The city of Amsterdam is pure genius when it comes to round-the-clock snack attacks. In recent foodie history, the Dutch brought the veggie falafel snack chain Maoz to New York City (THANK YOU!) However, my latest obsession is FEBO, the Dutch chain version of the Automat. Serving up croquettes, burgers and assorted good-but-not-good-for-you delectables, FEBO has been in business (and busy) since the 1940s. Read more
I caught World Cup Fever this summer.
After Italy fizzled out of the competition much (much!) earlier than anticipated, I swallowed my disappointment and looked for a new team to support. By the time finals were announced, there were only three places on Earth I wanted to be: South Africa, Spain, or the Netherlands. Luckily, I already booked a round trip ticket to Amsterdam over the weekend of the World Cup finals…back in May. The original plan was a weekend in Brugge with my South African friend Werner, who lives in Amsterdam. You can chalk it up to synchronicity, luck, or magic, but Brugge was quickly scrapped, and I was officially on Team Orange! Read more
This is not a scene from “Animal House.” It’s supper time in Montisi, a tiny, walled hill town on the outskirts of Siena. Each year, the town’s four contrade, or neighborhoods compete in a medieval-style joust on the Sunday closest to the 5th of August (the Feast of Madonna della Neve, Montisi’s patron saint). What you see here are revelers at the feast, celebrated on the eve of the joust. Each of the four contrade, San Martino, Torre, Piazza and Castello (pictured below) host a dinner in their respective contrada. The multi-coursed meal is prepared by the town’s grandmothers, the wine is free-flowing, and rowdy behavior isn’t just encouraged, it’s obligatory.
Sugo All’Amatriciana is one of my all-time favorite pasta sauces. A classic Roman staple, the sauce is prepared with a fresh tomato base, guanciale (pig-cheek bacon) and white wine. Sometimes the sauce contains onions or spicy peperoncino; however the most “traditional” style of preparation is up for debate. Read more
For my entire life, summertime has been synonymous with barbecue season. Warm, balmy evenings evoke childhood memories of my father standing over a smoking grill, and family meals moved out to the terrace. I’ve always loved a good barbecue. Even in this blog, my travels took me to Houston for a few hours, where I made time for some Southern-style barbecue. When I decided to live in Italy for the entire summer, I figured I was leaving barbecue season behind me. This couldn’t have been farther from the truth. My Americana visions of flipping burgers, family picnics and Fourth of July fireworks were put on hold, but nothing could have prepared me for Italy’s wildly popular barbecue culture. Read more