Food Stuff

Our Italian Year – November

By November 24, 2011 326 comments Permalink

The harvest hit its peak in early November. The whole commune buzzed with activity involved in the picking and processing of grapes and olives. In every grove, in every vineyard, men in flannel and denim and tweed plucked ripened fruit. Three-wheeled Apes (or “bees”) zipped along the narrow streets on their way to the mills,…

Our Italian Year – October

By November 7, 2011 115 comments Permalink

Our Italian Year – October Our new home had a large terracotta terrace on three sides and an olive grove for a backyard. A sagging fig tree loomed over the stone staircase that led to the grove. Inside the barn doors was a lofted ceiling and sparse amenities fronting an open yet small kitchen stocked…

Going Out to Eat Has Nothing to Do With the Food

By August 2, 2011 37 comments Permalink

  Andrew Cotto’s grand dreams of a fancy birthday dinner with his best friend, Mike, end in disappointment.   I grew up with great food and really got into what I considered to be “fine dining” in my mid-20s when I made good money and had an expense account. And since that time, I’d been…

Fish People With Heart. Noses Agree.

By March 3, 2011 259 comments Permalink

ONE of the first things you notice when walking into Fish Tales Gourmet Seafood Market is the smell. There is none. But the fish motif is definitely in the air, including walls strung with nets and traps and a whole fish mounted above the stained wainscot. The shotgun layout feels like the well-lighted hull of…

The Beginning

By January 31, 2011 29 comments Permalink

In September of 2003, my wife and I and our infant daughter had a trip planned to Italy. We’d arranged to stay in a refurbished barn, behind a villa in the hills south of Florence. A rental car, complete with child seat, was reserved. I’d read books on Tuscany and beyond. I’d studied some Italian….