Friday, 16 September 2016


Jim and I love Italian if you haven't already guessed. Our Italian Friday's at home are a tradition that dates back over ten years to our first cooking class in Italy. So bear with me if a few of my blogs wax poetic about the local cuisine. How can you say you have travelled if you haven't eaten how the locals do?

"Funny thing, we never searched for an Indian restaurant in Italy." In spite of our preference to eat and explore local foods, those words of Jim's were spoken in Ireland as we desperately sought to escape the bland and find some flavour. Sorry Ireland! Fresh, local, simple ingredients are all descriptions that come to mind when thinking of Italian cuisine and here in Italy's boot they most certainly ring true. 

Sandy soil, a mild climate and proximity to the sea have made the sweet red onions of Tropea much sought after in Italy. I have yet to see a local market without onion rista displayed on the shop's poles. 

Frequently served with classic antipasti and simply drizzled with olive oil, they leave no onion breath or after taste. I'm in love with them. Dear Canada Customs, are they importable? Raw with fresh pecorino cheese, they are to die for. Jars of onion paste, red onion marmalade and Tropea onion chutney are to be found everywhere. How much weight are we allowed on that return flight of ours?

Dark red in colour, the local chilies are actually aged on the vine for a fruitier taste and more heat. It is their heat which Jim loves. We first experienced their hot, hot, hot bite when we stopped for an aperitivo our first night and an antipasti tray was served with our wine. Whoa! That woke me up. What an instant cure for jetlag! I could make millions marketing this! Immediately the next morning, Jim searched out the paste in the hopes of bringing some home. Success! More weight added to those returning bags and we are only on our third day.

And what would a trip to Italy be without mentioning their local wines. Not known for outstanding wines, Calabria's flagship wine, Ciro Rossa Riserva Classica, does meet rave reviews. Full bodied and smooth, it is considered one of the oldest named wines in the world. When ordered, our waiters nod and smile. Ah, we got it right!

Tomorrow, we head for a cooking class in the hills behind Tropea. More food blogs to come, I am sure.

No comments:

Post a Comment