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pamela in tuscany

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    Montepulciano, Italy
  1. Hello John! What an excellent review of what must have been a fabulously interesting visit. I am one of those people trying to get reservations to El Bulli… unavailable in all of 2007… As you know, I am a traditionalist when it comes to cooking, but my background includes influence from Jacques Maximin as well, going back to when I worked with Joachim Splichal, another Maximin protégé and culinary wizard in his own right, for a short year’s stint in the mid 80s. These are two men who can literally pull inspiration from the air. Chefs in Italy are trying to emulate this creativity, but few have
  2. Ever since I tasted Neals' Yard's Montgomery cheddar at Salone del Gusto two years ago, I have been craving it. Anyone know of a mail order source for shipping in the EU?
  3. I'm jazzed! I'm pretty sure I saw one of my cookbooks on your shelves! Yay!
  4. In Viareggio, I tried Ristorante Romano and liked it. I've only been once, and I ordered the Minestra di Farro, Verdure, e Pesce (farro soup with vegetables and fish) because it is their Buon Ricordo dish (you get a ceramic plate, I collect them...). There is a good gelateria, Mario, on Via Petrolini...
  5. I am curious, Francesco, was the chef there? I was there at the end of September, having decided that I should not be the last person in Italy to try this restaurant... chef was not in the kitchen. I thought the food was good (i did tasting menu, too), no complaints except for the price, which I found exorbitant. At least you would hope for good service, but all of the attention went to the only other table occupied, a group of eight men. eh.
  6. I humbly submit our agriturismo, Poggio Etrusco. We are ten minutes from Montepulciano, halfway between Rome and Florence (good day trips), and central to a lot of wonderful food/wine/art/history. Please see my website: www.FoodArtisans.com Best, PamelaItalian Food Artisans
  7. Thank you for that mention docsconz, we also have a room (no kitchen) for Euro 85/night, including breakfast. there are photos,etc on my website, www.FoodArtisans.com. sorry I didn't meet you tsquare, next time give me a call and we can meet for coffee at Caffe Poliziano! Next week we start picking olives! Pamela
  8. Look, I trust Russ' taste buds (especially since they are in accord with mine on this...). It is not even that you have to define a 'distinctive' flavor, it is that the industrial product has essentially 'no' flavor. I want to sum this up by saying that if you don't believe there is a difference between industrial and artisanal pasta, do a side by side tasting, with nothing more than a light touch of olive oil on it. Both want a good amount of salt in the cooking water.
  9. In Pienza, try to get into Latte di Luna, roast suckling pig and the duck are wonderful. Buon viaggio!
  10. I tested all of the recipes for my Pizza book when I was in the states, using my 1940s O'Kieffe & Merritt gas stove. Gas ovens work well as you can place an extra pizza stone on the floor of the oven to help radiate extra heat. While you can't get to the wood-fired temps of over 700°F, you can still get it pretty hot, maybe 550°F. Many people have wood-burning ovens, especially in the old country houses like ours. Here is Gaetano Cannetiello teaching a pizza class at my house. Our oven is at least 300 years old...
  11. OK, now I think you are showing off a bit! Erika doesn't just let everyone taste the extra-extra-extra old stuff! acetaia del cristo
  12. Ice cream can freeze due to the (by definition, minimum 11%) fat content. Lower fat mixtures like my pistachio gelato won't freeze without stablilizers and it needs to be consumed within the day. That is why truly artisanal gelato producers here make it fresh every day. As that is economically difficult, many add stabilizers to carry it to the next day(s).
  13. gelato doesn't freeze well! Eat it at once, and eat it all!
  14. The consortium for Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese and their US representative in Syracuse, NY (Ciao Ltd), are ever vigilant for counterfeit products that are trying to ride on the fame of this cheese which has been perfected over 700 years of tradition. There have been products from Argentina, Germany, the US, and maybe even Spain, made in a similar way, but they cannot have the guarantee that you will get from the consortium that the cheese is flawless, made in the prescribed way, in the prescribed zone. You can identify Parmigiano-Reggiano by the brand on the rind, and if you can see a whole whe
  15. Besides the american products with italian roots, i think it is important to focus on our own American traditions, new and old. Slow Food <www.slowfood.com> has really helped heighten awareness of this, and the founder of the US contingent, Patrick Martins, has started a new program called Heritage Foods USA. They support authentic American breeds raised naturally and humanely without antibiotics and hormones. I just got their brochure, and it makes me wish I was over there to order and try some of these: American Bronze Turkey, American Buff Goose, Katahdin Lamb, Berkshire Pork. Plus, n
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