Old Trip Reports [Italy]

Tuscany and Umbria, from 2017:

My friends and I only had 2 dinners out during our week in Tuscany. Our villa was located between Sarteano and San Casciano dei Bagni.

We enjoyed one dinner at Chiostro Ciannini in Sarteano, which was recommended by a local, and one dinner at Ristorante Daniela in San Casciano dei Bagni, where I enjoyed a wild boar terrine, chianina beef tenderloin and a Valrhona chocolate dessert.
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We also had a private chef named Dorota prepare a meal at our villa (cheese souffle and salad, gnocchi, involtini and apple custard crostata)

We enjoyed the produce I picked up from the Orvieto farmers market. I loved the salami with fennel I purchased in Montepulciano. Delicious porchetta sandwich in Assisi, as well as almond baci (I tried 3 types).

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We also had enjoyed pastries and coffee at the Pasticerria Sandri in Perugia,where we decided to take a break and have a coffee on their terrace. The Sandri tiramisu subsituted a chocolate sable /cookie for the more typical ladyfingers.

I brought home lots of Tuscan and Umbrian specialties. Panforte from Montepulciano, spice blends from Assisi, lentils from Umbria, pici pasta from Tuscany. It’s difficult to bring cheese and meat back to Canada, so I only brought home foods I knew would get past customs without any issues.

We must have enjoyed 8 different pecorino cheeses. I ended up cooking for our group a few nights, and was lucky to have tomatoes brought to us by the gardener who helps take care of the villa.

It is quite easy to take photos off that Old Site.

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Salami with fennel is a joy.

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It is! I’ve since found some Salamis with fennel in Toronto and London, Ontario.

I’ve also been seasoning my pork roast with fennel more frequently, since that visit to the Tuscan/Umbrian border area.

It’s the main herb (fronds, not seeds or the bulb) in one of my favourite Spanish dishes - frito Mallorquin or, in the island’s own language frit de matances. That literally translates as “slaughter fry”. It’s a dish traditionally made on the day of the annual pig killing and is a fry up of potato, peppers, onion and the bits of the pig that can’t be preserved - like the liver.

It’s a dish that appears on restaurant menus throughout the year, as a starter. My sister in law is married to a Mallorcan and, when they were living on the island, we visited and his mother cooked frito for us. There was something unpleasantly chewy in it but, of course, as guests, we chewed, swallowed and smiled as best we could. Only later, we asked the SiL what it was, to be told it was the pig’s lungs. Not nice.

It’s one of the herbs I grow and the SiL always visits to get some fronds when she’s cooking frito.

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