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Everything posted by hathor

  1. Totally agree...I wonder how often you'd see it used in Italy in a Negroni. ← Mitch, forgive me because you've been hearing me whine all summer.....but I have looked EVERYWHERE in central Italy and Carpano Antica can NOT be found!! What region does this stuff come from?? I just went to their website and maybe the next time I'm in Roma or Firenze.... I can sample this elixir.
  2. I totally agree. What has passed for summer truffles around here has been ridiculous and last year was a total bust. Lord knows where those truffles in the market came from.
  3. I haven't tasted the perfect one yet, though all those I've forced myself to taste are pretty damn good, provided they're made with some variety of decent gin, Campari and some variety of sweet vermouth. That thing you describe, subbing prosecco for gin, has no business being called a Negroni. Just leave out the prosecco and have an Americano, please. ← I think I'm with you on this. The menu also had a "Perfect Manhattan"... Canadian Club and a mix of sweet and dry vermouth. Perfect it wasn't.
  4. Any help would be greatly appreciated. I've been banging my head on my desk for a few days trying to get the ticketone thing to work.....
  5. Reporting from cocktail challenged Italy: The negroni, and the gin&tonic are about the only two 'cocktails' that you can reliably find in Umbria, the rest is a crap shoot. We walked into a bar near Lago Tresimeno and asked if they could make a Manhattan (it's about 50/50 if you can get a Manhattan, never made with rye, the best you can hope for is Canadian Club). The bartender told us, "No. I only make Italian cocktails." So, we had a Negroni. But, I digress from my question: Is there really such a thing as a "Perfect Negroni"? The menu, at a bar in Perugia, showed that they swapped Proseco for gin. I wasn't in the mood for experimentation, so I didn't try it. Has anyone tasted a Perfect Negroni?
  6. Not that we are in the same league as Piemonte, but here in humble Umbria....no rain to speak of, it's still SUMMMER. HOT, HOT. There's a wisp of change in the air, but too soon to tell. Could be a decent year as we certainly had the spring rains and a dry, hot summer. Keeping our fingers crossed. The grapes are hanging heavy however, and look pretty good.
  7. I'm sorry, but I don't understand. What are you saying?
  8. Thinking about a worthy cause: What about getting teen age kids involved in the kitchen, gently guiding them towards learning how to cook a little? Local and sustainable could be featured, but the focus would be on getting young people involved. Certainly more tricky, but could be fun.
  9. This is my first time ..... contemplating if I want to be there for 4 days or maybe just 2. Is there a ticket that covers the whole show, or is it individual? I was online with their ticket agent last night and their website kept stalling, so I couldn't really poke around too much. Any advice or insight would be appreciated. Grazie mille. (workshops are conducted in Italian? English?)
  10. Totally agree, it's a well written, thoughtful article. I'm so tired of little sound bites, this article actually has some meat to it. I think the author may be right on the money in saying that Slow Food Italy does not have the same starting points, ideals or goals as Slow Food USA. They just can't. It's impossible. The attitude toward food and eating is so different (not better, not worse, just different) between Italy and the US that's it's incomprehensible to even try a one approach fits all method. Italians are fanatical about their gardens, it's in their DNA. The concept of 'teaching' people the value of a garden would be laughable here, but it's entirely valid in the US, for a plethora of reasons. And that's just one example. To focus on elitism is just crazy. Smaller batch foods will always cost more than large batch foods, that's just an economic reality. Finding ways to feed the general population clean food is a noble and difficult goal.
  11. My WebpageSalone del Gusto, Oct 23-27, 2008, Torino Who is going, and does anyone have time or interest in meeting up? I think I'm going. This is the first year in awhile that it doesn't coincide with a major Festa in our town, so I just might be able to get away for a few days.
  12. I haven't been to Don Carlos in a few years, but it was 'just ok'. Nice, expensive, nothing really special. The Grand Hotel et di Milano is one of my absolute favorite hotels in the whole world, it's old school elegant. Make sure you have a drink at their bar, it's really lovely, under that wacky statue of Diana the Hunter. One of our favorite restaurants, about a 10 minute walk is "Ristorante al Girarrosto" Corso Venezia, 31 20121 Milano (MI) 02 76000481 It's very traditional, but excellent. You can always ask the concierge at the Hotel...those guys are excellent.
  13. hathor

    Viva Fresobaldi!

    When was the last time anyone saw the words: "joy", "enthusiasm" and "airport" in the same sentence?? Thanks for the heads up. I do enjoy a bit of civility from time to time.
  14. Not such a strange name, the Negroni is named after the Florentine Count Negroni.
  15. For THAT I'd make a special trip back to the homeland!!
  16. Docsconz, perhaps you'd like to change your name to Pandora?? Thank you for posing the questions and starting a good discussion. Every day that I am alive, I have a responsibility to my fellow planet mates. Whether I'm wearing my chef hat, my wife hat, my mother hat, my stiletto wearing-cocktail sipping hat, I have a responsibility to at the very least do no damage, but to try to make the world a better place. To ask this of a chef is natural. There will be pressures and compromises and it will be an eternal struggle. OK, enough with the lofty stuff. Let's tackle some of the buzz words. Local. What is the objective of eating local? Simply to save transportation costs? To support local business? Because perishable items, picked at the peak of maturation don't travel well and taste much better in situ? If leaving a smaller carbon footprint is the objective, it's unlikely that small farmers all heading into market in their trucks are leaving a smaller footprint than one big truck that has been packed to capacity and has a route mapped out for it that is the most efficient possible. (UPS truck routes eschew left hand turns because of the wasted fuel). If I want to eat grapes, olive oil, wine, coffee, chocolate, seafood, meat that's been on a hoof, and fowl, bananas, drink milk: where should I live? These are basic items and it makes more economic and 'carbon' sense, to produce these items in the geographical area where they are best suited. It's a double edged sword, oh, it probably has more than a double edge. If I want the best peach in the world, I'm only going to get it close to the source. Sustainable. I'm not really clear on the goal of sustainable. I think I live in a pretty sustainable part of the world (Umbria), the crops are rotated, tobacco subsidies have been cut so we have more water in the aqua system and bigger sunflower fields. Is this what sustainable means? Organic What does it mean when organic is synonymous with expensive? That only rich people get to eat 'clean food? Who is addressing the needs of the masses? Can a chef have any impact on the price levels of organic,, or is that beyond his scope? I think it is probably beyond the scope of the chef who is just trying to keep his restaurant afloat, but for the celebrity chef, they are in a position of influence.
  17. Oh...my...my.....my!! It almost makes me want to come back to NY!! I adore lobster rolls, so simple...sooooo good. A nice, cold, mineraly white wine and life doesn't get any better. You've made me nostalgic.
  18. Ciao... Eric, like Maureen said....leave a little room in that itinerary for flexibility and serendipity. You are going to have a fantastic time no matter what! Maureen, I have a question, if you don't mind. Recently we had dinner at a restaurant on the via Veneto, very chic, all white, a bank of clear eyed fresh fish in the window. I think it was called Tuna or Tonno, I can't remember. (Long day of emergency dental work, so I wasn't exactly on top of my game.) Anyway, it was beautiful inside, white walls, white floors, white ceramic pots, white uplighting, white chandeliers, waiters all dressed in black. Most of the clientele (local Roman) knew about the dress code, and they wore either white or black. It is probably the only time I wasn't wearing black, my closet looks like I've been a widow for the past 40 years, I felt so....un-chic in my summer floral. So, my question, do you know anything about the place? Someone sunk a ton of euros into it, that's for sure! Fish was beautiful, fresh, simply prepared and mighty expensive.
  19. If mites or maggots render a cheese runny, perhaps that is why a spoon was provided? Not for eating the actual maggots?
  20. Details from my Dizionario Enciclopedico dei Formagggi (aka my Cheese Bible) Casu Becciu, also known as Casu Marzu and Casu Fattittu Sheep cheese, usually a type of Fiore Sarde, produced in the area of San Nicolo Gerrei, and San Gavino Monreale. Produced quantity is unknown. Casu becciu literally means old cheese, or in reality a cheese that has gone bad or rotten. Fruit flies (Piophila casei) deposit their eggs on the crust or rind of the cheese. The fly larva impregnate the cheese with their digestive enzymes rendering the cheese into a creamy state that is strong and sharp. It is eaten as a spread on bread. It is forbidden to be sold commercially, it is however found and eaten in many areas in Sardinia. To circumvent the law, and to please the lovers of Casu Becciu, a similar tasting cheese is made using the 'lipase' enzyme, which is a byproduct of goat curd. mmmmm.........
  21. hathor

    Preserving Summer

    Ciao Feste! I'm not sure I understand your question. Are you asking for a process that will enable you to keep the syrups on a shelf after they've been open? Or are you asking how you can seal bottles for long term storage without spoilage? Depending on where you are, you can find bottles with either bottle cap or screw cap tops. Sterilize and seal as you would a jar. Wherever you have a good supplier of canning supplies, you should be able to find bottles. If you want something to preserve after opening.... I have no idea!
  22. I meant to take a photo, but we ate the ice cream before I remembered! I scored some mountain strawberries and made a strawberry gelato, with a splash of balsamic and a sprinkle of candied pink peppercorns. Candied pink peppercorns are my new favorite flavor, sweet with a burst of floral heat.
  23. hathor

    Soup Helper

    A perfect lentil soup. tiny lentils. no other discernible vegetables or other stuff incredibly flavorful some garlic toasted crutons lurking on the side of the bowl not piping hot, but more than warm Can you tell what I had for lunch yesterday??
  24. I completely agree with you that economics of food are complex. There was an excellent editorial this week in the NY Times regarding food/farm subsidies. It actually broke through the emotion surrounding this topic and delved into the economic science. To stay on topic, I think the issue here may be that the Slow Food message is muddled. What do they want to be? What do they want to accomplish globally and in the US? I don't have any personal issues with SlowFood, unlike Steve who has some legitimate beef with how things were handled at 'his' market; I'm just genuinely unclear about what the overall message is that Slow Food is looking to communicate. Bear in mind, I've attended a Slow Food sponsored school in Italy which was completely devoted to local producers and preserving regional Italian traditions, I've visited the impressive Bra university (where they would be proud to be called elite food theorists) and I'm a Slow Food member in NY, but when someone asks me to explain what it is that Slow Food actually does, I do 'fumpher' to come up with a coherent answer. So, are we talking about a PR failure to communicate? Or is there an actual level of disdain for American growers and producers? edit to add NY Times link
  25. The essential conundrum, the inherent catch-22 of Slow Food is that food that is micro-produced is going to cost more than food that is mass produced. Therefore, the audience that is receptive to higher priced meat and produce will naturally be a wealthier customer. The person who is stretched to the limit to feed a family is not the natural Slow Food target demographic. I went to the Slow Food Nation website to see what the goal of the event is and this is the home page quote, “Join us in San Francisco this Labor Day Weekend for an unprecedented event! Taste delicious food, meet farmers, wander urban gardens, and discover the recipe for a fair and sustainable food system.” The website home page has flashy ads and a homey story about picking berries. My overall impression was that of a well marketed food fair with great cheeses, wines, fruits and berries. Oh, and I get to meet a farmer! As if this is some rare and unusual artifact that will be on display and I’m picturing a farmer locked in a diorama at the Museum of Natural History. Or I can wander an urban garden, which on Labor Day weekend should be just about bursting with harvestable foods, but who will actually benefit from and eat the fruit of these gardens? Wouldn’t it make more practical sense to spend the money on going into areas truly in need of this sort of education and helping them clear a lot and plant a garden? The whole marketing of the event has that preaching to the choir feeling rather than doing something at the needy, grass roots level. And ‘discover the recipe for a fair and sustainable food system’? That has to be one of the thorniest, complex issues facing us during this time of ‘global food crisis’. If Slow Food has indeed found the recipe they should start sharing it right now! I don’t mean to be bashing Slow Food, I just think that it is nearly impossible for an organization of this type, which rescues and promotes food that is more ultimately more expensive than the average person can spend on food, will naturally be perceived to be elitist. And is that wrong? I don’t think that all elitism is inherently bad, but we do need to scale our expectations for the Slow Food movement more in line with the reality of economics. What other organization is actively helping those on the lower economic rungs to eat clean, sustainable food? Steve, I know you do some of this work, is there any sort of national organization that addresses this?
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