Economic Botany

, Volume 49, Issue 1, pp 26–30 | Cite as

Pistic, traditional food from Western Friuli, N.E. Italy

  • Maurizio G. Paoletti
  • A. L. Dreon
  • G. G. Lorenzoni


Western Friuli, Italy, there is a small area near the town of Pordenone where an ancient rite of spring is still carried out. This is the preparation of a special dish, known as “pistic,” a collection of 56wild herbaceous meadow and wood plants which are boiled and then sautéed together. This practice is still alive in a few areas of Friuli today and possibly goes back to pre-Roman Celtic cultures in this part of Friuli. The number of herbaceous plants used in this dish is extraordinarily high (56), especially when compared to the low number normally used in other conventional dishes. “Pistic” is therefore important, not only because it represents a quantitatively high use of wild herbs in the diet of the rural population, but also because it reflects environmental awareness, in that the archaic method of naming, identifying and using these plants still exists today. Similar rural practices include the use of “pot herbs” in Great Britain and in France the cooking of “mesclun.”

Key Words

edible weeds Friuli northeastern Italy pre-Roman food preparation Celtic culture 

Le Pistic, un plat traditionnel de l’ouest du Frioule (Nord-est de l’ltalie), fait á partir de plus de cinquante plantes sauvages


Dans le Val Colvera, dans louest de Frioule, au nord-est de lltalie, il existe une petite région, prés de la ville de Pordenone oú un ancien rituel printanier a toujours cours. Il sagit de la préparation dun plat spécial, connu sous le nom del “Pistic,” á base de 56 especes herbacées sauvages des prés et des bois, qui sont bouillies, puis rissolées ensemble. Cette pratique est toujours vivante dans quelques régions du Frioule et il est possible de la retrouver jusque dans les cultures celtique, pre-romaines, qui une et des actives dans cette partie du Frioule. Le nombre despéces herbacées utilisées est exceptionnellement élevé (56), spécialement quand on le compare au nombre normalement bas despéces utilisées dans dautres plats. Le Pistic est done important, non seulement parce quil représente un usage important dherbes sauvages dans le régime des populations rurales, mais aussi parce que la nomenclature archaïque, utilisée encore actuellement pour identifier ces plantes est toujours en usage, refléte une sensibilité a lenvironment.


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Copyright information

© The New York Botanical Garden 1995

Authors and Affiliations

  • Maurizio G. Paoletti
    • 1
  • A. L. Dreon
    • 1
  • G. G. Lorenzoni
    • 1
  1. 1.Dipartimento di BiologiaUniversita Degli Studi di PadovaPadovaItaly

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