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  1. I have to agree that a top culatello is probably the ultimate, let's say the beluga of cured pork products and I count myself fortunate to have experienced it. However, on the ham front, I still think Spain beats Italy easily. Please remember that serrano ham is not a particularly high-quality product. The stuff to take seriously includes the words iberico, preferably pata negra, and, ideally for the best, bellota - denoting that the special breed pig has been fed on acorns. I have had good Italian Parma hams and also from Tuscany and from Sauris. But none of them equal the best Spanish ham
  2. He better do a little more research. As fine as these products are in Spain and France - Italy is the king of this category producing a staggering variety of products. Pigs live a dangerous life in Italy. Craig - careful what you say. I've heard serious Italian food experts admit that the best ham comes from Spain . And I feel they are right. I would say that Italy and Spain are up there together. v
  3. Yes, I agree, and I did try to push him in that direction, but without success... I think he was originally focussed on Corsica and Spain and hadn't thought too much about Italy. v
  4. Nick - very interesting about critical factors. How do you deal with risotto in the restaurant situation? i.e. having it ready, not making the customer wait etc.. v
  5. Kiku - thank you! Why did I not see this before. I have an ambivalent relationship with risotto anyway, but one of the things that has always troubled me is the difficulty in cooking the rice all the way through. Now I get it. For this reason I've never understood all the warnings you get in books about not overcooking risotto - I've never achieved it. Cavallini goes to the top of my 'books to acquire' list. v
  6. Looked raw to me - whole, in the vacuum pack in the glass display case at the opposite end from the chickens v
  7. Alheiras - a good version is probably one of my favourite sausages on earth - soft, crunchy where it has exploded (best not to deep-fry but saute gently and let the skin explode so the filling leaks out), with unexpected bits of different meats inside. A joy. As for Chinese restaurants - the Macao connection means that if you are lucky they can be better than the rest of Continental Europe.
  8. In terms of regions, he says Piemonte & Tuscany. I think he's into any opportunity that may offer itself to learn about making a quality product. A preference for prosciutto and salame rather than fresh-cured stuff. His only experience is making biltong - not very appropriate! v p.s. He just came in my office and gave me a load of Poilane bread - I like this guy!
  9. Then why did they quote me £40 a kilo the Saturday before . Didn't buy 'cos I remembered Jon mentioning £28 before. v
  10. I have been recommended the sushi place (Sushi Hiro?) opposite Ealing Common tube, as having a good quality/price ratio, although have never had the courage to visit. v
  11. (also posted on the Spanish forum) A colleague at work has just revealed his ambition to set up his own business in his home country producing cured meats - sausages, hams etc. (Yes, things are looking up on the culinary front at work). He has already set up a learning session in Corsica and is now looking for somewhere in Italy where he can acquire knowledge, like a small producer. I have the odd contact in Italy that may be able to help him, but wonder if any of the e-gullet residents of Italy can help. I have no doubts as to his drive and ability to succeed, just sad that his business wil
  12. Speaking as a kimchi neophyte here: does daikon kimchi always stink? v
  13. Does ANY regional cooking travel well? Isn't that the point of its regionality? v
  14. I definitely would've in my more youthful days. But how come it's long on me AND you? v
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