Italy

Panforte di Sienna

Panforte di Sienna post image

So, it's Christmas again, and that means it's time to bake something fittingly seasonal and rich. This year, that's panforte di Sienna, an Italian dessert loosely resembling a cake that's packed with fruit and nuts. Panforte originated in Sienna in the 12th century, and is supposed to contain seventeen ingredients, to reflect the number of districts [...]

Food & drink

Panmarino, or Italian rosemary bread

Panmarino, or Italian rosemary bread

I made a pain au levain the other week, a French sourdough shaped like a torpedo, and full of glorious air holes, encased in a brittle crust. It was a textbook example of why 'slow is best' when it comes to baking bread. The levain, or starter, was set up the night before, giving it a [...]

Food & drink

Sicily, by the Silver Spoon Kitchen

Sicily, by the Silver Spoon Kitchen

Sicily is one of the most interesting parts of Italy, not least from a culinary position. The island's position as the biggest in the Mediterranean, the ball to Italy's boot, means that it's endured attack and invasion from all sides, each successive wave of occupation leaving another layer on the island's cuisine. The effect has [...]

Books

Pizzeria da Remo, Rome

Pizzeria da Remo, Testaccio, Rome, Italy

Remember the other week I wrote about trekking all over Rome to find a pizzeria late at night? The same thing happened the next evening, too, when we yomped across the city to a closed-down restaurant, complete with tumbleweed rolling past the door. Luckily, I'd idly canvassed some twitter opinion on decent restaurants when I [...]

Eating out
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