Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Stamp of the Day: Italian Food

I have been reading the book HEAT by Bill Buford, about his time working in famous chef Mario Batali's Italian restaurant in New York. The book is a bit uneven, hard to follow, but funny, and probably a rather honest look into a restaurant kitchen. Mario is going through the garbage to see what the chef's are throwing out and gets upset when he finds celery leaves, "the best part of the celery!". ) (Personally I can't stand raw celery, but when cooked it is OK. It is something genetic.) There are also descriptions of restaurants in Italy, especially small family-style places with handmade, fresh pasta, and amazing sauces. On these stamps you have some of the best Italy has - Roma tomatoes, saffron from crocus, prosciutto ham, parmigiano cheese (a lot better than the Swedish 'Rivosto' I grew up with, which can be characterized as plastic-tasting dried bland cheese powder in a plastic jar or later a thin plastic bag), chile peppers, olive oil, wine, and of course pasta. In the book Bill declares his amazement that something as good as pasta can come from just flour and egg. It is amazing indeed, and thanks to all italians for inventing it! Guess what we are having for dinner tonight?

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