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Archive for April, 2010

Not a mis-spelling of burrito, no.  Something much, much better.  Exquisite, even.

While I sit here waiting for my Byron chapter to print out, I find my mind drifting back to dinner last night with Tess and Jessie (interns at the Rome Sustainable Food Project and co-producer—that’s Tess—of the must-see Food Inc.) and David (a documentary filmmaker and husband of Jessie), at a tiny table in a teeny apartment in Trastevere, where, while we sat around the burrata like worshipers at a sacred font, Jack jumped on the bed in the other room.

http://danamccauley.files.wordpress.com/2008/12/burrata.jpeg?w=325&h=251

Oh, my!  This is how burrata, a soft, fresh mozzarella with liquefying cream in the middle, looks at the store.  When you take it home to serve, our Italian associates in food-loving tell us, you put it in a bowl, pour a bit of your best extra virgin olive oil over it, slice it with a spoon, and eat it—preferably with a spoon.

Burrata is my new love.  It’s better than gelato.

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long lapse

piñata, pensive preschoolers

Thank you for sticking with me, readers.  I’ve been busy with visitors, Jack’s 5th birthday party, more visitors, my dissertation, dissertation, dissertation…  Did you know that it wasn’t until the 1840s that wood pulp was used to make paper?  Or that Byron could speak so aptly of 21st century America?

Man’s a strange animal and makes strange use
Of his own nature and the various arts,
And likes particularly to produce
Some new experiment to show his parts.
This is the age of oddities let loose,
Where different talents find their different marts.
You’d best begin with truth, and when you’ve lost your
Labour, there’s a sure market for imposture.

On a less cynical note, spring is here, and so are our favorite seasonal foods: strawberries, fava beans, asparagus, repeat.  Strawberry shortcake=sublime simplicity.

And check out the strawberry cream torte from Dolci Desideri Jack chose for his birthday! (That’s Nico admiring it; Jack is in blue, holding a very non-locavore cupcake.)

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egg decorating

It was a beautiful spring day, perfect for spending the afternoon in the garden, soaking up the sunshine and decorating eggs.

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Thanks to our friend Rena, who lived in Florence for a year, we had some insider recommendations about where to eat.  The most interesting (and delicious) place, by far, was Mario’s, which serves only lunch.

The menu is scribbled on a piece of paper, and is replete with meat.  The seating is first come, first served, and is “con l’altro”—with each other.  Three parties of two might share a big table.  Everyone sits on little wooden stools.  The kitchen runs right alongside the dining area, and the inevitably loud conversations are punctuated by the bang-bang-bangs of the cleaver on the butcher block, chopping up the next set of lunches.

nice ceiling

the most delicious pork and beans I've ever had

Jack liked Marios.

We also went to what many agree is the best gelato maker in Florence: Vivoli.

I know I should have tried the cinnamon-orange, but I couldn’t resist my favorite nutty flavors.

The other high point in dining was Tranvai, a restaurant constructed out of an old tram-station, with excellent food.  They offered offals and brain, but we stuck to slightly more familiar cuts… veal and rabbit.

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