Cilento’s Caciocavallo Cheese

Caciocavallo cheese, made from the milk of the famous Podolica cattle of southern Italy, is hard to beat! Hubby’s area in Cilento (around Salerno) is full of these grass-fed cows. The meat is 100% organic, only grass-fed and so good. And the cheese! Well, it’s simply out of this world!

This ancient cheese was first mentioned by Hippocrates, who reported it being made and eaten by the Greeks. And to me it nearly seems a symbol of Cilento. My father-in-law always had it on hand, because he received the cheese forms as payment for renting his pasture land out to farmers for their sheep, goats, or Podolica cattle! Continue reading

Italian Worm Cheese [Video]

We have a saying in Italian. Non c’è niente di nuovo sotto il sole. (There is nothing new under the sun.) And yes, I know it’s from the Bible. But I also know that King Solomon, who wrote that, didn’t live in a foreign land. Otherwise, I wonder if he might not have changed it to: “There is something new under the sun. Every day, and in countless ways!”

We were in the deep south, at my father-in-law’s home. [Read: Italy’s Deep South →] A dear man, but eccentric, and prone to grumpiness. Having lived alone many years, he had the tendency to mutter under his breath a lot. Mario says he was mostly cursing. He didn’t like the priests or the saints, and seemed to blame them for most of his ills.  Continue reading

Modena’s Balsamic Vinegar [Video]

The Modena province in Emilia Romagna, where we lived many years is known as the Home of Balsamic Vinegar. And because it’s one of the places we most love returning to, it’s where we spent our Easter holiday this year. Full of tradition, great food, fine autos, and friendly people, it’s a great place to visit!

Traditional balsamic vinegar, as expensive as it is tasty, is also known for its curative properties: abundant in potassium and calcium, and with antioxidant properties. And is also thought to lower blood pressure, stabilize cholesterol levels, and keep blood glucose levels steady.  Continue reading

The Healthy Mediterranean Diet

Hubby and I have pretty much always followed the Mediterranean diet since we’ve been in Italy. But lately we’re really stepping it up. The older we get, the easier it is to put on weight. And that’s one thing we don’t need. Plus our cholesterol levels have crept up lately, which is bad for our hearts. So we’ve greatly decreased cheese consumption which I’m sure will do the trick. The cheese here is marvelous and we have a major addiction!

Have you ever thought of adopting the Mediterranean diet?

It’s known as one of the healthiest in the world. And with its base of healthy olive oil, unrefined cereals, fruits, and vegetables, it’s no wonder! Here in Italy we usually see a high proportion of fresh fruits and vegies in shopping baskets! Yet over time, white-flour bread and pasta took over the diet here, with its decisive health dangers. But as of late healthy whole grains are making a strong comeback. Especially in our home!!  Continue reading

Italy’s Wild Abruzzo

Our main home is in the little known region of Abruzzo, which was once a joint region with that of Molise. It lies to the east of Lazio and Rome and north of Puglia, with the Adriatic sea and it’s long beaches to the east. As Italy’s most mountainous region, it contains two of the Appenine’s (Little Alps) highest peaks.

Largely wild land, it’s known as Wild Abruzzo and Italy’s greenest region.

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Fake Italian Food

You used to see it in older movies a lot…loud, rambunctious Italian families around the dinner table. Glasses raised in greeting or forks twirling madly. Usually eating spaghetti, spaghetti and meatballs.

But spaghetti and meatballs is not real Italian food.

Sorry if this is a letdown for you. It’s good. And it’s considered Italian. But it’s fake Italian food. At least in all our years here we’ve never once been served this dish, nor seen it on restaurant menus.  Continue reading