Feb 232016
 
radicchio farmer, medium file, 010927_016_radicchio_farmer_Veneto

Radicchio farmer in the Veneto tending his fields. | Photo by Paolo Destefanis for Veneto: Authentic Recipes From Venice and the Italian Northeast, by Julia della Croce (Chronicle Books)

It’s radicchio season. If you’ve only ever eaten it in salads, it’s time to expand your horizons. Story and recipes here

Feb 142016
 
Hand-picking olives for oil at harvest time. | Photo: Copyright Celina della Croce/Forktales, 2016

Hand-picking olives for oil at harvest time. | Photo: Copyright Celina della Croce/Forktales, 2016

What better to tell you about on Valentines Day than olive oil, dear reader? Oils from the new olive harvest hit the markets in the States at this time of year, but you’ll need some savvy to know the real thing from the fakes. Don’t miss my tips for knowing the difference, here…

Nov 032015
 
Fires of Autumn in the Veneto

It was this time of year in 2000 when Italian photographer Paolo Destefanis set out with my manuscript in hand to shoot images for Veneto: Authentic Recipes From Venice and the Italian Northeast, a title I wrote for Chronicle Books. I had gone with him earlier in the year to capture the magic of the Venice and its waterways in springtime and to explore locations in some of the mainland provinces. But I missed the second trip the following fall, and had to satisfy myself with being there vicariously through the vivid photographs he took. While I love the fieldwork, research, and recipe testing that is […more…]

Oct 132015
 
Blazin' Jack-o'-Lanterns!

The Hudson Valley, just upriver from Manhattan, takes Halloween very seriously what with its famous one-time resident, Washington Irving, having written “The Legend of Sleepy Hollow,” America’s first ghost story. Besides the usual Halloween parades, the towns up and down the river host vampire balls, real haunted house competitions, the Headless Horseman’s night ride reenactments, and tours to the cemetery where the author himself and the once flesh-and-blood Katrina Van Tassel are buried. But best of all is the Great Jack-o’-Lantern Blaze, an artistic spectacle that even grownups can love. If you can’t make it, have no fear. Feast your eyes […more…]