10 July 2008

A bit more about my trip

First, I have some ladies I need to call out.

I want to say, Pearl, JoJo, and Eque your voices are missed on hot topics. We are having a good time, but y'all are seriously missed.

Let's talk about food! This isn't in any order, I'm just gonna talk about the pictures as they posted.

Yes ladies and germs, those are truffles and that is my friend's hand. These truffles had not been processed in any way as yet. They were delivered about an hour before our visit took place. Lucky us because this enabled us to see what happened with them after the delivery.

A huge wheel of Parmesan. Now, I know not all of us can afford to have an ginormous wheel just hanging around, but for those in the industry or those at home who do have the ginormous wheel hanging about, we would take the cooked pasta and dump it into the Parmesan bowl, stir it about and then serve. Quite tasty.

This is the outdoor pizza oven. It's handmade, not pre-fab. It was like porn to my friend and I. This is Cristiano's station during the outdoor wedding stuff.

Now you get to meet Cristiano. Very nice guy. He said that somewhere on YouTube there is a video of him doing karaoke of Renato Zero. He spoke some English, more than we did Italian. He wanted to come back with us to the states. The girl is Cristina. Very nice, but very controlling. Either she thought our Italian speaking skills directly correlated to our cooking skills, or she was afraid she would get the blame if we screwed something up. Her name was constantly being screamed. Cristina where is...Cristina do... Very sweet girl though.

Here is Igor the chef with Cristiano. Igor spoke less English than did Cristiano, but it sure made for an interesting time. A whole lot of hand gestures and sounds, but a lot of trading as well. Come si dice and Come dite xxx in Italiano. He got more aggravated with my friend since my friend is used to hearing 'what do you want me to do now chef' so he is used to being the master, not the visitor.

This is something I will never understand. The region I was in had this odd affinity for hot dogs. Not with chili, cheese, mustard and onions (or however you make them). Nope, here you have some appetizers topped with hot dogs and olives. They also make pizza with hot dogs on them. To each his own. The guests liked them though, so that's all that matters.

This is Marco. Very sweet guy. He spoke the most English, so there was a lot of 'MARCO' going on. What was so funny, was the first time I heard them scream for him, being the smartass I am (and my friend-it was simultaneous) we hollered back 'POLO'. Apparently that is fairly universal as everyone in the kitchen had a laugh.

This is the fish counter at the local Conad store. Ok, my friend and I are totally juvenile because every time we drove past a Conad store, we giggled and said under our breath, gonads. Anyway, the fish counter was awesome. Actually, the fish counter at most of the markets we went to was awesome. Don't know if you can see it, but that's a whole freakin swordfish. SWEET

An action shot of my friend. He was manning the grill. A huge piece of Ahi tuna and then some mortadella. Now, he and I don't eat cooked tuna. If we do, it's been lightly seared. The people at this wedding, not so much. They were horrified at first. It killed him to cook it so much, but what ya gonna do.

This was at a supermarket. I forget the name of the market, but would you get a load of that hunk of mortadella. It was 12' long and weighed in at 2,300 pounds. It was quite tasty too.

Fresh pasta. Perhaps they have companies doing this in the US, but I don't personally know of any, so it was way cool to me. The restaurant has a fresh pasta supplier. The pasta was brought in a couple of hours before it was needed. They brought raviolis (various stuffings), spaghetti, rigatoni, farfalle, you name it, was was brought in. Too damned cool

Now, I don't have any pictures of the pizza, but it was certainly to die for. I don't usually like thin crust, at least not American style thin crust. This was wafer thin, crisp as could be, and of course, cooked in a huge pizza oven that was powered by wood. It's not the one in the picture above, this was inside the restaurant. It was probably 8 or 9 feet deep, if not more. Tomato sauce was used, but the pizza wasn't drowned in sauce like it is here. If pizza around here was like this, I'd actually eat pizza more than once in a blue moon.

Overall, this region goes for simplicity. You aren't hit smack in the face with basil, oregano, marjoram, garlic, onion, etc. The typical dish had either onion or garlic, but not both. A little chiffonade of basil and that was it, well, except for the salt and pepper. It was very different than I expected, but still wonderful.

Torte al testo. I can't say enough about this tasty little sandwich. It's kind of a thick flat bread, slice it to where you can stuff it, then shove prosciutto and cheese inside. Put on the griddle, flat top, skillet, or whatever and heat until the cheese is melty. Addicted is a good word. They did many other tortes. At a festival we went to one night, I had one that was stuffed with Italian sausage and collard greens. Bliss.

Semi-freddo made with Baci candy. Gelato made with Baci. Baci period. It's a creamy dark chocolate with a hazelnut center. YUMMMM. The word Baci means kiss.

Ok, so, I guess that's it for now. I'll post more in the coming days. After my trip though, I'm really having to force myself to be on the computer for more than 30 minutes or so. One can live without the computer for two weeks and live to tell the tale.


IslandPearl said...

Thanks for the s/o...it's nice to be missed. But I have to say that much as I love a good tussle, and much as I believe that challenging and alternative voices add value, my level of personal peace has increased exponentially since I made my 12,999th post and took my permanent leave.

Miss YOU though.

Twango said...

I totally understand where you are coming from :)

Yesterday, I was out and about and this woman I ran into could be your twin. She looked just like you. I did a double take, she looked at me weird. I told her, sorry, it's just that you look like a woman I know in HI. She said, honey if I was that woman, I certainly wouldn't be here.

equeyaya said...

Thanks for the SO, Robin. I've been delinquent checking in at the Refuge. Has Hot Topics heated up? Last I was there, it was a little slow.

I love hearing about your food adventures in Italy. Seriously? Stirring pasta in a wheel of cheese? That can happen on Earth? Wow. We stayed at a cooking school when we were there and had two cooking lessons, including pizza in one of those outdoor woodburning ovens. We also visited a Sardinian family and watched them make cheese and ravioli. I wouldn't trade that experience for the world.

Have I mentioned that I want to go back?