Quite Possibly the World’s Best Sandwich

I wasn’t much of a bologna — baloney — kid when I was young. While my friends pined for white bread with bologna and mayo, I found it rather bland and uninteresting.

nlsb0169

In my teen years, working at an Italian deli, I would discover that the origins of this pale, flaccid meatstuff was actually a salumi called mortadella (the American version was named after the central-Italian city from whence mortadella originates, Bologna). And my opinion would change. More

Advertisements

Skinny Girls Roadshow LIVE from Tuscany — Sean vs. the Fiorentina

Every region of Italy has its own specialties. In Rome, for example, it’s pastas like cacio e pepe, carbonara, amatriciana and spaghetti with garlic, olive oil and pepper flakes. In Tuscany, where I am now writing, it’s more hearty fare — white beans, sausages, chicken liver crostini. And the most famous Tuscan dish of all, bistecca all fiorentina.

The fiorentina

The fiorentina at Trattoria l’Oriuolo

The most famous statue in Florence, capital of Tuscany where I am also now writing, is of course Michelangelo’s “David”. It is a representation of the biblical David, stone in sling, preparing to take on Goliath. This is how I felt preparing to take on the fiorentina. More

Chopping My Way to Glory

Lately when I’ve gone to the fridge feeling uninspired and not knowing what to make for dinner, I’ve often turned to something that was missing from my repertoire for years — the chopped salad.

While not codified in the same way as other great salads, the Caesar for example (romaine, anchovy, lemon, parmesan and garlic), or the Cobb (avocado, bacon, egg, chicken, etc.), it is precisely its flexibility that makes the chopped salad so great. More

Kitchen Catastrophe

When I was a younger cook, I was more prone to kitchen disasters of either of three varieties — the huge mess, the ill-conceived flavor combination, or the flesh wound. With age, experience and wisdom has come the know-how to avoid most kitchen disasters in any of those categories. But every once in a while, I get broadsided by a new ingredient, tool or technique. And discover that disaster is never far at bay. More

Italian Summer in a Glass

“The days were long and the nights were long and the life was good.”
—Gertrude Stein, Fiesole, Italy, Summer 1908

A few weeks ago, drinking and dining with my friends/neighbors/mortal enemies (envy is a terrible thing) Chris and Glennis before they left for a week in Venice, Italy, we got talking about Campari.

Chris was pontificating that Europe had an appreciation for bitter foods and spirits that you don’t see as much in America. That set me to forming theories and pontificating in turn about how bitter as an entire taste realm was absent altogether from American cuisine — we like our sweet (OH, how we like our sweet!) and our salty, we’ll dabble in sour. But bitter is completely unrepresented — replaced, perhaps, by fried. And more salt. More