The paccasassi plants are part of the culinary tradition of Ancona. The paccasassi, commonly known as marine fennel, grows spontaneously in the summer, in the coastal areas, among the rocks and pebbles, favored by the salt, the sun and the wind that characterize the taste. The paccasassi have numerous nutritional virtues. They are rich in vitamin C, betacatotene, flavonoids and iodine.
They have diuretic and digestive properties and help to regularize and improve liver functions.
The paccasassi have been a part of the culinary tradition of Ancona since the fifteenth century, when even the sailors took care of them. Known and even sung in the nineteenth century by the English playwright Shakespeare in his work "King Lear".
This aromatic plant has a smell that recalls fennel, lemon and carrot, with a slightly bitter and spicy taste. Preserved in extra virgin olive oil, it goes perfectly with fish dishes, seafood salads and tuna, as well as cold cuts such as mortadella, ciauscolo and cheeses.
They are also suitable as a condiment on pasta and pizza.
The paccasassi plant is a species protected by the Conero Park, where the collection is forbidden, and by the Slow Food Ancona Conero Foundation, which promotes the protection of biodiversity.
Today, in fact, farmed plants are cultivated with respect to the original quality.