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  • Writer's pictureStefania Gioia

Le Marmellate di Rosi

On the foothills near Vicenza, Le Marmellate di Rosi creates delicious compotes of spontaneous herbs, field picked flowers and ancient fruits, to be paired with a variety of cheeses and meats. One hundred per cent natural, totally handmade.

It is said that “autumn carries more gold in his pocket than all the other seasons”, and it couldn’t be any truer in Veneto, where several foothills (so called zone pedemontane) maintain a high level of biodiversity and the land offers a wide range of fruits, vegetables and spontaneous herbs. While hunting for a story worth to be told, I run into a small farm on the hills of Marostica, the charming Medieval town popular for its human chess game.

Frutteto Antico’s farm, located 600 mt above sea level and protected by hills from the cold Northern winds, boasts 6 hectares of slopes with terraces, where fruits and vegetables have been grown with natural methods since the end of 1400. Right here, 22 years ago Rossella Frigo and her husband bought the farm, achieving a dream whose seeds had been planted during their frequent trips to France.

Passionate about cheeses, in France the couple would spend time visiting the many dairy farms and tasting their typical, delicious products.

It was during one of these trips that Rossella began to learn the rudiments of fruit transformation. French method involves short cookings, low temperatures, pasteurization of the flesh before blending with the syrup: as a result, the compote has less added sugar and an intense flavor of fresh-picked fruit, concentrated to at least 65%.

Raised in a small town of the foothills, Rossella, as a child, was taught by her grandmother to forage for spontaneous herbs and berries, largely used in the traditional cuisine. Fond of those memories, she started to cook her compotes exclusively with wild herbs, field picked flowers and ancient fruits, rediscovering ingredients such as the uva Baco’, a sweet variety of grape that almost disappeared nowadays.

In life nothing happens by accident, and putting together her grandma’s teachings, the acquired cooking techniques and her love for cheeses, finally Rossella gave life to Le Marmellate di Rosi, a small laboratory that produces 30 types of compotes in 5 production lines, utilizing only spontaneous herbs and flowers, ancient and forgotten fruits, vegetables from the garden.

Hand-picked by Rossella, the ingredients are manually mixed, creating unique flavors that pair with interesting cheeses and selected meats.

Roasted chestnuts and must, evoking Marostica’s Medieval age, match with blue-veined or aged cheese and dry meats; ancient apple and elderflower are well paired with cheeses such as Emmentaler DOP or Gruyere; medlar and dog rose, a little spicy mix, is perfect with aged cheese and white meat. From the garden, Rosi combined pumpkin, quince and mustard; cabbage and juniper; rhubarb and ancient cherry…

Rosi’s creative mixes, following the natural sequence of the seasons and enhancing ancient times’ flavors, became a precious heritage, not only for the natives, but also for whoever is interested in tasting homemade, natural products, whose production chain can be verified step by step.

Her strong personality and original ideas made this lab a unique gem that’s hard to discover: in fact, Rosi is not interested in expanding, as her first goal is high quality, as far as possible from industrial factors.

Have a Glass in Venice is happy and proud to include this extraordinary experience in its regional wine and food tours.

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