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ekscrunchy, koreaprincess and franco invite you to join them expanding on the secrets of Italian cuisine

ekscrunchy, koreaprincess and franco invite you to join them expanding on the secrets of Italian cuisine

Old Apr 28th, 2007, 08:56 AM
  #181  
 
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Yes, it does seem absurd to eat food shipped halfway around the world. When shopping to cook at home, I try to buy as much locally produced food as possible but most restaurants, at least in my area, don't seem to be interested in this. They either go for imported foods to "impress" or they import for ease, availability and cost cutting.

It always amazes me that in August and early September, when my garden is overflowing with juicy delcious tomatoes, local restaurants are either serving cardboard pinkish ones (imported from Florida, Mexico or South America) or charging an arm and a leg for special local heirloom tomato salads. It's a crazy country we live in!
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Old Apr 28th, 2007, 09:44 AM
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What foodstuff and/or wine would you recommend to bring back to the U.S. from Italy for personnel use? We will be traveling through Italy by car in June and will spend several nights each in Castelfranco Emilia, Montefalco, and Rome. As we fly back to the U.S. (Atlanta) from Rome, perhaps I should also ask if you know of particularly good markets to shop for such items in Rome.

Thanks!
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Old Apr 28th, 2007, 10:13 AM
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Lyndell, the classic last stop before coming home for many people is Volpetti in Testaccio; they will vacuum pack cheeses and meats and they have a huge variety of all kinds of foods. But they are a bit pricey. Less expensive would be the market on Via Andrea Doria near the Vatican; I wrote about this area in my report about eating in Rome. But truly it depends on what you want to buy; there are great food stores all over Rome and everywhere in Italy. I think there was a long thread on what to bring home from Italy; see if you can find it. Without getting into the divisive issue of whether to bring salumi/lardo back, here are a few things I would bring home to the US:

Cheeses
Tuna fish canned in olive oil
Various jams and honeys; mostarda
Farro
Truffle-infused olive oil
Dried porcini (Keep in the refreigerator and they will last for years)
Sun-dried tomatoes
Bottarga
Red pepper flakes
Artichoke cream in jars

This is just what is occurring to me at the moment..




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Old Apr 28th, 2007, 10:42 AM
  #184  
 
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How long will vaccuum packed cheeses stay good outside of a fridge? We will be 6 days in Rome,then 4 in Flornece and then 4 in Venice. Where do you recommend we buy our cheese to bring home?
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Old Apr 28th, 2007, 10:48 AM
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I love this thread! YUM!

If anyone can help me with a recipe that I will describe as follows, I will love you!

A fettucine decidedly infused with a lemon cream sauce and fresh red peppercorns. I know it sounds very simple, but I have tried to replicate it unsuccessfully. It wasn't heavy, just very refreshing with true, fresh lemon taste shining through.

We had this dish outside Florence in a private estate included during a wine tour and would love to be able to make it at home.

Grazie!
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Old Apr 28th, 2007, 11:05 AM
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Lyndell, I would add these to ek's list:

Tubes of double concentrated tomato paste
Fiesta sponge cakes by Ferror filled with orange cream & covered with chocolate

These are both available at a supermercado (grocery store)

And of course: Limoncello!

plafield, there should be no problem with your vacuum-packed cheese spoiling on the way home.

ek, what's Bottarga?
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Old Apr 28th, 2007, 11:10 AM
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Susan look at this:

http://bottarga.net/
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Old Apr 28th, 2007, 11:13 AM
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Hmmmm...looks interesting. But at a price of "an unbeatable $100 per box," it might be out of my budget!
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Old Apr 28th, 2007, 11:28 AM
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What about olive oil? We will be at Colle Verde at an olive farm outside of Lucca in early June--first leg of a 12 day tour. We will be going through Tuscany--ending in Rome. Should we buy olive oil at Colle Verde or wait. We can check 2 bags each and plan to only bring one and get the 12 pack wine boxes that can be used as checked baggege from a winery and fill with oil and wine ( we are going to Chianti region and Montalcino) to bring back ( Recommened on another thread).
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Old Apr 28th, 2007, 11:40 AM
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Susan it is out of mine, too, at those prices! But not too expensive in Italy. I saw a vacuum-packed half a lobe at the market today here in NY for $27.oo.

I would buy the oil in Lucca since they have the reputation of making great oil in the area. Taste it first, of course, then put a bottle in one fo the spaces in the box.
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Old Apr 28th, 2007, 12:24 PM
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Thanks, ekscrunchy and others, for the responses regarding bringing foodstuffs and wine back from Italy. I was also looking for recommendations on favorite producers/manufacturers. For example, I recall that franco had a favorite for olive oil ... Fratelli Nunzi in Cantalupo di Bevagna.
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Old Apr 28th, 2007, 12:25 PM
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ek, thanks, I meant to ask what it might cost in Italy. I'll have to take a look when I'm there.
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Old Apr 28th, 2007, 01:21 PM
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We will be doing an oil tasting and have "orders" to bring back bottles. We don't have to handle lugguge as we are on a tour , so we can collect as we go. Thanks ekscrunchy we will hit the market before we head home. What is farro and bottarga?
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Old Apr 28th, 2007, 06:46 PM
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EKScrunchy!
I am a big fan of Volpetti "Formaggiomania" and even Volpetti Piu aroung the corner.

Staying at the San Anselmo up on the Aventine, Volpetti became a favorite stop on the way home from a long day out. Half our evenings we spent recovering in our room with feet up, feasting on Volpetti meats, cheeses, bread, snacks, wine, beer ... great having them so close = we could shop often.

For those who haven't been, you step inside the door and at least one of the men behind the counter - jolly types, mostly - will catch your eye and seduce you with samples: I dare anyone to leave empty handed.

On top of the delectable foods, they also have an excellent wine selection at all prices, better beers, and even Coke and Coke Light.

Wish they were also at the end of my block - but EK, we have FAirway and Citarella, so all is not lost (though the personality may be ...)

For those who make the trip, also check out Volpetti Piu around the corner, a sort of authentic Italian fast food cafeteria/pizzaria. You can sit down with a hot plate or antipasta, a slice or two of pizza, whatever. Thoroughly casual, popular with kids, great late in the afternoon when you're feeling hungry.
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Old Apr 29th, 2007, 03:30 PM
  #195  
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Trying to catch up with the discussion... (I'm short of time, leaving in a few days for my Greek holiday.) plafield, if you go back to the main radicchio discussion further above on this thread, I've posted links to pictures of the various radicchio types: "Trevisano" is the diction of semi-informed vendors and restaurateurs (sorry if this is sounding harsh, but that's the way it is). Trevisano means "from Treviso", and this is more or less meaningless since there are TWO radicchio species coming from Treviso: precoce and tardivo di Treviso. The precoce is what you, ek, will most likely mean by "torpedo-shaped" (a very good description); it's bitter, and only for fervid radicchio lovers. The tardivo, instead, is the "real thing": longish, too, but more like a loose bunch of single leaves. In winter (I know I'm repetitive, but it must be COLD for good radicchio - the warmer it is, the more bitter the taste), radicchio tardivo is almost sweet, with just a hint of tart (never bitter) taste - see above, they're making jam of it. So if you've even enjoyed spring radicchio, you'll love tardivo in winter, I assure you, plafield. Btw, the Verona variety is round, but the rarest of them all, I don't know it - but my favourite Rialto fruit & vegetables vendor has assured me it's excellent! The horrible round variety is radicchio di Chioggia.

Lyndell, if you're going to Montefalco, and if you love wine, Sagrantino is certainly the top choice for shopping; and I'm really happy to see you remember the Fratelli Nunzi oil. Oh, how I wish I could go to Umbria myself - I have been running out of Nunzi oil for so many months already!

hip, I don't know that particular recipe that you've enjoyed near Florence, but I can give you my private lemon cream sauce (self-invented); if you add some red peppercorns, you won't be disappointed, I hope: you need some fish broth (carp would be perfect, just DO NOT add any crustaceans like notably shrimps!!!). Prepare a thick bechamel sauce (butter, flour, milk, add fish broth, some white wine, and lemon juice to taste, grated lemon zest, salt, pepper, basil. (I use this sauce on ravioli with a carp stuffing seasoned with laurel, lemon zest again, caraway, and cilantro seeds, but it will be excellent with red pepper, too, no doubt.)

Roman food stores: while I share the enthusiasm for Volpetti, I'd like to add that also Castroni is one of my favourite's, especially their store at Quattro Fontane (downhill from S. Carlino, not towards Palazzo Barberini, the opposite side of the hill); and that there is a second great cheese shop - a famous market stall (yes indeed) on the Trastevere market; certainly Volpetti's equal, IMO.

I've no time for previewing, so I apologize for any mistakes I'll certainly have made!!!
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Old Apr 29th, 2007, 03:37 PM
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I know it's here somewhere but I can't find it! Where is Volpetti located again? And where, specifically is the Trastevere market with the famous cheese stall?
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Old Apr 29th, 2007, 04:10 PM
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The radicchio pictures are on this thread, in my post of 04/02/2007, 07:23 am.
Volpetti's English website is http://www.fooditaly.com
And the Trastevere market is on Piazza di S. Cosimato.
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Old May 3rd, 2007, 03:18 PM
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I believe there is a small Volpettis on Via della Scrofa near Via Portoghesi.
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Old May 3rd, 2007, 04:04 PM
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franco -- Sounds absolutely delish! In fact, I think I just might have to try it this weekend.

Speaking of cheese, I recently discovered a goat cheese with anise and lavender that's to die for, at our local Italian grocer. YUM!

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Old May 3rd, 2007, 04:29 PM
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But I do not think that Volpetti is related to the large one in Testaccio; but it is a very nice shop just the same.
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