sometimes it seems like there are more americans in tuscany than there are in new york. but sometimes that means i get to stay in places like this villa, just outside of cortona on the eastern end of tuscany. emily's parents rented the whole damn thing and carla and i got to go down and hang out. yes, that's a satellite up there and a ping pong table below. the ping pong table was the best part. no, wait -- the pool was. the view wasn't so bad either: the kitchen is separate, as well as this bedroom which happens to have table grapes growing on it. the yard is full of olive, quince and lemon trees as well. here's one of the quinces we picked: in the view from the house in that second taller photo, past the chimney, you see cortona up on the hill. charming town. overrun with germans and americans. but you can get some damn tasty porchetta at the market: (offering further proof that pork crack is internationally trafficked.) here (and in le marche as well?), they roll up the piglet with an aggressively seasoned herb paste. you can get a sandwich or just the meat from the carts. unfortunately, i didn't take a photograph of the porcine beauties in all their bronzed glory. too hungry. on the way over from le marche, we drove through umbria and stopped at lago trasimeno. not much to say about umbria since we didn't spend too much time there. similar looking to tuscany, perhaps less built up. there was an unfortunate cement factory outside the otherwise breathtaking gubbio. but back to tuscany and to the most important part: we went to a restaurant just outside of arezzo, about 30km north of cortona. this is the strigoli, another eggless pasta. sort of stagacci-like, sauced with radicchio and some other ridiculously tasty thing. (it's not plated badly, it's just a half-portion.) the typical pasta in tuscany: pici. also fresh, also eggless. made by rolling the dough out into long, snake-like strands. i love the texture of these eggless pastas. the chewiness gives them an extra dimension and they're less rich than those made with egg. which is a good thing when the italians make the pasta alla norcina, a sausage, porcini, walnut and anchovy sauce. not light. villa burali's delicious baccalà. this is their trippa di polpo, or literally, "tripe of octopus". we couldn't (the italian present, included) figure out whether it would be tripe or octopus, but it turns out to be octopus cooked the way one cooks tripe. con fagioli (beans), which you can just barely make out around the periphery of the dish. i nearly licked the plate clean.


Blogger staceyjoy said...

I love living vicariously through you, Winnie! THanks for posting your adventures. MUST eat Italian tonight. Have to start looking around for eggless pasta, very curious to taste it.

10/05/2005 12:56:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

wow winnie, thanks for the food and travel porn. i hope you're well. tim

10/05/2005 02:20:00 PM  
Blogger Cory said...

the food you eat is absolutely ludicrous; i love it.

i'm sitting here drunk in costa rica with a bottle of syrah and some goddamn piss poor noodles dying of envy...

10/09/2005 05:55:00 AM  

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