Year: 2012


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 …

Guaita fortress and part of the city (view from above Monte Titano). Photo by Ricardo André Frantz.

About the food of San Marino

Let’s dive into Italy, right over the mountains, into the tiny 24 square mile country of San Marino. In this small enclave, there is no level ground. Indeed, every sunny vista is filled with the jawdropping scenery of a life “away from it all.” In this land, tenacity is the name of the game. Whenever San Marino comes up in conversation people like to ask how they managed to stay independent within Italy all these years. Why aren’t they just a part of Italy, they ask. For one, I think the difficult mountain terrain has provide a natural barrier (both physical and somewhat cultural), but also the people seem to be filled with good ol’ tenacity. One simply has to look at their determination to grow food in the rubble-like soil. Almost miraculously, they manage to produce a bounty of chestnuts, barley, fruit, and wheat in this small land. The food is typical of Northeastern Italy, with specialties like Swallow’s Nests, spirals of filled noodles coated in bechamel and Parmesan [Recipe]… and then there’s pork slow cooked in milk and …

We are one family

Monday Meal Review: Samoa

There’s a Samoan proverb which reads “Ua iloa i vaʻa lelea,” or we are one family.  I love this proverb. I spent most of my topsy turvy childhood figuring out what love means. What family means. And then, one day, those grace-filled words dawned on me … We are one family. The Samoans knew it all along. Blood bonds and geographic bonds are just the wonderful beginning. We can find love whenever and wherever we open our hearts. We are all one family. Sometimes it’s a bit messy. Sometimes it’s not how we pictured it. Sometimes we disagree and sometimes we cry. Sometimes we need a break. But sometimes it’s easy. Sometimes we laugh and see eye to eye. Sometimes we can’t get enough of each other’s smiles. We are one family. How my life changed when I began to look at the world through this lens. Sure, I still mess up (all the time, actually… and I’m sorry for that), but reminding myself of these words helps me to slow down and “think kinder,” with more love, …


Samoan Steamed Spice Cake | Puligi

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