The Maccheroncini di Campofilone bet on exports

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The Maccheroncini di Campofilone, produced within the 12 km. squares of the small village on the Fermo hills, are the only Italian dry egg pasta, and among the few in Europe, to have obtained the PGI indication 10 years ago. The district does not have the size or economic weight of the footwear district, but it has the ambition of becoming one of the points of reference within the food and wine supply chain of the Marche.

It is a long and very thin pasta, always less than a millimetre, and rich in chicken eggs, as many as ten for every kilo of semolina. The production is artisanal and follows the tradition of the local sfogline, the women who flatten the dough with a rolling pin until it becomes threads of golden veil; these are placed on sheets of food paper and left to dry at low temperatures. It is a very porous pasta to the touch and this means that it is able to absorb up to double its weight in ragù. The first traces date back to 1400, but it was at the beginning of the 20th century that they became the pasta used in noble houses, including that of Giacomo Leopardi, who mentions Maccheroncini di Campofilone among his favorite dishes.

And even today it is a niche production, which involves only six companies in the district (Marcozzi, La Campofilone, La Pasta di Campofilone di Marilungo, Pastificio artisana Carassai, F.lli De Carlonis and Spinosi), all family-run, which employ a total of just over 110 direct employees, artisan figures with skills that are passed down from parents to children.

The geographical indication Maccheroncini di Campofilone certifies on average, from 2011 to today, an average annual production of 90 tonnes, which also ends up on foreign markets and, in particular, in Germany, Austria and France. In the same way that macaroni is made, the district produces over a thousand tons of other dried pasta specialties.

After a few years of attempts, the companies managed to form a common front within a consortium, recognized by the Ministry of Agriculture and Food Sovereignty. «It is first and foremost an initiative for the benefit of consumers – explains the president Gabriele Marcozzi -, because it allows us to protect the PGI from the first imitations and clarifies the characteristics of the pasta and the place where it is produced». Being together also means opening up «to the United States, Canada, Arab and Asian countries, where artisanal and quality Italian pasta is sought after, strengthening international marketing actions» and making Maccheroncini di Campofilone PGI an intangible asset, «an integral part of attractive capacity of the Marche and not just the Fermo area”.

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