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Posts tagged ‘food’

Bontà

San Marzano tomatoes dry the old-fashioned way in the hot Pugliese sun on cane pallets.

San Marzano tomatoes dry the old-fashioned way on cane pallets in the hot Pugliese sun.

We never cease to be amazed by the sheer quantity of produce that springs forth from Pugliese soil. Perhaps more impressive than the quantity, though, is the quality or bontà. From season to season, Pugliese fruits and vegetables go from strength to strength in a yearlong parade of color, texture and flavor that is a wonder to behold. Yesterday we spent the day at an especially productive organic farm down by the Adriatic coast near Ostuni, returning to Martina Franca with boxes of treasures almost too beautiful to eat. But we ate them anyway. Read more

Buon Pranzo!

One of the many star dishes in the Italian Sunday lunch constellation.

Pasta al forno, one of the many star dishes in the Italian Sunday lunch constellation.

Buon pranzo!” It’s the universal farewell pleasantry in Puglia during Saturday food shopping. It’s also appropriately shared when you run into friends early on Sunday, maybe at the bar when having a morning espresso. Sometimes it’s accompanied by a question about where you’re going or what you’ll be eating. Taken literally, buon pranzo means “good lunch,” but it’s really meant to acknowledge that Sunday lunch is around the corner, which is always an occasion for a greeting all its own. Read more

Dinner all’Americana

Kale used in the dinner all'Americana with Italian friends.

Kale used in the dinner all’Americana with Italian friends.

Not all of our friends here would be thrilled to be invited to our house for a typical American meal. The Italians we know are pretty much united around the notion that American cuisine is a total disaster, regardless of our prowess in many other fields. They’ll give us technology, higher education and marketing, but when it comes to food, Americans are non-starters. Read more

Sunday Sugo in Martina Franca

Soffrito–the first step in making a memorable sugo di carne.

We don’t need a clock or a calendar in Martina Franca. Every day has a rhythm of its own, punctuated by any number of church bells and the ebb and flow of human activity down the street in Piazza Roma. The bells chime the hour first, followed by one, two or three bongs for the fifteen-minute intervals in between. Days are differentiated by the presence or absence of saints’ days and festivals. And through it all, an absolute, profound silence descends at midday—l’ora di pranzo or lunchtime—broken only by the tinkle of silverware encountering plates at tables everywhere. Read more

All Hail St. Martin

St. Martin as he gives his cloak to a beggar.

On November 11, St. Martin’s Day, ogni mosto diventa vino (every grape must turns into wine). All over winemaking Italy, St. Martin’s Day marks the moment that grape must becomes vino novello, or new, ready-to-drink wine. But since we live in Martina Franca, this particular saint’s day is a much bigger deal than just drinking fizzy new wine. Read more

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A Tuscan Texan immersed in Florentine life: passionate about food & wine | random moments | and travel

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