Note the name of the restaurant: La Barrique. Food in the Piemonte has been influenced by the French and this neighborhood has drawn many French on holiday weekends. One time, the dining room was full, but A was the ONLY Italian guest.
Now, I am not a person who can sit still for long so I am not suited for true Italian meals. A formal meal or a get-together (like the one we had last Sunday), consists of 6 courses. I can’t eat that much so I pick and choose.
Last night’s Antipasto (1) was a plateful of salumi (sliced cold meat) from Coggiola. Coggiola is another town in the vicnity and is the only town that prepares this type of cut meat. How's that for regional! It was served with sliced apples sitting on a bed of lettuce and covered light sauce.
This, like prosciutto, is not a cooked meat. You may be more familiar with the prosciutto and melon that is abundant in summer time.
I skipped the pasta dish as usual (2) (from the Primi Piatti section) and went straight to the Secondi.
(Side note: Last Sunday I ordered the Taglio di Manzo at the mountain restaurant and somewhat thin slices of very rare meat (VERY rare meat) were placed before me. I was told that “Taglio” always comes prepared that way. I was looking for a nice juicy steak! I've lost count of how much rare and even raw meat I've eaten here.)
Very interesting creation with a nest of rock salt sitting on top of the tastiest steak I’ve had in a while. A skewer of grilled onion, eggplant, potato and tomato was placed beside it with more round scoops of baked potato on the black backdrop of a plate.
All this was accompanied by a Barolo wine, also made in Piemonte.
We skipped the cheese (4) but at Sunday’s meal we devoured samples of sheep, goat and cow’s cheese, the latter (Toma) being the most popular from this area. I’ve not enjoyed cheese so much as when it is eaten with honey or marmalade of honey. Delicious!
Dessert (5) is a must for A and something else I usually skip. A baked pear dish made from fruits picked from the region came dusted with powdered sugar, a daub of whipped cream on the side and drizzled with chocolate.
Coffee and/or a liquor (6) is usually last. The liquor is said to help digest all the food that was just devoured.
I'm not sure if Annmucc in London experienced meals such as this when she visited Pisa a short while ago. However, I know from her experience that a technically minded chemistry/biology major going for her PhD knows how to enjoy the good things in life. Read her contribution at Rantings from Afar and get caught up in her boundless energy.
This round of World Blog Surf Day participants are being acknowledged in Anastasia Ashman's Twitter stream. Please check out her Twitter page or website. She is an American cultural producer based in Istanbul, and is a creator of Expat Harem, the anthology by foreign women about modern Turkey. Her Tweetstream focuses on women, travel and history and she shares resources for writers./travelers, expats, Turkophiles and culturati of all stripes.
In case there is a break in the chain, here is the list to continue your journey. Enjoy the trip!