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cinghiale last won the day on May 27

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  1. I’ve had luck rolling the jar back and forth on the floor with my foot. It seems to help loosen the seal.
  2. cinghiale


    There ARE chicken livers in the piece of vincisgrassi that I had at a festival last week
  3. When in the States, I've been buying oil from Despaña. The interwebs attest to its good quality, and the price is right (also spiralling, tho). Kind of pedestrian in terms of taste, but any thoughts out there? Not adulterated, right? Their sherry vinegar is also awesome IMO.
  4. True that. But we're a lot farther from North Africa then, say, Sicily or Spain. Every load of olives is pressed separately. They process from Farmer A, who gets his oil from his olives, before moving on to Farmer B. Also, a part of the pressing is for home use; I don't know the percentage and should ask next time I'm there. Many allocate some of their oil to the oleificio to cover costs. The mill stores their take in enormous steel vats, which is where they tap it when I buy it. I was there a few weeks ago to buy some oil to tide me over until the fall harvest. The owner told me that they now market "bio" oil. It's quite involved to get certified. Plus, she said, the mill has to go out to the farms to verify that they're following the mandated practices. OK, this is Italy, but I have no reason to doubt her. Prices have also become insane. I paid EUR 16+ per kilo, double that of just five years ago. Last year's harvest was battered by the terrible rainy May (almost other fruit, too). This year is looking better, weather-wise, but as with so many things, there's little reason to expect that prices will fall.
  5. I’ve been organizing my media library this weekend and happened upon this video I shot in November 2012 at my local oleificio, right in the middle of the olive harvest. I’ve gotten my oil from them ever since I moved here. Those of you who haven’t seen a mill in operation might find it interesting. I apologize for the quality, especially the audio – I was using one of those all-purpose digital cameras that predated smartphones. https://youtu.be/isKPkqaH2rs
  6. "Storage instructions on foods, or lack thereof, manifest a different reality, one where proper storage techniques aren’t general knowledge but insider information: There probably won’t be any refrigeration instructions on a bag of pine nuts, but if you know, you know." [somewhat misleadingly titled] Stop Wasting Your Fridge Space
  7. +2 on Merlin. Works great here in Italy, too.
  8. I saw that years ago when searching for a way to short-cut the second shelling. Nopeity-nope. As @Diancecht says, maybe when they’re really young, but otherwise “by removing the skin of each bean, you also unquestionably remove much of that very earthy flavor dull, chewy hull that makes these tender otherwise barely edible early-summer delights so ultimately, well, delightful.” And ours is not an Alice Waters-style garden. No going out and delicately selecting the most tender young shoots. Here’s the trampled remains in our unkempt garden: For the past 10 years, we’ve been gradually restoring the soil with these super-nitrogen fixers. It seems to be working. Something for @Wilfrid: My wife loves the beautiful structure that cardoons bring to the gardens. But aside from the stalks (which here are undoubtedly too tough to eat), you can also eat the fruit (if that’s what it’s called). Our neighbor comes by to collect however many favas he wants, and he showed me how these buds are edible. He suggests adding them in with a fava saute. The cardoon (cardo) is related to the artichoke (carciofo): you peel down the fruit and cook the heart. I haven’t had any success yet making them so that they’re tender and un-bitter, but I’m working on it.
  9. In more Marche news, the Cantine Aperte was this weekend. Had other commitments and couldn't go. But: the Brodetto Fest is this weekend. Might be time for a trip to the coast!
  10. Chef has his offal game going for the summer menu: Lampredotto sandwich: street food that I’m sure many of you have had in Florence. It’s usually translated at “tripe”, but my research showed that it’s actually made from the fourth stomach of the cow, the abomasum. Do we refer to stomach as “tripe”? Is there another word? I obviously can’t render it as “stomach sandwich”. The Germans have “Saumagen”, Helmut Kohl’s favorite dish, which is “sow stomach”, so no squeamishness there. I had the lampredotto about a month ago when he was trying it out. Delicious (according to the webs, it seems that everyone who eats them loves them). Pajata: a new one for me. A classic Roman dish made with intestines from milk-fed calves, which is how I put it in the dish description. AFAIK the lining of the intestines creates a milky/cheesey sauce of its own accord. Can’t wait to try it. He also has another Tuscan dish with a weird name: Tonno del Chianti. No, it’s not Chianti tuna but rather a pork preparation allegedly invented by Dario Cecchini (so he says). The chef showed me the prep in the kitchen, so I called it “slow-cooked pulled pork shoulder, served jar-packed under olive oil” (I know: the pulled pork shoulder is not slow cooked, but it was hard to fit everything in). It’s not unlike rillettes, I suppose, but I can’t rely on diners to know what that is. Cecchini says he uses “pork thigh”. Traditional recipes call for porky cast-off parts (which sounds great to me!) or even suckling piglets that won’t suckle. Then there a new starter of wild salmon carpaccio cured in squid ink, which looks very nice. A new primo is spaghettoni in a Mazara red prawn stock reduction with sea urchin roe and smoked cherry tomatoes. It’s the “red prawn stock reduction” that I’m not sure of. He calls it “bisque di gambero rosso”. I told him you can’t sauce a pasta (in English) with a “bisque”. He told me he stick blends the prawns with some brodo to make it. Still confused. Anyone have any ideas of what to call that kind of prep? I’m not getting much traction with him on star-hunting. Doesn’t really interest him, though he acknowledges that one always has to aspire to be better. There are only three other restaurants in Marche with comparable menus that have one star. ETA: salmon **carpaccio**
  11. Happy Memorial Day, first of all. Let’s face it: shelling favas is a bitch. Time-consuming, with low return on the investment in terms of hours spent. But they ARE really good. And now’s the time here in Italy. Pix first, then a rant. Here’s one bucket. I shelled two. [not to bury the lede: total time to finish, all-in on double shelling was 6+ hours]. This was maybe 25% of our crop. Like zucchini in the U.S. summer, you can’t give them away. This is what came out after the first shelling. I do the shock and awe method for the second shelling. “Hey Siri, set a timer for 75 seconds”. Beans slip right out, but still there’s another round of shelling. Result: Total yield was 1.8 kg, net net. I vacuum packed a bunch. Will take some with me to Hamburg next month and make tagliatelle with favas and guanciale while we’re watching the Euros. I whizzed some for a puree: Raw favas, garlic, rosemary, olive oil, S&P plus cumin. It’s amaro, but I like it. Rant: I gave my neighbor some of the puree, and he reciprocated with favas in sugo – all from his garden (he’s the real deal – he grows everything that he eats, vegetable-wise). The sugo was great, but he didn’t second-shell the beans. WTF? It was so lacking in the fava department. The other night, I had dinner in my area at a rustic restaurant known for their pastas. Tagliatelle, also in a sugo with beans. Again, not second-shelled. Why do the Italians do this? It was just chaw chaw chaw on the outer skin. I don’t get it. Yes, a lot of added effort to get to those beauties, but the ultimate payoff is so worth it. End of rant. And Happy Memorial Day again.
  12. The Chronicle had some issues on a recent visit.
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