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Italian ideas for using chestnut honey?

Pecorino toscano from Pienza, pears and chestnut honey. Our Italian cousins introduced this combination to us on our first trip to Italy and for the past 16 years I come back just for a taste!

Jun 13, 2013
per me in Home Cooking

Honeys from around the world--share your favorites!

Italian vs French, well don't discount the Italian chestnut honey yet. There is a nicely balanced chestnut honey available at www.cosituttimarketplace.com worth a try. Paired with pears and pecorino you can't go wrong.

Oct 25, 2009
per me in General Topics

What food find still haunts you - that you had once and haven't found since?

On a recent trip to Italy, visiting my Italian cousins, I ate peacock (pavone) at their friends house in Treviso. Treviso, a city of canals, is near Venice and Venetian opulence seems to have made it's presence known at that meal. The eating of various birds in Italy is not so unusual. Italian's frequently cook all types of poultry; chicken (pollo), guinea fowl which they call faraona, duck (anatra), spit roasted pigeons (piccioni allo spiedo), goose (oca) and pheasant (fagiano) but I had never eaten peacock. Our meal began with a broth (brodo) made of peacock with nidi d'amore (love nests), a type of pasta filled with ground veal. The pavone (peacock) meat was jointed, braised and served on the bone presented on a giant platter. The peacock legs were carved because they were quite large; much larger than a turkey. The meat was dark but very flavorful and didn't taste gamey at all. We were also served a goose prepared in a similar manner and an Italian meatloaf. When we drove up to the farm (fattoria) there were peacocks roaming the grounds. Little did I know they would be part of the afternoon meal.

Oct 23, 2009
per me in General Topics

Honeys from around the world--share your favorites!

Did I say my favorite honey was miele di castagno (chestnut honey) from Tuscany? Can you have two favorites? If you can my other would be millefiori Italian honey infused with black truffles. There should be a warning on the label of this honey that says "Extraordinarily Addictive".

Oct 23, 2009
per me in General Topics

Honeys from around the world--share your favorites!

My favorite honey is miele di castagno (chestnut honey), an artisan Italian honey made from the nomadic bees of Tuscany. The one I favor is made by a certain Tuscan apiculturist who transports his beehives to seasonally flowering zones and the protected national parks along Tuscany's Etruscan coast . When I'm in Italy I eat chestnut honey drizzled over a slice of Pecorino Toscano cheese served with fresh pears at my cousin's table but the molasses like aroma and flavor of this honey goes really well with my morning oatmeal in the States.

Oct 23, 2009
per me in General Topics

Spaghettini with San Marzano Red Clam Sauce (Spaghettini con Vongole in Sugo Rosso)

Oh, by the way, in my cousin's recipe there was no basil, no sugar, no red pepper flakes and the tomatoes were passata di pomodori or "mashed tomatoes", a puree in a jar.

Sep 20, 2009
per me in Recipes

Spaghettini with San Marzano Red Clam Sauce (Spaghettini con Vongole in Sugo Rosso)

I just had two of the best meals I've ever had in Italy and they both were Spaghetti con Vongole (spaghetti with fresh clams). One was at my cousin Lidia's house in Sesto San Giovanni outside of Milano. She gave me her recipe which is very similar to the original post but insisted I must use vongole verace, the small ridged clams from the Veneto. I'm back home now and craving this dish. Little neck clams from Long Island will have to do! but can you get good ones in the Midwest?

Sep 20, 2009
per me in Recipes

Why won't my sauce stick to my pasta?

It all begins with the quality of the pasta. The pasta in Italy is much different than the pasta most Americans are used to. The many shapes and sizes of pasta have caused it to become trivialized by most American cooks who often choose pasta on how it looks rather than how it pairs with a particular sauce. My friends from Perugia (Pinota and her son Luigi who has a doctorate in agronomy) gave me my best lesson yet on pasta - Not all pasta is created equal. A high quality pasta is a roughly textured pasta because the rougher the outside of the pasta the better the sauce will adhere giving a more uniform and consistently delicious flavor to each bite.

Aug 14, 2009
per me in Home Cooking

Cheese on pastrami is kind of like corn on pizza [moved from LA board]

I admit I'm a pizza purist but is it because we've never tasted an authentic Italian pizza outside of Italy that we feel compelled to twist it and turn it into an unrecognizable mass of dough with toppings of every shape and form. Or do some of us look at it as a blank canvas to express our inner Jackson Pollok. Now I know you should eat what you like and culinary creativity should be applauded but sometimes less is more.

Some of the recipes mentioned sound like Wolfgang Puck's California Pizza on acid. Traveling in Italy with my Italian family and friends has led me to believe that the classic Margherita pizza and a few variations (Quattro Stagione, Quattro Formaggi and some seafood and meat toppings) are all you need and VPN guidelines(Associazione Verace Pizza Napoletana, an organization of pizza-makers dedicated to “protecting one of the most ancient and most important gastronomic traditions" of Italy ) should be followed. Corn, ketchup and mayo on pizza, if that's what you like it sounds OK, just don't call it a pizza

Jun 06, 2009
per me in General Topics

Cheese on Pastrami and Corn on Pizza

I admit I'm a pizza purist but is it because we've never tasted an authentic Italian pizza outside of Italy that we feel compelled to twist it and turn it into an unrecognizable mass of dough with toppings of every shape and form. Or do some of us look at it as a blank canvas to express our inner Jackson Pollok. Now I know you should eat what you like and culinary creativity should be applauded but sometimes less is more.

Some of the recipes mentioned sound like Wolfgang Puck's California Pizza on acid. Traveling in Italy with my Italian family and friends has led me to believe that the classic Margherita pizza and a few variations (Quattro Stagione, Quattro Formaggi and some seafood and meat toppings) are all you need and VPN guidelines(Associazione Verace Pizza Napoletana, an organization of pizza-makers dedicated to “protecting one of the most ancient and most important gastronomic traditions" of Italy ) should be followed. Corn, ketchup and mayo on pizza, if that's what you like it sounds OK, just don't call it a pizza.

May 29, 2009
per me in Features

Bellagio and Lake Como...where to dine???

Ristorante Bar "Mella" is an unpretentious gastronomic delight that is within anyone's budget. This restaurant is a favorite of my Milanese cousin, Roberto, and every time we come to visit we all travel to Bellagio to eat at Ristorante Bar "Mella". Roberto loves to fish and this restaurant specializes in fresh caught fish from the lake. From the time you enter the restaurant you can see there is a special connection between the lake and the restaurant. The owner is a professional fisherman and is trying to keep the lake fishing tradition alive. There is a beautiful view of the lake from the dining room. The staff is most hospitable and will be happy to explain the variety of dishes served. I spent one memorable afternoon, with my cousins, eating through most of the menu and drinking spumante. Then I walked down to the lake to see the fishing boats and was introduced to an Italian Spinone!

Apr 08, 2009
per me in Italy

Homemade Bitters

I would leave the making of bitters to the professionals i.e. Campari for example and indulge your inner mixologist by using Italian bitters to make drinks like the Campari Negroni, Americano, or Campari Orange. With a history that dates to late 1860's and a recipe that includes 68 natural ingredients, spices, aromatic herbs, fruit peels and the scented bark of a tree grown in the Bahamas how can and why should we compete. Having said that it sounds like fun!

Apr 03, 2009
per me in Spirits