Springtime in Friuli

In April, around the perimeter walls of the star-shaped fortress-city of Palmanova in northern Italy, you can expect to see people out in force, armed with plastic bags, some even with scissors, searching the grassy banks for a certain plant. What is it?

The answer is “sclupit”, as it is called in Friulano. In Italian it is known asstridolo. In English it is the bladder campion (Selene cucubalus). The young leaves are gathered in spring and used to lend a subtle, slightly aromatic flavour to risottos, omelettes and pasta dishes.

The Union of Friuli Venezia Giulia cooks (Unione Cuochi Friuli Venezia Giulia) recommends a delicious seasonal recipe of ravioli filled with sclupit, ricotta and montasio cheese and served in a butter and asparagus sauce.

The picture here shows a sprig of sclupit resting on the editor’s annotated copy of Blue Guide Northern Italy .

For a full glossary and miscellany of Italian food, with over 2,500 Italian food terms translated (and pronunciation given), see the handy pocket-format Blue Guide Italy Food Companion. Don’t leave your hotel without it!

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