Of Course I Can!

The fleeting days of summer are always marked by canning rituals: tomato sauce; roasted peppers, pickled eggplant, fruit jams and pestos to name a few.  It’s all about taking the bounties of the garden at their prime and preserving their vibrant colors and flavors to brighten up cold and dark winter day. This year I…

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Scarpaccia: The Dish with Sole

Given the choice to live in a shoe or eat one, I’d take the latter particularly in the case of an Italian regional specialty known as scarpaccia. Scarpaccia is a savoury zucchini tart (think zucchini bread but better) originating from the Tuscan coastal areas of Viareggio and Camaiore.  Its name roughly translates to “old shoe”,…

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Bauli Cappuccio Zuccotto

Whenever I am Italy my morning routine consists of a cappuccio (short for cappuccino) and cornetto (croissant).  It’s the perfect morning wake-up and a wonderful combination of flavors; a soft, sweet croissant filled with crema accompanied by a warm brew of strong espresso and frothy milk.  As any good Italian knows its sacrilege to order…

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Skillet Scallions and Eggs

*Photos courtesy of Frank Mazzuca Warren Buffet once said, “don’t put all your eggs in one basket” and he was right; you shouldn’t put them all in a basket but rather you should put them in a skillet and cook them up Calabrese style for a simple and delicious dish. Earlier this week I spent…

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Growing Photography Skills at the Farm

I had the wonderful opportunity recently to visit Plan B Organic Farms in Hamilton.  I was there not to farm but rather, to take part in a photography workshop. A farmhouse kitchen might seem like an unlikely classroom setting but in the words of Elliot Erwitt “Photography is an art of observation…it has little to…

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Nonna Carmela’s Melangiani Chini

Melangiani chini, dialect for a southern Italian staple, stuffed eggplants. I have eaten countless numbers of these growing up and the mere smell of these vegetable delights turning golden brown in a frying pan conjures up wonderful memories of unforgettable moments. I don’t know of any Calabrese woman, nonna or otherwise, who doesn’t have this…

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Pasties for St. Paddy’s

Irish playwright George Bernard Shaw once said “there is no sincerer love, than the love of food”.  His famous words could very well be my personal slogan for I am truly consumed with a passion for food that encompasses a global spectrum. While my truest fondness will always be Italian food, I do enjoy taking…

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Chiaccherie: What’s all the chatter about?

Carnevale, a time of celebration and indulgence, where masquerades and merriment take precedence and when the expression “fare due chiaccherie” takes on a whole new meaning. Many holidays in Italy are usually accompanied by culinary tradition, and Carnevale is no exception.  During this mardi gras period in the peninsula, delightful sweet, crispy strips known as…

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Must-Have Mastazzoli

If you’ve ever visited a fair or festival in Italy you have likely seen city squares crowded with banchini (booths) with vendors selling their wares or religious articles, souvenirs and regional fare.  Among them you will typically find mastazzolari selling celebratory confections known as mastazzoli (image from www.italyspecials.com) Mastazzoli, typical of Soriano Calabro (a town…

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