Friday, June 19, 2009

Letter from Emilia-Romagna II

Again, my journey continues in the land of olives, cheese, and wine. We did visit a local wine producer's shop today to sample some wine and perhaps buy some. I am no connoisseur of wine, but I can tell whether something is not great. We tasted many wines and all tasted great to me. What is stunning is the price. They all ranged from 2 Euros (yes TWO!) per bottle to the expensive of 8 Euros! This must be the reason they do not drink soft drinks, and beer here. Wine is good, and Wine is cheap.

On the food front, we continue to visit local small restaurants, and so far Benilde's hand made tagliatelle are my favorite. It turns out that she does not use the hand pasta machine, but actually does it the old fashioned using the wood stick (like a baseball bat). The pasta is lightly boiled, feels hard, but just the right amount, covered with ragu (my favorite topping). But amazingly the sauce does not leave a film of fat on the bottom of your plate. It is cooked
long, but somehow, its fat content, although there, is able to be concentrated in the bits of meat that get stuck on the ribbons. I like it that the ribbons are really long and you just sink your head in the plate, try and suck in the long ribbons while at the same time taking in a whiff of that aroma -tomato paste, fat of some kind, maybe bacon or mortadella, olive oil, and some parmesan cheese- and then lift your head with a large smile and a full mouth. We all become kids when we eat these pasta and digging in with your face is part of the fun. Thank you Benilde for this wonderful treat. And so, I leave you with what a satisfied customer left on the wall of the restaurant for Norma (Benilde's daughter and current chef) after what must have been a jurrassicly sacred moment eating the taglia.

1 comment:

Elena said...

Next time can you take me with!? Incredible!