Menu: San Marino (with Giveaway)

Here’s something you might not have known: Abraham Lincoln was made an honorary citizen of San Marino in 1861. This made him happy, as he believed that San Marino demonstrated how a “government founded on republican principles is capable of being so administered as to be secure and enduring.” (Read the whole letter)

What he doesn’t mention in his letter to his “Great and Good Friends” is their food, likely because he never had the opportunity to sample it. Personally I believe that any “secure and enduring country” has to have great food.

Thankfully, San Marino delivers like a champ in this department.

This menu is a little like cooking Italy all over again (northeast Italy, anyway)… but with a flair distinctly Sanmarinese. Each bite of this menu is comforting, rich, and perfect for the curious stovetop traveler on a wintertime journey through the rugged mountains. You’ll notice a lot of milk, from the bechamel to the pork roast, as well as typical ingredients like polenta, honey, and dried figs. Consider serving this menu with some asparagus or artichokes for a bit of color. Cheers, my Great and Good Friends!

All recipes and the meal review will be posted throughout the week.

Swallow’s Nests | Nidi di Rondine [Recipe]
Take everything you love about cinnamon rolls and lasagna… and combine it into an addicting casserole of epic proportions. Our version is stuffed with bechamel, sliced ham and emmentalier cheese, although vegetarians could easily swap out the ham for spinach and mushrooms for an equally delicious meal.

Pork braised in Milk and Fresh Herbs | Maiale al Latte [Recipe]
Turn a simple Sunday roast into a  bite of San Marino by slow-cooking it in a bath of milk, rosemary, sage, garlic, and bay leaf.

Fig & Honey Apple Polenta Tart | Bustrengo [Recipe]
An incredible blend of apples, dried figs, honey, polenta, olive oil, and fresh orange and lemon peel. As one astute diner mentioned “This is what fruit cake tries to be.”

Weekly Giveaway:

Last week’s giveaway was so popular, we’re doing it again!

I’m glad I’m not the only one dreaming of a world-shaped cookie cutters, spice snow globes, and the perfect peppermill.

Take another shot at our Global Gift Guide…

Here’s how it works.

1. Pick any item you like off the Global Gift Guide.

2. Don’t tell me what the item is, but leave a comment on this post telling me why you need it or what you’ll do with it. (This could get funny).

3. Share the contest on Facebook, Twitter, and/or Pinterest.

That’s it! 

Winner will be announced December 17, 2012. Prize must be claimed by December 24, 2012.

UPDATE! Giveaway Winner:

Congratulations, Leslie! You won your heart’s desire off of our Global Gift Guide.

The color of the sky and the heart of the tree… hold a osso buco for me and thee.

Enjoy your …. well, I’m not sure what!! Contact me by December 24, 2012 to claim your prize!

P.S. Click here to read the product descriptions and link to merchants.


  1. Wow, I’m first. This dinner looks really great! About 50 years ago, I spent a day in San Marino. I remember the architecture and narrow streets with laundry strung between the buildings, but I do not remember anything about the food!
    What I would like to do with the article from the Global Gift Guide: use it to make a simple seafood casserole. And maybe I could even use it to make the Swallow’s Nests!

  2. Fe fi fo fum I smell the blood of an Englishman. Be he alive or be he dead, I’ll grind his bones to make my bread –using one of the items on this gift guide.

  3. This menu looks so good! With my choice from the gift guide I would gaze at flurries of salt, pepper, maybe cumin or oregano as they fluttered around miniature animals, and I would day dream about exotic places….until my children bring me firmly back to reality!

  4. I am looking forward to the Swallow’s Nests recipe post, that looks delicious!! And any variation of polenta is welcome, too 😀

  5. I saw on No reservations once when Tony went to Japan that he had these octopus donuts that were made on the street. A certain item on this list would help me get one step closer to Japan. 🙂

  6. Monique says

    My girls and I would love one of the the items to add some fun to our tea parties!

  7. The item I’d love to win would be used to make my older brother and his wife so happy. They love trying new things and this item would help them with that. They’d be able to taste so many flavors from around the world. Best wishes to all the contestants!

  8. Celelste Childress says

    I’ve looked at recipes that require this for a long time. Even if it’s not in use, it is pretty.

  9. Simone says

    I can’t wait for the recipes!!! It all looks soo delicious! As far as the contest: I have been living for the past five years without one of these, and I really need one…we had company over a few weeks ago, and heating single cups in a microwave with little baggies in them just didn’t quite feel right 😉

  10. Barbara says

    I need/have to have this item because I’m so intrigued….I spent an hour or so last week looking up info/recipes for it.
    I’d use it to make something I had never heard of until I saw it here.

  11. I’d love to make some chicken in my pick from the gift guide! It would match my blue kitchen and speaks to my love of triangles(lol)!

    I pinned this!

  12. Pingback: Global Table Adventure | Gifts for the Stovetop Traveler

  13. Kendra says

    The item I’d like to win would add a patriotic flair to my mostly-red-and-white kitchen! I would also have the most stylish casserole at church potlucks!

  14. The item I would like to have from your gift guide would be PERFECT for my living room’s atlas theme in my new house with my new husband!

  15. I would love to see if my kids can figure out why this things shape makes a difference in how it works. Also, I can introduce them to the wonderfulness of sweet fruits with savory meats.

  16. Leslie says

    The color of the sky and the heart of the tree… hold a osso buco for me and thee.

    • Oh, no! I forgot to not include the name of the product! If anyone knows how I could delete my first comment, please let me know!

  17. Cynthia says

    I just moved into a new house, and found a new group of friends to go with it. We’ve started a tradition of once a week potlucks at rotating houses…..The gift I have in mind would come in superhandy for all these potlucks!

  18. Pingback: Global Table Adventure | Monday Meal Review: San Marino

  19. robin says

    (contest = sigh = memories). Ten or so years ago I got it in my head that I absolutely had to cook Moroccan food. Even though I live in the San Francisco Bay Area, it was difficult to locate a certain essential cooking vessel for purchase. After looking (and saving), I finally made my big culinary purchase. The directions said I had to basically temper it purchase, so I couldn’t use it immediately (frown). At the time my three children were all in grade school, so I planned a day when I could be home without them underfoot and devote attention to my beautiful new purchase.

    I have no clue why, but my pot exploded in the oven. Bad tempering! I was so disappointed in both the equipment loss, the inability to “cook Morocco”, and the financial loss, that I never went back and tried it again. Now, these many years later, I’d love the opportunity to try again — and amaze my college kids — with beautiful food in beautiful cookware.

    So is this how to enter your next give-away?

    This site rocks! I’ve been a fan for a while now and shamelessly promote your recipes on fb and pinterest. I’m so happy that you are able to do this!

    robin in redwood city, ca

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