Bonet: crème caramel’s Piedmontese cousin

In The Oxford Companion to Food, Alan Davidson wrote, “In the latter part of the 20th century, crème caramel occupied an excessively large amount of territory in European restaurant dessert menus. This was probably due…

Cucina Conversations: castagnaccio for Ognissanti

That time of year is upon us again. It’s the season Giacomo Castelvetro, Inquisition refugee and author of the 1614 manuscript The Fruit, Herbs and Vegetables of Italy, described as per la bocca (‘for tasting’)….

Persimmon and walnut cake

There is nothing romantic about the summer heat in a densely populated inland city like Turin. Respite in the form of a breeze (and air-conditioning, as Italians generally don’t like colpi d’aria or ‘hits of…

A Morning at the Markets

If you have to do your shopping here on a Saturday, it is best to get in early. The often huge throngs of people surrounding the bancarelle (stalls) at the local markets can be quite…

Italy’s Day of the Dead

The urns of strong men stimulate strong minds To deeds of great distinction O Pindemonte And these urns make sacred for the traveller that earth which holds them – Ugo Foscolo, Of the Sepulchres, 1807…

Borlotti bean soup and the cult of cucina povera

I am an incurable mangiafagioli or ‘beaneater’.  Really though, what is wrong with admitting your passion for one of healthiest, most nutritionally dense foods on the planet? Fibre, protein, folate and iron are just a…