The local cuisine boasts ancient traditions linked to sheep breeding and agriculture.
The so-called sagne are widespread all over the territory: a dough mixture based on water and flour to eat with beans, with the traditional homemade mutton, or with veal and pork meat sauce with the truffles the local forests are rich in. Among the delicacies, the saffron powder from Aterno Valley, obtained from the traditional processing, seasons several traditional dishes. The delicious pecorino cheese is still produced according to the ancient working techniques: you can eat it with the sweet and scented mountain honey. In Gagliano Aterno, tasty almond desserts like amaretti, confortini, galeotti, and letizie are still prepared according to the ancient recipes handed down by the nuns of Santa Chiara Monastery. The so-called miscischia is a characteristic processing method used by shepherds, and it is still occasionally used in Castelvecchio Subequo and Castel di Ieri. It is a rather difficult method used to dry sheep or goat meat requiring the skillful use of different spices and mountain herbs; once the meat has been processed and seasoned, it gets dried with the smoke produced by dry and dampened elder burning. This process must be carried out three times a day for a whole week.
You can find further information inAtlante dei Prodotti Tipici dei Parchi (Italian text), an atlas dealing with the extraordinary heritage of typicality and tradition deriving from the knowledge and the professions created by the centuries-old presence of man. The atlas is edited by Slow Food, sponsored by the Italian Ministry of the Environment and supported by Federparchi and Legambiente.