Fracasso pasticciotto (left) and one from Caffe' d'Aragona

The pasticciotto dilemma

As far as dilemmas go there are more important ones, I’m willing to grant that. Just to name a few – crunchy vs. creamy peanut butter, summer at the sea or in the mountains, Android or iOS, soft or crispy taco and so on. But down in Maglie – in the deepest deepest part of…

A liqueur Hemingway would certainly drink

My fascination with Italian spirits (the alcoholic kind) started at age 15 when I read A Farewell to Arms, where Henry and his cohorts spend an inordinate amount of time drinking grappa to gloss over the horrors of the war they are living. Hemingway also put back his share of the clear liquid while serving…

1 - olives on the ground

The Olive Harvest in Salento

Who hasn’t dreamed of leaving it all behind and becoming a farmer? Well, anyway, I have and fortunately on occasion I have a chance to pretend. In late December I was down in Salento again, Muro Leccese to be exact, where I took part in the olive harvest. The olive oil aficionados out there will…

Chili Pepper Preserves Recipe (and the Back-Story)

No self-respecting site about “Italian food, wine and culture” can get away without posting the occasional recipe so here’s my first. But first a little back-story, because every recipe has a back-story and once you know it you can enjoy the dish that much more. Remember the Soup Nazi on Seinfeld? People went there because…