Art, Craft, Design

Beware, Brigands are back! (I “briganti” son tornati)


Along the mountain track leading to the Murelle natural amphiteatre, you can see “Tavola dei Briganti” (Brigands’ slabs), a bunch of flat stones where in XIX century, bandits used to hide and fight the Savoy army.  A century and half later, Tavola dei Briganti is the brand of one of the many typical products of the area around the Maiella massif: “peperone dolce di Altino” (Altino mild pepper).

Peperone dolce di Altino (Chieti) and "La Taverna dei Briganti" | photo: ©MateldaCodagnone and ©Lonza65

Peperone dolce di Altino (Chieti) and “La Taverna dei Briganti”
photo: ©MateldaCodagnone and ©Lonza65

The XXI century brigands are four peaceful and nice young men and women, led by Donatello D’Alonzo. Donatello, after graduating in History at Bologna University, decided to take over his grandparents’ farms and lands. “La Tavola dei Briganti” grows, processes and sells the “peperone dolce di Altino”.

Peperone dolce di Altino (Chieti) and "La Taverna dei Briganti" | photo: ©MateldaCodagnone

Peperone dolce di Altino (Chieti) and “La Taverna dei Briganti”
photo: ©MateldaCodagnone

The “peperone” production follows strict production guidelines and a producer association is involved in the process of gaining the PDO (Protected Designation Origin). The production chain is at zero food miles, or even better, at zero food yards because the “peperoni” field is a stone’s throw away from the processing workshop.

Peperone dolce di Altino (Chieti) and "La Taverna dei Briganti" | photo: ©MateldaCodagnone

Peperone dolce di Altino (Chieti) and “La Taverna dei Briganti”
photo: ©MateldaCodagnone

The peperone dolce di Altino is dried and ground and can be used as a powder and as chutney, jam or sauce. The spice is called Oro Rosso (Red Gold) to testify its importance both for local business and cooking arts. It is the key ingredient for Sara Scutti’s Chitarra all’oro rosso di Altino“, [in ITA] a recipe that took part in the Palio culinario delle contrade (local cooking contest).

Today’s Brigands do not plunder gold, they just … grow it.

Peperone dolce di Altino (Chieti) and "La Taverna dei Briganti" | photo: ©Lonza65

Peperone dolce di Altino (Chieti) and “La Taverna dei Briganti” | photo: ©Lonza65

Contact: Mr Antonio D’Alonzo
telephone: +39 3881735189
email: dalonzoantonio2@gmail.com
shop: Via Benedetto Croce 113 – 66040 Altino (Ch), Italy

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