I am definitely cooking more Italian food here in Italy. Weird enough, because if you asked me, I would have told you that of course I always cook Italian food. Well, I guess I must be inspired by the ingredients, or to be fair, by the lack of non Italian ingredients.
In the relatively small town where I live, there are many foreigners. More foreigners than ‘original’ Germans, possibly: I asked a friend of mine if she had heard about integration problems here, and she laughed and answered: well, possibly some Germans have a few difficulties …
The Italian community is one of the largest, and they have been here for roughly two generations: I meet people more or less my age (20-30), who will tell me ‘Anch’io sono Italiano!’, proud of their origins, and then switch back to German , because actually they were born here and the Italian they speak is the home version, rich of dialect influences, which I often don’t understand.
The guy who sells me potatoes every Saturday, together with his German girlfriend, is the smiling and friendly son of a Sicilian couple. A few weeks ago a new type of potatoes appeared, called ‘La Ratte’, twice as expensive as the normal ones. Salad potatoes, long and twisted. Of course I had to try a few – this is potato heaven after all! ‘You are going to see’ – he told me in Italian ‘these are the Ferrari of the potatoes’ – and then he added laughing, in German ‘though I would probably sell more if I told the Germans they are the Mercedes..’
German food is most of the times very simple and quite hearty. At least in this region, the simpler, the better. Local ingredients are superlative and they don’t really need much more than a simple cooking. Germans know that and they love to eat tons of their best ingredients when they are in season. It is hard to describe the obsession around asparagus right now. I mean, also in other countries you see asparagus everywhere when the season comes, but you don’t see ‘Hier Deutsche Spargel’ on the windows of every shop remotely related to food. Remotely. If they sell something edible, you can bet they’d offer you asparagus right now.
There exist millions of interesting blogs out there. Billions of wonderful recipes. We can’t reasonably try them all. Of those that we do try, just a few enter into the ‘all time favourite’ list. Others, you make a couple of time, and then you forget. Then a year goes by, and something reminds you of that great recipe that would just be perfect for the particular occasion.
Sometimes you remember it all: who where and when posted it. Maybe you made a bookmark or a clipping or whatever. Then you go there, and the blog is gone.
However, that is not what usually happens, for me at least. Most of the time what happens is that I simply forget where the recipe came from. Even if I did save the recipe in my ‘ to do ‘ list, well, the list is a bit too long to find it easily.
Sometimes I like the recipe so much, or I tweak it so much, that I like to actually rewrite the recipe here, in my space.
But sometimes the original post is so good and clear that there is really no need for that. So I thought that for me it is going to be useful to post a roundup of my favourite recipes, now and again. I also thought you might like me to share it, just to get a few new (at least double tested) ideas. I’ll start with a few recipes I’ve been collecting in the last months – I hope this becomes a regular habit.