Toni Lydecker's Tavola Talk Blog

Sampling Umbrian Wines and Olive Oil at the Source

A few years ago I spent a day visiting Sagrantino wine producers with Alessandra Mallotti of Discovering Umbria. That taste of a unique varietal in its glorious country setting brought me back to sample some of the region’s organic wines and olive oil. It hadn’t occurred to me that last year’s earthquakes in Umbria (also [...]

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Wed, May 24 2017 » Italian ingredients, travel, Umbria, Uncategorized, Wine and Beverages » No Comments

Panbriacone, Italy’s “Drunken Sweet Bread”

I’ve given and eaten many a Christmas panettone, and always cross my fingers it won’t be dry. No chance of that with Panbriacone, a sweet bread with an eggy panettone base, all natural ingredients and a whopping 15-18% alcohol content. The name is a shortened form of pan dolce ubriaco, roughly translated as “drunken sweet [...]

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Fri, December 13 2013 » Baked Goods and Sweets, Italian food, Italian ingredients, Italian lifestyle, Tuscany, Uncategorized, Wine and Beverages » No Comments

Steam-Train Ride in Tuscany

I was researching cooking classes in Tuscany, not steam-train experiences, but somehow I ran across a site describing a day-long treno a vapore excursion leaving from Siena. My husband is a huge railroad enthusiast, so I signed us up. On the appointed day, it was worth the fare (29 euros each) to see the small satisfied [...]

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Fri, May 31 2013 » Italian food, Italian lifestyle, Tuscany, Uncategorized, Wine and Beverages » No Comments

Bittersweet Italian Cocktails with Gin

I’ve always loved Italian vermouth and liqueurs, known as amari, that teeter on the tightrope between bitter and sweet. They vary from one another in color, alcoholic strength and proprietary formulas of infused herbal and fruit ingredients that can number in the dozens. Vermouth on the rocks with a twist is a standard pre-dinner libation for [...]

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Tue, March 5 2013 » Italian ingredients, Italian lifestyle, Uncategorized, Wine and Beverages » 2 Comments

Summer Fruit, the Sweet Italian Way

It’s August and the fruit we dream about all year is finally here. Strawberries, raspberries and blueberries are a bargain. Melons can be trusted to taste good. And the tree fruit! Plums, peaches, nectarines and apricots, needing only the nick of a knife for their sweet juices to start dripping. Depends where you live, of [...]

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Mon, July 30 2012 » Baked Goods and Sweets, Fruits and Vegetables, Italian food, Wine and Beverages » No Comments