Category Italian food and wine

What’s your Italian culinary top 10?

If you had to list a culinary top 10 for Italy, what would make the cut? Well, earlier this year, the good people over at the Perennial Plate, a 2013 James Beard Award winning online weekly documentary series, attempted to do that in a less-than-five-minutes-and-exceptionally-well-made video. I can’t find fault with a single choice. And, […]

It’s All Greek to Me

It’s Throwback Thursday! Today’s fabulous destination? A 2007 trip to southern Italy, and our visit to Paestum’s incredibly well-preserved Greek temples. Paestum was at one time a Greek settlement, founded in the 6th century BC, in the former Magna Greca. It’s located in present day Campania on the Cilento Coast, which is south of the […]

Puglia in New Jersey

Blogging about one’s vacation is not without repercussions. If you go to cooking school in Italy, for instance, the friends and family who’ve been reading your blog expect you to cook for them when you return home. Last month, I spent a week at The Awaiting Table Cookery School in Puglia with my friend, Anne […]

I ♥ Olive Oil (and I’m not talking about Popeye’s girlfriend)

One of the things I try to save room for in my suitcase when returning from Italy is olive oil, preferably nectar from the place or region I’m visiting. It’s a way to bring back, literally, a part of of the place where I’ve been staying, because it comes from the fruit of trees growing […]

Last words on Puglia

Saturday dawned, stark, cold and bleak; our last day at the Awaiting Table Cooking School. The sadness was  palpable and despair loomed over us like an enormous fist, ready to crush our souls at any moment. Oh, wait. No, that was the polpettone from the night before, still sitting like a large lump in our […]

Rabbit, not cat

Thursday’s holiday from cooking was over, and it was time to head back into the kitchen on Friday. At the public market, Silvestro led us to the large meat case, the same one where we purchased our sun-kissed chickens on Wednesday, and directed our gaze to the long rabbit displayed behind the glass. It was […]

Pasta and architecture

Our second day of cooking school at Awaiting Table followed the same template as the first. Because we are now accomplished residents of Lecce, instead of congregating in the main Piazza, we met instead at the same Caffe from our first day (this has now become our “local”) for espresso or cappuccino before shopping. We […]

Back to Scuola

We started our cooking classes in Lecce on Tuesday morning. Our class met again on the main Piazza and then we went to a Bar/Cafe for espresso. We shared several pastries, including Rustico Leccese, which is a savory mini pie of flaky pastry stuffed with mozzarella. It’s served warm, so the cheese is soft and […]

Going for Baroque

We arrived in Lecce after a 5+ hour train ride from Rome. Why does train travel feel so much better than air? Our route took us through Caserta, Foggia, to Bari and Brindisi. The last two hours or so of the trip was along the coast and we had nice views of the Adriatic Sea. […]

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