Eat, Drink and Be Merry…

...for Tuesday is Martedì grasso, better known in its French version of Mardi Gras! That is to say, it is Carnevale, ogni scherzo vale! which goes a tad further than 'Trick or treat!' I dare say! The tricks, or scherzi, I've seen come closer to charivari than the ritual throwing of rotten eggs at a jack-o-lantern.…

Buon Natale, genovese style!

Seeing as we are still in the 12 days of Christmas, I am going to extol the virtues of the Genovese Christmas culinary tradition. Recently, on a lovely evening at that Ligurian culinary mecca, Ristorante Manuelina in Recco, we were treated to the delights of the local gastronomy... Could a meal at Manuelina's start with…

Symposium, The Masters of Wine

Buongiorno da Firenze! The 450 delegates of the 8th Symposium have convened and Florence is a-buzz. Things started up mid-afternoon Thursday at the Palazzo dei Congressi, and I haven't had a minute since. The tastings are amazing, the Masters are truly that.So, what are you tasting, you ask! My pick of the first quite impressive…

Let’s Drink Together!

The 8th Symposium organized by the Institute of Masters of Wine will be held in Florence, from May 15 - 18. In just a few days, wine connoisseurs will convene in that cradle of the Italian Renaissance for 4 days of conferences, tastings, meeting and greeting. And there will be a significant number of the…

Ever wonder why it’s called Genoa salame?

We are concluding a week that included two national holidays: Pasquetta, or Little Easter, on Monday, and the Festa della Liberazione, April 25th on Friday. How will we make it through next week? There's only one national holiday: Thursday is May 1st, or Labor Day! Here in my neck of the woods (Liguria), April 25th…

Little Easter… Pasquetta!

Today is ‘Little Easter’ in Italy: Pasquetta! Easter Monday is traditionally spent having a barbecue (you didn’t know Italians loved barbecue? They invented mixed grilled meat!!) Or sometimes having a picnic, usually associated with a walk in the countryside. This is like what 90% of the people do here on Pasquetta. You need a day…

OK, I admit it, I like to sniff…

We are deep into it now, Vinitaly 2014. The heat is on, here in Verona – temperatures are record-breaking, and the wines are sweating. The refrigeration just can’t keep up with the sun beating down on the Verona fairgrounds. I’ve got to admit it, I prefer to sniff. The aromas are heady… I came to…