COOKING, INSPIRATION, TRAVEL

The land of generous dreamers – part 3

maggio 2, 2017
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Sardoncini (big anchovies), bombolini (sea snails), trufelli (calamaretti spillo, baby squids), calcinelli (a peculiar kind of clams know as telline), cannelli (known as canolicchi or cappelunghe), nocchie (known as canocchie), moscioli (mussels), folpi (octopus), furbi (baby octopus) garagoi or crocette (murici, another kind of sea snails), anguilla (eel), aringa (herring), baccala (salted codfish), stoccafisso (stockfish), sarde (sardines), sgombri (mackerel), suri (sugarless, horse mackerel), beccacce (woodcock), cinghiale (boar), fagiano (pheasant), lepre (hare), quaglie (quails), starne (partridge), tordo (thrush), tacchino (turkey), agnello (lamb), pecora (sheep), quinto quarto (offal), lumache (ground snails), rane (frogs). 


Pancotto (bread leftovers, hot water/milk or meat/fish/veggies stock, steamed beans/chickpeas/broad beans and lard/tuna/codfish scraps), crostini (slices of toasted bread poached in herring milk/truffles/marinated anchovies/pecorino cheese/sauteed giblets in butter, capers and anchovies/chicken livers/fish offal/baco,juniper and woodcock “pesto”), olive “ripiene” (filled with minced veal meat, eggs, ox marrow, cinnamon, nutmeg, breadcrumbed and fried), olive “strinate” (wild fennel, dehydrated orange skin, garlic), “acciugata” (anchovies paste to spread on bread or to season pasta), a generous choice of pasta sauces (veal meat/chicken/duck/wild/rabbit/codfish/crabs (grancelle)/clams/baby soles/ricotta cheese/asparagus/mushrooms/garlic/walnuts/different combinations of mint, parsley, basil, rosemary, marjoram, onion, garlic, red pepper, capers, salted anchovies, lemon juice, olive oil), plenty of dishes where polenta is the queen (cornmeal mush used to be the cheapest food farmers could afford; there’s still nowadays a wide array of cultural and ritual meanings, mainly where hunger keeps being remembered as a true nightmare). 


Polenta is the perfect partner for plenty of ingredients (lard/cabbage, borlotti and fava beans/chickpeas and onions/pork rind/pork caul, laurel, thrush/codfish, ham, tomato, basil, garlic, sugar/bacon, black pudding/la robba “paw, tripes, bowels, tail, ears, liver, heart, lungs, thymus gland etc.”…), though the masterpiece – to me are the fish soups (brodetto all’Anconetana/alla Fanese/di Civitanova/di Porto Recanati/di San Benedetto/di Porto San Giorgio/di anguille – eels/di canocchie – mantis shrimp/spider crab/frogs, eels and crabs/big anchovies and cauliflowers). 

As you talk about “brodetto“, depending on the place there’s always a tiny difference that delivers a unique experience; this is a constant of italian cuisine. Even within the same family a dish can be the same – by the name – but peculiarly different. 

Pictures by myself, Riccardo Rama de Tisi

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