Many of us have our own food heritage—family recipes that have been passed down from generation to generation. In my family, this heritage centers around rustic Italian dishes passed down from my great-grandmother. Visits to my grandmother’s house were full of the smells of rosemary and tomato sauce and the quintessential dish of my childhood was Scorpelle. These delicate crepes are filled with parmesan cheese and submerged in a homemade chicken soup. My great-grandmother taught my grandmother. My grandmother taught my mother. My mother taught me, and in turn, I taught my son.
I’ve always been curious of the origins of this recipe as it never showed up in any of my Italian cookbooks. So, when we arrived at La Grande Quercia Bed & Breakfast in Teramo, I immediately asked our hosts, Russ and Sergio. Sergio is a native of Abruzzo and a chef. If anyone had an answer, he would. With a smile and a glint in his eye, he corrected me. “They are called Scrippelle. They are one of the regional dishes of Abruzzo, and there is even a Scrippelle festival every year.” Bingo!
Later that day, during a visit to Fano Adriano, we stopped in a tavern for a quick “snack.” As is typical in Italy, our snack turned into an amazing three course meal which included the best pasta e fagioli I’ve ever tasted and copious amounts of Montepulciano D’Abruzzo. Sergio turned to our waitress and asked her a question in Italian. He immediately started laughing and shaking his head. “In Fano Adriano, they are called Scorpelle. You were right all along.”