What do celebrity chef Anthony Bourdain and I have in common? Absolutely nothing until I spent a Sunday afternoon in late October drinking wine and sampling porchetta and salumi at Antica Macelleria Cecchini in Panzano in Chianti. Now I am part of a select confraternity of those whose motto is “meglio spendere soldi dal macellaio … Continue reading What Do Anthony Bourdain and I Have in Common?
Just returned from from Venice whose fatal charm is still as strong as ever despite the crowded vaporetti and tourist hype. The reflected light off the water still shines as unique and beautiful reflecting onto the colors of the buildings and still magically morphs into shadows. The light of Venice is legendary. Canaletto’s 18th century scenes of … Continue reading A Venetian Shadow
You like polenta right? . . . and you like cheese. Then you're ready to smoosh the two together in a Northern Lombardian dish from Bergamo called schisola (schisol) which means “squished” in the Bergamascan dialect. Bergamo is located in the scenic Italian foothills, a 45 minute train ride from Milan. The town is both modern and … Continue reading Let’s Get Smashed in Bergamo
Americans just don’t get pasta. They cook it and eat it all wrong. They vilify its nutritional benefits. They overcook it, over sauce it, over eat it and in doing so miss out on one of the truly great foods of the world. This versatile, healthy, satisfying food is misused and abused and yet keeps … Continue reading The White Ghost of Pasta
A recent trip to Ikea for a bottle of elderflower syrup was needed to complete my reminiscence of Hugo. If you've traveled in the Trentino- Alto Adige region of Northern Italy you've probably met up with him at an aperitivo bar where he can always be found making everyone happy. He is refreshing and light, popular … Continue reading Meet Hugo – The Alpine Spritz
It's almost summer and that means a day at the grill. Italians love to cook over an open flame. Wood-fired pizza, the infamous Tuscan T-bone (bistecca alla fiorentina) and one of Italy's all-time favorite dishes arrosto di porchetta allo spiedo (spit roasted sucking pig). This recipe is right up my grill, a regional preparation from the … Continue reading A Bundle of Rosemary and Red Wine
The white cattle Vacca Chianina (kya-NEE-na) of the Val di Chiana may be one of the oldest breeds of cattle. They were used as models for Roman sculptures. I have seen them grazing in pastures outside the town of Citta’ di Castello in Umbria and the hillsides of Tuscany near Abazzia San’Antimo. They are very impressive … Continue reading A Rite of Passage for the Taste Traveler in Italy