… in Italy! Apologies for the lack of posts on here recently, but I’ve been in the UK for the summer. I’m now back in Italy and ready to report on the lovely food, drink and other things that Italy has to offer. Check back again soon for a report of my visit to my first food festival since my return!
In my last post we told you all about the beautiful town of Castell’Arquato. Now, in the second part of my post I’ll tell you about the second reason we visited, which was the Monterosso Val d’Arda Wine Festival!
One of the things that we love in Italy is finding beautiful places which are off the tourist trail. Our options are limited at the moment because we don’t have a car.
However, one of the places we can reach by local bus is Castell’Arquato, which is breathtakingly beautiful. It also has the added advantage of being in middle of a large wine producing region.
It’s surprising how I have developed new habits since living in Italy.
These Italian habits are easy to acquire, and very difficult to lose. They are also likely to annoy or surprise your friends and family if you take them back home!
However I’ve been assured that this is normal! The subtle changes in my behaviour since living in Italy are merely part of a healthy process psychologists call “acculturation”.
That said, some of them might raise a few eyebrows if I keep them up when I’m outside Italy!
Here are seven of the new habits that I’ve noticed so far ….
Apologies for my silence on here, but in Winter the north of Italy slows down, and so there is not much to report at the moment!
However, the mercury is rising, so everything and everyone is starting to spring back to life!
Massimo Bottura, the chef and co-proprietor of Osteria Francescana in Modena, Italy, needs no introduction. His restaurant has won every award given by the culinary world. If you want a reservation at his restaurant you have to book months ahead, and they can be as difficult to get as an audience with the Pope. However, he is now using his fame and influence to tackle, and hopefully solve, two of the world’s biggest problems namely hunger and food waste.
This book, Bread Is Gold, is the story of the start of that journey, which has led to the opening of several projects across the world and the foundation of the “Food For Soul” charity. Despite what you might think from the title, this is not a book about baking, it contains over 150 delicious recipes made from food that would otherwise be discarded.
This is my second Christmas in Italy, and I now think that I am getting the hang of how the Italians like to celebrate the festive season!
Just like in the UK, the Italians start their celebrations early! On December 8th, which is a public holiday to celebrate the Immaculate Conception, which is the conception of the Virgin Mary in the womb of her mother, Saint Anne. Not only is this a public holiday in Italy, but fires the starting gun for nearly a month of celebrations!
So, we have now been in Italy for just over a year. I thought now was a good time to share the good and bad things that we have experienced during the last year.
I am a fan of “nose to tail” eating, which means that you use as much of an animal as possible, so that nothing goes to waste. The amount of food that is wasted in restaurants and homes around the world is estimated at a third of all the food bought, and the majority of this food can be used to create delicious meals. This is a scandal when you think about the amount of people in the world that do not have enough food to eat each day. Italians are masters of using everything that people would consider as leftovers, and I will be sharing some of these recipes in future posts.
Massimo Bottura believes the same. He is an Italian restaurateur and the chef patron of Osteria Francescana, a three-Michelin-star restaurant based in Modena, Italy which has been listed in the top 5 at The World’s 50 Best Restaurants Awards since 2010. He is so passionate about this that he set up the “Food For Soul” project to tackle food waste, and to feed the needy and vulnerable in all parts of the world, which so far have been in Italy, England and Rio.
I live in a beautiful town called Piacenza. It is often overlooked by people visiting the Emilia Romagna region because either they think that were in Lombardia (we’re right on the border), or they bypass us for the more famous tourist places like Bologna, Parma, Modena or Reggio Emilia.
However, they are missing out on some fantastic food and wine. This region, like any other region, has its own dishes, wines and specialities which are not available anywhere else in the country, even 50 miles down the road.