Refreshing taziki dip

This refreshing originally Greek Taziki dip associated with Greek food, is to be found served in various places across the Mediterranean and Middle east with slight variations. F.ex. the Egyptian version doesn’t include cucumbers. This is a quite classic version. In summer it is an absolute MUST in my diet, and I even have it for breakfast….without the garlic in that case.

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The Italian aperitivo

In Italy the aperitivo tradition is firmly woven into Italian food culture. We’re actually talking about the classical late afternoon snack, a kind of merenda that melts in with the happy hour. The small colorful dishes served at aperitivo, are greatly inspired by Italian Street Food, and the style depends of course on where you have your aperitivo. Its varieties are in proportion to the quantity of the country’s regions.

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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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Red grape & ricotta toast

This is a fantastic brunch toast or a merenda as they say in Italy, that is defined as a restoring  -in between meals-  dish. For me it has a strong connection with the autumn and the harvest season of the sensational grapes of Monferrato, Piemonte. I think of it as a variant to the classical Piedmont  merenda Soma d’Aj, which is simply a slice of toasted bread rubbed with garlic, salt and nut- or mild olive oil. This simple country snack is great in company of a bunch of freshly picked grapes and a glass of red wine.

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