Grantourismo September Competition - Winning Entries
Theme: The Dish
The Dish from Rome: Braised Oxtail - Coda alla Vaccinara
Much of the food of Rome is based on cucina povera. Offal, the quinto quarto, is a huge part of this cuisine. The quinto, “fifth” quarter of the animal, includes the "lesser" cuts and the innards. Rich folks took the premier cuts of meat. The poor, making due with what was left, cooked the hell out of these pieces, establishing the cuisine of Rome, that still thrives today. They caressed the flavors from these tough unwanted pieces into dishes as rich as Rome’s history, with layers of flavors running as deep as the ancient cities lying below Rome. Coda alla Vaccinara (braised oxtail) is one of these dishes. The tail is slowly cooked, tenderizing the meat, and releasing flavors from the tailbone that give the dish an intense meatiness.
One August afternoon, I chatted with the chef at Capo di Ferro in Trastevere about La Coda. I had their version, served as a rich ragu with rigatoni. I became an instant fan. Over an after-lunch limoncello, the chef told me how he makes it, emphasizing that a main ingredient is patience. The dish requires four hours to cook and a lot of stirring,” he warned. Well, Rome wasn’t built in a day, so a truly Roman dish should take some time...
Continue reading on Kathy's blog
Spaghetti alla Bottarga
Sardinia’s opal tinted waters that lap against the island’s crinkly coast are awash with bronzed Italian bodies and most excitingly, are wriggling with grey mullet. The history of Sardinia, the Mediterranean and these wriggling mullet is so intertwined that you could write a compelling anthropological thesis about their relationship that would reveal the island’s true character.
Sardinia’s location makes the island a sponge for outside influences. Over the centuries Sardinia has been invaded by the Vandals, the Byzantines, the Ostrogoths and the maritime republics of Genoa and Pisa as well as being inundated by Arab raids. It’s this influx of external influences that makes Sardinia’s food culture so interesting. A quick look at the culinary palimpsest shows what a strong influence Arab culture has had on Sardinia with the legacy of fregola and most interestingly, bottarga...
Continue reading on Jonathan's blog
By Raquel Centeno
Last spring my husband and I travelled during 20 days around Japan. It was a travel of many discoveries: perfect queues to take the train, toilets with more buttons than my mobile, geishas up and down the streets and food… mmmmmmm, the food!
We used Hiroshima’s streetcars to move around the city. The fare is just 150 yen (£1.10) and stops and signs are in English… Japanese do try hard to make tourist’s life easy! We visited a modern and stimulating city, it’s hard to believe that an atomic bomb fell there on 1945. And we also tasted an okonomiyaki, a dish we hadn’t heard of before and an easy way to justify our whole trip to Japan...
Continue reading on Raquel's blog