Wednesday, April 22, 2009

KC friends, rain, rain rain

22 Aprile
My friends from KC have just left Nascondiglio di Bacco after 3 days of exploration of Ascoli Piceno in the rain. Kevin and Erika and I visited the local hotspots such as the city of Ascoli and the Piazzas Popolo and Aringo, Meletti bar, the ceramic museum and the duomo. The next day Ripatransone and the winery Le Caniette, Porto d'Ascoli where Bacco got to show off his swimming abilities. We then were treated to an olive oil tasting and explanation by our neighbor Tiziano. Yesterday, we made a visit to the local baron's winery, then saw Offida and the local lace making ending the day with a wonderful dinner at Il Gambero in San Benedetto for Erika's birthday where we had at least 10 antipastis of fish, shrimp, crabs and calamari followed by a tasty secondo. Spring weather here can be rainy and unfortunately, my buddies hit a cold, damp, stationary front.
Our newest and final grapevines arrived yesterday, but with the rain it is doubtful we will be able to plant for a week at least with the muddy, mucky ground. This final arrival is the cross between verdicchio and sauvignon blanc.
Rain is a mixed blessing as it does allow some rest from the hoeing, but when things dry up, it will be worse yet. Oh well.
Raffaele is on vacation in the much warmer northern mountains of Italy, but prior to his departure, we took a little trip of to Recanati, home of the famous italian poet Leopardi. Now I can say I know who he is and my italian friends won't give me such a hard time about him. I still am not a big poetry fan and since he writes in ancient italian, which I don't comprehend, I will have to be satisfied with seeing his house. (Sorry, Angela)
It will be a slow week here on out as my Dutch guests leave tomorrow. May 1 is the start of our season, though, and hopefully we will open the pool at that time and have the warm, sunny weather back again.
Ciao. d


Richard Badalamente said...

Olive oil tasting -- interesting. I know from experience that olive oil from different companies (and, of course, different pressings) have very different tastes, but don't have any factual information. My wife doesn't want to cook with extra virgin, because she says it burns. I like extra virgin on bread in place of butter, but had some the other day that had an odd, "green" taste. What's your recommendation for oil for cooking, and for salad dressing or dipping?

Dwight said...

i cook with olive oil for everything except popcorn. your wife is right as it does have a lower smoking point for frying. the best ploy is to use oil less than 1 year from picking as a condiment and that more than one year old for cooking. lacking that possibility, you can cook with the cheaper oils you find at costco which is extra virgin, but probably not italian olives.