food

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Mirto – Myrtle liqueur

Mirto – Myrtle liqueur

obtained from the myrtle plant through the alcoholic maceration of the berries or a compound of berries and leaves

200-250 g fresh ripe myrtle berries,1l pure alcohol, 500 g sugar Place the berries in a jar and cover with the alcohol then close the jar without sealing. Allow to infuse for 20 days, occasionally shaking the jar. Dissolve the sugar in a liter of water and bring to the boil, then let it cool […]

 keane

The Sensone Diary – 24th October 2013

The Sensone Diary – 24th October 2013

daily goings on at the sensone retreat above Barga

The weather has been atrocious; it has severely battered the area, landslides, roads collapsing and many friends’ properties suffering under the storm the other day.  Each day new stories come to light of peoples plights and the area was put under a “State of Emergency”.  So not good, and certainly not much happening in the […]

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A wet Festa della Castagna at Careggine

A wet Festa della Castagna at Careggine

An incredible exhibition featuring birds of prey organised by the Falconieri della Versilia and the musical "cherry on the cake" so to speak - a concert by the Aristodemo's with their unmistakable mix of 1940s and 50s Italian swing music.

Well on paper it looked as though it was going to be a pretty exciting festa up at Careggine in Garfagnana. Hundreds of motorcyclists were there as part of the sixth Motocavalcata della Castagna. There was also a “via dei Vini” exhibition and tasting of quality wine from various vineyards in Tuscany. Numerous stalls featuring […]

 keane

Limoncello

Limoncello

recipe and article by Theresa

12 green lemons (untreated with pesticides), 700g sugar,1l alcohol 90*, 1l water Peel the lemons carefully, making sure none of the pith is attached, and place in a jar with the alcohol. Close the jar and allow to infuse for 10 days. Prepare a syrup with the water and sugar, allowing it to boil for […]

 keane

Has Italy lost its passion for pasta?

Has Italy lost its passion for pasta?

Consumption of the national staple has fallen in Italy, but it remains a vital part of the country's varied regional cuisine

The news that Italians are eating less pasta – consumption has dropped from 40kg to 31kg per family per year in the past decade according to the Wall Street Journal – would have come as welcome news to the poet, writer and founder of the Futurist Movement, Fillipo Marinetti. In the Manifesto of Futurist Cooking, […]

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Mondinata with the Befana

Mondinata with the Befana

The Befana is already listening the children make their lists for the coming holiday season

On the very same day that Father Christmas decorations and figures started to appear in the Sunday market here in Barga (article here) the other protagonist for the Christmas season here in this area was also well in evidence this afternoon. Yes of course we are talking about the Befana. She was up at her […]

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Old Chestnuts – article by Francis Pettitt

Old Chestnuts – article by Francis Pettitt

The bread of the poor, the majestic chestnut fed them with its fruits for without the chestnut’s support there would have been famine on a huge scale

The continuing refugee crisis affecting what Churchill termed “the soft underbelly of Europe”( i.e. Italy) and, in particular, the island of Lampedusa – that ancestral territory of the writer of one of the greatest novels this country has produced, “The Leopard” (who doesn’t remember the film version starring Burt Lancaster?) – was evidenced on a large scale among these […]

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Universal Pork Church

Universal Pork Church

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . listen to ‘Universal pork church’ on Audioboo

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Nocino di San Giovanni walnut liqueur

Nocino di San Giovanni walnut liqueur

recipe for a sweet fortified wine, similar to vinsanto

Nocino di San Giovanni Walnut liqueur Ingredients: 40 green walnuts,10 cloves, 1 cinnamon stick, 1 lemon, 1 kg sugar,1.5 litres alcohol 95*, 4 dl water. Quarter the walnuts wiithout removing the shell and place in a jar with the spices, the lemon peel and the alcohol. Infuse for ten days, shaking the jar daily. After […]

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Wild mushrooms on the menu

Wild mushrooms on the menu

the secret is out

It’s a game which is played out every year at least twice a year when the wild mushrooms – the porcini, start silently pushing their way up through the fertile soil up in the mountains around Barga. The weather is watched, rainfall is watched, a close eye is kept on the wind and the calendar […]

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I castagni monumentali nella Valle del Serchio

I castagni monumentali nella Valle del Serchio

Working on the theory that any publicity is good publicity, good news this week with the publication of a thesis at a university in Pisa by Dott. Lorenzo Simonetti

In the Media Valley and the Garfagnana chestnut forests are an integral element of our landscape, they have supported communities for centuries and remain a significant part of the local economy. A familiar backdrop to life in these hills, we take them for granted, they are always there. But… Imagine a time some years from […]

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Lo Chef Claudio Menconi a RAI TV

video by Ismaele Saisi

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