Paccasassi is the dialectical name of sea fennel (Crithmum maritimum), meaning this herb tends to grow among rocks. It is a plant that grows randomly along the Adriatic seaside and especially in the Conero area, it plays a very important role.
The plant flowers from July to September, and given its proximity to the sea, paccasassi has a tastiness and fragrance reminiscent of dried salt. Mostly fishermen in the Conero area pick it to use in local dishes and also as food to counteract the lack of vitamins during long periods on boats.
Sea fennel can be used for a variety of gastronomic uses. The simplest and quickest is boiling it in water and vinegar. Cooking paccasassi this way brings out its saltiness and “sea” taste. Another use is fresh, adding the leaves to a salad together with chicory, tuna and onion. Lastly, paccasassi is also used as stuffing for crescia, a flatbread from The Marches similar to piadina.