The symbol of an ancient cuisine in direct contact with fire

Arrosticini, besides being delicious, are a symbol of Abruzzese culture as they represent celebration and the joy of spending time outdoors in good company.

Born out of the shepherds’ need to use up the smaller pieces left after butchering a sheep, these small skewers with a strong flavor have won over the entire Italy. Today, it is possible to find them in every city, but unfortunately, there are also variations made with chicken or pork that have retained only the name of arrosticino.

The true arrosticino, however, is made exclusively with lamb meat, cooked strictly over charcoal embers, and eaten piping hot, without any seasoning other than a sprinkle of salt.

Arrosticini, the typical Abruzzese skewers of sheep meat (3 of 3)

Traditional arrosticini, cooked on small custom-made grills known as “canalette,” are indeed very thin. The thickness of the meat, which is less than two centimeters, allows for quick cooking, ensuring that the outside doesn’t burn or become tough.

One characteristic of arrosticini is that their cooking requires continuous attention. The cook must regularly turn the skewers placed in the grooves on the edges of the canaletta to ensure even cooking on all sides. This, coupled with the fact that they must be eaten immediately after cooking, makes them the highlight of any family barbecue or outdoor gathering with friends.

After making its way down from the mountains where it originated, the arrosticino in Vasto has taken on a gourmet dimension that has enriched the possibilities of enjoying it in other contexts, such as restaurants. Some “DOC” variations have been created, which are even more delicious than the original ones:

Hand-cut Arrosticini

Made with the same ovine meats, they are larger and weigh approximately twice as much as a regular arrosticino. A bit more challenging to cook with household tools, if cooked on a professional grill at the right temperature, they remain much softer and juicier than traditional arrosticini.

Liver Arrosticini

They are made with beef liver and onion. More difficult to find, they are extremely flavorful and a true delight.

Ventricina arrosticini

They are made with pork meat marinated with crushed crusco pepper (dried sweet pepper) and spices. They are significantly larger, almost three times the size of a regular arrosticino, and are typical of the Vasto area. Once cooked, they acquire a vibrant color that pairs with an incredibly explosive flavor!

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