Sunday, October 7, 2018

Food Thoughts

sicilian ham wrapped around mozzarella cheese

I want to correct a possible mis-impression about the food we have been having. While it is true that we have been underwhelmed by our lunches and some of our dinners have been merely adequate some of  what we have been treated to has been very good indeed. For example, at the Pomieri Hotel , where service was very attentive and good,  we had two dinners. It was a set menu but what they brought out for each course was well prepared and tasty. The meal starts with a soup dish. To an American eye it might not be a large amount of soup but do not let that worry you as it is sumptuous and to be followed by 2 more hot courses before you get to dessert. On the first night we had pumpkin soup which I found quite good and a perfect way to start a meal especially as I am sure I was feeling like I was more than ready for a hot bite to stoke the furnace. That was followed, again a modest-sized portion,  by a pasta dish. They refer to it as the first  course, the first course after the appetizer - soup in this case.  We had a pasta with meat sauce.  Flavorful and not so large that you feel stuffed after finishing it. The next course, the second course after the soup, was a cheese omelet of sorts and I think something else though I do not recall what now. Again tasty, modest in size and leaving you with a pleasing sense of fullness without being stuffed.  I believe dessert was a fruit salad that first evening.

NIght two : we started with a mixed vegetable soup which though good was, to my taste, not as good as the pumpkin soup. I am not complaining just  expressing a preference. The soup was followed with a pesto pasta and then a final hot dish that I can’t quite recall but am sure was good. Dessert was a very fine teramisu.

At Bergi, the hotel/farm/agriculture business where we next stayed they are known for producing their own foodstuffs.  We had a variety of different small plate appetizers to start off with including some local meats, potatoes, a chickpea fried pastry like thing that went over well, and other items. The pasta options were also tasty and the meat dish, a local sausage was certainly nice enough. Dessert was a lemon ice of sorts that made for an excellent pallete cleanser even though it wasn’t my favorite dessert.

Finally, at the Anastasia where we will have two no doubt very good dinners we have already had smoked pork (think ham), either a risotto dish or ravioli with ricotta and cream-meat sauce, braised veal (surely the best meat dish yet), and a fruit salad with scoop of vanilla ice cream. Top that off with some tasty samples again including the fried chickpea pastry and a very nice taste of a locally made white wine and you have a very good meal indeed.

Breakfasts have been continental-style and food has been varied and certainly satisfying. 

If you are hoping for a big hot breakfast then you will likely be unhappy but the choices of cakes, cereal, fruit, and other items has certainly been enough for us. The consistently true weak spot has been the provided lunches but we have gotten by and it is possible that at least one lunch was pretty good but we did not pause to eat lunch yesterday as we wandered through the countryside trying to find our way to the exceptional hotel we are currently at: but that is a story for another time.

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