So here I am in Italy – revelling in the sunlight, the sound of the sea, the scent of jasmine in bloom, trees heavy with oranges, excellent “short” coffee ( why is coffee never as good outside Italy?), mysteriously, funky and delicious bottarga and stellar tiramisu. After weeks of posting about fountains and eating steamed spinach with lentils and black cardamom ( a great recipe is planned for posting but I haven’t got round to it) , fattoush variations, chickpeas and all things lettuce, I discover I am susceptible to a flirt with new foodstuffs. Now, of course I will continue my fountain posts, however, this week I am in Italy and therefore expect more things food related. I have always had mixed feelings about the globalisation of cuisines, mainly because the versions on offer ex- homeland are not up to scratch – and sometines because the bad version is the version most people will ever experience, which is a tragedy. Case in point tiramisu, you can eat it the world over, I’ve had terrible tiramisu more times than I care to count ( hence lentils, lentils and lettuce) and tiramisu is considered a simple dish, and it is, but like most good Italian food it depends on the quality of the ingredients. At its best it’s defined by what you don’t put in it: it’s fresh mascarpone, additive free, no whipped cream, no whipped cream stabilisers, soaked savoiardi biscuits but not soggy, no lemon peel, not too much coffee and don’t make it so you can slice it like a cake. At it’s best it’s a revelation of soft, silky, cool mascarpone, with a teensy sharp bite of cocoa and gentle, cold lightly textured soaked (alcohol or not you pick) biscuits. All ingredients in perfect harmony, the secret is in the balance of the components. I shared one such tiramisu today, not a lettuce leaf in sight….and yes that is the sea you spy in the distance :).