You should know by now that I am a devotee of the food culture of Italy and the stories and legends that are associated with many of the Italian products. One of my favorite tales involves my preference for Frascati, a white wine from the region of Lazio, made from the Trebbiano grape.
It seems, as legend recalls, there was a Bishop from Germany who was on a pilgrimage to Rome and each day would send his assistant/valet ahead to find the best inns and a wine the prelate would deem worthy. On the doors of the special inns with quality food and wines he would write EST! Upon arriving in the Montefiascone area, he truly found that ultimate Frascati and could not help but write a triple exclamation…EST! EST! EST! as testimony to an exceptional product. Since that time, this Frascati has been known as EST! EST! EST!
I truly enjoy reading about the provinces of Italy and taking that journey from region to region, learning about the signature culinary emblem of each community. For example, that dish or product created as a specialty…Steak Florentine, Caprese Salad, Trevisano Radicchio, Risotto Milanese, Colonatta Lard, Bronte Pistachios and so many more…
The people of Italy become engrossed when they speak of food and have an understanding of when certain products and crops were seriously accepted into the Italian menu. For example, it was only toward the latter years of the eighteenth century that the tomato, which was imported from America, was seriously accepted by the elite chefs and gastronomes who created the red sauces which were then married to pasta.
You should know that it was at this time in Naples that the Bourbon King Ferdinand had the idea for a four-tined fork. He would grow frustrated trying to twirl spaghetti around a three-tined fork and lose the sauce. So with some trial and error, the four-tined fork was born. This, pasta eaters world-wide would be forever grateful that the tomato was imported from America.
My friends who are of Italian heritage become passionate when they talk about food which reminds me of the Italian expression, “Parla come mangi!” or translated, “Speak the language of your food.” The Italian culinary code embraces and reflects the culture of its practitioners; being no short-cuts or gimmicks, rather only a true reflection of history. Please take the time to explore for I know you will thank me.