Santo Stefano di Sessanio Lentil

Italy

Abruzzo

Legumes

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Santo Stefano di Sessanio Lentil

These tiny, round, purplish-brown lentils, just a few millimeters in diameter, grow only on the slopes of the Gran Sasso. They are cultivated at altitudes over 1,000 meters above sea level, in the pristine environment of the national park. Some plots are as high as 1,600 meters, but the best results come from those at around 1,200 meters. Due to their small size and permeability, Santo Stefano di Sessanio lentils do not require soaking before cooking. They are extraordinarily flavorful, and the best way to enjoy them is in a simple soup. The recipe involves covering them with water and adding a few peeled cloves of garlic, some bay leaves, salt and extra-virgin olive oil, then covering the pot and simmering until tender.
This unusual lentil is in fact a specific biotype, selected over the centuries in the local area. Monastic documents dating from as far back as 998 mention the cultivation of legumes, and particularly lentils, in this part of the province of L’Aquila. Lentils have found their ideal habitat here, with long, cold winters and short, cool springs. The lentils are sown towards the end of March in the poor, chalky mountain soils, ideal for the plants, which do not require much fertilizer. The legumes require more work when it comes to harvesting, which takes place between the end of July and the end of August. The lentils ripen gradually, and at different times depending on the altitude of the fields. At times there can be as long as 15 days between the cutting of the plants (almost always done by hand) and threshing. The seeds will continue to ripen on the cut plants when left in the field, first piled in small sheaves and then heaped up under the protection of a canvas. Often it is not possible to use a combine harvester, not only because the plots are inaccessible with machinery, but also because the legumes develop close to the ground and mechanized harvesting would mean losses of 30 to 40% of the harvest. In short, harvesting takes place as it did a thousand years ago, and requires great effort.

Season

Lentils are harvested in August, but consumed dried and available all year.

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Yields, already limited, are diminishing every year. The Presidium has joined a project started by the Gran Sasso and Monti della Laga National Park and Abruzzo’s regional agency for agriculture development services (ARSSA), and has allowed all the producers to join together into an association that controls the harvest and labeling, protecting consumers against the fake Santo Stefano di Sessanio lentils found on the market.

Production area
Santo Stefano di Sessanio Municipality and neighboring Municipalities, L’Aquila Province

Presidium supported by
Gran Sasso and Monti della Laga National Park; L’Aquila Provincial Authority; Campo Imperatore-Piano di Navelli Mountain Community; Barisciano, Calascio, Castel del Monte, Castelvecchio Calvisio and Santo Stefano di Sessanio Municipalities
Ettore Ciarrocca
Santo Stefano di Sessanio (Aq)
Piazza Medicea, 13
Tel. +390862 89373
348 3309131
ettoreciarrocca@gmail.com

Mario Ciarrocca
Santo Stefano di Sessanio (Aq)
Via D’Annunzio, 12
Tel. +39 0862 89445
349 3901153
www.residenceilpalazzo.it
info@residenceilpalazzo.it

Rosa Ciarrocca
Santo Stefano di Sessanio (Aq)
Via Benedetta, 5
Tel. +39 0862 89679
335 6529016
lucacucchiella@gmail.com

Ernesto Ciuffini
Castelvecchio Calvisio (Aq)
Via della Mora, 9
Tel. +39 0862 930196
340 4747207

Anna D’Alessandro
Santo Stefano di Sessanio (Aq)
Via Roma, 48
Tel. +39 339 5735273

Silvan Fulgenzi
Santo Stefano di Sessanio (Aq)
Via delle Aie, 18
Tel. +39 340 4819763

Alessandra Gentile
Calascio (Aq)
Via Plaia, 18
Tel. +39 377 1290446

Pina di Mara Iannessa
Castelvecchio Calvisio (Aq)
Via delle Vigne, 1
Tel. +39 0862 930321
333 3800999
pinaagricola@piao.it

Marco Matergia
Barisciano (Aq)
Via Provinciale, 145
Tel. +39 0862 89335
331 2853075 - 334 1041133
lucio.matergia@univaq.it

Giulio Petronio
Castel del Monte (Aq)
Piazzale del Lago, 2
Tel. +39 0862 938107
333 5814030
bioformaggi.gransasso@gmail.com

Stefano Santavicca
Barisciano (Aq)
Via Aldo Moro, 2
Tel. +39 0862 89420 - 347 6040425
stefanosantavicca@gmail.com

Sapori di Campagna
di Livia Di Battista
Ofena (Aq)
Strada provinciale delle Vigne, km 7,8
Tel. +39 0862 954253
347 6995264
info@saporidicampagna.com
www.saporidicampagna.com
Coordinator
Ettore Ciarrocca
Tel. +39 0862 89373 - 348 3309131
ettoreciarrocca@gmail.com

Slow Food Coordinator
Silvia De Paulis
Tel. +39 0862 60521 +39 0862 6052231
Fax +39 0862 606675
silviadepaulis@gransassolagapark.it
Yields, already limited, are diminishing every year. The Presidium has joined a project started by the Gran Sasso and Monti della Laga National Park and Abruzzo’s regional agency for agriculture development services (ARSSA), and has allowed all the producers to join together into an association that controls the harvest and labeling, protecting consumers against the fake Santo Stefano di Sessanio lentils found on the market.

Production area
Santo Stefano di Sessanio Municipality and neighboring Municipalities, L’Aquila Province

Presidium supported by
Gran Sasso and Monti della Laga National Park; L’Aquila Provincial Authority; Campo Imperatore-Piano di Navelli Mountain Community; Barisciano, Calascio, Castel del Monte, Castelvecchio Calvisio and Santo Stefano di Sessanio Municipalities
Ettore Ciarrocca
Santo Stefano di Sessanio (Aq)
Piazza Medicea, 13
Tel. +390862 89373
348 3309131
ettoreciarrocca@gmail.com

Mario Ciarrocca
Santo Stefano di Sessanio (Aq)
Via D’Annunzio, 12
Tel. +39 0862 89445
349 3901153
www.residenceilpalazzo.it
info@residenceilpalazzo.it

Rosa Ciarrocca
Santo Stefano di Sessanio (Aq)
Via Benedetta, 5
Tel. +39 0862 89679
335 6529016
lucacucchiella@gmail.com

Ernesto Ciuffini
Castelvecchio Calvisio (Aq)
Via della Mora, 9
Tel. +39 0862 930196
340 4747207

Anna D’Alessandro
Santo Stefano di Sessanio (Aq)
Via Roma, 48
Tel. +39 339 5735273

Silvan Fulgenzi
Santo Stefano di Sessanio (Aq)
Via delle Aie, 18
Tel. +39 340 4819763

Alessandra Gentile
Calascio (Aq)
Via Plaia, 18
Tel. +39 377 1290446

Pina di Mara Iannessa
Castelvecchio Calvisio (Aq)
Via delle Vigne, 1
Tel. +39 0862 930321
333 3800999
pinaagricola@piao.it

Marco Matergia
Barisciano (Aq)
Via Provinciale, 145
Tel. +39 0862 89335
331 2853075 - 334 1041133
lucio.matergia@univaq.it

Giulio Petronio
Castel del Monte (Aq)
Piazzale del Lago, 2
Tel. +39 0862 938107
333 5814030
bioformaggi.gransasso@gmail.com

Stefano Santavicca
Barisciano (Aq)
Via Aldo Moro, 2
Tel. +39 0862 89420 - 347 6040425
stefanosantavicca@gmail.com

Sapori di Campagna
di Livia Di Battista
Ofena (Aq)
Strada provinciale delle Vigne, km 7,8
Tel. +39 0862 954253
347 6995264
info@saporidicampagna.com
www.saporidicampagna.com
Coordinator
Ettore Ciarrocca
Tel. +39 0862 89373 - 348 3309131
ettoreciarrocca@gmail.com

Slow Food Coordinator
Silvia De Paulis
Tel. +39 0862 60521 +39 0862 6052231
Fax +39 0862 606675
silviadepaulis@gransassolagapark.it