Food of Italia and more
This is raclette cheese- the first smell I got right off the bat from it was peanuts strangely enough-raclette is a cheese native to Swittzerland- and is typically made into a dish with the same name where the cheese is heated and scrape onto the dish with accompaniments- it was pretty good- i still tasted the nutty flavor slightly and it also had a hint of what tasted like a bloomy rind mold which was strange because it has a natural rind- also, another weird flavor I got was a wheat beer-think they would go well together- it was also biter and creamy with a flavor similar to fontina  today I also tried some different balsamic vinegars-the oldest one i tried was 25 years aged mad by a company of course in Modena and was aged for 25 years in cherry wood-it was very sweet and had a distinct lasting flavor that was unlike any balsamic I had ever tasted -it almost had the complexity of an aged red wine-then I tried some others that were aged for 12 years and then 4 years-the difference with the aging yields a totally different consistency and sweetness-the more it is aged the sweeter it is and the thcker it is because the mosture is leaving the sugars-there is only two provinces that make true Aceto di balsamico tradizionale which is protected under dOC law-they are Modena and Reggio Emilia- what makes it more expensive has to do obviously with the company producing it and their production methods, but mostly on the ratio tof aceto di vino and uve cotte (wine vinegar and cooked grapes)-the more of the natural cooked grapes there are the more expensive the balsamic is-the 125 dollar balsamic I tried was 100% uva cotto- in this method there was a natural vinegar acquired without the help of a wine and vinegar starter-work of art
 

This is raclette cheese- the first smell I got right off the bat from it was peanuts strangely enough-raclette is a cheese native to Swittzerland- and is typically made into a dish with the same name where the cheese is heated and scrape onto the dish with accompaniments- it was pretty good- i still tasted the nutty flavor slightly and it also had a hint of what tasted like a bloomy rind mold which was strange because it has a natural rind- also, another weird flavor I got was a wheat beer-think they would go well together- it was also biter and creamy with a flavor similar to fontina  today I also tried some different balsamic vinegars-the oldest one i tried was 25 years aged mad by a company of course in Modena and was aged for 25 years in cherry wood-it was very sweet and had a distinct lasting flavor that was unlike any balsamic I had ever tasted -it almost had the complexity of an aged red wine-then I tried some others that were aged for 12 years and then 4 years-the difference with the aging yields a totally different consistency and sweetness-the more it is aged the sweeter it is and the thcker it is because the mosture is leaving the sugars-there is only two provinces that make true Aceto di balsamico tradizionale which is protected under dOC law-they are Modena and Reggio Emilia- what makes it more expensive has to do obviously with the company producing it and their production methods, but mostly on the ratio tof aceto di vino and uve cotte (wine vinegar and cooked grapes)-the more of the natural cooked grapes there are the more expensive the balsamic is-the 125 dollar balsamic I tried was 100% uva cotto- in this method there was a natural vinegar acquired without the help of a wine and vinegar starter-work of art

 

Last night I made lots of food-made a fritata with panchetta and onions with a cracker crust made with honey and topped with gorgonzola sauce-then made manicotti but made the dough olives diced into it- filled it with a light smear of ricotta and calamari  sauteed with lemon, onions, basil, and butter-topped it with a tomato, peas and eggplant sauce made with cherry tomatoes and tomatoes puree, and a little butter and veg stock-then made a salad with chesnuts that i honey roasted and salted, fennel sticks, white asparagus, and blood orange vinaigrette-then wehad prosciutto di umbria and mozz di bufula-the proscuitto was aged more than usually so it was tougher- didn’t have the sweet flavor as with most proscuitto and wasn’t that salty

Poppa di mucca- this is the cows utter- over here it is typically floured and fried with salt and pepper so that is all I did to it- it has a bit of a funky tatse somewhat similar to liver

Poppa di mucca- this is the cows utter- over here it is typically floured and fried with salt and pepper so that is all I did to it- it has a bit of a funky tatse somewhat similar to liver

Sweet cheese turnovers I made last night- I took the sweet pie crust that I had frozen from the pastiera (froze well it did not change the taste or texture at all) and rolled it out, then filled it with taleggio cheese, dipped it in butter and rolled it in toasted pinioli nuts- then baked them-definately will do those again-

Sweet cheese turnovers I made last night- I took the sweet pie crust that I had frozen from the pastiera (froze well it did not change the taste or texture at all) and rolled it out, then filled it with taleggio cheese, dipped it in butter and rolled it in toasted pinioli nuts- then baked them-definately will do those again-

Pecorino Marzolino on the let and Tomino on the right-both good-the marzolino has that familiar pecorino taste, but also has a slight mozzarella taste to  me- the texture is semi-soft so it will melt well- the tomino was light-it is fairly nuetral tasting but has a light brie like flavor- the rind is perectly eatable and isn’t bitter- the olives are “olive salamaio”- they taste like typical green spanish olives-wereen’t  too surprising

Morocco was crazy!! By far the most different place I have ever been to- it cray how much of  adifferent world it is-without being in Fez for ten minutes we were being followed around by random people/kids trying to be our tour guides and sell us things- first time we sat down to eat we were joined by a kid who started eating off of our plates- the food was totally authentic and incredible- I have to say that best thing I ate was the pastilla or bustella- it is a traditional food eaten during ramada that is basically a squab/pigeon or chicken spiced with saffron and other traditional moroccan spices, in phyllo dough with layered almonds and sugar and topped with a checkered decoration of powdered sugar and cinnamon-the sweet and savory contrast wasthe best I have ever tasted-not exagerating, and the best part was tha it was 70 durham which comes out to about 70 euro cents-ridiculous- food was so cheap in general- I ate tangine several times, with chicken, vegetables, meatballs,- they use a lot of saffron powder, zatar, pimento doux (chili peper blend from france) cumin salto on everything, cardomom, sesame, and more- food was very fragrant-i ate the most authentic meal possible-i took a horse ride through the country side with the moroccan friends we met and went up to this lady’s shanty shack where she cooked us chicken and vegetable tangine with the homeade bread she cooked in her clay oven-she let me watch her cook and it was amazing to see how her knife skills were ten time better than mine-she had all her fresh produce in a bowl of waer and bent down on the floor preping everything- lots of spices went into the tangine with saffron giving off the yellow color- of course we ate sitting on the floor with only our bread as utencils-Craziest thing i ate was sheeps brain-it was actually really good-it almost had the flavor of mussels with a sodf texture- it was served with scrambled eggs and tomatoes-very interesting- also ate a fritata like dish on the street with cumin salt and soft egg on top-had snails in the traditional saffron powder broth with a hint of cinnamon-drinkin mint green tea almost five times a day was one of my favorite parts-this is a big tradition of theirs that they still cherish until today-it is made with lots of mint leaves and sugar and served in glass cups that r piping hot- had cous cous, date, a fresh goat cheese made by hand with palms, preserved lemons that tasted similar to pickles-they use lots of different beans and lentils as well-what I relaly want to learn how to make is this flatbread that is very tough in texture but has a distrint taste- they eat it at different meals throughout the day-it has lots of layers-there is another bread that must use the same flour because of the texture and taste that was served with a peanut butter spread on top- so good, want to learn-they also use lots of olives which i didnt expect-i can go on with the list all day-overall the food was great and the people were very different-bought a tangine to cook with and some spices 

Today I tried a DOP cheese called montasio- it is very similar in  texture to a parmigiano in that you have that grainy feel in your mouth after you eat it but is is softer- it has a great creamy flavor, and is somewhat peppery- really good

Rome

Taste food show

The food down south is great -obviously since we are on the coast the seafood was as fresh as can be- I ate a lot of octopus especially in a certain dish called “polipo affogato” or drowned octopus- the octpus is cooked for a long period of time in a tomato based sauce and has a light smokiness to it- I had the best affogato at this small walk in grab and go eatery in Meta- also had lots of prawns or ghamberoni-the best i had were prepared on the grill and had a crunchy outside that made it easy to eat the whole shellfish, head and all- the pizza perfect-really wat was so good about it was the crust- it had a great bounce to it yet was not chewy-it was perfectly thin with with great tomatoes-simple but perfect- I really enjoyed a puntanesca slice-salty but not too salty- also a great one was arugala , parm, and proscuitto crudo-2 others that were surprisingly popular were corn, cream, and ham and then hot dogs and french fries-they were more something that caought on woth the younger people over the past few  years- but of course the plain margherita was great on its own- the cheeses that were really big down there were caciocavalli, provolone, provola, mozz di bufula, caciolette, caciotine,  ricottas, and other pasta filato cheese-i had an amazing cheese which had a flavor unlike anything i’d evertasted called “volete del estate” - it was a local variety that had a flavor of stone fruits- it was covered in  hay and was made from cows milk-one of my favorites and something I’ll have to seek out again- the wines typical from that area were Falanghina, Agnelico, Gambagna, and Lacryma Christo DOC- the last one axtually means “christ tears” and it is made from the grapes grown in the lava soil of mount vesuvio- the falanghina didn’t stand out for me- it is a white made with a blend of local grapes found as a frizzante as well-  it has ripe green fruit flavors- gambagna is named after the town it comes from- it is a nice sweet frizzante red made from local varieties- the agnielico is more of a dry red with more of a tannic bite

Vico Equense for spring break week; had a great time with Dom and Dad-these are all the views from Doms family’s places-crazy beautiful and it’s not even nice out yet