Saturday, January 03, 2009

Cibi dall'Italia

First of the year in Italy. A good occasion to start the year with the family, which hasn't happened in quite a while for me. I guess maybe some of my readers are curious about what people usually eat for the First of the Year in Italy, so I'll show you here a few pictures of the dinner and the lunch that we had over the end of 2008 and beginning of 2009.
On New Year's eve, I was at dinner with my mom and dad and aunt and uncle. It was a warm family dinner, with one typical dish that everybody has on this occasion: 'cotechino e lenticchie'. Cotechino is a huge very processed sausage, sold in aluminum packages, boiled in water and then freed from its aluminum cage and served typically with lentils (lenticchie). From my description, you can guess that cotechino is not really my favorite food. However, most people really like it.. so you have to see it. In my opinion it has a rather disturbing appearance too..
So instead of this cotechino, I strongly prefer to have another type of traditional food, which is bollito. Bollito is boiled meat (beef and chicken usually), served with a variety of sauces.
The water used to boil bollito becomes a delicious broth, which is served with cappelletti, a kind of filled pasta.
My favorite food in Italy, however, is cheese. Here is a selection of fresh cheese that my mom served at the beginning of the meal.
These are very light types of cheese, and some of them are best eaten with a drizzle of olive oil, salt and pepper. Unfortunately I am not allowed to bring these back to the US. However, I will be able to bring some hard cheese, which I'm going to select soon.
Filled pasta is in general considered very festive. So on the First of the Year lunch, which I had with my whole family and my grandma and grandpa, we had agnolotti.
Here you can see them served with meat sauce and tomatoes, although in the traditional piemontese cuisine, tomatoes are not there in the sauce. They were delicious. Cotechino was served again at this meal.. So considering my love for it, I decided to have more of the pasta and of the appetizers, instead. Here is an example of the appetizers we had:
These are stuffed little peppers, artichokes and small zucchini under oil. All of them were made by my grandmother, who is a young and active 90-year-old lady. I love her peppers, stuffed with tuna and capers, slightly spicy.
A traditional ending of these meals is dried fruits.
We had dates, peaches, apricots, ginger, prunes, figs, and all sort of nuts. I really like dried fruits, better than panettone and other desserts that are also traditionally served at the end of the meal.
To end this post, I will show you some images of my dear ones. My dad and his brother, talking after the meal:
My mom and her mom, in snowy Fubine:
And here it's almost all of us (my dad was taking the picture):
(from left to right, my mom, Lilla (my grandparents' helper), myself, my grandma, my sister and my grandpa). Being altogether was a very rare occasion, to be held dearly in memory.

1 comment:

redkathy said...

OM Gosh I want to have dinner with your family!