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Archive for September, 2006

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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 [...]

Gelato!!!

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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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Cascina Piola: A welcome place for family and friends
Five years ago I took a similar trip to Europe to volunteer on organic farms. I was traveling alone and spent most of my time in Italy. My first three months were on a large cooperative in the Maremma, the coastal region [...]

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Manchego cheese, information pills two types of chorizo, and the outstanding Pata Negra Bellota ham.
Most of our eating on this trip is on the farms. With the farm products of such high quality, restaurant eating seems a weak second by comparison. Despite this, we felt it was our responsibility to eat at least some [...]

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Cristobol hitches an uphill ride on Guapa’s tail
Vanessa and I spend most days with Cristobol, psychiatrist Alonso’s 87 year-old grandfather. When Alonso works construction on weekdays, this web it is Cristobol who walks with us for half an hour to the almond orchards. On our first day in the orchard Cristobol took a [...]

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A poached fresh-laid egg in a black bean soup, drug Andalucia
Access to truly fresh eggs is one of the great advantages of living on a farm. Every farm we have been on so far has chickens for the family’s use. They are easy to care for, eating leftovers and scraps from the kitchen, [...]

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