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Recipe of the Month: November 2018


For my Recipe of the Month, I have chosen Strucolo de Spinaze (Spinach-Filled Pasta Roll). Strucolo means “strudel” in the Triestine dialect, though restaurants may also refer to the dish as a “rotolo” or “rollata.” It is quite common throughout the Carso, often served with the pan sauces from a roasted or braised meat. Visit Flavors-of-Friuli.com for the recipe. Original link
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Eat Your Way through Friuli–Venezia Giulia (Part 4): Pasticceria Penso


This review was originally published in the September 2010 issue of Dream of Italy. My fondest memory of Trieste will always be the day I first stepped into Pasticceria Penso. My timing seems predestined—I arrived on a blustery February morning just as a few dozen chocolate cakes were being pulled from the oven. I was immediately invited back into the cozy kitchen to watch their transformation into torta Sacher. The patriarch of the family-run bakery, Italo Stoppar, doused each layer of cake with Maraschino liqueur, then spread on a thick coat of apricot preserves. His son Antonello drizzled the top with dark chocolate ganache, which was soon followed by a garnish of chocolate sprinkles arou...
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Eat Your Way through Friuli–Venezia Giulia (Part 3): La Subida


This review was originally published in the September 2010 issue of Dream of Italy. Since my last visit, La Subida has been awarded one Michelin star. Situated in the heart of the Collio wine zone is one of Friuli’s most esteemed restaurants, Trattoria Al Cacciatore de La Subida (known to locals simply as La Subida). On the outskirts of Cormòns, surrounded by rolling hills and lush vineyards, La Subida serves impeccable dishes inspired by the nearby border where Friulian and Slovenian cultures merge. Opened at Christmastime in 1960 by Slovenian Joško Sirk and his wife, Loredana, La Subida was originally a small osteria and inn, which soon became a popular gathering spot for hunters. A recrea...
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Eat Your Way through Friuli–Venezia Giulia (Intro)


While doing research for Flavors of Friuli: A Culinary Journey through Northeastern Italy , I practically ate my way through the region. Over the coming month, I will share with you three unforgettable dining spots: Osteria Al Vecchio Stallo, where I enjoyed my first Friulian dinner; Ristorante Salon, which produced the best cjarsòns I ever tasted; and my all-time favorite restaurant in Friuli, La Subida. Plus, we’ll visit Pasticceria Penso, one of Trieste’s oldest bakeries. These reviews were originally published in the September 2010 issue of Dream of Italy. Since then, following the passing of its owners, Ristorante Salon has closed its doors. Original link
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Eat Your Way through Friuli–Venezia Giulia (Part 2): Ristorante Salon


This review was originally published in the September 2010 issue of Dream of Italy. Since then, following the passing of its owners, Bepi and Fides Salon, Ristorante Salon has closed its doors. In the hilltop hamlet of Piano d’Arta, on a serene lane lined with shady trees and wisteria blossoms, Hotel Ristorante Salon has long been recognized for its innovative local cuisine. When Arta Terme’s thermal baths first opened in the late 19th century, the sudden influx of visitors spawned a proliferation of new restaurants and hotels in the valley. Salon was one of the originals, opened by Osvaldo Salon in 1910—first as an osteria and then expanding a few years later into a small pensione. It was w...
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Eat Your Way through Friuli–Venezia Giulia (Part 1): Osteria Al Vecchio Stallo


This review was originally published in the September 2010 issue of Dream of Italy. During my very first visit to Friuli, my friend Steno treated me to dinner at Osteria Al Vecchio Stallo. At that time, I had no familiarity with Friulian cuisine, but Steno wanted me to experience authentic regional cooking at its best. Ever since that first meal of cjarsòns (cinnamon-laced ravioli) and frico con patate (cheese and potato pancake), this unassuming, hole-in-the-wall restaurant has held a truly special place in my heart. One of the oldest in Udine, this osteria is housed in a 17th-century building that once served as a stable and rest stop where horses and their drivers could stop for a meal an...
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Recipe-of-the-Month: October 2018


For my Recipe-of-the-Month, I have chosen Gnocchi di Zucca (Butternut Squash Gnocchi), in honor of the Festa della Zucca held in Venzone during the last weekend of October. Visit Flavors-of-Friuli.com for the recipe. Original link
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Recipe-of-the-Month: September 2018


For my Recipe-of-the-Month, I have chosen Palacinche (Crêpes with Apricot Jam), Trieste’s version of the Austrian palatschinke and the Hungarian palacsinta. Apricot jam is perhaps the most popular filling, but these crêpes may also be served with chocolate cream, fresh fruit, cooked apples, ricotta cheese, or hazelnut, walnut, or chestnut cream. Visit Flavors-of-Friuli.com for the recipe. Original link
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Recipe-of-the-Month: August 2018


For my Recipe-of-the-Month, I have chosen Scampi alla Busara (Langoustines in Tomato Sauce). During the summertime, particularly in the month of August when Italians flock to the beaches for the Ferragosto holiday, I always think of seafood. This scampi dish is a perfect example of the shellfish native to the waters off Trieste. Visit Flavors-of-Friuli.com for the recipe. Original link
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Recipe-of-the-Month: July 2018


For my Recipe-of-the-Month, I have chosen Petti d’Anatra ai Frutti di Bosco (Duck Breasts with Berry Sauce), in honor of the Festa dei Frutti di Bosco, held in late July in the Carnian town of Forni Avoltri. Duck is widely served throughout Friuli, especially in the province of Pordenone. This recipe makes use of the wild berries that grow in the region, as well as spices introduced to Friuli from overseas. Visit Flavors-of-Friuli.com for the recipe. Original link
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Recipe-of-the-Month: June 2018


For my Recipe-of-the-Month, I have chosen Cjarsòns della Valle del Bût (Pasta Filled with Fruit and Herbs), my absolute favorite version of cjarsòns in all of Friuli. This recipe was adapted from one at the now-closed Ristorante Salon in Piano d’Arta. Visit Flavors-of-Friuli.com for the recipe. Original link
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Train to Vienna and Journey’s End


I was feeling so loopy after the complimentary sgroppino at Osteria Al Vecchio Stallo the previous night that I had no trouble falling asleep. As I had predicted, the heat finally kicked on in the evening, and the room became quite warm. But despite the excessive heat and the rather firm bed, the sheets were softer and the blanket lighter than what I had grown accustomed to in my Trieste apartment, so I slept very soundly during my final night in Friuli. In the morning, I awoke bright and early, ready to finally be on my way. Once showered and dressed, I headed downstairs to the breakfast room, where the buffet was spread with a substantial array of choices: fresh rolls, croissants, and past...
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Recipe-of-the-Month: May 2018


For my Recipe-of-the-Month, I have chosen Frittata di Funghi (Mushroom Frittata), in honor of the Festa dell’Asparago di Bosco, del Radicchio di Montagna e dei Funghi di Primavera. Held every May in the Carnian town of Arta Terme, this festival celebrates three local bounties of spring: wild asparagus, mountain radicchio, and spring mushrooms. Visit Flavors-of-Friuli.com for the recipe. Original link
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Returning to Udine


Since I had gone to bed so early the night before, it had taken me hours to fall asleep. When I finally drifted off, I experienced a bizarre dream: my fiancé playing with marionette puppets that had floppy pieces of sushi at the end of the strings! I awoke at 4:30am, full of nervous anticipation over my impending departure. With my brain anxiously running through mental checklists to make sure I hadn’t forgotten anything, I lay there in the dark for two hours, waiting for my alarm to go off. Once I had showered and dressed, I crossed the street to Pasticceria Penso one final time to find the Stoppar family busy preparing the day’s sweets. Italo and his son Antonello were putting the final to...
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Recipe-of-the-Month: April 2018


For my Recipe-of-the-Month, I have chosen Strucchi (Dried Fruit- and Nut-Filled Cookies), a treat popular throughout much of Friuli but especially beloved in its place of origin, Cividale del Friuli and the surrounding Valli del Natisone. Visit Flavors-of-Friuli.com for the recipe. Original link
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Trieste and Duino


After a rather restless night of sleep, I was awakened by the sun streaming in through the curtains, the first glimpse of sunshine I had seen in days. My mood, which had been a bit gloomy all week, partly due to the weather and partly due to my impending departure, suddenly lifted. It was also a refreshing change to see the sun rise earlier, after having set the clocks back an hour the night before. But when I emerged from the shower, a mass of gray clouds had crept in again. My spirits plummeted. I no longer felt like going outside, but seeing as it was my final day in Trieste, I forced myself to get dressed and crossed the street to Pasticceria Penso. I arrived at the bakery to find a batc...
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Recipe-of-the-Month: March 2018


For my Recipe-of-the-Month, I have chosen Jota (Bean and Sauerkraut Soup), a Triestine dish that makes a hearty meal during these chilly winter months. Visit Flavors-of-Friuli.com for the recipe. Original link
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Trieste: Marzapane and Horse Meat


It was dark and cold when I woke at 7:00am, the final morning of Daylight Savings Time made even more somber by the layer of gray clouds that had rolled in a couple of days earlier. The radiator had not yet kicked on, and the frosty air made me want to do nothing but snuggle under my blankets and go back to sleep. With only two more days left in Trieste and no more day trips planned, there was no real urgency to get up. It had been raining on and off that week, so I was quite content to spend my mornings hanging out at Pasticceria Penso and my afternoons in my apartment writing. I burrowed under the covers for another hour, shivering to stay warm, until I finally managed to drag myself out o...
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Recipe-of-the-Month: February 2018


For my Recipe-of-the-Month, I have chosen Sardoni in Savor (Marinated Sardines), in honor of this month’s Carnevale di Venezia. Called “sarde in saor” in Venetian dialect, this ancient dish is evidence of the Venetian influence throughout Friuli. While sardines are used in much of Friuli and the Veneto, European anchovies—known locally as “sardoni barcolani”—are more common in the area around Trieste and the nearby town of Barcola. Visit Flavors-of-Friuli.com for the recipe. Original link
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Trieste: Ristorante Al Bagatto


Since it had been several days since I had done any grocery shopping, I spent the early part of my morning picking up milk, bread, and another can of tuna at the mini supermercato down the street, a hunk of latteria cheese at the salumeria on Via di Cavana, and an eggplant and a tomato at a nearby produce market. I just needed enough food to get me through my final three days in Trieste. After dropping off my groceries, I headed back out to Pasticceria Penso, finding my friends busy as always in the kitchen. Antonello was putting the finishing touches on a dozen sachertortes, a batch of presnitz was in the oven, and Lorenzo was preparing some puff pastry. Their father, Italo Stoppar, was ass...
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