The Roero of taste

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The Tanaro divides these hills: Langhe to the right, Roero left. The city of Alba overlooks the Roero from the right bank and awaits the products of excellence that it knows these sharp and sandy hills will offer.
And the tourist who walks across the old bridge and beyond, between the hills of the Roero, is not merely beginning a journey through the feuds of the noble Rotari (or, indeed, Roero) family of Asti, who were first merchants and then bankers all over Europe, but -  more importantly, perhaps -  is also embarking upon a great gastronomic tour.
From Canale, the capital of these hills, where the peach is King, passing through Guarene and Vezza d'Alba, home to the Madernassa pear, or to Baldissero and Sommariva Perno where the strawberry is celebrated, not forgetting Montà and its Strada del Miele (street of honey). Castagnito, Magliano, Priocca and Govone, facing the fertile Tanaro Valley, produce garlic, peppers (the famous square pepper, known as Motta’s pepper), asparagus and courgettes of the finest quality. At Ceresole (as in neighbouring villages) the Tench fish is bred in ponds between the fields, while ottofile sweetcorn and other cereals from long ago are cultivated between Sanfré and Sommariva Bosco.
And in the cliffs, scary ravines that open unexpectedly between the hills, cutting the Roero along its entire length, there is obviously the Truffle!
In the midst of the orchards, inevitably, there are vineyards: those of Arneis, the local grape variety which has become a great wine in less than twenty years, those of the simplest Favorita; and for the reds, as always, the Nebbiolo, which here honours its merchant ancestors, calling itself Roero, the third grand expression of this unique grapevine to which every hill gives a characteristic flavour.
It is the quality of the local (“zero kilometre”) raw materials which ensures that the Roero has a number of impressive starred restaurants which (together with its dynamic markets) makes a grand stage upon which to... seeing is believing!

Text by ©Pietro Giovannini

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