November Newsletter

Posted by on Nov 4, 2015 in Newsletter | 0 comments

Nduja Warrior

I always enjoy traveling and eating locally as possible. In many of my newsletters, I have written about my experiences that I have had from mayonnaise on top of a hot dog to a pint of beer and a slice to pork pie. Getting to know a culture through its food is an amazing thing. I hope I’ve inspired some of you to do the same. However, traveling and exploring new dishes is not always about having something new, but on occasions, seeing how to actually use an ingredient instead of some ubiquitous American interpretation of how it is used in a recipe. I had one of those eye-opening moments after I recently spent a few days visiting and working in Milan.

If you study Italian food, especially regional pasta dishes, you know that there is a common technique of using cured pork products as fat for texture or for added saltiness. Think of pasta carbonara that uses speck or pancetta, or simple spaghetti with prosciutto and peas. However, I thought that most of the cured products used in pasta were dry aged and on the firm side. Cooks add these ingredients at the beginning of the cooking process to render out the fat and to create some texture. I had never really thought about finishing a dish with a cured meat product to develop a sauce; I’ve always known it as a garnish. In Milan, that all changed after standing on my feet for 12 hours and hungry for anything. We chose the closest restaurant to the hotel, which was a comfortable, somewhat elegant restaurant that served a great meal. From the large bottle format Italian beers (delicious), to the perfect octopus and potato antipasto, to fresh porcini pappardelle to, in my opinion, the star of the meal, strozzapreti Nduja.

November Newsletter

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