Wednesday, 29 September 2010

VINTAGE...IT'S NOT JUST FOR CLOTHING!!!


Memories of years already gone…that’s what vintage (at least in clothing) usually means!!
I am not pretending to be gloomy I just would like to talk about one of the funniest and, at the same time, hardest work experience of my life: the “VENDEMMIA” or VINTAGE in English.
Vintage, in wine-making, is the process of picking grapes and creating the finished product.
The harvesting period is between August and October (Northern Hemisphere), and depends on many factors such as: weather, temperature, area of production, kind of grapes and type of wine that needs to be produced.
Every single bottle of wine (It doesn’t matter if good or bad, cheap or expensive, from Italy or south Africa) strictly depends on this process. The harvesting can be either manual or mechanical. Although the mechanical one is used nowadays to optimize time and resources, the manual harvesting is generally in use for high quality wines and champagne, where a careful selection of the grapes is needed.

In many Italian countryside villages the “vendemmia” is time of hard work as well as happiness where old and young share life experiences surrounded by breath taking scenarios and landscapes.

The new trend in terms of gourmet holidays is a “Vendemmia” holidays, when there are festivals, tasting events and even the chance to help pick the grapes. In this way people can enjoy nature, ancient traditions, history and be part of a process for creating a product called in ancient Rome "nectar of the gods". 


All the images in the post have been sourced from Google Images

Sunday, 26 September 2010

SLOW FOOD vs FAST FOOD


Living in a city like London you always find yourself running against time or running after a train or a bus!! Therefore the daily routine brings you to just grab a quick sandwich for lunch to eat while you read your last e mails or check your Facebook profile.
That sounds like sad but it’s daily life. For somebody like me, who loves preparing food, knowing about food and spend a lot of time enjoying it with a good amount of wine, anything that it doesn’t look like a proper meal (maybe prepared with love, care and knowledge) sounds like FAST FOOD.

I want to refer to this way of eating as FAST FOOD, without saying that is good or bad, healthy or unhealthy but just considering the time people spend worrying about what they are eating.

SLOW FOOD means (not just to me, of course!) taking time to know more about what you are eating, understanding the whole culture behind a meal. Master of this concept is SLOW FOOD (www.slowfood.com): a non-profit, eco-gastronomic member-supported organization that was founded in 1989 to counteract fast food and fast life. Nowadays SLOWFOOD has over 100,000 members in 132 countries.
The mission: “to defend biodiversity in our food supply, spread taste education and connect producers of excellent foods with co-producers through events and initiatives.” The members all over the world organize meals, tastings, fairs, festivals, workshops, conferences, visits to local food producers, taste education initiatives.

SLOW FOOD is present in the UK as well with SLOW FOOD UK (www.slowfood.org.uk). Have a look to the web site, it is plenty of interesting things to do and discover.

In Italy SLOW FOOD is famous for many international fairs such as “Il Salone del gusto” or “Cheese” as well as projects such as TERRA MADRE (www.terramadre.org).
As stated in the fair web site: “ The Salone del Gusto is educational, because it is about learning, knowing, comparing and discovering, but always in the name of a right to responsible and fully shared pleasure.”

So let’s start knowing better anything we eat and drink. It would be as well a great excuse to know new cultures and otherwise unknown sides of our Planet.


Thursday, 23 September 2010

I introduce you my dear friend "Ciauscolo"...


Ciauscolo (sometimes also spelled ciavuscolo or ciabuscolo) is a variety of Italian salame, typical of the Marche region (especially of the Province of Macerata).
Ciauscolo is a smoked and dry-cured sausage, made from pork meat and fat. It is spiced with black pepper and garlic. The meat is finely ground, mixed with the spices and cure, stuffed into wide hog middles, and left for twelve to twenty-four hour drying period. Once the surface has become tacky, the sausage is cold-smoked  for two days, then hung to cure. Although it can be aged for a month or more, it is typically eaten after only a brief two weeks. The result is a very soft, moist sausage which can be spread on bread, in a manner similar to some pat├ęs. Otherwise can be used as a tasty filling for a great sandwich.

The production of the Ciauscolo can differ according to the different areas of the region where is made. The result is always the same: a great and tasty "salame" difficult to find in any other Italian Region as well as abroad.

Unfortunatly in London I didn't find it easly. Just once in one of my rare food shopping expedition in Wholefoods (http://www.wholefoodsmarket.com/) I could spot the Ciauscolo in beetween many other international salami, but not anywhre else.
In my opinion without any doubts the "Ciauscolo" could potentially competes (if better known and more available) with any of its more famous international cousins such as Hungarian Salami, German Salami or Spanish Chorizo!!


Let me know if you want a taste of it guys...Any time I go to Italy I bring with me at least a couple (more if I don't fly with Ryanair!!!)

Tuesday, 21 September 2010

And the journey begins...


Many people nowadays (much more famous and glamourous than me!!) talk, write, twit and post about italian food. Italian food in my opinion is all about passion and traditions; it is part of the culture. In Italy every street hides its very own recipes and culinary secrets. Every mum and granmother is source of a vast and rich amount of know how mixed with years of experience.
From there my passion about food started and from there the idea to share this passion on line, feeling free to talk about secrets and traditional dishes, good wines known and unknown ones. The idea behind this blog is not to act as the expert in Italian Cusine but to share emotions, feelings about something we all love: GOOD FOOD!!
Have a nice journey