L’abc 2013. 100% Sangiovese made by wine lovers Adriano Zago, Bernardo Conticelli and Ciro Beligni from vines grown 600 meters high in Lamole, in Chianti Classico. Vinified first in stainless steel, then terracotta amphora, then wood. It’s a very pretty wine with high cherry notes which were gorgeous on the palate with some organic, free-range Iberico ham from Finca Montefrio that I brought back from Seville and a savory pate that I made with capers and dried pachino cherry tomatoes from my recent trip to Sicily. It was fun to share with Bernardo who was sweet to bring me his wine to taste.
From Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/p/BGXE0cZn_x9/
What brings you alive?
What brings me alive is the active participation of being
in a culture different from my own,
relating with a heightened sense of awareness and an open heart looking for a way in.
I feel we have found a way through food to build a bridge for meaningful conversation. In doing so, we are creating a more peaceful world. After 24 years, I have gained significant confidence and trust to move between cultures. We need an antidote to this somewhat crazy world and what better way than making and breaking bread with the light of our own smiles?
The soil has been turned over and our seedlings of Culinary Adventures have been planted with you in mind. May the sun’s light bring fruition when the time is right for you to join us on one of these significant journeys. [Read more…]
A Beautiful September to You
Late summer skies are getting bluer and there is the faintest hint of cool in the air. Most people are ending their summer holidays and going back to work or school. So am I. Thank goodness it’s the traveling kind. I’m ready to hit the road for foreign lands and steep myself in a different cultural brew.
How did I get such a lust for travel?I’m not sure. It’s right up there with a lust for life.
My mind is tuned to southern Spain and the absolutely exquisite town of Seville, better known as Sevilla! A rich city with an illustrious past, Seville has always attracted adventurous travelers. The city proudly showcases its Moorish past, apparent in beautiful architecture and lush gardens, delicious food and a fine appreciation for the arts. But one of Seville’s finest moments came in the 15th century thanks to an adventurous soul who set sail and discovered the new world.
Andalucia congures up warm light, ochre colored fields, spacious skies with gracious, pompous clouds — a perfect environment for olive trees, grapevines, scrub oaks, and acorn forests. From the ingenuity that the Phoenicians first brought, then the Arabs, Spain today rests on the laurels of the past. They have a rich agrarian history that separates them from their other Mediterranean neighbors in the form of a tasty black Iberian pig and unusual wine like no other; the many varieties of Sherry, unique to the world. [Read more…]
Did I mention the fruit salad? The fruit salad. A plate full of fresh, ripe fruit. Not a bowl of fruity mush.
Breakfast is not my favorite meal, but here at the Hacienda San Rafael, I bolt out of bed in the morning for freshly pressed Valencia orange juice, homemade Sevillian orange marmalade, warm bread, and a proper pot of tea. Coffee is already on the table in a thermos, and let’s not forget the delectable option of eggs and bacon.
I travel with loose tea and tea filters, and agua caliente arrives for my hand-rolled green tea bag before I have had time to ask. The local village ladies, sweet and smiling, anticipate your every wish throughout the day. Juanita notes that I asked for mint tea one afternoon. Now it arrives before I have even thought about it.
Visiting an organic pig farm for the infamous black “Iberico” was insightful.
We took a walk with the pigs, free range under the acorn trees. They came quickly, taking a trail that was at first far away, then slowly and deliberately coming nearer. Snorting and trotting, with their ears flopping at the tips, it’s too bad they are not used for pets, for they are in some sense of the word, affectionate. I don’t like the notion of eating pigs or pork for this matter, but it’s hard not be convinced that this meat is the most succulent and dare I say, friendly? It can be approached infinitum — sausage, jamon serrano, prosciutto, pork loin, pork chops, pork belly, bacon, pancetta, pork rinds, trotters, head cheese, and it goes on and on. It seems to me, like the chicken, that pigs were put on earth to eat. [Read more…]
Francisco, local bottega owner and our personal food guide, explains the anatomy of a sweet Andalusian treat, Chocolate con Churros. “In the morning, you can tell where the market is by the smell of the Churro.” Watch the full video HERE.