Tizi suggests a new menu item for New Year’s Eve. A local tradition in Romagna, her region of Italy. I’m sure I’ve heard the word “lentils” before in Italian and decide to try it out. Use or lose it, right? “But why lentiggini?” I ask. “For good luck,” she says. “And it’s lenticchie. Lentiggini are freckles.” Lentils, not freckles. I don’t think I saw or ate a lentil until I moved to the Detroit area. The Saginaw Valley, where I […]
This morning at 5:00 a.m., when I sit down next to her on the couch and hand her a cappuccino, my wife detects something foul on my breath. She takes the coffee, turns her head, and gently pushes me away. “What did you eat?” We stayed with the kids last night at our daughter’s house, while she and her husband went out. Later today I’m driving up to visit the county clerk for marriage and birth certificates. She’s making a […]
Full disclosure. These are our relatives. My relatives by marriage, and how lucky I was, am, and will always be. (When Tizi’s cousin Pierpaolo shakes my hand and says, Come va, cugino? How goes it, cousin? I sort of pinch myself. How did this happen?)
Fat rats. Research focused on them suggests there may be something to intermittent fasting. So says Monique Tello in Harvard Medical Publishing. Good, I think. Because this morning I feel like a fat rat. My wife and I are in our fifth and final week in Italy. Around this time in our stay, a kind of desperation sets in. Can we eat enough before we go home? Yesterday at lunch, after our first course–she had the ravioli, I had the […]
One of the delights in eating in Romagna (and I hazard to guess all over Italy) is the “misto.” The mix. Where I come from, eating fish you usually get one thing. Your appetizer is one thing–a tartar, half a dozen oysters, a bowl of mussels. And your main course is usually one thing–fillet of whitefish, fillets of perch, a chunk of salmon or tuna or swordfish, some crab legs or a lobster tail. Want to taste something besides what’s […]
This post is not exactly Romagna food notes. Tizi’s family on her mother’s side is from le Marches, a contiguous region known for white truffles. There are truffles in Romagna, too, any Romagnolo will tell you. We’ve been to eat, for example, in Sant’Agata in Feltria, which, as far as I can tell, is a truffle capital in Romagna. Truffles are on the menu in all restaurants we like around here. But we save ourselves for days like yesterday. Because […]
“This chicken has barbecue sauce on it,” I say to my wife. We’re eating take-out for lunch, a few chicken legs, roasted potatoes, some bietole, and grilled zucchini. All this for 20 euro from a place in Santarcangelo. I also picked up a bottle of Sangiovese for 5 euro from a street vendor. This weekend is Festa di San Martino. The whole town is an outdoor market. I love this place.
The parsley war continues. My wife and I disagree. The question is not whether to use it. We’re both parsley positive. The issue is when, during cooking or added afterward as a garnish. I’m during, she’s after. It has not always been thus. For many years we lived in perfect harmony, parsley-wise. Diced parsley was one of those first-things-first things, like diced or chopped onion-celery-carrot. Then one day a chef friend came to dinner. We must have had something long-cook […]
A friend asked once: “Are you one of those people who makes his own breadcrumbs?” No, I’m not. I had just pulled a sheet of roasted tomatoes out of the oven. Topped with seasoned breadcrumbs, they perfumed the house, then ravished the palate.