report to all interested parties on the modality of the treatment of personal data, arising from interaction with our website www.annesitaly.com
THE PRINCIPAL FOR DATA TREATMENT During site consultation, personal data referring to identified or identifiable persons can be processed. The principal for data treatment is Anne Robichaud Pian della Pieve Assisi 06081 (PG) Italy. The data will be mainly processed at the mentioned head office by the people responsible for the website or by other people appointed for occasional maintenance operations, provided that their actions conform to of the guarantees enshrined in the Legislative Decree 196/2003.
TYPE OF DATA TREATED
Web navigation The information systems and software procedures required for the functioning of this website, acquire some personal data during their normal service, the transmission of which is implicit in the use of web communication protocols. This information is not collected with the purpose of identifying interested parties, but due to its very nature, the information could lead to user identification through processes and relations with data held by third parties. In this data category there are IP addresses or domain names belonging to computers used by users who connect to the site, addresses with URI (Uniform Resource Identifier) notification of the requested resources, time of the request, used method in submitting the request to the server, dimension of the file obtained in replying, the numeric code mentioning the reply status given by the server (successful reply, error, etc?) and other parameters referred to the operation system and to the user’s information environment. This data is used with the sole purpose of obtaining anonymous statistical information on the use of the site and to check the correct functioning; immediately after processing, the data is erased.
Data voluntarily supplied by the user The voluntary optional and explicit e-mail transmission to the addresses mentioned in this site implies the subsequent acquisition of the sender’s address, necessary to reply to the queries, as well as the other eventual personal data registered in the message.
OPTIONAL PERSONAL DATA SUPPLY Except for the above mentioned navigation data, the user may be asked to supply his own personal data through queries or messages to the email addresses shown in the contact pages. Failure to provide such data may be the cause of the inability to obtain the requested information from the company.
TREATMENT MODALITY The personal data is treated in compliance with the Legislative Decree no. 196/2003 and held only for the time necessary to achieve the aim for which it has been collected. Specific safety measures are taken to prevent any data loss, illicit or incorrect use and unauthorized access.
RIGHTS OF THIRD PARTIES The data subjects are at any time entitled to obtain confirmation as to whether or not data relating to him are held, to know the contents and the origin, to check the correctness, to ask for integration, updating or change (art. 7 Decree Law 196:June 2003). In accordance with the same article, they are entitled to obtain the erasure, conversion into anonymous form or freezing of all data used in breach of the law, to object, on legitimate grounds, to the processing of data relating to him. All requests have to be transmitted to the e-mail address anne@annesitaly.com

Agenzia Viaggi Stoppini in Assisi handles all technical support for my guided visits (bus transportation, organization of meals, etc)