Fico Secco Reale di Atessa (Presidio Slow Food)
Until a few decades ago Atessa had a vast production of dried figs; today some young people have decided to recover this tradition, with the support of the Slow Food Presidium.
The town has a history that dates back to Roman times and has a millenary link with the cultivation of this fruit: the first dried fig was found in a Roman villa in the town of Acquachiara and dates back to the first century BC. Also famous was the nougat of dried figs.
The real fig is a very popular variety, ideal for drying. Between mid-August and the end of September, the figs are picked by hand one by one and placed in driers, made of small reeds tied together. They are dried whole or halved, then enriched with a walnut kernel and baked until they are caramel-coloured. Still warm, they are recomposed and put to rest, with bay leaves, in a dark and dry place. Their goodness and long preservation have made Atessa's caracines famous; they are used for different recipes: sweets, jams, desserts, in the preparation of meat, bread and biscuits.