Poetry on the plate

Poetry is to be found everywhere, you only have to be curious, open minded and look. I see a lot of poetry in food, both when I prepare it, as when enjoying it prepared by others. What brings a very special poetry and joy to the senses, is when your dish is including local food and you can savor it in its natural surroundings.
I always look for these moments, and especially when traveling I already start from breakfast, and take my coffee or tea in a special place at the location that reflects its spirit, and with local specialities when possible.
Here are a some food poems from the beautiful Camogli, on the Ligurian Levante Riviera.

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Authentic mixology in an angle of Paradise

Authentic is a term deriving from the greek authentikos meaning something or someone being genuine. In this evermore virtual world, being authentic and recognizing it in our lives, has been come a really difficult task. Our senses are more and more occupied in memorizing values, flavors, opinions and feelings that are not real and genuine. I will not go further into definition of the subject, but leave that to you readers to reflect on. I will give you in this article an example of what I consider an example of a highly authentic person, doing a highly authentic thing in – what you may call it – an angle of paradise…….. that maybe makes it easier to be be authentic or as Paolo Marazzi says himself: “I put my soul into my mixology and cuisine and create genuine experiences with authentic products, but I need the sea in front of me to produce that magic”.

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Elvira’s panna cotta with crumbled stroscia cake

Panna cotta is the simplest thing: basically boiled cream. With addition of sugar, vanilla extract (or not) and some gelatine. The proportions change according to taste, but that’s basically it. The beauty is that its simplicity makes you appreciate even more the ingredients. You feel the quality of the cream and the milk, if there is too much gelatine, you “listen for” the subtle vanilla tone and so forth. The pureness of this elegant and easy dessert, gives the tastebuds more space to enjoy the panna cotta accompaniment. Fruit coulis, chocolate- and caramel sauces are perfect, and sometimes you find really original matchings, that often reflect the territory’s food tradition. This recipe is from Elvira Ramoino, chef of Azienda Agricola Ramoino restaurant in the town Sarola, in the depths of the Ligurian Ponente Riviera.

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The world’s best ice cream?

Ice cream is the food that makes you smile more than any other. That is at least the result of a research made by Amsterdam University some years ago. Researchers observed and studied the expressions on European citizens faces while tasting various food types. The one that evoked most frequently a smile on people’s faces was ice cream.

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Stroscia from Pietrabruna

I tasted this Ligurian crispy cake many years a go on a beach picnic with friends. It always has remained in my heart.
This should be near to the original recipe. Its typical crispiness in fact makes it the perfect picnic dessert and it should rigorously be broken with the hands and not cut. Stroscia indicates means literally to break in Ligurian dialect.

 

 

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Soma d’Aj

Soma d’Aj is a typical recipe from Piedmont. It’s a quite simple slice of country bread rubbed with garlic and then topped with extra virgin olive oil. In Piedmont dialect aj means garlic (abbreviation for aglio) and soma is related to the load put on the back of a beast. An approximate translation for this gastronomic metaphor could be: “Loaded with garlic”.

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Asparagus risotto

More of Spring, more of asparagus, more of strawberries in season, more of blooming cherry trees, more of “silver white winters that melt into Spring”. These are a few of My Favorite Things.
Fresh asparagus plays a big role in the Spring Ingredient Spectacle. Watching its joyful greenness on the dish, inhaling its sweet perfume and feeling the soft fibrous texture and earthy taste, all gather in telling your senses one thing: It’s Spring!

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