Verona – Love, Opera and Valpolicella. When traveling romantics make the pilgrimage to Verona to view Juliet’s balcony, they are pleasantly surprised to discover that the city is much more than feuding families and wayward lovers. Among other sites, an ancient Roman operatic amphitheater sets that stage to experience Verona’s exquisite food and world-famous wines. We will enrich the experience by rediscovering Franco Zeffirelli’s Romeo and Juliet; “the most exciting film of Shakespeare ever made.” (Roger Ebert)
The Wheat Harvest: Hard work, good food and allegria!Another fun week of stories from living in the countryside in Tuscany -- this time around the yearly wheat threshing festivals. You worked hard together, but then were always rewarded with an amazing meal -- on tables set up in the middle of the fields. This week's menu is the one that the Chef ate all those years ago in the fields after a long day's work with her neighboring farmers.
On the Hunt: Mushroom Madness. Foraging for mushrooms is an essential part of autumn in Tuscany. This time of year it’s all about mushrooms, hunting them, eating them and talking about them. The exhilaration of the hunt – the thrill of discovering and picking wild mushrooms in an Italian forest is something I will never forget. This week’s menu highlights homemade pasta with assorted mushrooms and other Tuscan seasonal ingredients.
Leave the gun, take the cannoli!Many Italian-Americans grow up thinking the specialties prepared by their grandmothers are authentically Italian. Though certainly rooted in recipes from the “old country,” many were changed as immigrants adapted to their new home in America and to the ingredients they could find.“It is the memories and experiences the Italian immigrants brought with them, coupled with the products they found, that developed into today’s Italian-American cuisine,” says renowned Italian chef and author, Lidia Bastianich.Much of mainstream America was introduced to this immigrant culture through movies like “The Godfather.” This week’s menu highlights some of the most beloved dishes made famous by the movie.
Le Marche: The Secret of Santa Vittoria. Food and entertainment are great diversions. On occasion, it is good to get lost in an old movie especially when it tells the story of man’s past struggles and creative solutions to catastrophic situations. The Secret Life of Santa Vittoria, a delightful classic Italian-American film, is based on a true story of resolve, courage, community spirit, and…one million bottles of wine! It is set in Italy’s beautiful Le Marche region, the backdrop for this week’s authentic late August dinner.