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Lard to Lardo - moved from Italy board

I haven't ordered Lardo online since I swing by Colonnata whenever I have a chance. If you are ever there, make sure you also have lunch at "Venanzio" an amazing restaurant. If you do buy a chunk of vacuum-packed Lardo, after you open it make sure you keep it in the crisper where it's not too cold, in a ceramic bowl covered with a moist towel. Don't wait too long to eat it, if it turns pale pink from snow white, it's spoiling. Keep the salt crust on until you are ready to eat., then scrape off enough salt to uncover the exact amount you are planning to eat, then slice with a slicer in paper-thin slices and put on top of warm Tuscan bread. Plain or with a few thin tomato slices. Or you can use Lardo slices to wrap meet bundles, around filet mignon (secure with toothpicks). I cannot reiterate enough what a marvel of a food this is... a true nature wonder! Only eat lardo from Colonnata or its cousin Lardo from Arnaz (a small town in Valdaosta). Accept no imitations.

Aug 03, 2010
kappasan9 in General Topics

Salt Cod and Clam Stew

Yes, it's called Baccala' and you need to soak it for 2-3 days, changing water as often as possible. Once soaked, it will double in size, inspect it with your fingers to make sure there are no bones. If you find bones, pull them out with tweezers. Some lower-grade baccala' also may have skin or pieces of skin on one side of the filet, you need to remove all skin after soaking. Pat dry with paper towels and cook according to directions. I've cooked this fish a lot since it's a classic in my hometown Genoa, Italy. It's the best non-fresh fish you'll ever have and there are many different ways of cooking it. Don't add too much salt while cooking since, in spite of the soaking, it retains a distinctive saltiness. It's excellent deep fried in flour/yeast/beer batter, marinated with white vinegar/rosemary or stewed with potatoes, mushrooms, green olives, carrots, little tomato sauce, white wine. Contact me if you have any questions.

Aug 03, 2010
kappasan9 in Recipes

Real Italian Food Vs. American Italian Food

Ciao, I am Italiano born and raised in Italy and I can give many examples:

no meatballs with your spaghetti
no Alfredo or Marinara sauces
no over-sauced, overcooked pasta
no substitutions
better ingredients, many unavailable in the US
more variety
regional cooking, we have 20 regions in Italy, each with distinctive cuisine

Jul 21, 2010
kappasan9 in General Topics

Real Italian Food Vs. American Italian Food

Real Italian food is cooked by Italians who are born and raised in Italy.

Jul 21, 2010
kappasan9 in General Topics
1

Real Italian Food Vs. American Italian Food

That is correct.

Jul 21, 2010
kappasan9 in General Topics

*July 2010 COTM - ITALIAN EASY: Pasta

Wrong. Pancetta can be eaten raw since it is salt/pepper cured. Cooking prosciutto is also wrong (most of the time) and Gordon Ramsay is clueless when it comes to authentic Italian food.

Jul 13, 2010
kappasan9 in Home Cooking

*July 2010 COTM - ITALIAN EASY: Pasta

Amen. Ingredient substitution is just wrong. Shut up and eat the pancetta or eat something else altogether.

Jul 13, 2010
kappasan9 in Home Cooking

Suckling Pig

I've seen Chinese, Thai, Italians, Argentines and Brazilians roasting over wood fire. The scent of the wood and the extreme heat work wonders on fat and skin.

Jul 03, 2010
kappasan9 in Home Cooking

Suckling Pig

I can't possibly imagine why one would use canola oil on a suckling pig... extra-virgin olive oil all the way.

Jul 03, 2010
kappasan9 in Home Cooking

Pancetta and Pepper Pizza

You can't make focaccia with pizza dough. Focaccia dough is completely different.

May 23, 2010
kappasan9 in Recipes

Lard to Lardo - moved from Italy board

My dad is from Carrara, just below Colonnata and I've been to Colonnata many times. The Lardo di Colonnata is truly unbelievable and a real culinary marvel. One cannot even imagine how good and delicate this food is until you actually taste it. My wife was instantly addicted! I've noticed that the best tasting experience is eating freshly sliced Lardo directly in Colonnata with some warm bread or focaccia. I've noticed that packing the meat and taking it away begins a slow deterioration process probably due to climatic changes. Therefore the best-tasting Lardo I've eaten (and I have eaten a lot of it, even smuggled several kilos to Los Angeles) is right in Colonnata. There is also a problem with knock-off industrial lardo that is sold as Lardo di Colonnata but isn't. Naturally, buying it directly in Colonnata or from one of the several local producers (mostly from the Guadagni family) is the way to go. I LOVE LARDO DI COLONNATA!!!

Mar 29, 2010
kappasan9 in General Topics

Balsamic Vinegar on Pizza???

No. The acidity of the vinegar overpowers the sweetness of the basil and the subtle flavor of the mozzarella. In Italy no one uses balsamic on mozzarella because all you would taste is the balsamic, not the mozzarella.

Dec 22, 2009
kappasan9 in General Topics