What is Brustico

What is Brustico

Brustico is a typical local dish commonly prepared in the territories of  Lakes Trasimeno, Chiusi, and Montepulciano. The name traces its origins from the vernacular “abbrustolire” which means “to burn”.

The origins of this dish probably date back to the first fishermen of the area. It can be prepared almost anywhere as it requires only a quick fire and very basic ingredients.

To prepare the dish it was necessary to make a ground fire with the cane found near the shores of the lakes and cook the fish whole directly upon it.

When the fish is done cooking their scales and skin should be entirely blackened and burned. The fish is then scraped cleaned and their innards, almost completely evaporated, are removed. The fish is dressed with extra virgin olive oil, salt, lemon, and vinegar.

This dish represents one of the strongest culinary traditions of Castiglione del Lago, or more precisely, the area once known as Chiugi Perugino (Chiusi Perugian) which comprises the western shore of Trasimeno and the eastern portions of Lakes Chiusi and Montepulciano.

Dishes such as the Tegamaccio (a soup made with various types of lake fish and cooked in clay pots) would be served as a single course meal.

Today these traditions are maintained in certain restaurants in the area, local feasts, and the memory of families from Castiglione.

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