Sunday, May 17, 2009

Italy Trip

I'm going to Italy for two weeks, and it's going to be interesting to have a reminder of how things in Italy taste. When you don't go for a while, you can forget. Sometimes I wonder if my impression that some domestic products are as good is wishful thinking, aided by faded memories of what the real thing tastes like. 

I'll be sure to have a cappuccino (or cappuccio) for breakfast every morning as well as an espresso (or cafe) here and there throughout the day.  Plenty of cured meats will be enjoyed, particularly prosciutto. Gelato as often as possible. Fresh mozzarella from my dad's hometown is going to put my favorite local mozzarella producer to the test. 

I will try to do some posts from the road, otherwise I will do them all when I get back. 

A presto,


Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Black Cat

I just got in a kilo of some really good sh*t.

Gianmarco recommends 
Intelligentsia Black Cat Espresso

Black Cat is the best American roasted coffee for espresso that I have tasted. I love that it's not super dark like most roasters do it. It is medium roasted, has a perfect balanced flavor, and produces a beautiful crema. Not to mention that this coffee is procured by Direct Trade, meaning Intelligentsia buys the coffee direct from the plantations. This cuts out the large coffee distributors and allows the grower to earn more money, and Intelligentsia to have the best pick and even some creative input.

I always swore by Illy Cafe, but I think Black Cat makes an equally excellent coffee. I actually prefer BC because it is way, way fresher. My kilogram of Black Cat was roasted on 5/11 and today is 5/13. That's pretty impressive. I find Illy's beans to be pretty stale, even when I first open the can, and the only date on the can is a sell-by date which is I've seen as far as 9 months in the future. No doubt that Illy is much fresher in Italy, which leads to an important point. When choosing what to buy it is important to remember that some of the best products in Italy don't taste as good here, and you will be better off with a faithfully made domestic product. 

I'll post some pics of my coffee creations soon. My latest obsession is perfecting my espresso and cappuccino making with my new machine.

Friday, May 1, 2009

Friday Lunch

Since I work from home, I get to make myself lunch every day. This is one of my favorite lunches, and supposedly something that my father's family used to make a lot. Interesting because I didn't know that before I started making this on my own. 

Penne with broccoli rabe (or rapini) and pecorino romano.