The last time I wrote, I had just arrived to a chilly Memphis, Tennessee for the Saveur Blog Awards, sweetly excited yet unaware what the next days would have in store for me. Now I write from a smoky San Francisco, my heart hurting for those whose lives either taken horrifically or changed forever from the fires devastating Northern and Southern California, while mulling over how I can best express the thoughts which have been percolating. Continue Reading →
In my last entry detailing pistachio overload, I promised a “flurry” of posts which I was hoping to hold me accountable to update my blog, alas life gets in the way yet again.
It’s been a crazy month or so, and I am now writing you loopy and jetlagged from Memphis, with a bit of country oozing from my little vintage jukebox radio as a kick-off to a 2 month stint back in the states. My first stop is here in Elvis’s hometown to attend the Saveur Blog Award ceremony (as my blog was nominated- grazie ancora to all y’all!) plus events their team has planned (I’ll be grammingand all that so be sure to follow/watch!). I mentioned before I lived in Memphis during my adolescent and teen years, and haven’t been back since. I never would have thought my return would be under such conditions. I am smiling. Continue Reading →
In May, I made a pilgrimage to my nonniland in Sicily to chase down pistachios in Bronte, wines on Etna, cheesemaking with the Sicilian tattooed Freddie Mercury, chocolate in Modica, wines in Sicily’s lone DOCG Vittoria by Arianna Occhipinti and more.
I wrote about the Etna leg on this blog post (i.e. pistachios, Etna wines and renegade cheesemaking) but I never quite got around to recounting Modica and Vittoria. I promise, in due time I will recount Italy’s most fascinating chocolate capital and the badass woman winemaker/trailblazer Arianna Occhipinti in Sicily’s lone DOCG Vittoria.
For now, I’ll recount what it was like to visit Bronte’s Annual Pistachio festival aka Expo del Pistacchio. My next post will detail why Catania’s La Pescheria might be one of the best markets in the world- so brace yourself for a flurry of blog posts! Continue Reading →
Remember last year when I was judging at the Gelato Festival for the World’s Best? Well, kinda like the world cup, rounds are now running leading up to the next world competition in 2021.
This mid-September, I was on the panel to judge for the European Finals “All Stars” for title of Best in Europe, and those present at the All Stars competition were winners from previous rounds held around the world. The winners here will go on to the next rounds on the road to World’s Best.
(original post in 2015, updated in September 2018)
Where oh where does one find the best gelato in Florence?
Anywhere, right? It’s Italy! It’s Florence- the birthplace of gelato! You can’t go wrong! No- WRONG! Finding quality gelato in Florence is more difficult than you think. Italy has a plethora of quality raw ingredients- yet establishments in touristic cities like Florence continue to favor business/profit margins over preserving gelato’s integrity. Finding a worthy cone in the historical center is tough but not impossible.
Florence has a particular fondness of gelato because it is said to be its the birthplace. On my gelato tours in Florence, we chat about the key figures of gelato’s beginnings: Cosimo Ruggieri, Bernardo Buontalenti and Francesco Procopio (Francesco was actually from Sicily and this is where the gelato origin wars start to ensue).
As one of my guests once said “basically we’ve learned that Florence invented everything.” Exactly. I mean, how can you not boast a city that gave the world the (standard) Italian language, gelato and the negroni? Continue Reading →