May 26, 2011

Vignarola recipe

E's play-do art
homemade playdough firstlings

Strawberries in January? "E perché?" That's how Giuliana, my greengrocer replies when I tell her how the organic supermarket in California where my dad lives sells off-season goods all year long. Tomatoes, peaches, cardoons, cabbage and raspberries all share the same space. At the same time.

It's a given for Giuliana, and for her long-standing clients—and Italians in general—that agricultural bounty be closely tied to nature's cycles, to climactic fluctuation, sun, rain, ice. Rhythmically defined by the seasons...

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  1. Italians are so savvy about food. IT just makes sense to enjoy foods at their natural peaks. Love your blog! Ciao...

  2. you know i have never been one for artichoke, but this i might try...

  3. Wow, Lola! What a tale! It`s not only a recipe, it is a song of delight! In your own unique combination of being a true Roman with all that it implies - a fantastic cook, a lover of life and food and wine and colors and smells, a storyteller - and a word-mighty American, knowing both cultural backgrounds (haha, the poor vegetarians!), you are the perfect guide for us "tourists" to the Italian kitchen. Up here in our cold North our strawberries are still blooming, not even the gooseberries have reached pea-size, And we still have to wait for all the vegetables you mentioned. For us it is still chicken soup with last-year`s carrots... All the more such an excursion to your Roman garden is a wonderful treat! And congratulations for being published. When is your BOOK available???

  4. Fabiana-
    Thank you! Yes, it's not just a newly embraced, sustainable fad... it's cultural!

    I think this could change your position on artichokes!

    Thank you so much for your lovely comment, my friend. The book is still not happening, but I have a good feeling it will soon!!

  5. I so much prefer the Italian way of eating fresh produce in season.

  6. wonderful article lola - and i agree with giuliana about the out of season produce - e perche indeed! it wasn't until i lived in greece that i learned to understand food in season: figs and melon in august, chestnuts in november. we americans have everything all the time in our supermarkets that we expect to get certain foods year round.

    i am wondering the same thing as geli — your book? i am still waiting for a copy......

  7. I get so nostalgic every time I visit with you. What a treasure trove of facts and recipes and wonderful pictures too. Glad to see you in print here and there as more people need to find you. Thanks for sharing with us, Eleonora, and for your generosity and love that spill out to everyone you meet. Ti voglio tanto bene, cara.
    Keep up the good work.

  8. Linda~
    I can't have it any other way!

    Also becausa tomatoes in winter have no flavor! The book... I have to send new book proposal. Will email you with details :)

    Aw! Anche io ti voglio tanto bene. You know that, right?