May 20, 2010
There are few foods as closely associated with Italian Jewish cooking as Carciofi alla Giudia or fried artichokes. This delicious dish can be found in any number of Roman restaurants but it is traditionally associated with the Roman Ghetto. Artichokes can be quite tough when cooking normal but this particular way of making them allows the heart, stems and inner leaves to be quite tender.
One Roman restaurant where Carciofi alla Giudia is always on the menu is La Taverna Del Ghetto near the Portico d’Ottavia in Rome. This restaurant, which is also kosher, is a hit with tourists of all religions and ages as it sits on a picturesque street in the old Roman ghetto behind the Synagogue and not far from the Tiber river.
Carciofi alla Giudia can be served as an antipasto or as a side dish. The hardest thing to do is to limit the number that one consumes. Artichokes are in season in the Spring, Summer and Fall. This great blog post from City Cooks gives clear instructions on how to clean and cook them in any fashion.
April 29, 2010
Italy is renowned for its wealth of fruits and vegetables. One such vegetable is Asparagus. The Consorzio Asparago Piacentino has been actively promoting the healthy attributes of this elegant vegetable with the tagline – a Sana Tentazione or a healthy craving.
According to materials from the Consortium, Asparagus are famous for its characteristic as an antidepressant, as an antioxidant and for its high level of fiber. Additionally it has a variety of amino acids that can be considered a diurectic.
In promoting Italian products, consortium countrywide are now referring to the length of the chain between suppliers and consumers. The shorter the better is the idea. Additionally, food producers are once again promoting the idea of eating fruits and vegetables in season and the use of few chemicals.
This asparagus consortium is located in Northern Italy in the province of Lombardy but there are numerous consortium throughout the country. Piacenza is a town that most people associate with salami and other charcuterie products as well as the delicious but not dietic gnoccho fritto.
Whether eating gnoccho fritto with charcuterie or tasting the delicious asparagus from these parts, this lower part of Lombardy has some interesting food and wine traditions.