crostata, crostata

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There is often a huddle of people waiting outside the nondescript bakery on a corner of the Jewish ghetto, the one so small there is only room for 3.5 customers at a time, the rest obliged to wait outside gazing into the windows filled with…

a rome list for hunters and gatherers

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I've been asked quite often recently about whether a Roman version of a charity shop actually exists.  The answer is no, kind of, in a way, yes. Charity shops are my idea of the perfect equation.  Old things are handed on, making room in…

Itineraries. Ceramics and the South: a pilgrimage to Grottaglie

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The sun climbs as we leave the soft olive hillsides of the Valle D'Itria, where we are staying, for the red plains of the alto-Salento, and the road cuts through carpets of primitivo vines as it reaches out toward the almost irresistible waters…

itineraries. around the vinyards of alto -Lazio

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The Greeks that settled in southern Italy during the period between the 8th and the 6th century BC called the fertile land with its happy climate Oenotria; land of the trained vines.  They most probably brought with them cuttings to plant,…

itineraries. treasure hunting in the Tuscia

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La Tuscia is the ancient land of the Etruscans that stretches between southern Tuscany, northern Lazio and Umbria; a volcanic landscape of rolling hillsides, vines, olives and towns crumbling from their cliff-top perches.  The Etruscans were…

pecorino, cured pork and Solidarity: l’amatriciana

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In Italy fair trade products; most often coffee, sugars and chocolate, are marked by the words Equo e Solidale.  Equo meaning equal and fair, with solidale translating as solidarity; together with, in union.  Solidarity is a word that gets…

low tech Italian classics to stuff into your suitcase

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Made in Italy is renowned for shoes and bags, fast cars, alta moda and serious furniture design.  Hiding behind the big names and famous brands are the artisans; leatherworkers, furniture designers, glassblowers, mosaicists, shoemakers; craftsmen…

the paper table cloth guide to dining in Rome

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A writer I do not know personally, but whose writing I very much like for its directness, recently wrote of a Roman trattoria; why can't we have more of this unpretentious shit in Sydney?  She hit the nail on the proverbial head because Roman…

ten years: la carbonara

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The Italy that I love, that I inhabit, that I feel content to be bringing my children up in, is what I call everyman's Italy.  It is above all an accessible Italy, where the best things in life are free (or at least cheap); a world made up…

rustic Italian baking: with olive oil pastry

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Finally have an olive oil pastry recipe to call my own.  Well, not my own, I found it in a recipe book produced by Allegra Pomilio and her friends from ristorante La Bilancia in Pescara.  You can buy and download their neat recipe book here,…

ten.7 something old something new

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What I have learnt from the Italians on baking and tradition Everyone is baking. In Lewes Dan is baking Rachel's pangiallo while up in London Rachel is drowning strands of saffron to colour the same recipe, which she learnt in Rome…

ten years: good starts, il sofritto & pasta & fagioli

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The preface to this series needed to go something like this: Not for a minute do I believe that Italians hold the copyright to good sense in the kitchen.   I should have started by saying that the Italians in these ramblings are like…