Edible Collections: Omnivorous Trends

Fresh from the pantry…

What does wines history tell us? Efforts to narrow the stylistic or quality potential of many grapes are doomed to failure. Somewhere, an idealistic winemaker will pop up with wines that prove the narrative wrong… and Searching for the most dangerous cheese in Italy: Casu Marzu. But, if you are able to overcome the understandable disgust, casu marzu has a flavor that is intense with reminders of the Mediterranean pastures and spicy with an aftertaste that stays for hours… so they say

“Excellence” is not a gift, but a skill that takes practice. We do not act “rightly” because we are “excellent”, in fact we achieve “excellence” by acting “rightly”.” ~Plato

The hard task of inventing a truly great dish while looking to reorganize your kitchen — especially if you’re working with limited space… it’s a life kit special

It’s been a weird time for shopping lately. As people have been spending more time at home and settling into a “new normal,” they’ve been purchasing products that not only help them stay safe during this time, but also items that help them feel more comfortable and keep busy. So, what is the most popular?

Who agree that changing eating habits overnight can be challenging? What about pairing cocktails with food? “A lot of people try to match a cocktail menu to a food menu — I think it’s better to complement.” Opposites attract!

food styling
Vegetarian Haggis, Aging Beef and Food Photography, (Tips, Tricks, and Tutorials) – Best Food Photography

Italian Flavours :: In Vino… Venea

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Venea, a family story of wine and “spirito abruzzese”| photo: ©MateldaCodagnone

The English Idiom “good things come in small packages” translates the Italian “nella botte piccola c’è il vino buono” (small casks carry top-quality wine). If this holds true for “things” in general, it should be truer for wineries.

Venea is a 25-acre winery on the hilly backcountry around Fossacesia (Chieti). The name recalls a former Roman temple dedicated to Venus Conciliatrix (“the peace maker”), on whose ruins the Abbey of San Giovanni in Venere was built in the IX century A.D.

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Paolucci’s family | photo: ©MateldaCodagnone

This is just one instance of how Paolucci family is strongly and firmly tied to this stretch of land, caught between the sea and the Maiella massif. Nicolino, Serena, Michele and Elena are the kings and queens of this tiny kingdom, a treasure chest where you can find excellent wine and extra-virgin olive oil.

Nicolino Paolucci spent some years in the local cooperative winery and then he realized it was high time to run his own wine business. He and his wife Serena merged the lands both families owned since four generations ahead and started their own “cantina”.

However, with such a rich and important background, one should not think that Venea is tied to bygone days. Their approach to wine-making is updated to the new trend, e.g. it is respectful of the environment through the implementation of the integrated pest management. Even the choice of the name for their rosé wine comes from the title of the one of the most popular Italian rocker’s songs – Vasco Rossi’s Albachiara. But again their roots come up again with a tribute to a local noblewoman, who gives her name to Venea’s Trebbiano and Chardonnay white wine – Spinalba.

Venea’s style mixes old and modern references but keeps its focus on the land. Venea’s estate is included in the upcoming Parco della Costa dei Trabocchi (Trabocchi Coast Park), whose aim is to protect this unique area from unauthorised building development and other land violations. The Trabocchi Coast Park setup could be another asset for the Paolucci, whose love and respect for their land is the leading inspiration for their activity.

Contact: Nicolino Paolucci
Telephone & fax: +39 0872 60303
email: info@venea.it
Azienda Agricola Venea – Via Piano Madonna – 66022 Fossacesia (Chieti)

Tasting Notes: Bliss In A Hiss… Cheers!

When we are kids, we are used to have the same food and beverages. We are creatures of habit and we don’t like exploring new ingredients. We just stick to what we like – usually three or four dishes – and that’s it. Then, we grow up, we try new food and those flavours, tastes and smells disappear.

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Spuma scura… Photo: Giuseppe Marone

Last year I was at Fritto Misto All’Italiana, an annual food show focused on fried food. Regional recipes with fried ingredients are offered at stands, and even though fried food is a sort of bugbear for high-cholesterol-level people (i.e. almost everybody), visitors wolf down every single piece of food, showing no regret at all. While I was strolling around the stands, I got close the beverage stand and I saw it. Perhaps I haven’t seen it for forty years.

I felt as if a time machine took me back when I was six and I was sipping my favourite soft drink with my cousins and my uncle. I believe that was the same feeling Marcel Proust experienced with his madeleine.

My madeleine is the spuma, whose taste is hard to explain, since it is not an orange juice, it is not a coke. Nor any other popular drinks that kids usually have these days. The best thing is to try it out. As for me, when I opened the bottle, the gas hissing out of the crown cap  was like music for my years and the taste on my mouth was the taste of happiness. The taste that just a comfort food can give. I raised the glass and had a toast to my uncle. He used to spoil us, and needless to say, we deeply loved him. One of his treat was to take us to the local “osteria” and he would ask for a glass of wine for him and a small bottle of spuma for us kids.  He is no longer with us, but every time I drink a glass of spuma, I know he’s right beside me. Cheers to my uncle, wherever is now!
This post originally appeared in Italian on Verba Volant Il sapore della felicità (ovvero: Na onbreta par mì e na spuma pa’ i boce)

DSC_5911_Spuma_photo: ©Lonza65 and ©GiuseppeMarone
Dreamin of Dark Spuma… | photo: ©Lonza65 and ©GiuseppeMarone