For the love of focaccia

Riomaggiore

I don’t typically regret things. I’ll critique myself mercilessly on how I could have done or said something differently, but ultimately, no regrets. However, there is one thing I’m borderline regretting…and it has to do with bread.

It’s been nearly two months since we returned from our trip to Italy, and while every place we visited cast a spell on me, I’ve been daydreaming about one thing. I wish I could rewind time and go back to Liguria – the northwest coast Italy- not just for the mountains, colorful villages and fresh fish, but for the focaccia. The folks in this part of Italy can bake the crap outta some focaccia, and I wish I spent more time eating it and learning the secret of what makes it so incredible.Breakfast focaccia

In our Cinque Terre wanderings, we passed countless storefronts showcasing the bumpy bread in their windows. Plain, tomato, olive, onion, pesto…they were pretty to look at, but not what our taste buds were pulling us toward. (Side note: My taste buds screamed for what I … Read the rest

When Italy gives you lemons

Fresh lemons everywhere

When I think of lemon pastries, the image of sticky, fluorescent yellow bars comes to mind. You usually find them at a church-basement potluck or your grandma’s house. I never liked them. I vote them “Least Satisfying” in the bar category, with the Seven-Layer Bar coming in close behind.

I love lemons, but prefer them mostly in my cocktails and over my calamari – not so much in my desserts. But when you are in the land of lemon groves, you damn well better eat all the lemons you can.

The streets of Sorrento are an endless advertisement for lemons. Lemon soap, lemon-decorated souvenirs, Limoncello tastings. The buildings are a sunny yellow and the tang of citrus floats through the air. I popped into Pasticceria Don Peppe to peek at their treats and the most precious dome-shaped lemon cakes caught my eye. If I’m going to eat a lemon dessert it should be here, right?Yummy cake

In broken Italian, I asked the young man what they were called, thinking it would be something fancy, and he Read the rest

Flavors of Italy

Rome

Our Italian vacation was like four trips smashed into one. I never want to forget one moment of this wild adventure and am keeping its spirit alive by obsessively reviewing pictures, forcing Huzzbot to recount details of our favorite meals, drinking red wine and jotting down memories.

I could start a new blog based solely on the flavors I encountered while in Italy – tomatoes, pistachio gelato, espresso, olive oil, clams, proscuitto, chianti – but instead I’ll simply write a couple blog entries about the things you’d expect from me – bread, pastries, general carby-ness. Until then, here are some photo highlights for your eyeballs.Read the rest