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primitivo di manduria: gianfranco fino's es

That's what a good Primitivo di Manduria can offer, and Fino's is that, plus. At 16.5 percent alcohol, it's a marching bass drum of a wine, yet perfectly balanced between acids (not easy to do, as with the sun's heat, the acid tends to fall away rather quickly) and still youngish tannins (this, the 2007)....

la cupeta: a little sweet treat, however rare

And this lack of sweet sweets is true of the Salento as well, although every once in a while, a holiday will roll around and someone will offer you a piece of la cupeta, the dialectical version of il croccante, an almond brittle so sweet that 10-year olds and humming birds would even reject it for being too sweet....

Part One: The Golf Ball

‘What else am I supposed to do’, he says, his voice angry and cracking. ‘You expect me to sit in front of some cafe with a bunch of the boys and await my own death? Is that what you want?’...

Part Three: Bananas, Coffee and Chocolate

I've been doing a lot of reading lately on olive oil quality. And I've been talking first-hand with producers, marketers and those that make oil for their own consumption. It's a lot of information to absorb. It's so big that you could spend your life studying olive oil quality (I have friends that are doing just that). It's such a massive...

Lu Stufatu (Sexy, Sexy Stewed Vegetables)

Like many of the more wily concepts in life - lu stufatu is one of those things that is almost impossible to pin down, empirically: You can just bet your boots that you'll know it when you see it....

The Sculpture Garden in Lecce, Italy: The Work of Eugenio Maccagnani

On our free morning at our tiny cooking school in here in Lecce, Italy, just after the guided tour of the city, but before we make fresh sausages from scratch in the afternoon, most folks spend their free time here, in the park or sculpture garden, a somber green oasis in the centre of our beautiful blond, stone city. I say ‘the...