No matter how much we all adore pasta sometimes a night out without a noodle in sight can be a welcome change. Although Abruzzo is defined as Central Italy there are still many that place it firmly within Southern Italy, which does mean it gets to enjoy the wonders of stuzzicheria – ‘bits & pieces’ or ‘little plates’ (think Italian-style tapas or meze), an array of appetising lovelies that makes a delightful break from the world’s favourite comfort food pasta.
One of Abruzzo’s finest stuzzicheria is set just outside the medieval town of Canzano in Teramo. Canzano is famous for its succulent Turkey and particularly the Turkey in Aspic dish that was created by accident in 1800 by 2 farmers who left a Turkey on the stove for 5 hours (Turcino alla canzanese). I must admit I am not the greatest lover of turkey, but have just discovered they are equally famous for their ‘Chicken Canzanese’, which is a little different, none of the jelly and presented sliced in a Panini. The NY Times devoted a whole article on these 2 years ago and the recipes sound mouth watering .
Thankfully Momenti di Gusto Stuzzicheria and in this instance stuzzicheria Teramano-stylee forgoes the turkey, instead offering a delicious medley of bruschetta, frittelle with prosciutto & cheese (think Pizza style fried bread) – this being the best frittelle I’ve had and which I could have quite happily tucked into more of (this often a dish that I avoid as sometimes it can be nothing more than a lump of hard cold fried dough), pickles, fried cheese, mazzarelle (Abruzzo-style lettuce-coated haggis), roasted peppers with anchovies. These followed by excellent succulent aromatic arrosticini, Abruzzo’s slender skewers of cubed tender lamb grilled over a fire or barbecue depending where you are, the tastiness of which is enough to put you off comparatively great big chunks of meat for life.
The decor is traditional with wood panelling, enlivened by scattered 50s paraphernalia, and then white & honey coloured walls; the 3 dining rooms with about 5/6 tables were full with parties of friends and families all booked no doubt due to the quality of the food beer & wine here being so good. I am guessing that their reputation draws people outside the immediate catchment area, so do book if you’re thinking of going here over the weekend.
Fabrizio the owner and his staff are welcoming, extending to a very large measure or 2 of the home-made Genziano on your departure. We bumped into him the next day in the mountains enjoying the fried cheese at another of our favourite haunts the tiny Trattoria La Luna Nera in Forca di Valle whose fried cheese is the best we’ve had across our tastings in Abruzzo… perhaps it’s because they make their own ‘fresco’ cheese for this Abruzzo delicacy … It’s always good to know that a restaurateur will take his family off into the mountains too to partake in the best of what he himself serves.
Price – €20 per person including beer & wine
Value for money – 9/10
Quality of food – 9/10
Stuzzicheria Momenti di Gusto
Address: Località Colli – Valle Canzano (TE)
No website or email
Thanks to La Grande Quercia for providing us with replacement photos in our hour of need!