Vendemmia in Modena

September and October in Italy are vendemmia time, grape harvest season. This year in Modena, Emilia Romagna the vendemmia was phenomenal. The grapes were plump, healthy, and perfectly sugary; exactly the right kind of grapes for making the best balsamic vinegar. For this year’s vendemmia we had a detailed balsamic reportage by our friend Viola Buitoni….

The Health Wonders of Raw Honey

Antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, antibiotic! The list of honey’s beneficial properties could go on and on. But, does all honey have an equal benefit for our health? Oh, no. As honey producer Luigi (the guy in yellow) points out, honey is good for you as long as it’s pure and free of contaminants. In fact, Luigi’s honey…

Not All Salt is Created Equal

Where would we be without Salt? – James Beard Gucciardo Sea Salt from Trapani, Sicily, is the maximum expression of sea salt. It is harvested by hand and it is totally raw. It is unwashed and unbleached, an absolutely beautiful salt. Next time you have the chance, try a pinch of your supermarket table salt…

Orzo with Porcini, the Recipe

Porcini Mushrooms are an autumn essential in the Italian kitchen. As soon as you start prepping the ingredients for this recipe, your kitchen will immediately be filled with the impressively powerful smell of the best mushrooms in the world: Porcini from Borgotaro in Emilia Romagna, a hidden valley about 2 hours west of Bologna.  These Borgotaro Porcini…

New Harvest Artichokes from Campania

Maida Artichokes NEW HARVEST FROM CAMPANIA Maida Artichokes in EVOO belong to a very special variety: Romanesco artichokes. These small, compact artichokes with a lovely purple hue grow in Campania and are prized throughout Italy for their tender pulp and delicate flavor. Maida preserves artichokes in EVOO following two traditional recipes. Small Artichokes are whole…

Sicilian Cherry Tomatoes

Fans of the Pianogrillo Cherry Tomato Sauce rejoice! Your favorite Salsa Pronta is back in stock. There’s a reason we choose to carry just one open-and-eat tomato sauce. Or better, many reasons! Pianogrillo Salsa is shockingly pure and genuine: 97% Sicilian cherry tomatoes, Pianogrillo extra virgin olive oil, sea salt, and basil. Nothing else. This sauce…

Pasta Corta

With about 20 pasta shapes to choose from, Pastificio Faella is the producer we turn to for pasta inspiration. Made in Gragnano, near Naples, Pasta Faella religiously respects these three pasta commandments: only 100% Italian Semola exclusively extruded with a bronze die always dried slowly, at least 2 days, at the lowest temperature possible Pasta this good…

Real Italian Pinoli Are Here

The truth about Italian Pine Nuts is that they are extremely rare. Even in Italy. To quote our friend Ruth Reichl: Real Italian Pine Nuts are as rare as they are insanely aromatic. They grow along the western coast of Italy, in the pine forests running from Liguria, through Toscana, all the way down the…

Our favorite way to eat fresh tomatoes

Did you notice that our quantities are comically imprecise? We firmly believe that recipes are guidelines. They are not commandments. Our friend Alice Waters says it best: Something can be lost in writing down a recipe. People can become so focused on measuring ingredients that they’re not tast ingas they go along, and at the…

It’s Caper Season in Pantelleria

Caper season is in full swing on the tiny island of Pantelleria, in Sicilia. When it comes to the iconic Pantelleria caper plant, aka spinosa nocellara, we eat the flower bud, the leaf, and the fruit. Yes, all of that is fully edible and each part is harvested at peak of ripeness following the cycle of…