across the mediterranean: tuscan food & wine

I’m writing this post from an altogether different place: an olive grove in Tuscany, in the heart of Italy’s Chianti wine region…the olive oil here is almost as good as the bladi olive oil in Morocco. It’s a little less earthy and with a little more of a kick to it…

whereabouts

I’ve been reading up on my Italian cuisine with the help of one Waverly Root, whose encyclopedic work, Foods of Italy, goes region by region and (and sub-region by sub-region), listing the specialties, manners, agriculture, and history of Italian food. And I was tickled (though not that surprised) to read that Italian cooking has been influenced by Arab cuisine for centuries – thanks to factors ranging from conquest to commerce to the Crusades. Of course it makes sense that Italy and Morocco should share culinary influences (since they share climates and so many basic ingredients), but it’s comforting to think of all the same.

Internet is limited here, though, so I’ll just go ahead and list the dishes I’ve sampled so far:

Baked pecorino cheese (made from ewe’s milk) with honey and walnuts
Parmaggiano aubergine pie
Green gnocchi with gorgonzola sauce
Ravioli stuffed with clams and fresh fish
Octopus served on potatoes with tomatoes and a tomato & basil sauce
Gnocchi with artichokes and prawns
Turkey rolled with ricotta, sausage, and zucchini
Pecorino cheese served with sweet onion jam
Ravioli stuffed with asparagus served with carrots and zucchini

seafood in cinqueterre

Needless to say, everything is seasonal, fresh, and delicious. And served with local wines (which are always, always good…). My favorite touch so far was the presentation and service in a little seafood place in Cinqueterre, where all the food was brought out in its pans and baking dishes to the table and then plated beautifully in front of us. This place really is a feast for the senses…

prettiest octopus you have ever seen

One thought on “across the mediterranean: tuscan food & wine

  1. Annie! You are in Italy right now?? How did that happen? That’s so awesome! I thought you were still traveling around with Matt. How long will you be there? How wonderful!

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