The village of Colfiorito, near Foligno, is located on a plateau immersed in the green of the Apennines between Umbria and le Marche, at about 800 metres above sea level. You can reach it via the SS77 Val di Chienti and when you arrive at the pass of Colfiorito, it becomes immediately obvious what the local industry is. Along the sides of the road, you'll see farmers selling local products: different varieties of legumes and the famous patata rossa (red potato), which is the symbol, par excellence, of the area and to which the festival/fair which has taken place in every August since 1978 is dedicated.
The patata rossa di Colfiorito does not originate from the area but derives from the Dutch variety Désirée and has flourished thanks to the climate of the plateau, the abundance of water, the composition and fertility of the soil as well as the altitude of the land. The red potato has very particular features which distinguish it from the classic white variety: its typical red skin, yellow flesh and its oval, elongated shape.
It is particularly popular for making gnocchi thanks to its consistency and is often used in the preparation of frittate and focacce, as an accompaniment to main courses dressed with rosemary, thyme, oregano or parsley, or simply cooked over embers, with the addition of oil and salt. The versatile red potato of Colfiorito is also used in the preparation of the famous fried sweet doughnuts.
Among the local products of the Colfiorito territory we also want to highlight the delicious legumes including the lenticchia di Colfiorito (lentil of Colfiorito), lesser known and smaller than the one from Castelluccio di Norcia, but just as tasty. It is a high-quality product, delicious in stews, as a purée or in soups and it doesn't need to be soaked before cooking.
Other characteristic products from the plateau are spelt, beans, chickpeas, cicerchie (grass peas) and roveja, a legume similar to the pea but of a dark brown, reddish or dark green colour with a flavour similar to the broad bean. Roveja is cultivated in very few plots of land in the territory and boasts a high protein content, is low in fat and contains important minerals like phosphorous and potassium. Its cultivation had been progressively abandoned because of the large amount of manual labour required, but today, it has been rediscovered and valued as a niche product. In this area there are also numerous cheese factories, where you can buy cheeses of the highest quality directly from local producers.