Tag - Cheese

Wanderlust: A Culinary Tour of Abruzzo

The second thing travellers realize about Italy’s stunning Abruzzo region are its clutch of fabulous pastas, wines and cheeses. The region is one of Epitourean.com‘s favourites, and where we offer fabulous culinary excursions. For beginners to Abruzzo, we’ve curated a few of our favourite local specialities to eat and drink.

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Maccheroni alla Chitarra

Abruzzo Recipe: Maccheroni alla Chitarra

Pasta ingredients:

  • 1 and 1/2 cups semolina flour, plus extra as needed
  • 2 large eggs

Sauce ingredients:

  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 24 basil leaves, thinly sliced
  • 1 fresh chili pepper, minced, or 1/2 teaspoon chili flakes
  • 1/2 pound fresh grape or cherry tomatoes, diced
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Cooking and serving:

  • 2 tablespoons salt
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 cup freshly grated Pecorino Romano (optional)

This recipe is straight forward and classic. Start by making your sauce. Bring your sauce ingredients to a simmer and turn down the heat when the vegetables and tomatoes are soft.

Prepare your pasta.

After cutting your pasta to your liking, add it to boiling and salted water. Boil until the pasta is al dente. Reserve some of the pasta water and add it to the sauce. Return the sauce to a mid-low heat and add the pasta. Stir for a further five minutes. Serve with freshly grated pecorino cheese.

 

Abruzzo Wines

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Montepulciano d’Abruzzo

This small region of Italy packs a big punch when it comes to making top notch wines. Here are some of our favorites:

Cerasuolo d’Abruzzo: We can’t go without mentioning the region’s important reds. This one is deliciously intense and dry, fruity and deep burgundy in color.

Montepulciano d’Abruzzo: The region’s most popular and important red wine. The grapes carry notes of plum, the finish is dry and velvety, and the wine pairs so well with cheeses and meats.

Trebbiano d’Abruzzo: This is a more dry and delicate tipple, also well paired with cheeses, and made from Bombino Bianco grapes.

Abruzzo Cheeses

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Scamorza Cheeses

Scamorza is a similar to mozzarella, a type of cow’s milk curd cheese that is buttery in flavour and best eaten as soon as it’s made and very tasty when grilled.

One of the best sheep’s milk ricottas made in the region is called Cacioricotta Abruzzo.  It has wonderful flavour notes of coffee and lemon zest. You would usually eat this cheese on special holidays.

Another amazing local cheese is Caciotta d’Abruzzo, a cow’s or sheep’s milk cheese that on occasion is made with chile peppers.

Pecorino d’Abruzzo is a typical sheep’s milk cheese that can be quite overwhelmingly pungent if it’s aged beyond two or three years. It is best when served with a dry and fruity red wine.

 

 

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Epitourean’s Friday Five: New York City

Introducing Epitourean’s Friday Five where we pick our favorite spots in any city on our radar. Today we wrap up our week of celebrating the great American metropolis of New York City. Here are some of the places we love to visit.

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New York’s new High Line Park on the disused tracks of the city’s old West Side Line is one of Manhattan’s most important urban regeneration projects in the last 20 years. We love it for several reasons: it’s free! and offers visitors a heightened perspective of the city between downtown Gansevoort Street and 34th street by the Javits Convention Center. The nearly 1.5 mile elevated promenade is covered in beautiful gardens and trees, and wide spaces where people can lounge in the sun, listen to live music and grab a bite to eat.

Open on Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays and Saturdays, Union Square Farmer’s Market is a joy to visit. Farmers from all over New York state bring their seasonal, organic produce and stack them in big beautiful heaps. It’s here where many New York chefs come to do their restaurant shopping, and the market also hosts producers of products like baked goods, ciders and cheeses.

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The Strand is a totem to New York’s few surviving old school book stores. Its claim to fame is that it holds over 18-miles of books packed into the three floors. Epitourean travellers will find everything from rare and collectable reads to a fabulous range of cookbooks and food writing.

Upstairs

We suggest The Kimberly Hotel because we love the rooms, the location and it’s part of our Big Apple Package. We love that it is conveniently nearby trains that quickly bring travellers uptown to museums or downtown to restaurants. The hotel’s rooftop lounge is one of our favorite spots to chill out after a long day and relax with a view.

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The Whitney Museum of American Art recently opened near Chelsea Markets, the High Line Park and all of the downtown bars, restaurants and shopping that we encourage travellers to explore. Designed by Italian Architect Renzo Piano, the museum holds one of the largest US collections of American Art, and offers great views of the Hudson River and Manhattan.

Our Big Apple Package is an excellent introduction to this and more of the NYC’s endless delights.