Our meal at Il Vicoletto (the little alley) received one of my “Lifetime Top Five” restaurant awards. It’s a tiny restaurant tucked away in an alley off the winding path up to the top of the historic district in Torremaggiore near Foggia in Puglia. Each course provided layers of thoughtful taste, interleaved with local delicacies and original presentation. I will go on, I’m sure, for quite awhile. Even though our extended dinner caused me to embark on my first all-nighter in several decades to catch an early morning ride to the airport, every minute was worth it. (more…)
Archive for March, 2010
Today is St. Patrick’s Day, so we’re all a little Irish. Click here to learn about the disposition of the shamrocks presented to President Obama by Irish Prime Minister Brian Cowen. And here to learn about the shamrock shortage that’s shaking Ireland. Finally, a twitter feed alerts us to an alleged fact that the original color of St. Patrick’s Day is blue, a color found in the Irish Coat of Arms.
Meanwhile Italians, never ones to miss a festa, are celebrating St. Patrick’s Day, but the real action happens later in the week on March 19. So here’s the quiz: To win a $10 gift certificate, you have to answer both of these questions: 1) What is the name of the festival?, and 2) what food is traditionally served on this day? To respond, send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org .
We will reply to you in email as to whether your answer is correct or incorrect, and, if you win, your gift certificate will be on file here at Flavors From Afar. The gift certificates are good for one month and not valid in conjunction with other Flavors From Afar sales and specials. They’re just special all by themselves!
So put on your green (or blue) thinking caps and give it a try!
Gary just couldn’t resist! A little fusion cuisine with an American staple: the cane caldo (hot dog to you!) wrapped in Prosciutto, stuffed on a soft Hoagie bun with some of our Flavorful staples: Tuscan White Bean Appetizer, Fire Roasted Tomato Salsa, and sided with our fabulous new French (not French’s!) mustard.
Can you resist? We didn’t think so!
Umami (ooh-ma’-mee, or “Oh Mama!” to you!) has been called the “fifth taste”, after salty, sweet, bitter, and sour. Identified in 1908 by a Japanese researcher, it sometimes goes by the term “savory” and includes flavors found in mushrooms, cheese, Balsamic vinegar, and soy sauce. Think “yummy” and you’re getting there.
Publicity about the Umami Burger restaurant in L.A. caught Gary’s attention, so we gave it a try one weekday night. Using 2 ounces each of veal, pork, and beef per burger, he added chopped fresh herbs to the mix, and pan-fried gently till done. Key umami ingerdients (in addition to the meat) included roasted tomatoes (slice into 1/4″ rounds, add salt and pepper,then broil until bubbly), parmesan rounds (grate parmesan, shape roughly into rounds and heat on a skillet until melted together into a crisp), caramelized onions, and ketchup. We added a dollop of our fantastic new French (as opposed to French’s) mustard to top and dived in, mouth wide open, catching every drippy layer from bun to bun. Fantastico!
St. Francis stands, hand cupped around a bird, surrounded by a forest of burgeoning iris. Stubborn iris already in bloom in the different growing zone of our store in Dallas. Tarragon snakes out of the ground, called by the genie of spring, winding its way out of winter’s wet earth.
Spring, stubborn spring, thrusts its way out at us, calling us out of winter’s unfeeling cocoon into this year’s land of color and ligt.