VERGING ON PIZZA: Edible Wildflower ‘Pizzas’

Having narrowly avoided a minor car ‘incident’ today I just wanted to say a quick word about the Italian roundabout! You probably already assume – and why not – that a roundabout, as the name implies, is for driving ‘around’ with the idea of keeping traffic flowing fluidly and thereby easing congestion. However in Italy,…… Continue reading VERGING ON PIZZA: Edible Wildflower ‘Pizzas’

BERGAMO, BUBBLE TEA and TOADS

Does anyone remember tapioca from their childhood? It was one of those hugely divisive puddings which herded all of us kids into two camps: lovers (that was me!) or haters and was referred to disparagingly as “frogspawn”…. which, I have to say, it had an uncanny resemblance to. Well since those early days (a lifetime…… Continue reading BERGAMO, BUBBLE TEA and TOADS

ARTICHOKES AT THE DOOR: Raw Artichoke & Fennel Salad with Pecorino & Barley Flour Crumb

My honey arrived this morning. Not some random sweetheart of mine but actual raw-honey-in-a-pot brought right to the door……delivered fresh, almost dripping, from bee-hives near Lago d’Iseo by the beekeeper or apicoltore himself. Che bella Italia! This time, rather delightfully – and coincidentally in time for Valentine’s Day – I was not only presented with…… Continue reading ARTICHOKES AT THE DOOR: Raw Artichoke & Fennel Salad with Pecorino & Barley Flour Crumb

THE LUXURY OF SILENCE & ‘BURRATA’ CHEESE

We humans are a noisy bunch. Blasting alarms, screaming motorbikes and high-pitched beeping seem to follow me everywhere. I remember only realizing the high level of noise when I had my first mobile phone and tried to have a conversation in the streets of London. I ended up down some random  back-alley filled with rotting…… Continue reading THE LUXURY OF SILENCE & ‘BURRATA’ CHEESE

EXOTIC SPICES, VENICE & ‘FORBIDDEN’ BLACK RICE

If Marilyn Monroe had been alive and living in Venice around the 14th or 15th century she would have been singing a song not about diamonds but that ‘Spices Are A Girl’s Best Friend’. At that time La Serenissima (‘the most serene’), an honorary Byzantine title bestowed on the Republic of Venice, was the hugely…… Continue reading EXOTIC SPICES, VENICE & ‘FORBIDDEN’ BLACK RICE

VENETIAN-STYLE ‘CICCHETTI’ & BAGPIPES in COMACCHIO

After a difficult year last year (I apologise for no postings) I asked for 2017 to be full of new and exciting experiences and….wham!.. the universe came right back with its own humorous response…. ..Eels and Zampogna for you!  Eels or ‘anguille’ are pretty self-explanatory and they came mixed in with other deep-fried fish &…… Continue reading VENETIAN-STYLE ‘CICCHETTI’ & BAGPIPES in COMACCHIO

ITALIAN MOUNTAIN FOOD: ‘PIZZOCCHERI’ with ZUCCA, CAVOLO NERO & PRIMROSES

  “Arriverdeci Winter” – “Benvenuto Spring” I always have a slight moment of panic when trekking through forests and mountains we haven’t been in before. It’s always exhilarating (actually mainly afterwards) but there’s that tiny niggle of fear that we could be on the wrong track – after all you can’t see anything through the trees -…… Continue reading ITALIAN MOUNTAIN FOOD: ‘PIZZOCCHERI’ with ZUCCA, CAVOLO NERO & PRIMROSES

ITALIAN WALNUT SAUCE, WARM-SPICED CHICKEN WINGS & A GAME OF WALNUTS

I’m already thinking post-Christmas and that burning question of what to eat on Boxing Day or the day after…or the day after that…? Left-over turkey, ham and trimmings are always a treat but sometimes you want to pop in a little surprise, something different – but without the work! Well….I’ve just discovered something rather wonderful…… Continue reading ITALIAN WALNUT SAUCE, WARM-SPICED CHICKEN WINGS & A GAME OF WALNUTS