jen kalb's Profile

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Seeking tiny producer olive oil and/or cheese that's worth traveling for just to bring home a bottle or wheel

thanks for the update on this. we have had cheese, as well as of course pieces of sausage, confiscated in the past..
https://help.cbp.gov/app/answers/deta...

about 16 hours ago
jen kalb in Italy

Purchasing parmigiano reggiano and balsamic in ER

you certainly dont need to take a tour although if there is a tasting it is possibly useful in getting a sense of what the variations are like and what you would want to buy. Balsamic products are purchasable all over the place in these cities. However as Erica said, you need to know what you are doing (what the various consortium ratings mean, what to look for on the label) and what you are willing to pay. We usually wind up with one of the condiment types rather than the most expensive tradizionale.

1 day ago
jen kalb in Italy

Seeking tiny producer olive oil and/or cheese that's worth traveling for just to bring home a bottle or wheel

Hope you repost your Garda links

2 days ago
jen kalb in Italy

Seeking tiny producer olive oil and/or cheese that's worth traveling for just to bring home a bottle or wheel

Many wonderful cheeses may not be suitable souvenirs due to US import restrictions on cheeses aged less than 60 days and perishable nature. Solid info and labelling if possible is your friend.

2 days ago
jen kalb in Italy
1

Osterie d'Italia 2007 (English) or 2015 (Italian)?

Ditto. You want the current list. The app makes more sense for traveling than the heavy book.

May 22, 2015
jen kalb in Italy

Seeking tiny producer olive oil and/or cheese that's worth traveling for just to bring home a bottle or wheel

If you are looking for oil in Lombardy, I agree with Michael, Lago di Garda is the place to go. There are also excellent regional cheeses in that area the Brescia region, like Bitta (which I am thrilled to find here in NY but also others. good Restaurants in Brescia, Salo, Riviera del Garda etc will offer them, and perhaps can recommend a source. There are small oil producers of a fine quality oil in the villages along the SW corner of the lake.

I havent been to Piemonte, but there are reports here if you search of fine cheese stores and restaurants with excellent cheese offerings that could point you in the right direction.

Your tone was a bit breathless! It can be hard to recapture special experiences or bring them home, sometimes. Especially cheeses.

May 22, 2015
jen kalb in Italy
1

February 2015 COTM "MIGHTY SPICE COOKBOOK" Reporting thread for Chapters 1 & 2

there are lots of different tamarind products. I certainly prefer the wet tamarind blocks from thailand to the "TAMCON" type extract which has less fruit flavor. the blocks will last in the crisper drawer basically forever and the flavor does freshen up when they soaked in hot water and kneeded and strained to remove the fiber and seeds. You can also buy jars of less processed (than tamcon) tamarind extract in Indian stores. that may be less fuss and could be used pretty much strainght out of the jar (similar to the juice extracted soaking the fruit blocks). It would be silly to go to a lot of fuss over tamarind when using a quick type recipe from this book. Im not sure which kind you have.

May 22, 2015
jen kalb in Home Cooking

Calabrian Bergamot/Bitter Oranges in Manhattan

I have never seen these in the US but I guess they are occasionally available. I think they are even getting rare in Calabria,
http://www.citrusvariety.ucr.edu/citr...

I would love to taste one.

Wow, my favorite citrus (tree) company has these now. think I will order one and perhaps get a chance to taste one of these years!!. https://www.fourwindsgrowers.com/stor...

this is a different fruit from the larger citron (etrog) that comes for Succoth and is also candied and used in some liqueurs (for example cedro, made in the veneto). http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Citron

May 21, 2015
jen kalb in Manhattan

Recommendations for Venice, IT restaurants near the Biennale

PBSB, wondering, have you ever been to Da Franz, which is very close to the Bienniale site? Dai Tosi piccoli recommended above is good. its on Seco Marino at Castello 738. As I recall there may be a competing place across the street with the same name so be aware.

May 21, 2015
jen kalb in Italy

Trattoria Corte Sconta vs Antiche Carampane Which would you choose?

@minchelli, I havent been to Antiche Carampane (its still on my list for future visits) but since Corte Sconta's appetizer and indeed their whole cuisine is all lagoon seafood,it necessarily also has to be about absolutely fresh seafood, I cant see this as the basis of distinguishing between the two.

It will be good to see OP's report of her dinner.

May 21, 2015
jen kalb in Italy

Round out my Atlantic Ave run

Got it. know what you stand for. Personally (and not just because I am one of those transplants you refer to) Im glad that Sahadi has the dynamism to expand upon their base (and their big traditional wholesale business) to serve a newer, non-traditional clientele. I havent seen any degradation of their offerings over the last 35 years. Maybe they will be strong enought not get swept away by the Trader Joes and Fairways of the world.

May 20, 2015
jen kalb in Outer Boroughs

Round out my Atlantic Ave run

HUHHHHH? I dont see that at all. Its the same family owned business as always, just responsive to demands for a broader range of merchandise, more or less successfully. As far as damascus goes, its good but maybe as the community has changed it has lost some of its edge in terms of freshness.

Upcoming Puglia trip

sure, Dave
also you may want to check out this local website which has local restaurant listings and reviews in the area. while like discussion boards generally the recent traffic appears down, it could be helpful
http://iltaccodibacco.it/puglia/dove-...

May 20, 2015
jen kalb in Italy

Upcoming Puglia trip

wondering have you looked at the slowfood recommendations for this area? they have a downloadable app which, even though its in Italian could be really helpful. Their recommendations are typically for less expensive (they have a constrained price range) restaurants offering the authentic renditions of the local cuisine and tend to be very reliable.

It would probably make sense to reach out to your landlord in Carovigno for info about local markets and food sources. Here was one thing I found on a quick search
http://perfectpuglia.com/markets-and-...

May 20, 2015
jen kalb in Italy

Authentic, reasonable Milanese in city center?

you're not kidding! I did not make the excursion with the waiter, but my husband did.

May 19, 2015
jen kalb in Italy

In Search of Otak otak

as I recall Bali Nusa Indah is fairly bad - have not been back for many years.

May 19, 2015
jen kalb in Outer Boroughs

In Search of Otak otak

Ive seen places that have the fish pieces wrapped in banana leaf with curry paste as an entree (I think Laut is one - havent been) but not the fish paste recently

May 19, 2015
jen kalb in Outer Boroughs

Authentic, reasonable Milanese in city center?

I thought so too, yet that appears not to be the case from other reports here and online info including this
http://vivimilano.corriere.it/ristora...

May 19, 2015
jen kalb in Italy

Gem between Siracusa and Agrigento; La Madia in Licata

hope you respond if you ate there - just saw this and if you page past their fixed price menus on the website they have a la carte offerings.

May 19, 2015
jen kalb in Italy

Authentic, reasonable Milanese in city center?

You mean Latteria di San Marco, right? Thats a wonderful oldfashioned place for lunch and I believe they do also serve dinner. Tiny tables, excellent for singles.

There is another (unrelated) latteria, Latteria Vecchia Vegetariano on via Unione, but more I cant tell you.

SpottedbyLocals has an active Milan page.

May 18, 2015
jen kalb in Italy

Moroccan groceries / preserved lemons

you may want to check more closely at Kalyustan. There isnt a big Moroccan population here (which may affect the availability of convenience products like you cite) but Kalyustan offers ras el hanout (to season your couscous, la kama, chermoula, dried mix and several prepared versions of harissa as well as an infinitude of chiles and other esoteric ingredients like grains of paradise and cubeb peppers if you want to make your own spice blends for moroccan cooking. Ive never come up short trying to cook Paula Wolfert's recipes - but that may be the same as what your are used to from the European diaspora

Hope you report back if you make any progress.

May 18, 2015
jen kalb in Manhattan

Where to find meyer lemons?

costco often has them but I didnt look on my last visit so they may be finished. Fairway and TJ also offer them occasionally when in season.

May 16, 2015
jen kalb in Outer Boroughs

Wegmans coming to Brooklyn in 2017

are opening on Rt 10 in Morris County NJ also.

May 16, 2015
jen kalb in Outer Boroughs

Honeymoon in Italy (Genoa, Cinque Terre, Bologna, Modena, Parma, Venice, Tuscany, and Florence)

however note there are some new posters downthread who would probably love more info if anyone can share

May 16, 2015
jen kalb in Italy

Fornovo di Taro

there are quite a number of good restaurants in the "bassa parmense" - the po plain area just north of the E-W autostrada before you make your turn. it includes towns such as Busseto, Soragna, Zibello, Polesine Parmense. south.http://www.bassaparmense.it/ospitalit....
La Buca and da Ivan for example have been much recommended here. We enjoyed the culatello and other specialties at Cavallino Bianco in Polesine Parmense on the banks of the po. Its about 20 min north of the highway.

I dont have any personal recommendations once you swing south, but that amioparere discussion website was founded in Parma and should have (if its still active) a lot of recommendations for the surrounding countryside. At least they still did the last time we explored that region.

Good luck!

May 15, 2015
jen kalb in Italy

Fornovo di Taro

the google page on my phone says it is permanently closed (sometimes you can misread the closing info if you search during hours when the restaurant is closed but this is not that situation. Why not call one of the phone numbers and see if you can get an answer?

May 15, 2015
jen kalb in Italy

Lunch stop-driving from Florence to Castagnole Lanze in Piemonte

thats true - we took the bus up the SS1 from Rapallo train station and it was a fairly quick trip. I dont know how that route (or backtracking from farther north) compares timewise to drive from the autostrada to Ne - it was maybe 20 min from central Chiavari on a Sunday.It also would take sometime to get from the autostrada to parking in Chiavari and then walk into the pedestrian area where Luchin is.

but all these destinations are very much worth a visit, depending on what kind of meal is wanted. I was just thinking that coming from Tuscany to Piemonte a sea-focussed meal might be an option to consider.

May 15, 2015
jen kalb in Italy

Lunch stop-driving from Florence to Castagnole Lanze in Piemonte

These are great recommendations.
Luchin would be best for a quicker meal - you would have to park and walk into the historic center for this. Their crunchy farinata, soups and ragu are all excellent (wine not). Chiavari is a nice town for a stroll with a good market several days a week.

La Brinca has a view over the countryside. Its a ways off the highway up a narrow valley. They serve a hyperlocal land cuisine very well cooked, very pleasant and civilized. Not for a fast stop. Need to check whether they are serving lunch the day you are passing through - when last we checked they were not open at lunch all week long.

If you want to have sea cuisine in another beautiful civilized setting you can check out Nonna Nina in San Rocco di Camogli, on the Monte de Portofino peninsula. There is some discussion of this on a current Portfino thread. If you go, they offer both land and sea cuisines. Both are good (in some respects some of the land dishes were better than the same items at La Brinca the same week) but the sea cuisine was even better - my husband's stuffed totani were amazing and we ate them as slowly as possible.

May 15, 2015
jen kalb in Italy

Fornovo di Taro

May 15, 2015
jen kalb in Italy

Portofino Difficulties

If you want a very civilized delicious meal, you could travel to the other side of Monte Portofino, to Nonna Nina, a slowfood place in the village of San Rocco perched above Camogli. You could walk (hike) there through the Portofino Park or take a bus or cab, and then perhaps take a boat back. I believe the boats stop both at Camogli and at the boat landing down the mountainside from San Rocco. either way it is a lovely place to visit and would be a memorable meal. They serve both the land and sea cuisine of the area and accompanying regional wines and the cooking technique is excellent. We visited by train and bus from Chiavari two years ago at lunchtime and it was a memorable visit and meal. The walk down to Camogli is gradual and pleasant and the views from San Rocco are stunning.

Search for other accounts of this area - I think someone wrote about the eating place in San Fruttuoso fairly recently.

There have also been mentions of meals in Rapallo and Santa Margherita Ligure which are easily reachable from Portfino.

May 14, 2015
jen kalb in Italy