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The history of Umbria has also been influenced from a gastronomic point of view. A large part of the region was inhabited first by the Etruscans and then by the Romans. These civilizations had a considerable influence on the Umbrian table that is still obvious still today, especially in the use of legumes and cereals, above all wheat and farro (one of the first cereals or grasses to be introduced into the Meditteranean countries). These ingredients were used as the basis for many ancient recipes.

During the Middle Ages, gastronomic culture eminated mainly from the monasteries which produced tasty dishes with as much attention given to the making as to parsimony, in making molto con poco (a lot with little).

The many faithful observances of religious festivals where the Church imposed fasting regimes or dictated an avoidance of meat, also influenced the daily kitchen forcing it to resort, as it does today, to vegetables, herbs, fragrant grasses and also to the abundant produce from the Umbrian lakes.

In the traditional kitchen it is possible to discern subtle shades of difference in the dishes produced across the various geographic zones that emphasize the particular diversities for a specific locality. They are neighbors, and therefore similar, but not identical.

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