“Non vedo l’ora!” In Italian, this literally means, “I don’t see the hour.” But colloquially, it means, “I can’t wait!” This is how I feel about the re-opening of the Carmine Market in Lucca where I now live.
The first time I had battered, fried olives was about 20 years ago in Tivoli, Italy in a little restaurant off a twisty, windy street. I’ve since seen them pop up on a few restaurant appetizer menus.
Polenta often sounds fancy on a restaurant menu. But it originated as a low-cost, filling simple food from Northern Italy. And, it couldn’t be easier to make.
Without a drop of irony, I seek out museum cafes when I travel. They are predictably good and often have menus that match the exhibits. But sometimes all you need is a cup of hot chocolate and a baked good.
Dishes with history, provenance and ones that create a memory the first time you try them are my favorite kind. Such was the case for my discovery of dried fava bean soup.
I’m travelling through Italy this week collecting inspiration for new tastes, techniques, and tips to share on Greg Nelson Cooks.