Monday, September 24, 2007

Food of Italy

Probably the best food we've had was at a tiny restaurant in Aliano. This was the kind of place where there was no menu, the proprietor simply listed what was available. (we understood about 1 word for every 8 but no matter). Eric had some potato ravioli with pesto and the local (Basilicata and some in Puglia too) specialty, fried breadcrumbs,

Together with a lovely pomodoro-peperocini-cucumber salad I had some really awesome, very pungent pecorino cheese with local honey (I never would have considered these two together but it totally works!),

In both Basilicata and Puglia they go in big for dried chili pepper type things, many houses have them hanging out front (like ristras in New Mexico),

They make their way into the cuisine, sometimes as a macerated sauce, served on the side, like in this dish of pasta and chickpeas,

or whole as in this Basilicatan pasta dish,

Chick peas and favas are big in both Basilicata and Puglia. Eric had a very traditional dish of pureed fava beans topped with chicory greens in Alberobello (there appears to be evidence that this dish is very ancient- back to ancient Egypt!). I can't find photo right now! check back...must be here somewhere...

In a bar (different from an 'American' bar) in Martina Franca (Puglia), we had these really good, tiny fried calzones (that's what I call them), we gobbled them up!

Another traditional Puglian dish is orcchiette e rape (turnip tops or broccoli stems, etc).,

The pasta we've had in Basilicata and Puglia have been outstanding! Often homemade, it tastes totally different from pasta in the states. A lot of the times, like in Aliano, we have the best food in tiny towns where they only have a few dishes at a time. I've got lots more pics I will share when we get home for anyone who's interested! If only you could eat some with us!


At 12:04 AM, Blogger leigh andrew said...

yes! the food is sooo interesting in every area of the world - what fun! do report more on food!!

At 1:27 PM, Anonymous Stephanie McCarter said...

I am very very very very very very jealous. Get recipes!!!

At 4:59 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Amazing to see ristras there!!

At 10:40 AM, Blogger Giggly Girl Eats said...

this is my FAVORITE post so far!!!! i am drooling! yes, and i have been inspired to finally whip out my pasta maker.


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