Santo Stefano di Sessanio Lentil

Slow Food Presidium

Italy

Abruzzo

Legumes

Back to the archive >
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.

Back to the archive >
The already limited production, carried out by mostly elderly growers and destined for mainly family consumption, has to deal with the proliferation of a market of fake Santo Stefano di Sessanio lentils and, above all, with the increasingly serious problem of wild boars, which every year devastate the fields and compromise a large part of the production.

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
Producers

Azienda Zootecnica Gran Sasso
di Giulio Petronio
Via San Donato, 56
Castel del Monte (Aq)
Tel. +39 338 5814030
bioformaggi.gransasso@gmail.com
www.aziendagransasso.com

Ettore Ciarrocca
Piazza Medicea, 13
Santo Stefano di Sessanio (Aq)
Tel. +39 348 3309131
ettoreciarrocca@gmail.com

Mario Ciarrocca
Via D’Annunzio, 12
Santo Stefano di Sessanio (Aq)
Tel. +39 349 3901153
www.ostellodelcavaliere.it

Rosa Ciarrocca
Via Benedetta, 5
Santo Stefano di Sessanio (Aq)
Tel. +39 366 6816786
lucacucchiella@gmail.com
www.ostellodelcavaliere.it

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

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

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

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

Marco Matergia
Strada Provinciale, 145
Barisciano (Aq)
Tel. +39 331 2853075
aziendamatergia@gmail.com

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

Sapori di Campagna
di Livia Di Battista
Strada Provinciale delle Vigne, Km 7,8
Ofena (Aq)
Tel. +39 347 6995264
saporidicampagnaofena@gmail.com
Presidium Producers' Representative
Ettore Ciarrocca
Tel. +39 348 3309131
ettoreciarrocca@gmail.com

Slow Food Presidium Coordinator
Nicola Splendiani
nicolasplendiani@gmail.com
The already limited production, carried out by mostly elderly growers and destined for mainly family consumption, has to deal with the proliferation of a market of fake Santo Stefano di Sessanio lentils and, above all, with the increasingly serious problem of wild boars, which every year devastate the fields and compromise a large part of the production.

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
Producers

Azienda Zootecnica Gran Sasso
di Giulio Petronio
Via San Donato, 56
Castel del Monte (Aq)
Tel. +39 338 5814030
bioformaggi.gransasso@gmail.com
www.aziendagransasso.com

Ettore Ciarrocca
Piazza Medicea, 13
Santo Stefano di Sessanio (Aq)
Tel. +39 348 3309131
ettoreciarrocca@gmail.com

Mario Ciarrocca
Via D’Annunzio, 12
Santo Stefano di Sessanio (Aq)
Tel. +39 349 3901153
www.ostellodelcavaliere.it

Rosa Ciarrocca
Via Benedetta, 5
Santo Stefano di Sessanio (Aq)
Tel. +39 366 6816786
lucacucchiella@gmail.com
www.ostellodelcavaliere.it

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

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

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

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

Marco Matergia
Strada Provinciale, 145
Barisciano (Aq)
Tel. +39 331 2853075
aziendamatergia@gmail.com

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

Sapori di Campagna
di Livia Di Battista
Strada Provinciale delle Vigne, Km 7,8
Ofena (Aq)
Tel. +39 347 6995264
saporidicampagnaofena@gmail.com
Presidium Producers' Representative
Ettore Ciarrocca
Tel. +39 348 3309131
ettoreciarrocca@gmail.com

Slow Food Presidium Coordinator
Nicola Splendiani
nicolasplendiani@gmail.com

Territory

StateItaly
RegionAbruzzo

Other info

CategoriesLegumes