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Showing posts from January, 2009

A Cheese Tango in Italy

The gist of a Cheese Tango in Italy is exposing some of that cheese lust right here with names other than the usual staples like mozzarella and parmigiano. A total of nine, relatively unheard of formaggi (most of which come from northern Italy), has been selected by my husband aka the MotH (Man of the House). General details on milk, texture and regional location are given, along with serving or wine suggestions with an emphasis on matching cheese to a wine that is symbolic of like region. Are we experts on the subject? We wish! We're just devotees to what is definitely a substance that should be the stuff of moons. Once you've crossed into the land of artisan cheese and loved it, there really is no turning back.The sit-down and tasting was the easiest part (nibble, take notes, a sip of wine, repeat). Try taking all that and assembling it into a post. Our westie and dachshund kept getting in the way as they know a good thing when they smell it. Grapes would've mad…

Sugar n' spice, and everything nice: Merano xmas market

German-style breads, pastries and cookies at Mein Beck Bäkerei.Intro: while savoring a greedy mouthful from a pot of chili con carne over the stove, I said to myself, "Well this woulda been better with cheddar; wish I could fly to the UK right now." Then I began smiling at the crazy impulsiveness of it all because in our kitchen, cheese is undeniably the be-all and end-all of food indulgence. Formaggio frenzy. Cheese disease? Waxy golden wheels and mold-covered rounds, pyramids, logs and squares. Pungent wedges. Complete appetite turn-ons. The best steak in the world doesn't even do that for me. Reflecting on that chili, whoever coined the phrase 'cheddar is better' is a damn genius.Which leads me to the hardworking geniuses who orchestrate the festive Mercatini di Natale in Trentino Alto-Adige every year. In 2007 we attended the one in Trento, and while I may have been blinded by the smiling gnomes, the mulled wine, and the scrumptious canederli dumpl…

A winter white new year

We are back, and let me say that while I got my wish for a white Christmas, waking up to a wintry wonderland on the first day of 2009 was like wishes come true all over again. This has been one very snowy season for Italy, the most I've ever seen since moving here. Can you tell that the Mads agrees with the stuff? The arrival of the new year saw a fresh layer of about 6 inches as a powdery veil fell continuously from the evening before. Let it snow baby snow! With a crackling fire in the hearth and a pot of bubbling fontal on the table, we celebrated untraditionally, à la fondue, one bite after another til the cast iron vessel ran dry. I need to remember that a pound of cheese is nowhere enough for two. Amazing how a cold, snowy night does something to morph your tummy into a bottomless pit. The dish of thick, melted cheese ran out way before midnight.

Even at less than 20F degrees outside and frozen flurries swirling like mad, there was no missing a celebratory toast in th…