Il Piacere della Carne / the pleasure of the flesh. Process that one in either italian or english, it still sounds like a romp in the sack. But for lovers of italian cuisine, the Gran Bollito Misto (mixed boiled meats) is not quite as naughty as it sounds, and gave me another good reason to cross one more off the list of my 10 favorite winter dishes.
Gran Bollito Misto: mostarda, chicken, cotechino, testina, beef, bed roll, I meant bread roll (drat those freudian slips!). Eat in or take out. We took ours to go like many others who had the same idea. The event was held in Cremona’s auditorium on Sunday, Dec. 8th, and is part of a campaign by Strada del Gusto Cremonese to promote tourism through its cuisine.
No great meal goes without a just dessert, and Lanfranchi’s pasticceria (which just happened to be across the street from the bollito misto) brought me to my knees when I caught sight of their Mont Blanc. I have been searching for this dessert since…forever, but had no success until this past Sunday. I know it’s a seasonal thing but is Japan and France the only places where they Mont Blanc up the ying yang? Ditto for the marron glacé tart. Just think, if I hadn’t run out of mostarda…
Why I’ve never set foot in Cremona in 10.5 years of living here is easy to explain – I don’t care for torrone, the egg white and nut confection for which the city is famous. Because of said reason, Cremona remained ignored on the map, and probably would’ve continued that way had I not run out of mostarda. This spicy-sweet fruit condiment is something we normally get at a supermarket, but a weekend of promising weather and the idea to buy mostarda from a place for which it is also known for, is what prompted us to visit this magnificent city.
9 reasons to ♥ Cremona
Within the time limits of a late afternoon and brief Sunday morning visit, I can count on my fingers how many things about Cremona that instantly won me over on this trip. I fit as many as I could into this video, but the best is at the very end as violin music can be heard coming out of a luthier’s tiny shop.
1. Walking along the Po River
2. Duomo of Cremona – magnificent in the light of the setting winter sun
3. Torrazzo – it has an astronomical clock, is 1 of the 3 tallest brickwork bell towers in the world, and counts 502 steps to the top! Unfortunately our ‘kids’ dislike heights
4. Piazza Stradivari – and the statue of Antonio Stradivari
5. Sperlari – specialty foods shop on via Solferino with an assortment of mostarda, chocolate, cookies and liqueurs
6. Lanfranchi – historical pastry shop on via Solferino
7. Free vin brulé to chase away the winter chill (organized by the Bersaglieri of Cremona)
8. The luthier shops
9. Il Piacere delle Carne (the Pleasure of the Flesh – next post!)