Sometimes you just have to move away a little from the beaten track to discover little gems of flavors, traditions and hospitality that will touch the heart. Tricarico, just 50 Km from Matera, has so much to offer to those who seek something different.
Basilicata, due to its geographical location, is a region able to surprise and satisfy all tastes. In Basilicata we find the flavors of the sea and those of high hills, the smell of olives and the strong flavor of his cheeses. It is a land, not always generous, and sometimes difficult to explore. The inhabitants of Basilicata are only a few and towns are generally far from each other, campaigns are not easily accessible and this is, perhaps, the very reason that preserved its aromas, as suspended in a limbo, they are similar but always different from village to village.
And thus, as for its dialects and its stories, just raise the lid to discover how its products are light years from industrial production and so close to people and their land.
For this article, we chose five local excellences. Discover them one by one by clicking on their name and if you want to see the rest of the story … you’ll have to come to Tricarico.
The passion for the family business, the respect for the environment and quality production are the basic “ingredients” that characterize the organic production of cereals and breeding of the “Lucanian black pork”.
Pioneers of organic farming, today we produce cereals and breed Lucanian black porks respecting tradition.
The cultivation of cereals, particularly wheat, have always been a peculiarity of our country where the soil characteristics benefit to the quality of the product. Grain since ancient times has been support and life in southern Italy. Organic farming has allowed us to preserve the flavors of the past and pass that through our products.
We reevaluated the breeding of the “Lucanian black pork”, a native breed of pigs, which was about to go extinct in the years since the arrival of important modern breeds created ad hoc for a leaner or fatter meat depending of the uses. The black pig is instead simply the owner of this land and maybe is for that very reason one of the tastiest meat known to man. As in the past, pigs are not forced into cages and fed by force, they are free to roam for fields, graze on nature’s plants and are constantly monitored in order to enjoy optimum health. The “wild” makes these meat leaner and if on one hand it decreases the weight that can be sold on the other it multiplies its flavor.
The desire to preserve and promote the products of this area, urged us to select other companies with whom we share the same objectives, thus creating a network of local products.
There is no competition when is the food, local to its territory, that speaks up! It is the only food able to express the best of its land… and the real traveler knows that.
Masseria Laureano – farm and animal husbandry
“Nobody can remain indifferent before his Majesty the provolone cheese: a medieval product made solely from cow’s milk, rennet, salt and natural enzymes”(Rocco Lavanga – owner)
Historians found traces of this cheese even during medieval times. In fact at that time, during the transhumance and the shifts from one pasture to another, pastors, being forced for days away from home, always carried some stale bread and a piece of caciocavallo, often eaten after being melted over hot coals.
This particular fondue has been later dubbed “Hanged Caciocavallo”, a cheese which thanks to its external thick skin is protected by a melting too quickly, allowing the pasta filata fats to unleash their natural softness and aromas derived from milk seasoning.
We started operating in 1961 and with passion for milk and cheese quality and ever since we believe in the Italian nutritional model, a system that combines quality ingredients and careful processing, we can now offer our experience and the best traditional cheese flavors.
It is the love for Lucania, the respect for traditions, some courage and a lot of interest in innovation, which inspire our way of being and motivate the people we work with.
The preparation of products and quality control is left, today as it was in the past, to the hands of capable dairymen and only repetitive exhausting tasks are performed by machines,in fact slight hints and “defects” in the shapes of our products are proof that these are craft products and at the same time these are exactly their highest value.
The oil produced from oil mill derives from the mixed cultivars of Coratina, Leccino, Ogliarola del Bradano and Oliva Giusta (native) as it is typical to do in these areas.
The olive trees are scattered among rocky areas, forests and arable land created by man to till the soil. Where possible, we practice trinciature and green manure.The ground is grass covered and there is no possibility to use irrigation. Pruning is slight and yearly. No fertilizer or pesticide-input pest management . Production is totally organic.
Harvesting is done in late October and is typically done by hand or with mechanical shaker. Olives are then collected into low baskets fully drilled and brought to the certified organic mill. Here the grinding takes place as soon as possible from the collection in order to preserve the quality of the oil.
Our crusher uses disc mills and closed kneaders. The oil is not filtered but rather mechanically centrifuged in order to preserve its purity and its conservation takes place in steel tanks under vacuum.
It is an oil which narrates the exploits of Tricarico’s growers and adapts to local food, be it “a plate of leaves” (vegetables), a flavorful chick-pea soup or grandma’s gravy with meat.
F.lli Danzi oil mill
Tenute Mantegna is made by earthy people, and driven by the passion and the love to its territory. This urged us to create in Lucania our reality, made of fields, hard work, passion and love for the grapes.
The company and its vineyards are situated in an enviable position to about 500 meters above sea level, often crossed by winds that create an ideal microclimate: cool and dry exactly as it should be.
We focus on the restructuring of vineyards by implanting and choosing only those varieties which, for the peculiarities of the territory, become remarkable: Greco Doc (white grape), Primitivo Doc and especially Aglianico (red grape varieties).
[…] The oldest and most prestigious testimony about Palazzo Laureano is found, under the name of “palaggio de Imperatrice” in the invaluable view of the city of Tricarico called Tricaricum Basilicatae civitas, inserted as Tav. 57 within the monumental heatrum urbium praecipuarum mimeli. Published in Cologne between 1572 and 1618 by George Braun and Franz Hogenberg.
The “palaggio de Imperatrice” is a very important architectural element within the urban renaissance of Tricarico. Located in the heart of the monumental part at the “old gate” and between buildings of political and religious power.
The current name of “palazzo Laureano” dates back to the end of ‘ 700, when the building appears among the assets of Giuseppe Laureano senior from Tricarico. He was the descendant of a family that several sources document as an expression of the town bourgeois class from the ‘ 500 until the end of the ‘ 900. […]
(from c. Biscaglia, Palazzo Laureano of Tricarico as “Palaggio de Imperatrice”, ms. Tricarico, 2007)
Today Palace Laureano, with its rooms, its wine cellar and its stately halls is still owned by the heirs of Laureano and is ready to welcome you, thanks to its long family continuity, into the fascinating history of Tricarico.
Leave the city and discover the true hospitality of Basilicata!
Your journey has just begun! In this case the appetite comes travelling, we will be waiting for you in Tricarico and if you want to know more contact us: Zirlio will guide you through the most hidden paths of this tasty and mysterious territory!