The arrosticini are by far the most popular dish from Abruzzo in Italy and abroad, you can not visit this region without trying the original Abruzzo arrosticini.
The arrosticini are by far the most popular dish from Abruzzo
The arrosticini are the skewers of meat usually sheep or lamb mutton. The meat of sheep should be cut into small cubes of about 1 cm which are inserted by hand into wooden skewers in length that varies from 25 to 30 cm (the part with the meat is about 10 cm long).
An important element in the preparation is the inclusion of some parts of fat along with lean meat, used to soften and enrich the flavor of arrosticino. The arrosticini was only done by hand, but today the machines are used to facilitate the preparation of this delicacy. This product appears to be a simple spiedino but hides behind a tradition and an art that make it difficult to imitate.
The arrosticini are, as we have seen, a very simple dish but need to be cooked properly with a dedicated tool called the furnace.
The firebox has a shape that looks like a channel of the gutter with four feet, the elongate channel contains in its interior the coals and has a width slightly bigger than 10 cm so that the skewers can be resting above and only the flesh remains on the embers .
The brace is prepared as in any one brace with the classic charcoal or specific products to feed the best flame that must always be not high intensity to avoid too dry the meat. Once you settled the arrosticini on the grill must be turned over from time to time and towards the end it should be added only the salt. The cooking time varies depending on the type of flame, the meat and the preferences of people who eat them, typically arrosticini are not to be dried in and the “talent” of those who must ensure the food perfectly cooked that keeps the meat soft, juicy and cooked! It must be said that arrosticini without the furnace, are good too but they lose much of their real flavor.
It is good to say that eating arrosticini is a dining experience and as such requires compliance with certain rules and protocols that determine the taste and the ultimate success. As before the arrosticini are served in a unique way: a sheaf!
It means are brought to the center of the table in staks or bundles of 20/50 pieces wrapped in aluminum foil, in Abruzzo someone uses also the special basins (see photo below), this is to keep them warm.
The arrosticini are eaten with the hands, pulling the flesh with the teeth. Given the importance of eating them hot any Abruzzo restaurant will care to take them with the right cadence. Absolutely not to be served on the plate!
Another element of the experience are the side dish; arrosticini are accompanied only by bread (normal and bruschetta), possibly homemade, greased with olive oil and hot pepper.
As drink is perfect Montepulciano d’Abruzzo, in the most traditional restaurant is used red wine of the house for a quarter diluted with gas. The exception may be an appetizer of bruschetta, meats and homemade cheese but nothing more. The arrosticini is a single plate and does not need another.
The best way to enjoy the kebabs is eating in Abruzzo. Unfortunately in Italy are few locals out from Abruzzo who fail to provide a decent level of quality. The reasons are several: raw materials, equipment, methods of preparation, the way they are offered and served.
It could be said to have tried the real arrosticini just eating them in a typical restaurant of Abruzzo, these rooms are quite spartan and in some cases they have no alternative to the arrosticini, but the dining experience that you will experience will be unique.