- So maybe I’ll miss the 24-marathon of a Christmas Story this year, but it’s good to know that you can now tour the A Christmas Story house AND buy the Leg Lamp you see in the movie. Ha!
- I’ve got something exciting coming up this week! Stay tuned!
I have to say I love discovering things, especially if it involves food. There are very few things I won’t at least try.
When we were at the country house of our friends last weekend, we sat on their porch enjoying the sunshine in our stocking feet. My knee-high boots, so vital to survival in Milan, were hot and useless in that heat.
They brought around a box full of round green vegetables? Fruit? I had never seen them before. Its name was Feijoa. They are not native to Italy but our friends were able to buy them from a tree nursery.
They quickly peeled it with a knife, cut it in half, and handed me one. Light yellow in color, it looked a bit like an unripe kiwi with no seeds.
I actually had to write down what I was tasting because I knew I’d never remember it. When I try something new, until its taste is known to me, I try to place it into my “sensory containers” my tongue has memorized. For this fruit, it was a mix between a kiwi and a golden apple. Very tart, but I like that. Try explaining that to someone!
When I spoke with the others about this, they offered up their own interpretations. The texture was similar to the graininess of a pear, and there were traces of passion fruit as well. Now that I’ve seen other pictures of the Feijoa, I can understand this more. It is also called the Pineapple Guava, but guava is not readily available in Italy which is probably why their “sensory containers” didn’t offer that up as a similarity.
Our friend even mentioned the “flower” aftertaste which, after examination, I found to be true. It had a slightly bitter, but not unpleasant, “flower” aftertaste. Like after you eat petals of a flower (don’t laugh, Dad). There were no flowers when we picked them, but they say the petals are edible as well.
I think some of the ones we were eating were just a little under-ripe but still quite good. They say the normal way to eat them is to cut them in half and scoop out the insides with a spoon but I liked eating the peeled, whole fruit. Maybe it was the blinding sun that day, but I didn’t get tired of eating these and must have had around 4-5 whole feijoas while we sat and sunbathed.
I went to go look at the Feijoa “plant” “tree” – I didn’t know what to expect, but it resembled a large hedge about my height, and you had to look really close to find the fruit. They are the same color as the rest of the plant and so they don’t stick out.
I’ve seen a few mentions for Feijoa wine and vodka, so I’ll have to continue my experiment!
After our delicious “aperitivo” we went to a local restaurant for lunch. Everyone’s dish came out normally, except mine. Then I heard a cart approaching us and a large wheel of Pecorino cheese was sitting on top. The waiter, with a bit of flare, opened a bottle of alcohol and poured some inside the hollowed-out wheel. He then lit it and a big flame went up! I had my camera nearby but it was really hard to see the flame with it. He then poured in the nearby pasta which had been precooked and stirred it around so that it was coated with the melting cheese. You can see the steam rising from the cheese if you look closely.
Yum. Cacio e Pepe, a typical Roman dish. I didn’t recognize it on the menu because it had a strange name like “Longarelli con pepe mantecato nella forma di pecorino” which is basically Long noodles mixed/whipped with pepper in the pecorino mould/block….essentially Cacio e Pepe but I was pleased at the new presentation so I was glad I ordered it.