On a recent trip to Tuscany, I found myself with a little time to spare and immediately headed for one of my favorite butcher shops.
Founded in 1729, Macelleria Falorni is a Tuscan institution that sits in a vaulted arcade on the west side of the market square in Greve in Chianti.
The entrance is guarded by a slightly moth-eaten wild boar, that presumably succumbed to hunters several decades ago, together with a handsome butcher block that dates from 1780 and was in use until 1956. Once inside, it's clear why Falorni are proud of their heritage and what's more, the immediate charm of the place is matched by its cleanliness.
I'm munching a Trader Joe's cheddar CheeseStick and reading Eric Asimov's article on The Pour (NYT) about tasting 18 Bordeauxs from the magic year of 1982; made so by the perfect storm of Robert Parker's enthusiasm for the vintage, a new parched public eager to learn about wine, and changes in Bordeaux economics that would sweep away sleepy local wine production in France...or so I have recently read!
The wines are 30 years old, and according to those who know, a club you can tell I am not a member of, they are now "in their prime." They have been stashed in a collector's wine cellar, enriching their "opulence" and gaining in value and fame.
Well, it finally happened. Perhaps the most infamous cheese in the world has arrived in the US: Ornella Trattoria in New York has apparently imported the cheese, and Bradley Hawks has the story at his blog, Amuse Bouche.
Update: Original tipster Matt Spiegler notes: "I called the restaurant, and the person on the phone (I think it was the owner) was very clear about the fact that they DO NOT sell it, but rather offer it as a tasting treat for customers."
10 February 2011
Perhaps the best meal I’ve ever had was at a roadside truck stop. In Italy. On Sunday. I can’t remember which exits it was between on the Autostrada, or even which number of Autostrada I was traveling on, but it doesn’t matter. Autogrill is at all of them, a fast-food convenience chain geared toward the casual traveler or the serious trucker, with a range of merchandise for either profile, or shades between.
Paradise Found at European Big-Box Store
09 November 2010, Massa, Tuscany, Italy Carrefour Marketplace
Big-Box stores make me ill, basically. Even the (sic) finest ones in the great U.S. of A. are either a conglomeration of the cheapest overproduced substitutes for nutrients, socially irresponsible acquisition or production, or politically-opportunistic disappointments for me... of course, I would assume that if you are reading Culture, you are privy to all of the above information, and more.
I am currently traveling in Italy, residing for the time being at an Agriturismo, or Agricultural Tourism farm. In this case, it is olive production, and I am here in the peak of the harvest. should the rain cease, I will be a part of said harvest, with my own hands and spirit. What a joy!