Italy: An eating photo journal part 2

by - August 10, 2009

More pictures from my week in Italy to visit the family. Again, this is not even close to everything we ate. Most of it was consumed alfresco on the terrace with a variety of tables and chairs to fit everyone on. One year we had so many people turn up for dinner unannounced we took the doors off the hinges in the house and propped them up using my Nonno's old work benches as we had exhausted every source of dining and plastic garden tables. One thing I love about eating here is that you may only be originally cooking for six people but if another six or even sixty turn up there is always enough to go round. Still not figured out how that works...

[Click on the image to make them bigger]

Ah what a welcome! The buxom lady of the De Cecco brand greets everyone at Pescara airport. The De Cecco factory is only over the other side of the mountain range from us and have their own spring water source to make the pasta with. Still to find a pasta that even attempts to rival it, especially evident in the wholemeal version. Didn't manage to pay a visit, but apparently you can have a bit of a walk around the factory and that kind of thing excites my little soul. I did pick up a load of shapes that are unavailable back home though.

Beautiful plaits of garlic sold on the roadside.

We had these teeny little meat kebabs called arrosticini one night out on our terrace. Originally a type of street food from the Abruzzo region found on the road side. They are so, so tasty with tons of salt and the smell they give off the BBQ never fails to make me salivate grotesquely.

Yet, more pastries brought to the house as a gift. I don't think that Italy is really famous for it's cakes but pastries it can do. Those flaky looking ones are my favorites after Sicilian cannoli.

We had to go to the Pelino Confetti factory, the original (and best) makers of the traditional sugared almonds for weddings, baptisms etc.. to choose the bonbonniere for our wedding next year. I loved the fact that the air around the factory smelt like sugar. The choice is astounding and overwhelming now. Any colour, most shapes, different flavours. Then from the miles of glass cabinets they have, you have to choose which little fabric pouch or sack you want to put them in, what colour ribbon, what embellishments, what gift you want to give to your wedding guests... it was too hot and we resolved nothing in the end. All I know is that the sugared almonds will be from this place and they will be traditional and white. You can always taste the difference, the others I've tried always taste rancid or a bit stale at best.

One of the first things I rush off to eat when I get to Italy is this red "pizza" made in huge trays at the bakery. The dough is not really like a pizza, more of a very airy thin bread. Even though it is saturated in olive oil it is still firm and has an incredible chewiness. The tomato coating is thin but flavourful, made with ripe, fragrant tomatoes, generously seasoned and with just a bit of basil for flavour. The best bit is the slightly singed, crispy congealed corners. Desert island stuff.

More good fruit & veg from small holders on the road side. Some have big vans they have driven up from the south with gigantic peaches and melons, some are just people with a little patch of land or even the efforts from their gardens or fruit trees.

The bread is so good here - and it's big. I need to carry this home in my arms like a big baby! This loaf of bread can be left for ages and never goes mouldy. If it goes stale, we soak it in water and top it with ripe tomatoes, olive oil, herbs and salt. However, a loaf of bread like this disappears in a day in our family. We never watch our carb intake and quite rightly too. It all gets worked off with lots of good ol' Italian aerobic gestating and shouting.

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