Monday Meal Review: San Marino

san.marino.food.recipe.img_4698

Neighbors. I'd already planned on talking about neighbors last week, but when the grief of Newtown, Connecticut struck, I realized how much more urgently this message needs to be said. Abe Lincoln called the people of San Marino his "Great and Good Friends," despite being separated by an entire continent. There was such tenderness in his words, but this particular weekend they struck me hard. Why? Because so few of us know anything about the people who live in our very neighborhoods, … [Read more...]

Recipe: Pork braised in Milk & Fresh Herbs | Maiale al Latte

san.marino.food.recipe.img_4684

It's fun to let a recipe go "wrong" on purpose.  Maiale al Latte is one of those dishes: pork braised in milk for hours, until the milk gives way to tender, nutty, herb flavored curds. Some will tell you this "curdled milk" is a mistake. I'm here to tell you what everyone in San Marino and Italy already know - this is homemade cheese ripe for the snacking, an epic byproduct of an already amazingly tender roast, soaked with sage and rosemary, garlic and bay leaves, milk and … [Read more...]

Recipe: Fig & Honey Apple Polenta Cake | Bustrengo

san.marino.food.recipe.img_4805

Sometimes life calls for  a little something extra-ordinary. A toothy smile on a cloudy day can be enough. A favorite pair of fuzzy, polka-dotted socks can even do the trick. But on other days I want something a smidge bit ... well... gourmet. I want something that says this day - this meal - this time - is more special than you know. That you're more special than you know. And so, it's not without a little irony that Bustrengo fits the bill. You see, this Fig and Honey Apple … [Read more...]

Recipe: Swallow’s Nests | Nidi di Rondine

nidi-di-rondine

What being a grown up has taught me: There's no way to turn couch surfing into exercise. I cannot be a mermaid for a day, no matter how hard I will myself to grow a tail. Superman isn't going to swoop down out of the sky and carry me away with him. Heck, he can't even find a phone booth these days. That being said, there are lots of good things I've learned as a grownup. Making my daughter guffaw makes my heart happy Eating around the table with loved ones is worth a pile of … [Read more...]

Menu: San Marino (with Giveaway)

menu-san-marino

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 … [Read more...]

About the food of San Marino

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

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 … [Read more...]

Monday Meal Review: Samoa

We are one family

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. … [Read more...]

Recipe: Samoan Steamed Spice Cake | Puligi

Puligi

When Samoans want to bite into the holidays, their kitchens fill with the warm scent of cinnamon, clove, and nutmeg. If you try to peer under the lid to see what's cookin', you'll more than likely get a full steam facial, so watch out. Within that foggy cloud of vapors, you'll find cocoa brown puligi, a steamed bundt cake made dark with the unusual addition of "burnt" sugar. The cake is traditionally steamed in an underground oven known as an imu, although many now steam it on the stovetop, or … [Read more...]