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Lentil of Castelluccio di Norcia PGI

La lenticchia di Castelluccio di Norcia IGP

Valuable and unique because of its small size and unmistakable flavor, it is grown on the Karst Plains of Castelluccio di Norcia, about 20 square kilometers of land at an altitude of about 1,500 meters, within the Monti Sibillini National Park.

The harsh climatic conditions in which it grows mean that no treatment is needed for storage. It is a very ancient legume: seeds of this crop have been found in Neolithic tombs dating back to 3000 BC.

The Lenticchia di Castelluccio di Norcia IGP is one of the protagonists of the famous "flowering" of the Castelluccio plains, a natural event that between late May and July offers an evocative spectacle of colors and scents.

Every year, thousands of tourists flock to the Piani di Castelluccio di Norcia to witness the phenomenon; however, not everyone knows that, among the colorful inflorescences that embellish the Pian Grande, the white ones with light blue hues hide a secret.

These are, in fact, the flowers of the Castelluccio di Norcia Lentil plant, one of the area's most renowned products. These small, flattened legumes are obtained using cultivation techniques unchanged over the centuries: spring plowing and harrowing are followed by sowing (no later than mid-May). Weather conditions typical of the plateau allow the plants to ripen quickly, which allows farmers to harvest (called "hornbeam" when done by hand) as early as August, and to dry the plants before the rigors of autumn.

One of the distinctive features of these lentils is their skin, which is particularly thin and tender: a characteristic that allows them to be prepared in about twenty minutes, moreover without having to soften them in water. However, this does not prevent the lentil from easily holding its cooking time, making it suitable both for soups or stews and as a simple side dish.

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