Eating in Italy – a menu of sorts – fruit-egtable photo-shoot

Unfortunately there is so much to eat in italy that is wonderful, pulpo with potatoes, similar to the spanish version, but different (reminds me of the chinese saying: same same but different, when they try to sell you something). There are onions baked in the oven and then anointed with vinegar and capers, tomatoes with chili, cozze (mussels) and spaghetti, potato tortes and jam crostatas, and all manner of vegetables I have never seen anywhere else swollen to gigantic size by the southern sun, I prefer to believe theyare not genetically modified crops, but naturally bountitful due to the clemency of the weather here. Crepes filled with borage, ricotta and spinach, and zucchini rolls – grilled zucchini slices, filled with tuna majonnaise and capers again, oh and then something called sea grass – which is cooked, I think, and then cured in vinegar or olive oil, your choice. Fava bean puree, pucce (bread baked in the wood oven with olives and tomatoes in side, or just olives, your choice), pittule – little fried dough balls served warm from the oven served with a syrup made from reducing 1 some kilos of red grapes until you have a thick syrup, takes hours, uses lots of grapes, they are generous down here. The name: vin cotto – same consistency as balsamic vinegar but none of the acidity.   The clementines taste out of this world, the melon is a real melon, juicy and sweet and the chili in oil is hot and hot, unlike the chili sott’olio I make in Switzerland with chilis grown there, kissed by rare rays of sun, the Swiss Chilis sott’olio have been called “prudent, careful Swiss chilis – too polite to offend by being hot and challenging unlike their Southern cousins”. Both have their virtues.

And here are some photos from the local supermarket, fruit and veg at their very best

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25 thoughts on “Eating in Italy – a menu of sorts – fruit-egtable photo-shoot

  1. Omg that food write up was splendifico my goodness I want alllll that food. Your quite obviously a foodie or you couodnt possibly remember all that, quite amazing I held my breath the whole way through reading that! X

    • foodie yes, is it that obvious, I forgot some things actually, had a very nice carciofi tart (green things spiky leaves, pull of and eat with vinaigrette – not hearts of palm, hmmm, artichoke – bugger its hard switching languages…) and some great other things, and a seafood platter, more photos to follow, glad you held your breath, all I could do was catalogue and feel like a glutton…..sadly my brain can archive foodstuffs and foodtaste memories from years back, ie I was recently asked by someone whether the cake she baked 8 months ago was better than the current version and I could pull up the fact that the batter was different last time, thicker, less crunchy filling cherries not marmalade and generally mouthfeel of cake 8 motnhs ago was better. Maybe the you are what you eat means that in some molecule of my cells the old cake is remembering and comparing itself to the new cake?

    • thanks very much, love fresh vegetables too. They are so plentiful here even the ones that for me are luxuries, artichokes for example, thatthey are served in other ways. Artichokes are served as soup and as pies and minced, in a way up north we never would because an artichoke is an expensive special thing 🙂

  2. Look at those tomatoes!! I also want them all. Funny what you say about remembering food from years back, sometimes I do that too, but more from for food eaten when we were travelling. Looks like it was a great trip, now you make me want to go back to southern Italy!!

  3. I can just imagine how most people would react over here seeing fruit and veg in its natural state – instead of packaging. They would probably think it dirty, or about to go off. Certainly not fit to eat. What a shame! As food from its source can be incredible. But then, I grew up on a farm.

    • Hey there johnny – great to see you here 🙂 thx for commenting – you are right I noticed the earth on the veg too and the less than perfect fava beans and it made me realise how unused I am to seeing them – as everything is usually presented in plastic mode – makes you think about how much must grt thrown out in many countries – terrible waste. HAPPY WEEKEND!

  4. Love the pictures of all that produce & all the descriptions of food. I have a very good Italian friend who keeps introducing me to Italian dishes that are a bit off the beaten track, you are doing that as well 🙂 and I need those tomatoes!! Wow, the variety!!

  5. hi there spice in the city – great to be introduced to recipes that are off the beaten track, glad you are discovering new recipes – check out the chilis sottolio https://polianthus.wordpress.com/2013/11/25/peperoni-sottolio-chilis-in-olive-oil-with-garlic-and-mint-leaves-salento-style/ – if you havent seen them yet, they make great gifts and are very delicious.

    Re off the beaten track: funnily despite or maybe because of globalization we are introduced through magazines and TV programmes to typical foods from round the world: pad thai, general TSOS chicken (which actually was invented in the US apparently), baby back ribs and cornbread, and muffins, pizza and pasta and variations of tiramisu and panna cotta, which often have nothing to do with the original, as we don’t have the right ingredients available,( I am thinking of Ethiopian doro wat – which uses copious amounts of berbere and some mekelesha as well as spiced butter, but for which a cookbook I was reading recommended using paprika in place of the berbere, if you cannot get hold of the berbere. Which may make you a hungarian style chicken but nothing ethiopian) or else, because local chefs have altered the dish to suit local tastes. I have seen some very weird tiramisus in my time :). Naturally TV chef types will take you on adventures to eat ants and locusts which is the other end of the scale of off the beaten track, but so far off it you are unlikely to ever emulate.

    And as recipes have become ubiquitous, they become synonymous with a country’s cuisine, eclipsing all the regional, local variety a country has to offer.

    Instead what the locals cook is so much different to what makes it to most cookbooks, there are local vegetables, local fruits, local liquors, special ways of dealing with an ingredient that defy globalisation, or may not be deemed to appeal to a broader audience, or maybe just don’t make it into the consciousness of a traveling food editor who is here today gone tomorrow.

    In order to get a feel for a culture and a cuisine, I think one needs to take time to fall in love with it and experience it and spend some time with it.

    I have an interesting recipe for sea grass, I will put it up shortly 🙂

    • Hi Rhonda – thank you 🙂 I also really liked the artichokes with the one errant tomato. THANK you for stopping by and words of encouragement. Happy Monday Poli

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