Region of Friuli Venezia Giulia
A number of readers have asked for more information about the traditional frascas or frasche. We have found it difficult to locate a definitive source for these local variants of the trattoria, but we thank the Comune of Gorizia for letting us know about the following initiative.
If you are after tasty sweet ham you could do worse than Prosciutto San Daniele. It is the umbrella label for 27 small producers who are based within the confines of the town of San Daniele, one of the most important centers for prepared meats in the country.
Ruralia is an annual event held in the first week of October whose aim is to celebrate, but also protect, the uniqueness of DOP and IGP food products. Ruralia also combines with an exhibition of native grape strains in Italy called “Vinum Loci”.
80 typical products from the Carnia territory are celebrated every year at the Premio Carnia Alpe Verde at Tolmezzo normally held in the first week of October.
The long list includes: Prosciutto di Sauris, formadi frant ricotta affumicata, formaggio salato, formaggelle di malga, cotechini, salami, sciroppo di olivello, miele di millefiori and the locally pronounced savòrs or aromatic herb.
Polenta sounds like the Italian for boiling hot, 'bollente'. But this thick, scalding dish kept people alive in many regions of Italy during the winter.
When we visited the Monte Amiata region of Tuscany, we were told that a herring was often dipped into the cooked polenta to provide a touch of flavour. That's a good as it got.
Today, many shops and supermarkets sell pre-prepared polenta which can be simply heated up with hot water in seconds, and its not too bad at all. Nevertheless, the real thing needs hours of cooking over an open fire using an iron cauldron and a hefty wooden spoon. Or a simple mechanical device such as the one in our photo above taken in a restaurant near Cormons.
So, whether you are in Colorado, Canberra or Croydon try this:
If you want to know about honey production along Italy's border with Slovenia, then look no further than the Consorzio Obbligatorio fra gli Apicoltori della Provincia di Gorizia. I was invited to find out more and spent a morning at the Enoteca La Serenissima, Gradisca d'Isonzo. This is what I found out.
The best way to judge the quailty of the honey you are about to try is by placing it in a classic balloon shaped wine glass. Warm the honey by cupping your hand around the glass and the light heat will release the natural scent and make the honey slightly more liquid. First check for impurities by holding it to the light, then by taking a spoon and allowing the honey to fall back into the glass.
Our taste buds recognise sweet, salt, acidic and bitter properties. The tip of the tongue is where the sweetness of the honey will hit first.