Taste Paris – food scouting @ Google Maps

Share on TwitterShare on TumblrSubmit to StumbleUpon

Well, here you have it, I just made the final reservation for the train and the hotel for my flavour finding trip to Paris. No way back now…

Share on TwitterShare on TumblrSubmit to StumbleUpon

Almost completely unexpected I’ll be going on an impromptu food-shoot trip to Paris later this week. Getting the train early (very early) Thursday morning, I’ll be there before lunch. And perhaps even to squeeze in some sweets before lunch.

I’ve got 17 flavours on my list which I need to make pictures from before I leave again early Friday evening. So now just a quick update, getting you ready for my Parisian travel notes.

 

Share on TwitterShare on TumblrSubmit to StumbleUpon

juicy inspiration

Finally, after two months of other priorities, I am finally able to get back to the Blazer Guides business. And I can tell you, it’s great to be back behind my desk once more.

I am bustling with ideas on how to get the Famous Flavours Amsterdam guide into the world. First I have to make some finishing touches to the app and the ebook, though, and that is exactly what makes me nervous right now; it appears that I’ve got a memory like a sieve. All my technology knowledge seems to be evaporated. So first priority right now is to freshen up my app development skills. Well, repetion is said to be the best way to learn, so I will look at the bright side of it all. Until I am well underway, however, I have stopped the subscriptions to all of those incredibly interesting and inviting LinkedIn group discussion updates. Receiving those in my inbox on a daily basis made me quite nervous because of all the opportunities of participating in stimulating conversations I kind of ignored. Better not to know about them, I guess.

Share on TwitterShare on TumblrSubmit to StumbleUpon

Nuts with honey and olive oil in Istanbul

Share on TwitterShare on TumblrSubmit to StumbleUpon
too cute! Reindeer cakes by Bakerella

too cute! Reindeer cakes by Bakerella

More cake for the eyes? Check out Bakerella’s website

Share on TwitterShare on TumblrSubmit to StumbleUpon

I am addicted to researching, I love to scout for unknown (to me) information – whether it’s to write the “did you know” sections of the travel guides or as in this example to solve technical challenges. The fun thing is that with the Internet at my finger tips the premise is quite simple; every answer is already available – the key is to ask the right question. Love it! In a few days I’m able to share the first results of the app – completely based upon online education. [wp_connect_like_button href="" send_button="disabled" layout="standard" width="600" show_faces="enabled" verb="like" colorscheme="light" font="arial" ref="" /][wp_connect_comments href="" width="600" num_posts="6" colorscheme="light" /]

Share on TwitterShare on TumblrSubmit to StumbleUpon

[wp_connect_like_button href="" send_button="disabled" layout="standard" width="600" show_faces="enabled" verb="like" colorscheme="light" font="arial" ref="" /]

Wild boar on my mind

When you think of traditional flavours in the Maremma region in Tuscany, one of the most obvious choices that pop into mind is the wild boar. Or cinghiale, in Italian. At least, that’s what you should be thinking of as of now.

Announcements all around

The hunt (and the subsequential consumption) of the wild boar is celebrated with many local festivals (sagra) throughout Italy. One of those Sagra del Cinghiale is hosted every year in the second week of September in Capalbio.

Capalbio is an incredibly charming little fortified town at the Costa d’Argento in the Tuscan Maremma region and definitely worth a visit, even outside the wild boar season. Be warned though, you need some planning ahead since there is only one hotel: Valle de Buttero (serves a great breakfast, by the way, and has wonderful staff).

A few know-worthy titbits about wild boars:

  • Compared to the rest of Italy, the appearance of wild boars is most common in the Tuscan region.
  • Wild boars living in Italy in general weigh around 80 -100 kilograms, yet in Tuscany wild boars weighing up to 150 kilograms can be found.

 

Large male boar by night. Dead, that is to say.

Only the adult male boars grow tusks.

  • Nowadays hunting wild boars is highly popular, on one hand since they are considered as highly desirable game trophies, on the other hand because the wild boar inflicts significant damage to crops and forests because of their rooting in the search of food.
  • Already in the Roman era, the wild boar was a prestigious prey; at least three Roman legions showed the strong animal in their emblems.

 

wild boar as soft as butter

The hunt is called la caccia, and cinghiale alla cacciatora- "wild boar prepared in hunter style" - is one of the most popular ways to serve this, often a bit chewy, meat. Key ingredients of this rich stew are chunks of wild boar marinated overnight in red wine, olive oil and rosemary, prepared with vegetables, tomato sauce and a generous amount of garlic. The result is marvellous, you just have to be aware of the small pieces of bone...

 

Time for some tasting!

Visiting the Sagra del Cinghiale in Capalbio was a great way to get acquainted with several famous local culinary specialties of the Costa d’Argento and the Maremma region in general. At the festival you could taste four delicious wild boar dishes, proudly prepared by the male local community members:

Real guys know how to cook

Real guys know how to cook their Cinghiale alla Cacciatora

 

Juicy wild boar steak

A traditional second option: Cinghiale alla Griglia - grilled wild boar steaks, plain and simple, yet highly in demand


serious grilling of the wild boar steaks

Serious grilling of the wild boar steaks

 

Diggin'in - polenta con sugo del cinghiale

Third option: bowls of creamy polenta covered with steaming minced wild boar sauce (polenta con sugo di cinghiale) and topped with grated parmesan cheese.

Polenta on the menu

This sugo del cinghiale dish was kind of a surprise to me; I was keeping my eyes open for the traditional local way to serve sugo di cinghiale: with papardelle, the broad strips of pasta. Polenta as a base tasted great though!

Cozy arrangement of wild boar sausages

And lastly interesting looking sausages - dark and plum, straight of the large charcoal grills in the back.

 

All I can say is: the Maremma people earn two big thumbs up for the way they prepare their wild boar and I can definitely advise you give these traditional local dishes a try yourself during your visit to this region.

This article is also posted on feelthebreezeoftuscany.com, the promotional website of the Consorzio Maremmare, who invited me to join this great tour through the south of Tuscany. 

Share on TwitterShare on TumblrSubmit to StumbleUpon

image

If I would eat half of it… Doesn’t it look amazing?

@Jacketz, Leiden, NL

Share on TwitterShare on TumblrSubmit to StumbleUpon

image

So, I’arrived at the airport, more than two hours in advance for a change. I’m about to leave rainy Amsterdam behind and spend a busy weekend under the Tuscan sun!

I’m invited by the tourist board,of the Costa d’Argento, in the Tuscan Maremma region for a three day trip to get to know the area. I’ll tackle this experience as a true curious food lover and keep you updated about my finds!

Share on TwitterShare on TumblrSubmit to StumbleUpon