low tech Italian classics to stuff into your suitcase

Made in Italy is renowned for shoes and bags, fast cars, alta moda and serious furniture design.  Hiding behind the big names and famous brands are the artisans; leatherworkers, furniture designers, glassblowers, mosaicists, shoemakers; craftsmen and women of so many kinds, and in between the famous brands and the artigiani are the medium size businesses that are the backbone of Italy the industrial nation.  Because as the traveller so easily … Continue reading low tech Italian classics to stuff into your suitcase

more than just milk

Latteria – from latte, means a place that sells milk, making it the Italian equivalent of a milk bar back in the day when milk bars sold milk and a few other milk related products. Over time Roman latterias morphed into bars (that sell coffee – but that’s another interesting story) or little grocery stores, and there are still plenty of gems from the 1950’s around … Continue reading more than just milk

ten.9 the art of simple

The Italy that I love, that I inhabit, that I feel content to be bringing my children up in, is what I call everyman’s Italy.  It is above all an accessible Italy, where the best things in life are free (or at least cheap); a world made up of rambling public parks and bustling markets, of boisterous small town festivals and homely trattorie.  A world far away … Continue reading ten.9 the art of simple

ten. 8 eat the season, or what Italians do with vegetables

Green is a winter vegetable around these parts, or in other words, so many winter vegetables are green.  And when I call them winter vegetables that is because they are.  Only.  As in only in winter.  Not a broccoli in sight around here over the warmer months, not even in the most shady of supermarkets. Greens of very shade fill the market stalls in the … Continue reading ten. 8 eat the season, or what Italians do with vegetables

ten.7 something old something new

What I have learnt from the Italians on baking and tradition Everyone is baking. In Lewes Dan is baking Rachel’s pangiallo while up in London Rachel is drowning strands of saffron to colour the same recipe, which she learnt in Rome but which she now probably makes using notes from the very same Dan, her friend and baking mentor.  Dan is reminiscing about all things baked in … Continue reading ten.7 something old something new

ten.6 good starts

The preface to this series needed to go something like this: Not for a minute do I believe that Italians hold the copyright to good sense in the kitchen.   I should have started by saying that the Italians in these ramblings are like a placeholder for all those authentic culinary traditions that derive from what grows well in local soil and is raised on local pastures. Factors as pivotal … Continue reading ten.6 good starts

ten.5 harvest, or cooking with what’s just off the trees

The late summer harvest season has been wonderfully satisfying in its very humble way on our little patch of volcanic soil at Lubriano.  Apart from the tomatoes and (Lebanese) cucumbers, we have had blooming amethyst like plums and our own crop of hazelnuts from the tree that rose from the shrubby bush inherited three years ago.  There have been trips to collect blackberries and baskets full … Continue reading ten.5 harvest, or cooking with what’s just off the trees