The color turning in the leaves are beautiful daily reminders of the season’s progress, but blink twice and it’s gone. The part I like best is what shows up at the markets – persimmons, pears, chestnuts, and kiwi – so we’re getting our fill before the sparse period sets in. This year brings some excitement though, because I discovered that exotic pawpaw fruit is grown right here in Italy.
Azienda Agricola Montanari (Faenza) is the only large-scale Italian grower that I know of, but unfortunately the season is brief. The fruit are big and uniform in size, have excellent flavor, and packed with care to withstand long-distance travel. Note: the Trybeca farm in Piemonte that we buy our nashi from has a small orchard of pawpaw trees but they give the fruit away as samples.
The six that I bought kept well in the fridge. I took one out at least a couple of days before serving and have to say this: breakfasts have been pure bliss!
Another fruit (culinarily, it’s a vegetable) that I usually see stocked from mid-September are these small, red-orange eggplants called melanzana rossa di Rotondo. Cultivated in the south, the eggplants can be stuffed and baked, or wrapped with bacon, then roasted.
Unlike other eggplants, melanzana rossa does not turn brown when cut.
Happy birthday to me! Peperonata, scrambled egg, freshly baked apricot croissant, and a cappy piled high with milk foam. There are definitely more white hairs on my head but I am totally okay with turning another year older.
What gives? Since the start of this month it has been 70-76°F during the day and the air is so warm that a load of laundry is completely dried before the sun goes down. I’m stocked up on holiday baking supplies, a truckload of firewood is on the way, and yet…and yet it feels as if I should be putting the mosquito screens back into place and planning meals around leafy salads and iced tea. Make me a mojito, it feels like early summer in the chestnut forest.
Only that it isn’t summer, it’s fall, and with fall comes all the really good stuff like…
Truffles – this photo was actually taken last year when we ordered black ones through our favorite supermarket. They’re nothing compared to the white truffles in Piemonte, but they’re easier on the wallet. No time to attend any tartufo fairs this season but there’s a lot of truffle products (butter, cream, oils, etc) on store shelves right now.
and fall sagra events. Last weekend of October and first weekend of November in Pizzighettone, Lombardy are the set dates for Fasulin de l’oc cun le cudeghe. Tender black-eyed peas with pork skin in a thick, hearty soup. We’ve gone a couple times since our first experience in 2006 but I’ve never updated with a post. Things have changed (in a good way) especially for dog owners. A full report tomorrow.
Fasulin de l’oc, raspadura cheese, grilled polenta, cheese and mostarda, lardo and salame.