Cape Cod Looms Large: Summer Sipping

This year it’s only a one week trip but very happy nonetheless to see the places of my heart. Looking forward to seeing what is offered at the local “package” store….

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I am getting ready to go to Cape Cod for two weeks on a family vacation that has become a tradition these last years, again. We used to go when I was growing up and four years ago I decided to start the tradition again.

I am so looking forward to all the Cape has to offer in terms of beaches, water, seafood, fishing, fun and peace. Not so looking forward to the sharks that have come to feast on the growing seal population but nothing beats a sunset on Race Point or the dunes on Long Nook so I will just have to get used to sharks too.

As on any road trip, one packs the essentials. My toolbox includes some incredible wines from Italy and I am excited to share them and pair them with the bounty of the Cape. Here’s to the dog days of Summer. Very…

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Buon Ferragosto A Tutti! Going Fishing

Not yet Ferragosto and not yet on the Cape but I am looking forward to our annual family retreat next week despite the shark population. Here’s to mid summer fun and a good rest of August to all. I’m currently getting in a last bit of humidity while here in New Orleans. Nothing quite like it.

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Beach

Today is the quintessential Italian holiday, Ferragosto. What is Ferragosto you might ask, well according to Wikipedia:

“The Catholic Church celebrates this date as a Holy Day of Obligation to commemorate the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary—the actual physical elevation of her sinless soul and incorruptible body into Heaven. Before the Roman Catholic Church came into existence, however, this holiday also included honoring of gods—in particular Diana—and the cycle of fertility and ripening, during the time of the Roman Empire.”

Actually the history of the holiday has many interesting tidbits which Wikipedia explains here.

Ferragosto for me is much simpler and has always represented the beach, good food and good friends. This Ferragosto I am about to leave on a holiday trip to Cape Cod, beloved mecca of my life and alias a new hotbed of shark activity…That said, I can’t wait to see the beach, old friends…

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The Muffaletta – One of Italy’s Gifts to New Orleans

I’m down in NOLA for the Society of Wine Educators Conference again this year. I had a version of the Muffaletta yesterday and was reminded of this post, which is on of the absolute most widely read on my blog for the last seven years. I like this city – what warmth and great food. Went to Mr. B’s Bistro for dinner and was impressed. Conference as always is a great time to connect with old friends and make new ones and to taste great wines. More of the conference in the coming days.

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The Muffaletta is a delicious slice of Italy that is an integral part of the Crescent City’s food traditions.

Local lore is that the Muffaletta was created at the Italian run Central Grocery on Decatur St in the French Quarter in 1906. The store still sells Muffalettas and many say they are the best in town. The sandwich as you can see is huge and has a variety of cold cuts and cheeses topped with olive salad. While not slimming, it is an incredibly satisfying meal. Sharing is the way to go with this gigantic treat. For a great Muffaletta recipe, check out http://www.gumbopages.com. I had my Muffaletta at Cafe Beignet, a nice outdoor location on Bourbon Street in Muscial Legends Park.

Not having had the original, I can only attest to the merits of the Muffaletta from Cafe Beignet but next time I am in New Orleans, I intend…

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La Notte di San Lorenzo – The Night of the Shooting Stars

Make a wish! It’s tonight for those of you who can stay up late enough to look at the stars….

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August 10 is officially known in Italy as la notte di San Lorenzo or the Night of the Shooting Stars. This is because, apparently, tonight if there were clear skies, one could see many shooting stars. I always thought this was very poetic but somewhat of a myth. Until I went sailing in the Mediterranean some years ago on August 10. I saw tens of shooting stars and it was indeed magical. I have no idea why this is the case, from a scientific point of view, but effectively everyone in Italy looks to the sky on this evening to make a wish on a shooting star.

There is also a very famous movie called the Night of the Shooting Stars by the Taviani Brothers. I love that movie and most that have to do with World War II.

Recently I had the pleasure of translating for Giovanni Taviani…

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