Dec 192014
 

True English fruitcake—sumptuous, evocative, intoxicating— is something you can love. Here is a recipe dedicated to you for Christmas—especially to my friends who think they hate fruitcake. It’s a revelation: continue reading here for the recipe and story.

Classic home made English fruitcake. @Julia della Croce | Credit: Nathan Hoyt/Forktales

Classic home made English fruitcake. @Julia della Croce | Credit: Nathan Hoyt/Forktales

Oct 082014
 

In my recent article for Zester Daily, I wrote about the gelato explosion. One thing is for sure, gelato is on the move from its Italian home base as more and more entrepreneurs set up shop all over the world using Italy’s state-of-the-art equipment, designed for small-batch, artisan production.

Some of the entries at the Gelato World Tour finale, Rimini, 2014. | Photo: Dino Buffagnani

Gelato entries at the Gelato World Tour Gran Finale, Rimini, 2014. | Photo: Dino Buffagni, Gelato World Tour

Following up on my last post about Rimini, here’s the scoop about why I was in that famous beach resort last month. No, it wasn’t to sunbathe or take in the nightclubs. It was to join the World Gelato Tour which, after circling the globe and picking finalists along the way—including two American gelato makers, Matthew Lee from Austin and Stefano Versace from Miami—the contestants had a “cook-off” to vie for  the World Cup. Here are the stars, the winners, the flavors, and the backdrops—and a photo gallery of the three sweet days I spent in Fellini’s native town to join the jury in discerning who should win the title.

Gelato Village, Rimini. | Photo: Dino Buffagni, Gelato World Tour

Gelato Village in Fellini Park, Rimini. | Photo: Dino Buffagni, Gelato World Tour

Some Sponsors

 A tour of Carpigiani HQ outside of Bologna took in their Gelato University, and the Gelato Museum…

Gelato University classroom. | Photo: Julia della Croce

Gelato University classroom. | Photo: Julia della Croce

At the Gelato University lab, student samples for sale. | Photo: Julia della Croce

Australian jurors inspecting student work at the Gelato University lab. | Photo: Julia della Croce

Gelato cart c. early 20th century. Gelato Museum, Bologna.| Photo: Julia della Croce

Gelato cart c. early 20th century. Gelato Museum. | Photo: Julia della Croce

MEC3, a Willie Wonka-like factory that makes the base ingredients used for making gelato and frozen desserts.

MEC3, Rimini, a Willie Wonka-like factory that makes the base ingredients for gelato and soft-frozen desserts. | Photo: Julia della Croce

MEC3, Rimini. | Photo: Gelato World Tour

Finalists

Matthew Lee, from Téo, Austin. | Photo: Dino Bufagni, Gelato World Tour

Matthew Lee, from Téo, Austin. | Photo: Dino Buffagni, Gelato World Tour

Stefano Versace of Versace Gelateria, Miami. | Photo: Dino Buffagni, World Gelato Tour

Stefano Versace of Versace Gelateria, Miami. | Photo: Dino Buffagni, Gelato World Tour

James Coleridge of Bella Gelateria, Vancouver, BC, Canada

James Coleridge of Bella Gelateria, Vancouver, BC, Canada. | Photo: Dino Buffagni, Gelato World Tour

Ahmed Abdulati, of Dolci Desideri, Bahrain. | Photo: Dino Buffagni, Gelato World Tour

Ahmed Abdulati, of Dolci Desideri, Bahrain. | Photo: Dino Buffagni, Gelato World Tour

A gelato artisan taking a break on her Vespa, Rimini. | Photo: Dino Buffagani, Gelato World Tour

A contestant taking a break in Fellini Park. | Photo: Dino Buffagni, Gelato World Tour

The twenty-four finalists from around the world. | Photo: Dino Buffagnani, Gelato World Tour

All the finalists, from around the world. | Photo: Dino Buffagni, Gelato World Tour

Some Favorites…

Hazelnut's Heart, from Gelateria Fiore, Suzzara, Italy

Hazelnut’s Heart, from Gelateria Fiore, Suzzara, Italy. | Photo: Dino Buffagni, Gelato World Tour

Sóller Orange Sorbet with Fresh Mint and Cardamon, from Iceberg, Spain.| Dino Buffagni, Gelato World Tour

Sóller Orange Sorbet with Fresh Mint and Cardamon, from Iceberg, Spain.| Dino Buffagni, Gelato World Tour

Texas Pecan Pie gelato, from Téo, Austin, TX. Photo: Dino Buffagni, Gelato World Tour

Texas Pecan Pie gelato, from Téo, Austin, TX. Photo: Dino Buffagni, Gelato World Tour

Sicilian Pistachio Gelato, from Il Cantagalli, Lamezia Terme, Italy. | Photo| Dino Buffagni, Gelato World Tour

Sicilian Pistachio Gelato, from Il Cantagalli, Lamezia Terme, Italy. | Photo| Dino Buffagni, Gelato World Tour

Bahrani Rose gelato, from Dolci Desideri, Bahrain. | Photo: Dino Buffagni, Gelato World Tour

Bahrani Rose gelato, from Dolci Desideri, Bahrain. | Photo: Dino Buffagni, Gelato World Tour

Drowned Almond Gelato, from Cow & the Moon, Sydney, Australia. | Photo: Dino Buffagni, Gelato World Tour

Drowned Almond Gelato, from Cow & the Moon, Sydney, Australia. | Photo: Dino Buffagni, Gelato World Tour

To find out who won and the ingredients in the winning flavors, continue reading here. Thanks to the Italian Trade Commission and the many dedicated organizers of Gelato World Tour Rimini for making this trip possible. Special thanks to Valentina Righi, Communication and Public Relations Manager for the Carpigiani Group, for enlightening me about the nutritional value of eating gelato for lunch at least three times a week!

Valentina Righi having lunch at the Carpigiani Gelato University lab. | Photo: Julia della Croce

Valentina Righi having lunch at the Carpigiani Gelato University lab. That plate she’s eating from is a newly designed four-compartment gelato palette that accommodates two flavors and three toppings. Designed by the ever forward-thinking Carpigiani folk. | Photo: Julia della Croce

 

Apr 082013
 
Pistachio Pesto: A Sauce Fit for a Prince

Last year nearly to the day, I wrote a post about A Day Cooking with the Duchess at the ancestral Lampedusa palace in Palermo, where I spent a weekend that was spectacular indeed. With so many photos to post there was no room for a recipe. Here, you’ll find a version of the Duchess’s pistachio pesto that I adapted for American kitchens. (And by the way, if you live anywhere near Westchester County, New York, the Jacob Burns Film Center in Pleasantville will be showing Luchino Visconti’s film adaptation of Il Gattopardo, The Leopard, in this year’s Italian Film Festival on May 19, […more…]

Mar 312013
 
A Whiff of Spring, a Waft of Rome

At long last, a streak of warm sunlight beams through my kitchen window. The day brings to mind Easters in Rome and the city’s abbacchio, butter-tender baby lamb, and the first artichokes of spring. No one, but no one, makes lamb and artichokes taste better than the Romans, though my mother would disagree. Being from Sardinia (Sardegna) where some of the best artichokes in the world grow under that island’s blazing sun, the thistles are a religion in her house. In a region where there are nearly twice as many sheep as people (some 3,000,000 of them to about 1,675,000 Sards), you know […more…]

Apr 062012
 
Feasting with Leopards: An Unordinary Cooking Lesson

On a recent morning in Palermo, I found myself a guest at the historic Lanza Tomasi palazzo, where Nicoletta Polo, the Duchess of Palma, was planning a cooking lesson for American students who would arrive after breakfast. I first met Nicoletta some twenty years ago when she was living in New York City. Originally from Venice and an excellent cook, she versed me on the food of the Veneto for research on a book I was writing then, which includes some of her recipes. Today the Duchess lives in the ancestral palace that her husband, Gioacchino Lanza Tomasi, has restored. […more…]

Feb 062012
 
About that Stracotto: Italian for Very, Very Slow-Cooked, Sublime Stew

And for which I promised a recipe in a recent post (December 15). Just the remedy for February’s chill.  Go to RECIPE> After I finished off producer Piero Catalano’s bottle of Suavis, the aged vinegar from Sicily’s desert island (“The Other Face of Balsamic” [December 15 post]), a small flask of Modena aged balsamic vinegar took its place in my cupboard. Unlike the Suavis, a souvenir from my September in Trapani (I drank it as a cordial, an “amen” to the day, blissful thimbleful by thimbleful and it was gone by January), aged Modena balsamico can be more easily replaced. […more…]

Jun 102011
 
On the Road with Spaghetti alla Carbonara

Photo by Nathan Hoyt At a recent cooking class at the Silo, the cooking school on Ruth and Skitch Henderson’s old estate in New Milford, CT, I decided to demonstrate one of the quickest and easiest pasta dishes of the Italian kitchen: spaghetti alla carbonara. Call it Italy’s version of bacon and eggs if you will–with pasta added. No question that it’s sturdy fare for cool weather, but it’s also a fast summer fix for lunch or dinner–I first ate it as a young girl on a sizzling August day in a trattoria along the Amalfi coast. Outside of Italy, this […more…]

May 102011
 
At Eataly with Julia: Stalking Italy's Winter Flower

Eataly has a gem of a little cooking school. I taught there  in April, timed for the season’s first crop of the precious winter flower of Treviso. Because Eataly carries the uncommon long-ribbed “tardivo” variety of radicchio, I showed my class how to make a stupendous and simple dish with it: Sauteed Spaghetti with Radicchio. The recipe appears in my most recent cookbook, Italian Home Cooking: 125 Recipes to Comfort the Soul (Kyle Books, NY and London, 2010) To buy this book click here Radicchio belongs to the chicory family (cichorium intybus) and there are four different types: – elongated red Verona […more…]