A highlight of our Bike the Prosecco Wine Roads tour is a visit to a Prosecco producer. Just getting there is a pleasure. To quote a guest, “This is the most beautiful bike ride I’ve ever done.” We tackle a few hills, very ‘pedalable’ as the Italians describe them, and our efforts are well rewarded, with spectacular vistas around each bend in the road.
While I’ve been busy leading our Bike the Prosecco Wine Roads tour, I’ve enlisted the help of my first guest blogger, my husband and Negroni fan, Gordy Bechtel.
Is it possible to make the Negroni better? After reading my wife’s recent post on the Negroni, I’m guessing you might think that I’ve already placed the Negroni on a pedestal to be worshiped and left alone.
Well, to be honest, you’d be correct.
However, fortunately for me, I was rescued the other evening from my Negroni habit. I don’t mean that Kathy confronted me with a room full of my friends and family who all emotionally effervesced about my “problem.” No, that wouldn’t work. You see my friends and family would just mix everyone their favorite cocktail – Negroni’s, Manhattans, and Martinis are well liked in this crowd – and we’d begin talking. The next thing you know we’d be enjoying Kathy’s cooking and debating whether or not Jon Stewart really is the best source for news.
This recipe was recently featured in an article in La Cucina Italiana magazine, entitled Italy’s Best Desserts. The author is Francine Segan, a food historian and the author of a new book, Dolci: Italy’s Sweets. I loved the article, Francine offered some very traditional sweets that included some wonderfully unique flavor combinations. Her background as a food historian shines through as she shares the story behind the recipes, something I try and share with our guests during our cooking classes on our culinary bike tours.
Fava beans, or broad beans (fava is Italian for ‘broad bean’) have been cultivated in the Old World for thousands of years. Along with lentils, peas and chickpeas, these easy to grow beans have been part of the Mediterranean diet since about 6000 BC. From Elizabeth Schneider’s Vegetables from Amaranth to Zucchini: “This venerable mainstay of the Old World has been cultivated for so long that its wild ancestor and place of origin are no longer traceable. Found from China to England, where they are known as broad beans, they are now most associated with the south of France and Italy.” This association with Mediterranean cuisine has made the fava bean highly sought after by chefs; the labor involved with preparing them unfortunately makes them a bit intimidating for home cooks. Continue reading
One of our favorite towns to visit on our cycling tours is the beautiful historic Pre Alps town of Bassano del Grappa. Our spring trips in the area give us the opportunity to indulge in the area’s renowned white asparagus, which appears mid-March to mid-June. The origins of the delicacy date from as early as 1200.