Cucina cucina

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Chickling


The cicerchia (chickling) is a climbing herbaceous plant similar to that of peas; today it is rare, but in Umbria it is still used in a variety of vegetable and minestrone soups of ancient traditions.
Until about ten years ago in the late spring the beans, chickpeas and cicerchie were seeded, generally between the maize, exploiting the existing spaces between one furrow and the other. In August there were harvested the shrubs loaded with pods which were left to hang on sunny walls until they were ready for threshing. Once threshed, the cicerchia was cleaned and the last chaff of the pod shattered and dispersed by the soft afternoon breeze, then the cicerchia was ventilated manually in the shade of a large elm.
Today the cicerchia is a cereal at risk of extinction, fortunately however it is the object of renewed interest on the part of some cooks, above all those in Umbria and the Marches, who promote the rediscovery proposing it as a substitute for beans in various dishes that enjoy great success.

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