Pente Cose (Five Things) Italiano-Elleniko
Haalo of Cook (Almost) Anything Once has tagged me for a fun meme, choose 5 things that you have eaten that you love so much, you think everyone else should try too. This is really hard, though. I LOVE food as much as I LOVE music. I never have an answer when somebody asks me what my favorite band is so I usually just go with who has been obsessing me for the past few days. If you ask me something specific, like what my favorite punk band is, I can answer: it's The Clash, Post-Punk? The Pixies, Salsa? Ruben Blades, klezmer? The Klezmer Allstars. So with food, I'm limiting this to Italian and Greek (Elleniko) since Italy is where I live and Greece is where I've been for the past 3 weeks. Here Goes:
1.) Fresh Figs. Shocked, are you not? See the 2 previous posts to find out why.
2.) Wild Blackberries picked yourself. Imagine escaping the over-crowded beaches of the August Greek Isles and going wild- blackberry picking in the mountains! I love the glorious taste of these huge tangy-sweet or minerally-sweet fruits that are in my mouth only 1 second after being picked. They must be the most nutritious thing that way. See my next post on blackberry picking and preserves with Valeria and Sue.
3.) Novi's Italian Beef Only to be had in Chicago, Italian Beef is one of my favorite street foods. Paper-thin slices of roast beef swimming in a spiced au-jus (spices include fennel seed, red-pepper flakes and dried basil for sure) are layed into chewy Gonnella bread and then, if you know what you're doing, everything is dunked whole into the jus. As you eat it, it's so delicious, you don't even care that jus is dripping down to your elbows and bits of beef have fallen into your lap. Oh, and Novi's, the very best place to get Italian Beef, is on the corner of Ogden (Rte. 66) and Oak Park Avenues in Berwyn.
4.) Sea Urchins, aka "Ricci di Mare". You may have had sea urchin sushi at some point, but this summer we (well, "we" meaning Valeria and Simone) hunted these pointy little critters at the "lythos" (a tiny island we call the rock) by the house and after a killing-and-cleaning assembly line, we all ate them with spaghetti, lemon, mentuccia and olive oil. Yuhuhuhummmm! Again, tune in soon for the blog-post report complete with video of an escaping sea urchin.
5.) Fresh Porcini Mushrooms. What else? When anyone asks me what my favorite thing about Italy is, I always say, "fresh porcini mushrooms!" Before moving here, I'd never even seen one fresh. Since this blog began only last November, I haven't yet had the opportunity to give you fresh porcini recipes but their season is almost upon us! So tune in.
And now, I tag:
Estelle of My French Cuisine
Paz at The Cooking
Adventures of Chef Paz
Ivonne at Cream Puffs in Venice
Lotus at Lotus Reads
M.O.T.S. at Not Again!