All of us at the Relais del Maro have a passion in common, which perhaps many of you have noticed: good eating and drinking!
But that’s not all. We especially like to discover those products hidden in the centuries-old traditions of our valleys. During our research, the Natural Park of the Ligurian Alps was among the first we explored; its area stretches between the Arroscia Valley and the Argentina Valley, both rich in unique products.
Among these, the king is undoubtedly the Vessalico Garlic: a Slow Food presidium for its unique characteristics such as its delicate aroma, an intense almost spicy flavour and, above all, its extreme shelf life: when my grandfather brings me some, I can keep it in the fridge and use it for months! (Did you know that… the first weekend of July there is the Garlic Festival in Vessalico – 15 minutes from Relais del Maro)
Another product not to be missed is Brigasca sheep’s milk toma cheese, a Slow Food presidium in this area: its production has been linked to this territory for hundreds of years and its unique processing characteristics give it a strong flavour.
If the first two products are perhaps better known, you have to be a little more local to get to know Carpasina: it is a barley bread typical of Carpasio (a small village in the Arroscia Valley half an hour from Relais del Maro), similar to the more famous Apulian frisella. A bread as hard as stone, ‘pan d’ordiu‘, barley bread, indeed, stone-ground.
It is eaten in the fields, in the mountains, with a head of garlic (strictly from Vessalico) rubbed in before being soaked in spring water mixed with red wine vinegar. Then it is crumbled and mixed with tomato, anchovy, capers, onion, basil… a sort of pan bagnà from the Ligurian Alps.
And these are just some of the products we offer at the Relais, where the watchword is always: GO LOCAL!