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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 May 3rd, 2007, 06:03 PM
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ilovitaly, I think ek is right. I seem to remember Eloise saying that the Volpetti you are talking about is not connected to the one on Via Marmorata.

hipvirgochick, does that cheese have a specific name? It sounds delicious!
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Old May 3rd, 2007, 07:06 PM
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SusanP -- I'm going to pick some up this weekend, I can't remember the name, but I'm sure it has one! I'll post back
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Old May 4th, 2007, 08:13 AM
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I just returned from my local Italian store where I sampled some of the Tuscan pecorino. What a vast difference between that and the usual "pecorino Romano"!! Now I can understand the affection Franco and others have for this cheese. Unfortunately the owners were not available to answer my questions (probably cowering in the rear of the store to avoid them!!) but I did buy an aged Tuscan pecorino wrapped in a dark green leaf. And tasted a truly fantastic young pecorino which I will buy next time; I believe this was Marzolino, only made in the spring....

Franco..are you out there??
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Old May 4th, 2007, 08:26 AM
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Scrunchy, what is your "local Italian store?!" Not Citarella, I'm guessing, as you usually refer to them by name? I always think of Buon Italia in the Chelsea Market as my Italian store, even if that's 50+ blocks away. Some friends prefer [insert forgotten name here] in LIttle Italy. So what's our local store?
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Old May 4th, 2007, 06:07 PM
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ek, isn't that Tuscan pecorino wonderful? As I mentioned above, the younger cheese (if it's the kind aged about a year) is delicious if you take a thick slice and grill it for a few minutes on each side. Mmmmm...
It won't work with the absolutely fresh version, as it's too soft.
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Old May 5th, 2007, 03:55 AM
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Yes, Susan, it is wonderful! Next time I am going to buy the younger one, though. I sampled a few but the owner was not around to give me the usual introductions.

Thomas: It is DiPalo on Grand Street. For me going there is like taking a class so I don't mind that sometimes the wait is long. Yesterday morning, through, they wee ready for me even before I decided what to buy! It is all in the timing. I would urge you to pay them a visit because the two brothers (especially the elder, Lou) that own the store are always very forthcoming about their products and willing to give samples and detailed explanations of why one cheese is different from the other, etc.. They were profiled in Gourmet magazine a few months ago, within an article on the Alto Adige, which is one of their passions. Also their ready-made eggplant parmigiana is the best I have ever had!!!

You know, try as I might to warm up to Buon Italia, I just cannot. For one thing, I think their prices for certain items are too high. It certainly is convenient, however, for anyone who does not want to make the trek downtown to DiPalo. Zabar's is pretty good, too, but you don't get all the background information there.. And for Italian cheeses, Agata and Valentina are good; they make their own mozzarella daily and, unlike Citarella, they do not refrigerate it so you can buy it still warm.

Well that is more than anyone asked for so....off to breakfast...
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Old May 5th, 2007, 07:17 AM
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EK - DiPalo is the place my friend swears by, so I'd better get there.

I agree with you that some of Buon Italia's prices are high. For example, I buy Miscela d'Oro packaged espresso at Fairway, and BI charges much more for the same. (By the way, Illy customers should give Miscela d'Oro a try - about 1/3 the price. Illy for me is like a "fine" vodka - half the price is advertising and packaging.)

Thanks for steering me a step closer to DiPalo - will go there soon.
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Old May 5th, 2007, 08:21 AM
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Please let us know about your experience there. Try to get there early if possible, if you are in a hurry. Or better yet, do not go when you are in a hurry...it is fun to wait and listen to the questions and advice given and asked by the customers in front of you. Although everyone that works there is friendly, I think your first-time visit will be enhanced if you can have Lou or his brother Sal wait on you. So if you can arrange that, by letting someone else go in front of you, do that (you have to take a number when you arrive).
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Old May 5th, 2007, 02:10 PM
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EK =
I'll likely go mid-day, mid-week - and will not rush!

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Old May 6th, 2007, 07:05 AM
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TC:

Let us know how you fare..you are in for a treat!

Here is an article from this weekend's newspaper about anchovies in Marina di Pisciotta; the article mentions BuonItalia as a source for the anchovies.

://www.nytimes.com/2007/05/06/style/tmagazine/06dish-anchovy-t.html?ref=style
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Old May 6th, 2007, 08:02 PM
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Say, I just saw a great documentary tonight called L'Orchestra di Piazza Vittorio, about an amazing orchestra in Rome made up of immigrant musicians (plus some Italians) playing a United Nations of instruments. They now play at the Apollo Theater on Piazza Vittorio and have been a big hit.
Anyway, started a thread on this and you can read more about it if interested: http://fodors.com/forums/threadselec...p;tid=34994449

REally thought this was a great treat. Besides Rome, they will also be playing dates around Italy this summer - including Pisa and Florence.
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Old May 7th, 2007, 03:13 AM
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Thanks, Thomas. I will see if I can find a rerun of the program.
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Old May 7th, 2007, 05:14 AM
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There I go misleading the populace - it was showing here as part of the Tribeca Film Festival. Don't know if there will be distribution yet. I hope at least there will be a DVD release for our region.

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Old Jun 5th, 2007, 01:08 PM
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Book marking.
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Old Jun 6th, 2007, 03:49 PM
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First, I want to thank Ekscrunchy and Franco for some fabulous restaurant reccommendations in Italy. Il Guscio in Florence and Riviera in Venice were our favorite meals of the whole trip. And the food we bought at Volpetti! Still enjoying it now.

I have a question about bottarga. I ate this in Rome (with pasta)and when I asked what fish the roe came from they were unable to tell me. On my trip report post (My First Taste of Donkey)someone replied that it's dried, salted roe of mullet. Is all bottarga from mullet?
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Old Jun 6th, 2007, 04:16 PM
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hipvirgo, what is the name of that goat cheese with lavender, I must ask my fromaggio if they have it.
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Old Jun 11th, 2007, 04:16 AM
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Hello everybody, I'm back from my holiday...
plafield - since I answered the same question to ek on another thread, would you allow me to simply copy and paste the explanation that I gave her then?
"Bottarga is a name for the roe of several species, most important those that you mentioned: mullet (muggine) and tuna (tonno, as no doubt you'll know). They're as different as mullet and tuna are, and both are potentially excellent... BUT: bottarga quality differs widely - two problems are common: too much salt; or a dull, fusty taste. It's normally, but only as a very general rule, preferable to buy whole pieces and grate it yourself.
Good bottarga is really excellent, so please, if you shouldn't be lucky on the first try, give it a second, and a third - you'll just need to try which one is the best."
I'm glad to see you've enjoyed your culinary experience; I'll answer one point, though, on your "donkey" thread.

SusanP, thank you for your grilled Pecorino di Pienza recommendation - I've tried it, and it was really excellent. (I'm getting a first-class middle-aged Pienza at a local Italian grocer.)

ek, those leaves-wrapped pecorini are marvellous, aren't they? Chestnut leaves are the most common... however, Pecorino di Pienza is again different from what comes as Pecorino Toscano. (Of course, Pienza is in Toscana, and yet... don't know where the "typical Toscano" comes from, anybody can help?)
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Old Jun 11th, 2007, 04:37 AM
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Benvenuti! Welcome back, Franco! We have missed you!

And thank you for the clarification on the pecorino. I would not have imagined that Pienzan was different than Tuscan! (Although I do wish I could meet a first-class middle-aged Pienzan in my market this week!)

I am still reeling (well that is a bit of an exaggeration...) after a mini-disaster with scamorza last night. The idea was to toast slices of ciabatta or another rustic bread and top with grilled scamorza, steamed broccoli rabe (which is very nice now in the markets here), roasted red peppers, and a drizzle of olive oil flavored with peperoncino and a bit of Spanish smoked paprika. All went well except that the scamorza kind of fell apart in the non-stick pan and did not remain in an intact slice.... Still tasty, though!



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Old Jun 11th, 2007, 05:45 AM
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Hi, ek - how lucky you are to get broccoli rabe/cime di rapa! This, to make up for my Pecorino di Pienza advantage, is totally unavailable for me, except for when I'm in Venice, of course. One of my favourite vegetables, to say the least (in fact, it may be my favourite vegetable actually).
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Old Jun 25th, 2007, 10:26 AM
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Bringing up for the poster Sidandpennysmom who is asking about the different types of Pecorino available in the US.

For anyone who will be in NYC, DiPalo Fine Foods stocks quite a few different varieties of Tuscan, Pienzan, Sardinian, Roman pecorinos is various stages of ageing, as well as many Italian meats and other cheeses.
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