Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Big Dinner - Big Night Coming up

I prepared an enormous dinner matched with superb wines from our friend Lorenzo Scarpone who owns Villa Italia, a wine merchant from whom we buy lots of good vino. I prepared six courses comprising 13 separate "dishes" if you include antipasto misto, a mixed appetizer and the "contorni" conturs to the second dish (what Americans call the main course). Italian don't use such terminology; the theory being that no dish is more important than another one, it simply shows up in the meal at a different place. These dishes represented various regions in the North of Italy. If you also count the three kinds of bread I made the number of "dishes" goes up.

The highlights of the wine, for me were the 2004 "Weisshouse" Pinot Bianco - utterly delicious. The 2000 Barbera d'Alba Superior Gallino, 2000 Gattinara Anzivino were like drinking nectar, and the 2003 Castellum Vetus Montepulciano d'Abruzzo Centorame made you almost faint it was so good. With this we nibbled on Boschetto cheese studded with large chunks of black truffle. What a heavenly contribution that made to the palette.

We went from Pollo Albese, Alba style chicken with truffles to Lamb Ragu from Abruzzi to oven-roasted Guinea-hen to braised amaretti filled onions to a nice rummy Savarin cake with sottoboschi (forest-floor), a selection of summer berries.

I do believe I am the only person in America (at least the only one I know of) that makes Pane Ferrarese or Coppia, the almost cracker-like rolled up bread also popular in Bologna and shaped like a four-armed starfish. When you see the effort it takes you know why no one makes it - but I like doing stuff like this. We also had hand made crackers, long and wicked looking called "streghe" - witches.

In September I am preparing a meal with appropriate wines from Sicily and Sardegna. It will be, as ususual, a block-buster. I'll tell you more as time goes on.



Blogger Travel Italy said...

Carlo - di dove sei?

Non sei l'unico...

Italian Wine Guy mi ha segnalato il tuo sito.

4:53 PM  

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