Posts by JudithKlinger

The Mediterranean Del Verziere Lifestyle Diet

Introducing our version of the Mediterranean Diet; it’s called the Del Verziere Lifestyle diet! If followed properly, it will lead to an increased level of personal satisfaction and well-being, maybe a longer life, and possible weight loss.
The Del Verziere Lifestyle Diet goes like this: eat fresh food instead of prepared food, preferably food from your garden, drink red wine, put olive oil into everything, and volunteer for anything that will keep you engaged in your community. And ladies, you should also learn how to walk in high heels on cobblestone because if you can do that, you can live to be 100…with great legs and a firm behind.

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North Festival: Finnish Food In All Its Glory!

SPONSORED POST “Experience the cuisine that changed modern cooking.” It seems as if the entire planet has gone mad for Nordic cooking and any chef whose name has an O with a line through it. Even NYC will be having it’s first North Food Festival October 2-7, sponsored by the marvelous folks at Honest Cooking.…

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Drums, Flags & Sausage: Festa in Montone!

It’s August, so it must be Ferragosto, and if it’s Ferragosto, then it must be festa time in Montone! We are in the midst of our annual, week long medieval festival, the Donazione della Santa Spina.

August 15 is the official Ferragosto holiday in Italy, but one can go ‘on ferie’ (fair-ee-a) or vacation, anytime during the summer. We can all thank Emperor Augustus who, back in 18 B.C., thought it was a great idea to take a little break from work during the dog days of summer.

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Water, Water Everywhere and All of It to Drink: Bring Back the Town Wells

A funny thing happened last fall, maybe even in the middle of the night. We woke up one morning and there was a “Casa dell’ Acqua” in the Montone parking lot over by the elementary school. And another one had sprung up in the nearby town of Umbertide. When you live in Umbria, you get used to certain things: horrifyingly bad roads, spotty internet, wonky electric, and now, no bells in town. The story is always the same: no money and a fatalistic shrug of the shoulders. So when something new and shiny shows up, everyone notices.

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Summer Elegant Italian Parmigiana

In the US, ‘parm’ comes in four generic flavors: chicken, veal, meatball, or eggplant. Usually heavy, goppy and greasy, it’s an overweight distant relative of the sleekly elegant Italian parmigiana. Think Jersey Shore versus the Amalfi Coast.
In Italy, a parmigiana is made from vegetables like eggplant or zucchini, or even combined with some potato. It can be a light main course, or a contorni (vegetable side dish). In the summer, a parmigiana served at room temperature, along with a chilled white wine, is pretty much the perfect hot weather meal.

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Wine Philosopher: Paolo Rodaro

According to Paolo Rodaro, there are only four kinds of wine: red, white, good, or bad. If you taste a wine and think, “Hmmm…might be off.” and you taste again, and maybe a third time, Paolo thinks you are wasting time. You were right the first time, send the wine back. He uses real corks, dismissed screw tops as an abomination, politely listened to the virtues of glass caps and then changed the subject to sex. If you do not look a person in the eye when you clink glasses you will be condemned to seven years of bad sex! And so the conversation meandered during a lovely evening at the Enoteca Wine Club in Umbertide as we ate Antonella’s delicious food and tasted the wines from the Rodaro cantina.

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Linguine & The Art of Vongole

Twenty years ago, Napoli Restaurant was a classic spaghetti joint on the corner of Spring and Sullivan streets in Soho, NYC. Actually, it was ‘our’ spaghetti joint back in the day when we were living cheap and going out didn’t require a mortgage to buy a bottle of wine.
Flash forward to the new enlightened us who live in Italy and have eaten many clams, preferably picking them up at the port from the fisherman, with a cold bottle of local wine in the shopping bag. Here’s the time warp part: eating linguine alle vongole at the Italian seaside is probably cheaper than those dinners at Napoli. See, life isn’t always cruel.

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Pickled Everything!

What do you do when your garden is onions all needed to be picked at once, the peppers are crazy cheap in the market, and it is the height of zucchini season? You pickle everything! I’ve pickled onions and green tomatoes before, but I’ve also had trouble controlling the amount of acid or salt. You…

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The Mad Men of Le Forna

Surely there are plenty of mad women in the village of Le Forna on Isola di Ponza, but it’s the mad chefs of Le Forna that captured our hearts and stomachs. From crusty pizza to oily, inky black spaghetti, to delicately fried fish, to impressive apertivi, to a feast on a boat, these men know how to cook!

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Crossing the Border into Culinary Crazy Land?

How far would you travel for a superb lemon? Would you consider giving up eating shrimp after tasting fresh red shrimp and knowing this is the best you’ll ever have? Is the market your first stop in a new place even when you only have a hotel room and no kitchen and you feel as though you’ve been denied entry to Paradise? Do people still tell stories about that time in Puglia when you bought out half the fish market and invited a boat load of strangers to dinner? Do you hang around in coffee bars and restaurants eavesdropping to hear what people are cooking? Do you keep track of when peaches are at their peak in different regions of Italy?

When do you cross the line from culinary traveler to Culinary Crazy?

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