From Rome I drive 75 km inland to Frosinone. I arrive in the Ciociaria area which has an ancient history with medieval villages and abundant natural springs. Here I am not far from Abruzzo. I stop in Frosinone for a meeting with owner and cook Plinio Drogheo of the restaurant Da Plinio to learn more about the gastronomy of this special place. Plinio: “In our region, you will find a tasty and robust cuisine. We share the approach and basic products of Lazio, but influences from Abruzzo are also present. Our dishes are based on simple ingredients of exceptional quality. These products are best appreciated in the meat and vegetable dishes, but I also like to combine them with fish from the Tyrrhenian Sea. When you sit down to dinner in the Ciociaria region, you immediately taste the territory. The more pure, the better,” concludes Plinio.

I am sitting at a large table in his restaurant and Plinio suggests that I sample some of the local top products. He brings out an assortment of dishes with typical dishes. An assortment of authentic cheeses: pecorino di Picinisco, ciambella di Morolo, a marzolino, caciotta di Amaseno and a piece of Antico conciato di San Vittore. A plate of buffalo mozzarella with delicious tomatoes. Buffalo ricotta and figs. A board of fine cured meats with capocollo, pancetta and lardo of the black pig from the Lepini Mountains. The Guarcino ham that I get to taste is also intense and particularly tasty. Apart from the buffalo mozzarella, these are all new flavours to me. Plinio explains that they are unique and, unfortunately, only found in the region. I drink a glass of red Lu Vagu from the SantApollaria estate in Lazio. It is the perfect choice to do justice to all these earthy flavours. I count myself lucky. Thank you Plinio for this successful introduction to the virgin terroir of Ciociaria!

Address: Da Plinio, Via Paleario Aonio, Frosinone