“Thin” kitchen, that’s what the “magro” part means here. No, not a galley kitchen. Not a New York loft kitchen. Not even a Paris apartment kitchen. Skinny food. That’s cucina di magro. Vegetables. Legumes. Fish. Fruit. Shellfish. The bones of the Mediterranean diet. No meat, at least none that walks around on four legs. Or … More Carnevale Goeth: Dipping into Austerity via Cucina di Magro
Fritters and Carnevale, lumped together like ham and eggs, mashed potatoes and gravy, risi e bisi, rice and beans. Ricotta fritters, to be exact. True, most people associate ricotta fritters more with St. Joseph’s Day, March 19 in Italy. But those fritters lean toward the filled variety, sweetened, creamy ricotta delivering a tantalizing surprise with … More Carnevale Cometh: Ricotta and Fritters, Oh My Goodness!
What of calzone? And its cousin panzerotti? As cousins will often do, both look alike, except for size. And both end up seated at the communal table for celebrations like Carnevale. Calzone comes from a Latin word, calceus, meaning shoe, and may have been in used in everyday speech beginning around 1170. Today, the accepted … More Carnevale Cometh: Calzone, Yum Yum
Hereupon, a whole host of absurd figures surrounded him, pretending to sympathize in his mishap. Clowns and party-colored harlequins; orang-outangs; bear-headed, bull-headed, and dog-headed individuals; faces that would have been human, but for their enormous noses; one terrific creature, with a visage right in the centre of his breast; and all other imaginable kinds of … More Carnevale Cometh: Cenci by Any Other Name Would Taste as Sweet as Wine…
And now for the food of Carnival, as interpreted by cooks in what is now Italy. (See previous post on Carnival for more history.) Greasy, fatty, protein-rich, oozing with cheese or sugar, the dishes created for Martedi Grasso (Mardi Gras, Fat Tuesday) served a higher purpose than merely feeding hungry stomachs: the severe Lenten proscriptions … More Carnivale Cometh, Again: Sumptuous Lasagne di Carnevale
Soon the streets of Venice will overflow with a flood – not of water, as usual – but of tourists and food. For soon the rituals of Carnevale, or Mardi Gras (also called Fat Tuesday or Shrove Tuesday ) will once more surge into popular culture. The official date of Mardi Gras in 2022 falls … More Carnevale Cometh, and Lent Beckons
Some interesting comments from 1845 about All Souls’ Day, by Charles Knight in Penny Magazine of the Society for the Diffusion of Useful Knowledge (!), Volume 14, p. 441: To do a Tarentella as it ought to be done requires room, and although the palaces of the nobility and gentry be large (in ninety cases … More Saints, Souls, and Haints: Honey Cakes
It’s hard not to admire Nika Standen Hazelton, an outspoken and opinionated food writer who, despite the 30 or so cookbooks she wrote, quipped that “… cookbooks are mostly bought as escape literature, not to cook from … .” Very much a prophetess! Born in Rome in 1908, to a German diplomat father and Italian … More Nika Standen Hazelton: Remembering a Food Writer Chronicling a Lost World