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Archive for the 'Italy' Category


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Mario on horseback with his sheep following
After an overnight train ride down the Adriatic Coast, during which Vanessa and I were nearly robbed by two thugs, we have arrived at Colavecchio Borraro Farm in the mountains of Molise. Forty-five minutes west through the mountains by car is Naples, and [...]

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Giuseppe has many fruit trees on his farm. Some are rare varieties of pears and apples that are native to Piedmont. The quality of his fruit is exceptionally high and there is an abundance of it. Piero will take crates of pears and apples back to Cascina Piola to add [...]

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Piero, left, and Giuseppe
Vanessa and I have made plans to travel south to the region of Molise, Italy, for two weeks, where we will learn to work as shepherds on a dairy farm. We had a few hours to spare before catching our overnight train, so Piero took us to a [...]

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Grape Must and Autumn Fruits Stew Together to Make a Classic Piemontese Condiment
The time of the wine harvests in the Monferrato is also a time to make mostarda d’uva, called cognà in the Piemontese dialect, a fruit conserve whose primary ingredient is the grape must from the harvest. The name is misleading: there [...]

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Farinata: a crispy top crust with rosemary and a custard center
Piero and I went alone today to his vineyard in Strevi to collect the cortese grapes, a white variety native to Piemonte. He has a small number of cortese vines, so the two of us were able to do the job [...]

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Raffa just taught me an extremely simple and delicious dish from Italy’s cucina povera tradition: uove strapazzate colle costole, or scrambled eggs with swiss chard. It makes a great light lunch or dinner.
Take the stems from white swiss chard, cut them into one-half inch segments, and boil in salted water [...]

Brasato Al Barolo

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Mise en Place for Brasato al Barolo
Brasato al Barolo, a simple braise of beef and red wine, is one of Piemonte’s classic dishes. The traditional wine to use is, as the name indicates, Barolo, which is made from the nebbiolo grape, and is one of Italy’s most expensive wines. For [...]


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Vanessa with Fiorio’s Gianduja Gelato: Her Expression Says It All
Today we had a day free to walk around Torino. Four years have passed since the last time I was here and my priorities were set: gelato, gelato, and some more gelato.
Our first stop had to be Fiorio, located at [...]

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Raffa, whose parents moved from Naples to Torino when she was young, makes hands-down the best eggplant parmigiana (called melanzane alla parmigiana, in Italian.) She uses eggplant from her farm, which are exceptionally sweet and creamy when fried. She slices them into one centimeter-thick rounds and fries them [...]

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Dolcetto, the Piemontese grape
The period just before the wine harvest is a critical and stressful one for wine makers. Piero had made a preliminary trip to his vineyard in Strevi earlier this week, anxiously examining the dolcetto grapes to decide which day would be best for the harvest. An extra few days [...]

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