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Thursday, November 01, 2007

CDC - Day 2

If you haven't worked it out we're here at a Truffle Festival where for the next 4 days we'll all be smelling like truffles.

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We decided that for lunch we'd scour the market and gather ourselves some goodies to enjoy - Paalo ably documenting the purchases so we wouldn't forget where we got what from.

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We needed bread so we opted for a piece of these huge loaves, if you look behind the server you can see them, they are almost a metre long - they use natural yeasts to produce the breads of Altamura.

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Here's part of our piece, with its thick crunchy crust

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with a cross between a cake and brioche feel to the interior.

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As it is a truffle festival, we've selected some Jimmy Tartufi Truffle paste, a mix of mushrooms and truffle its magical on bread.

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There's plenty of cured products and this is the Coglioni di mulo which translates rather amusingly to Mule's balls - the reason is obvious once you see it

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This is made using Cinghiale, which is wild boar and is made by Il Norcino di Pistoni Messandro. The quality of cured products from Norcia is legendary.

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This particular salami is quite interesting as it has a core of Lardo through the centre

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With salami comes the need to have pickles and there's a large stand devoted to predominately Puglian pickles

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I chosen Olives alla Contadina

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rather meaty olives mixed with capsicum pieces

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Lampascioni from Puglia - these have a more bitter finish to those we've tried back home, a bit like how Campari has a bitter finish. They won't be to everyone's taste but they certainly are well suited for having with an aperitivo to get the tastebuds working.

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Pepperoni stuffed with tuna - a gorgeous little mouthful that was absolutely moorish!

For Cheese, Paalo especially can't go past Buffalo Mozzarella and when he was told these had just been made this morning, they ended up in our basket

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From Campania - small Bufala Mozzarella and smoked Bufala Mozzarella

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Surprisingly the smoking left the interior unaltered - still incredibly soft and moist but with a definite smoke aroma and taste

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For something a little sweet, we indulged in a Sicilian treat of almond paste biscotti -

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With so many different flavours on offer we eventually selected two

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pistachio and strawberry.

It's not all cheese, truffles, salami, pickles and biscuits - we did also get some fruit...sort of

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These are Fichi cotti Mandorlati - skewers of almond stuffed figs that have been lightly baked in the oven and they come from Sardinia.

We enjoyed a rather long and leisurely lunch washed down with a little of the local red wine and come sunset some of us went for a stroll to enjoy our surrounds - one person who shall remain nameless was noticeably absent *cough*Curtis*cough*.

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From the little park at the top of the old city wall you can enjoy a most pleasant view

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Two of the more imposing structures near the park are

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the rather oddly angled Torre Civica

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and the Duomo, Cathedral of San Florido

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Coming back from our stroll I get a chance to take a quick photo of our Campanile lit up

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There is only one other round campanile and it is in Ravenna, so it is rare indeed.


We went out for a late dinner and these were our choices for starters

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Curtis - Crostini with White Truffle

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Leigh - Nidi del Bosco - little vol au vents filled with a mix of forest mushrooms

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Paalo - Crostini with Gorgonzola and Salsicce

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Haalo - Crostone with Porcini


Our mains were as followed:

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Curtis - Umbrecelli all'arrabbiata, these indeed were fairly angry with Curtis hailing them as the "best pasta dish he has ever had!" Umbrecelli are a local pasta shape, resembling a square spaghetti.

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Leigh - Smoked salmon with Arugula and pink peppercorns

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Paalo - Pappardelle con ragù d’anatra (duck sauce)

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Haalo - Tagliatelle con Pancetta e Piselli (Pancetta and Peas)

Washed down with a bottle of the house wine the evening completed with coffee.

A thoroughly enjoyable end to a most wonderful day.

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