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WEEK 226 MENU: July 16-21, 2024

Tutti al Mare! Tuscans at the Beach With 5000 miles of coastline, Italy has the most beaches in Europe.  Nowhere in Italy are you more than two hours from a beach.  Italians absolutely love beach life and are, most likely, the sexiest and most fashionable beachgoers in the world. La Versilia is a very unique stretch of Tuscan Mediterranean coast backed by the Apuan Alps.  It is best known for its golden beaches, nightlife, art communities, and surf-n-turf – Mare e Monti – cuisine. But to fully enjoy the Italian beach culture you need to know its unspoken rules.  After all, you do not want to look like a tourist on an Italian beach!

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WEEK 225 MENU: July 9-14, 2024

Sardinia: Where People Live Forever The most interesting fact about the island of Sardinia is that it boasts the largest number of centenarians per capita than any other place on Earth.  Their consumption of clean, simple “peasant food,” together with red wine rich in antioxidants and polyphenols just may be the reason for their longevity. Our Sardinian menu highlights the mainstays of their Mediterranean diet – legumes, vegetables, olive oil, pasta, cheese and seafood.  Those together with, Cannonau, a red wine made from grapes indigenous to the island could be the key to living a long and healthy life.

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WEEK 224 MENU: July 2-7, 2024

Under the Tuscan Sun This year will mark 53 years (yikes!) since I saw the Tuscan sun for the first time.  I can clearly remember that first morning in the little pensione on Via 27 Aprile when I flung open the shutters to discover the most vivid colors, sparkling clean air and brightest sun I had ever seen. Tuscany is a region located in central Italy but ask any Tuscan and they will tell you it is the center of the universe.  They are exceedingly proud of their heritage and are profoundly connected to their culture, not the least of which is their culinary patrimony. Our menu this week will travel through the region, highlighting specialties from its different provinces. ...

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WEEK 223 MENU: June 25-30, 2024

Florence in June – Bitter Rivalries & Sweet Elixirs June in a wonderful month to visit Florence.  It is a month when pagan and Christian rites combine to celebrate colorful sporting events, Renaissance parades, and ancient culinary traditions.  Calcio Storico is a well-kept Florentine secret; Medieval-style soccer played in typical Renaissance garb.  Think rugby meets cage-fighting with pantaloons. Not only does June 24th mark the birthdate of Florence’s patron saint, John the Baptist, it is the day to harvest soft green walnuts to make the spicy “digestivo,” Nocino. Florentine cuisine today is earthy and rustic much like it was as the time of the Renaissance.  The “Trattoria” is the keeper of these culinary traditions, the equivalent of Nonna’s cooking.  Our menu this...

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WEEK 222 MENU: June 18-23, 2024

Puglia: Frugality & Abundance Puglia, at the heel, highlights the desirable qualities of Italian life that draws us all to this amazing country.  It is scattered with Baroque architecture, pristine wilderness and wonderful beaches, charming villages, olive and citrus groves, underground caves and Roman ruins. Puglia’s agricultural heritage and enviable coasts make it the perfect place for great food.  Ironically, this is “cucina povera,” though rich in produce and ingredients.  Here there is a straightforward and practical attitude towards food.  Its cooks are creative and have an enormous capacity of making something out of nothing.

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