Drinking culture in Italy

The other day I was on the telephone talking to my grandmother and mentioned that I was going to go and have a glass of wine. She asked me who I was going with and I told her that I was taking my dog and a good book. But what will people think?  She asked…

North vs South and Milanese risotto with porcini mushrooms

Risotto alla milanese con porcini from Lombardy On Italian TV at the moment there is a programme called “Benvenuti a Tavola”. It is based on the age-old North vs South rivalry which is surrounds pretty much everything in Italy and which ranges from the good natured to the downright nasty (some people going as far…

Last minute lemon cake

In life, things are often planned at the last minute (or not planned at all) and trust me that nowhere is that more true than in Southern Italy. The Southern Italians get undeservedly bashed by their Northern neighbours for a lot of things (I especially hate when they say that people here are lazy –…

Organic food, Italian style

Organic food. Good for you? Yes. Environmentally friendly? Yes. Tastier? According to enthusiasts… Expensive? Absolutely! Yes, organic food is costly and despite the best of intentions if you don’t earn a high salary it is difficult to eat organic without having to give up on many of life’s little luxuries. Ironically, the more natural a…

Pizza!

Sorry there’s been so long between posts, work has been completely mad recently and I just haven’t had time to think. When you’re in a rush, you end up eating fast food, and in Italy that can mean only one thing: pizza!                     Credit: Free photos…

Italian birthday party

Happy birthday Domenico! Domenico is one of my oldest friends in Italy. He was the  first of my boyfriend’s group who I met when I first went to Milan to look for a flat for my stint at the University there, and he took us round the city on our search for somewhere for me…

Wine tasting – Primitivo di Manduria

Mmmmmm….  Red wine…. I love wine. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not an alcoholic or anything (honest!) I just really enjoy a glass of wine, with a predilection for anything red and full bodied, in particular in the winter. So yesterday, with the wind and the rain howling outside of the bar, Primitivo di Manduria…

Italian Coffee Part 1: The Killer Espresso

Expresso, or more correctly espresso, is to other kinds of coffee as rocket fuel is to coal. Or vodka to beer. A Ferrari to a Morris Minor. It is powerful stuff, designed to really give you a caffeine kick and wake you up in the morning. It might look and sound like it should be…