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    • By Melania
      It's one o'clock on a warm summer's day in Florence, I'm on my way to get ingredients for lunch. The sun is high in the sky, the cobblestones are warm under my feet and the aroma of something delicious is in the air. My mind starts to drift to the onions, celery and tomatoes I need for my pasta sauce, oh and don't forget something sweet for dessert...this truly is la dolce vita.
       
      My thoughts are soon interrupted by an unwelcome "chiuso" sign on the door of my new favorite deli. The blinds are closed and the friendly owners are nowhere in sight. The reality of having my favorite pasta dish for lunch was slipping further and further away.
       
       
      What a nightmare! How can this be?
        A local passing by must have noticed my frustration.   "Signorina, è riposo. Tutto è chiuso!"
        Of course! How could I forget about the sacred Italian siesta?
        A siesta or riposo, as most Italians call it, is a time of rest. This time is usually around midday, or the hottest part of the day (very inconvenient if you're craving a bowl of pasta.) No one can really say where the tradition of the siesta originates, but many say it's all about food (no surprises there really).
        For many Italian families the main meal of the day is lunch. This heavy meal in the middle of the day is attributed to the standard Mediterranean diet: A minuscule breakfast of a coffee and pastry , a heavy lunch and an evening meal around 10 o'clock. The logic is that after such a heavy meal one would surely be drowsy and need to rest, no one can work efficiently on a full stomach!
        Post offices, car rentals, supermarkets and even coffee shops (in some smaller towns police stations too) all close their doors for a riposo. Everything comes to a standstill as every Italian goes home to kick of their shoes, enjoy a homemade lunch with family and bask in the Italian sunshine for three to four hours. This is serious business. One would not dare work for 8 hours straight. After their riposo most businesses open again around 4 o'clock and stay open till 7pm. Its the perfect balance between work and play and does wonders for your digestive system!
        "Grazie!" I thanked her for the reminder. The midday sun started to become unbearable. The streets had cleared with only a few tourists braving the midday heat still around. I thought about the strawberries I bought from the market earlier that week. Strawberries for lunch on my shaded balcony and maybe a nap afterwards sounded like my perfect riposo. The pasta will have to wait till 4.
               
           
    • By Grishna
      Coppa is a classic italian delicacy of matured cured meat. Not as widely known as prosciutto and, in my opinion, not  justifiably. The curing time takes weeks, as it should
      for a well matured and multilayered flavour. Good things come to those who wait, but while you do, why not treat yourself to a quick fix  of cooked coppa? Here is what I do:
      Salt the meat in 2% dry rub (nitrate salt and regular salt 50/50) in a vacuum bag for 5 days; Rub dry herbs and spices (whatever comes to mind). The meat will be sticky, so it's easy; Cook on rack above a tray in the oven on fan setting at 80 celcius to internal temperature 67 celsius.  This will take a couple of hours. When internal temperature reaches 60 -ish I add some boiling water in the tray to speed up the heat delivery; Cool in the fridge overnight; Enjoy. This is a seriously moreish ham.
       
       
         
    • By devinp
      I just finished curing my first lomo, and all looks/smells/tastes great except a couple sections inside the lomo that could be black mold?  I kept the exterior clean from mold (I had mostly white and some green pop up during curing, but wiped with vinegar to keep clean).  This picture shows one of those spots closer to the edge in the fat, but there was a second near the middle of the loin that I cutout already.  Unless I find more substantial sections, I think I'm good just cutting away those parts, but would love second opinions..  Thanks.
       

    • By CarsonWyler
      I'm looking for guanciale, preferably in the Sonoma County area but am willing to travel a bit or order online if necessary. Any ideas?
    • By haresfur
      I found this article about arancino/arancina really interesting
       

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