Italy: The Food Awards (Part 2)

Continuing from Part 1 of the Italian Food Awards

The Hands-Down Best Meal:

Dinner in Alba post-truffle hunting. This was the meal our tour, “Piedmont: The Land of Barolo and Truffles” was named after. We started with grissini and the most amazing focaccia.

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Grissini are thin, long and crispy breadsticks that are traditionally served in restaurants in northern Italy. They originated over 150 years ago, when they were made for a prince who couldn’t digest normal bread.

We had two anitpasti dishes. The first was a polenta with mushrooms and Parmesan. I don’t usually like polenta, but apparently I’ve been making it wrong, because I liked this!

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Our second antipasto was a cheese sformata with a bechamel sauce, which is like a quiche with a very thin crust.

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The primi course was definitely the star of the evening… fresh and traditional egg pasta with freshly shaved white truffles. And by ‘freshly shaved,’ I mean they actually came to our table and shaved them right there!

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Secondi was wild boar with potatoes. I wasn’t a huge fan of the boar and was starting to feel quite full, so I stuck with a few bites. I wanted to leave room for dessert!

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And it was a good thing I left room for dessert! Flourless chocolate cake a la mode served with mint and some kind of berries.

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To round it all out, we enjoyed two types of Barolo wines and some Moscato d’Asti sparkling wine with dinner.

The Most-Consumed Produce:

Mushrooms, mushrooms, and more mushrooms. They are local and in-season, so we enjoyed them in multiple forms! In one meal alone, we had mushrooms prepared three ways: over mashed potatoes, fried, and baked & mixed in with potatoes.

Italy Mushrooms

The Most Common Dessert Combo:

Chocolate + hazelnut wins for this one, since hazelnuts are locally grown. Our third hotel was only a few blocks from the original Nutella factory, so the whole town smelled amazing in the morning.

Italy Food

Favorite Afternoon Snack:

Gelato shared with Dan. Though I somehow failed to take any pictures of it. My favorite flavors? It is a tie between crema (like vanilla, but so much creamier and delicious) and arancia rossa (red oranges…I think they are the same as blood oranges?).

Favorite Laid-Back Meal:

Oven-fired pizza. I love that we had so many “white pizza” options…I definitely prefer the olive oil/garlic combo base over red sauce!

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Best Home-Cooked Meal:

On one of our first days, we stopped for lunch at a family farm and vineyard. They so kindly shared their wine with us, in addition to some delicious courses such as fried zucchini blossoms,

Zucchini Blossoms

pasta carbonera (Dan was especially a fan of this!),

Italy Pasta

and homemade fruit preserves with cheese (see part 1).

More Italy recaps coming tomorrow!

Comments

  1. says

    Julie – this post makes me want to go back RIGHT NOW! The pizzas and pastas were just so amazing. And I ate my fair share of breadsticks as well. And the desserts were so decadent. My love for Italian food grew by the day. I have to say, I’m a red sauce girl all the way! πŸ™‚

  2. says

    I am loving your Italy recaps – thanks so much for sharing all this delicious food with those of us who have yet to visit!!! Your trip sounded amazing and the food even more so πŸ™‚

  3. says

    OMG! I just discovered Nutella this past weekend and sadly have to admit that I may have already developed an addication….. This all looks amazing! I want to try truffle again b/c the first time I had it was in “truffle oil fries” and they tasted like a nail salon πŸ™