Bread in Molise has always been made from various indigenous flours, including corn, potatoes and even chickpeas. “We still put the flour from boiled potatoes in our bread,” says Antiono Patriarca of the Panificio Antichi Sapori Patriarca. For my first stop is Agnone in the high Molise region at the Patriarca family bakery.
Antonio: “We Agnonesi still prepare food according to traditional methods. For example we still add potatoes to the flour in combination with natural yeast, which gives our bread a softer texture.
Focaccia we call pizza
I point to a focaccia in the rack behind him and say it looks delicious. Antonio: “This is a kind of focaccia we call pizza. It is also made with potatoes. On top, it is finished with virgin olive oil, sea salt and oregano. It is all the same dough as the bread.
Antonio takes me to the place where his wife Arianna makes castagne, the most typical pastry of Agnone. Arianne: “They are called castagne or chestnuts because of their shape and colour. Other than that they have nothing to do with it. The dough is more or less the same as that of a beignet. It consists of egg and flour and a tiny bit of olive oil. No sugar and no butter. The taste comes from the thick layer of chocolate all around.
The tough guy in the photo next to his dad is Stefano Patriarca. He plays volleyball in the A series. Coincidentally, he is also very good friends with the Belgian athlete Pieter Verhees, from when they played together at Latina. “We still have a lot of contact,” Stefano says. Patriarca proudly says that his son will continue the family business after his sports career. Beautiful, isn’t it!
Address: Antichi Sapori di Patriarca, via Cavour 35, Agnone