Growing any crop is a huge gamble... growing lemons on the hillsides of the western shore of Lake Garda means facing almost impossible odds. First, the latitude -- lemons generally are grown between the 40th parallel north and the 40th parallel south, and Lake Garda is at 46 degrees of latitude, north of the equator. … Continue reading The sweet story of Lake Garda’s lemons
I've found two new tech tips that have made my travels so much easier! One is thanks to my cousin, Lisa, who showed me I can use my cell phone's data plan to create a wi-fi hot spot to connect my laptop to the Internet. (This was necessitated because my flat in Lucca didn't exactly … Continue reading Two new tech discoveries
Did you know that Balsamic vinegar isn't really vinegar (which is fermented wine)? Neither did I, until the second stop on my Food Experiences day trip from Bologna (run by Times of Italy/Italian Days), when we went to Acetaia Villa San Donnino. They produce DOP designated … Continue reading Sweet-Tart, I Love You
Making the cured meat treat that is Prosciutto is a simple matter of pig, salt and time. That's pretty much it. And of course, there's also much more to it, especially for the resulting product to earn the Protected Designation of Original (DOP) label. As the third stop on my Food Experiences day trip from … Continue reading All Pigs Aren’t Created Equal
This tour is a perfect way to learn about food, family and passion for both. Aside from the early start time (just before 7 am!!), everything about the Food Experiences trip from Bologna, run by Times of Italy/Italian Days was perfect. We were a group of around 20 people, but transported in 4 different luxury … Continue reading A “Slow” Day — Prosciutto, Parmesan and Passion
For those food geeks (like me), who want to know more about the "The King of Cheese," Parmigiano-Reggiano, and how it's made, here are the details that I learned at Nuova Coop Casearia Spilambertese, while on the Food Experiences tour from Times of Italy/Italian Days. Parmigiano-Reggiano actually has quite a history, being first mentioned in … Continue reading The Making of a King
I leave in less than 2 weeks, and today discovered my first would-have-been major mistake -- I booked my hotel in Brussels for August, not September. Thank goodness the concierge at the hotel was double-checking my work, and emailed me! Hopefully, he'll be able to fix it for me, as well. But it just illustrates … Continue reading The Zen of Travel – Shit Happens
Food tourism seems to come in two extremes -- ultra high-end food tours where you explore a Florentine market and then learn how to cook pasta in the kitchen of a famous cookbook author (for hundreds of dollars per hour) or trooping through a cheese-making plant (free, but not engaging). Those of us who love to … Continue reading I wanna be Bourdain
This is my first post in my shiny new blog! I'm in the middle of planning and prepping for a 5-month sojourn in England, France, Belgium and Italy, and finding that it has taken almost as much time to plan the trip as the trip itself. I leave in 3 weeks and while my list … Continue reading What am I doing?
I'm a newly-retired hotel concierge "of a certain age" who has decided to have a new adventure. I love to travel and I love to eat, so I'm off to wander around Europe for the summer of 2014. I hope you'll find something of interest in my travels.