Thursday, 30 September 2010

GOURMET LIGURIA'S AUTHOR LUISA PUPPO JOINS TECHNORATI


BREAKING NEWS AT GOURMET LIGURIA (http://gourmetliguria.blogspot.com/)

Gourmet Liguria's author Luisa Puppo has joined Technorati as an enogastronomy and travel writer.

Click here to read her first article concerning the links between ethnogastronomy and teaching methods.










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GOURMET WORDS FROM THE ITALIAN RIVIERA:CONIGLIO ALLA LIGURE (RABBIT CASSEROLE)

Coniglio alla ligure features among Liguria’s most popular preparations: recipes (and ingredients) multiply throughout the region, from the imperiese to the province of Genoa.
Rabbit (cut into chunks) is accompanied by a host of co-stars: extra virgin olive oil, dry white wine (but the ponente prefers red Rossese), garlic (connoisseurs opt for aglio di Vessalico), olives (the one and only taggiasca cultivar), pine nuts, aromatic herbs and – if you want to go philological – the rabbit’s liver, appropriately browned.
As for sidings, polenta is a suitable choice.
Coniglio alla ligure is also known as coniglio “alla carlona” i.e. “fast and simple” - a reminiscence of Emperor Charlemagne’s (the original re carlone, Carlo is the Italian for Charles) no fuss brisk attitude.
Wine pairings: red, try DOC Valpocevera Rosso.

A presto e buon appetito!

Luisa Puppo
Ligucibario

Wednesday, 29 September 2010

GOURMET WORDS OF THE ITALIAN RIVIERA: COBELETTI (SHORT-CRUST PASTRIES WITH JAM FILLING)

Cobeletti (a.k.a. gobeletti) are tiny short crust pastries filled with jam (usually apricot) or bitter oranges marmalade (the Riviera di Ponente’s alternative). This mouthwatering treat is the umpteenth proof of the Genoese love for sweet flavours. The local housewives’ tip is: work the dough quickly, do not splash over with the filling, use proper muffin molds, then bake and satisfy your gourmet appetite. Wine matching: the suitable pairing is DOC Cinque Terre Sciacchetrà (passito), but follow connoisseurs’ advice and opt for DOC Pornassio red passito if the cobeletto features a red fruits jam stuffing (this special version is prepared on Sant’Agata’s day, February 5th).

A presto e buon appetito!

Luisa Puppo
Ligucibario

Tuesday, 28 September 2010

GOURMET WORDS OF THE ITALIAN RIVIERA: CIMA ALLA GENOVESE (STUFFED VEAL BREAST)

A “pièce de résistance” for both Ligurian cooks and housewives, cima alla Genovese features (deservedly) among the highlights of regional cuisine. Once eaten (devoured!) at Easter, it has become a 365days- a year delight.
The meat – prepared by butchers in the shape of a pouch – is filled with a wealth of vegetables, eggs, offal and ground meat, not to forget a handful sliced (and blanched) pistachios. Then, the cima is dutifully sewn and poked (the chef’s trick to avoid bursting), enveloped in a cloth and boiled for 2 hours or more. The time comes for some rest (and cooling off), and a heavy object (go local and choose a marble mortar) is set on top of the cima. Slice, serve, rejoice! Provided that everyone has his/her share of cima, the art of leftovers calls for the treat of fried cima slices.
Variations abound – e.g. in Prelà (IM) the stuffing includes artichokes, while in Montalto Ligure (IM) kid meat is used instead of veal. In Lunigiana, the primacy of vegetables over meat is a reminder of the hard age of poverty.
Last but not least, cima alla Genovese might be a relative of French poitrine de veau farcie
Wine matching: red, DOC Riviera ligure di ponente Rossese.

Luisa Puppo
Ligucibario

Monday, 27 September 2010

GOURMET WORDS OF THE LIGURIAN RIVIERA: CASTAGNACCIO (CHESTNUT FLOUR SWEET TART)

For centuries chestnuts had played the lead role in Liguria’s history of nutrition – and economy. Trees provided first-rate wood, and fruits granted a handful of calories to the inhabitants of the mountainous entroterra.
These days, chestnuts are the protagonists of niche gourmet treats such as castagnaccio, a traditional thin (less than 2 cm) chestnut flour sweet tart that occasionally features the bounty of pine nuts, raisins, walnuts, candied orange peels and rosemary. Castagnaccio is a trans regional asset: names (and variants) abound throughout Liguria - “castagnaccina” in Calice al Cornoviglio (SP), “pattunna” in the Val Fontanabuona, not to forget the addition of ricotta cheese in Levanto (SP) - , Emilia Romagna and Tuscany. Wine pairing: enjoy a slice of castagnaccio with a cup of DOC Golfo del Tigullio moscato.

A presto e buon appetito!

Luisa Puppo
Ligucibario

Friday, 24 September 2010

GOURMET WORDS OF THE ITALIAN RIVIERA: CAPPON MAGRO

Cappon magro represents the highlight of the Ligurian cuisine.
According to tradition, this lavish mosaic of fish and vegetables was to be eaten during the Quaresima (Lent) period -"magro" stands for lean and meat-free.
The Genoese definetely had a knack for gourmet creativity. Food or architecture?, this is the question when it comes to admiring this elegant (and complex) composition where "sea meets land" on a basis of sea biscuits (soaked with vinegar and white wine): fish, crustaceans, sea food, vegetables, hard eggs make up a vivid kaleidoscope, enrichened by the final touch of salsa verde (parsley-based sauce).
Cappon magro making call for the use of firm-fleshed fish, an eye for symmetry and composition and - above all -time and patience (vegetables are to be boiled separately).
Wine pairing is a bit tricky, given the presence of vinegar and lemon juice: opt for the crispness of white DOC Golfo del Tigullio Vermentino.

A presto e buon appetito!
Luisa Puppo
Ligucibario

Thursday, 23 September 2010

GOURMET WORDS OF THE ITALIAN RIVIERA: CANESTRELLI

Canestrelli are Liguria's top-of-the-class cookies.
Round (sometimes daisy) shaped, their centre usually removed, they are appreciated in both sweet and savoury versions.
Sweet canestrelli call for flour, butter (the more, the tastier), eggs and sugar.
A regional glory - Brugnato (SP), Levanto (SP), Montoggio (GE), Isola del Cantone (GE), Sassello (SV), Taggia (IM)... , but their very capital is Torriglia (GE), a small village of the Alta Val Trebbia that hosts a mouthwatering canestrelli fair, too.
In bygone times they were eaten during Eastertime. Nowadays, they are a year-round gourmet delight.
Wine pairings ask for passiti, so enjoy them with a glass of amber-precious DOC Cinque Terre Sciacchetrà.

A presto e buon appetito!

Luisa Puppo
Ligucibario

Wednesday, 22 September 2010

GOURMET WORDS OF THE ITALIAN RIVIERA: BURIDDA (FISH STEW)

Buridda is Liguria's fish stew "par excellence", a hearty concoction of small-sized sea produce: rockfish, seafood and crustaceans, served in a casserole with slices of toasted bread.
Buridda is a long-time classic, popular all over the region. It used to be the “complete meal” prepared by any sort of cheap eating joints (osterie and trattorie), as well as the daily fare of caravana (dock men). Variations abound: try stockfish (in the past, a part of the workmen’s wages was paid... in stockfish!) and cuttlefish buridde and should you visit Portovenere (SP), don't miss the potent taste of conger eel buridda. As for wine pairings, opt for DOC Ormeasco Sciac-trà (rosè) or DOC Riviera ligure di ponente Rossese. If you are in a "pop meets chic" mood, go for Champagne rosé.

A presto e buon appetito!

Luisa Puppo
Ligucibario

Tuesday, 21 September 2010

GOURMET WORDS OF THE ITALIAN RIVIERA: ACCIUGHE (ANCHOVIES)

Anchovies, slim, silver and tasty.
In Liguria there is a cult for this (once) ubiquitous fish.
Owing to their abundance and versatility, in ancient times anchovies were called the “pane del mare” (sea bread).
Nowadays, they still reach the shores of the Mediterranean sea via Gibraltar with a view to reproduction. They are caught (enjoy the sight of night fishing at the light of the lampara) from March to September.
The last days of June are the period of the best yield, in fact Monterosso (SP) “celebrates” anchovies on Saint John’s day.
Anchovies are the protagonists of a myriad recipes: fried, salted, marinated, baked, grilled they provide plenty of reasons for rewarding gourmand experiences. Wine matches: search through Ligurian DOCs and opt for a crisp white (Vermentino is a good choice), but go for easygoing red (Ciliegiolo or Rossese di Albenga) when preparations include tomato sauce (e.g. bagnun di acciughe).

Buon appetito e a presto!
Luisa Puppo
Ligucibario

Friday, 17 September 2010

GOURMET LIGURIA. A PRIMER

In Italy 5,000something Comuni (municipalities) boast a DOP (Denomination of Protected Origin) food quality label, not to forget a stunning 34% of Europe’s total wine production.
Liguria is a paradigm of this horn of plenty.
The regional arch stretching from the French border to Tuscany, Piedmont, Lombardy and Emilia Romagna are just at a stone’s throw.
A crossroad of history and traditions, Liguria thus enjoys a unique “sea meets mountain” position, accounting for its vast array of gourmet treasures.
In fact, the homeland of the Mediterranean diet features an almost endless list of wonders, from lean silver Monterosso anchovies to scenting porcini mushrooms (the glory of the entroterra), passing through a stunning catalogue of aromatic herbs.
Basil pesto, focaccia Genovese, focaccia col formaggio, pandolce and Cinque Terre DOC Sciacchetrà are known all over the world. But there is a treasure chest of connoisseur treats such as preboggion, cuculli, tomaxelle, picagge and bagnun for you to discover, in the company of a good glass of Ligurian wine (a gift from heroic vineyards).

Ready steady go!
Your Ligurian experience has just started

A presto e buon appetito
Luisa Puppo
Ligucibario

Wednesday, 15 September 2010

LIGUCIBARIO – A TRIBUTE TO ETNOGASTRONOMY

Ligucibario is an innovative atlas-database dedicated to “Made in Liguria” enogastronomy and created by ethnogastronomy expert Umberto Curti.

Click your way through more than 1,000 items (from acciuga to zimino) and enjoy the bounty of the terroir. The “Alfabeto del Gusto” (Gourmet alphabet) is an A – Z encyclopaedia dedicated to the food, wine and oil of Liguria, the homeland of the Mediterranean diet. Explore the history of the region’s gastronomy and oenology, an amazing universe of culture, rurality, folklore and recipes. Discover their everlasting connection with local geography, a unique mix of luminous seashores and verdoyant entroterra.

Ligucibario is a celebration of conviviality and gastrosophy.
Promoting traditional dishes and ingredients means to preserve them through a day-by-day effort to save our gourmet heritage from extinction. Passion and commitment are the guidelines of our work. Join us in the search for quality craftsmen, choice tables, local traditional products, connoisseur destinations and accommodation, events, tastings and news (not to forget about gourmet-oriented books and film reviews). Enter this open lab and plan your own exploration itinerary – amateur, professional, journalist, teacher…

Ligucibario is a state of mind – and a way of life as well.
Independent: reviews are not for sale – they are earned.
Rigorous: respect and loyalty to the terroir are our guiding stars
Creative: the celebration of ancient rites and lores calls for the modern language and philosophy of the Internet.

Last but not least, Ligucibario is the most effective way to practice your Italian while satifying your gourmet appetite for culture!

A presto e buon appetito!
Luisa Puppo
Ligucibario

Friday, 10 September 2010

WELCOME TO GOURMET LIGURIA!

Dear all,
welcome to Gourmet Liguria - wandering around the Italian Riviera.
This blog is powered by Ligucibario (http://www.ligucibario.com/), an innovative website (created by ethnogastronomy expert Umberto Curti) that celebrates the best of "Made in Liguria": enogastronomy, tourism, culture and traditions.
Gourmet Liguria will provide hints and news (tastings, recipes, itineraries, events, anecdotes ...) as well as the history and description of Liguria's top food&wine gems - a mouthwatering menu including pesto, focaccia, pandolce... and what about a glass of DOC Cinque Terre Sciacchetrà?

Buon appetito e a presto!

Luisa Puppo
Ligucibario