australian classics: scones with jam and cream

For better or for worse, Australia occupies a sort of novelty position in the eyes of many Italians.  Newspapers run spots about killer sharks and koalas on the loose, and us auw-stra-yalini get lots of questions like how long does the flight take? and are there really seven varieties of deadly spider?  Beyond this Italians often ask me for examples of a typical Australian meal or characteristic food.  … Continue reading australian classics: scones with jam and cream

an Italian reading list

Sometimes I think about my final year history teacher, and how nice it would be to bump into him in a random piazza somewhere in Italy. Mr Staiff was one of those stand out teachers who take their students far beyond the standard textbook. We started our final year of European history with a screening of Zeffirelli’s Romeo and Juliet followed by a Mediterranean feast, … Continue reading an Italian reading list

rustic Italian baking – focaccia

Roughly three years ago Rachel Roddy, Carla Tomasi and I sat in Carla’s kitchen with mugs of tea, looking out onto Carla’s blooming kitchen garden and chatting about how Market to Table would become our chance to cook together with curious travelers from around the globe.  Market to Table has become a glorious celebration of the Roman seasons, of recipes we love and a true … Continue reading rustic Italian baking – focaccia

crostata, crostata

There is often a huddle of people waiting outside the nondescript bakery on a corner of the Jewish ghetto, the one so small there is only room for 3.5 customers at a time, the rest obliged to wait outside gazing into the windows filled with biscotti and crostate and whatever festive specialty there happens to be at that point in the Jewish calendar. The cherry and ricotta … Continue reading crostata, crostata

a rome list for hunters and gatherers

I’ve been asked quite often recently about whether a Roman version of a charity shop actually exists.  The answer is no, kind of, in a way, yes. Charity shops are my idea of the perfect equation.  Old things are handed on, making room in cupboards for new ones.  The thrifty, like me, get to rummage about, finding that perfect French label in an Oxfam shop … Continue reading a rome list for hunters and gatherers

Itineraries. Ceramics and the South; a pilgrimage to Grottaglie

The sun climbs as we leave the soft olive hillsides of the Valle D’Itria, where we are staying, for the red plains of the alto-Salento, and the road cuts through carpets of primitivo vines as it reaches out toward the almost irresistible waters of the Ionian sea. We are on a family holiday, but today we are on our way to a place I have been longing … Continue reading Itineraries. Ceramics and the South; a pilgrimage to Grottaglie

itineraries. around the vinyards of alto -Lazio

The Greeks that settled in southern Italy during the period between the 8th and the 6th century BC called the fertile land with its happy climate Oenotria; land of the trained vines.  They most probably brought with them cuttings to plant, among them Aglianico and Greco or Grechetto, varieties that are still found in central and southern Italy.   The Etruscans also cultivated wine in central Italy, … Continue reading itineraries. around the vinyards of alto -Lazio