Monday, November 16, 2009

Green Gold

Italy is deservedly famous for its food, and one of the best-known ingredients is olive oil. What I didn't know was that here, olive oil is a seasonal specialty. In the late fall, the olives are harvested and then pressed into fresh oil. It's bright green, often translucent due to the olive particles still floating in it, and has a fresh, sharp, intensely olive-y, almost pungent flavor. Saturday, we went to the Piazza Santa Croce, where various oil producers from the region around Reggello were offering their products, and where we could try the oil. Some of it brought tears to my eyes, it was that peppery! We ended up getting a modest (by Italian standards) two liters, of a kind which for my taste had a good balance between bite and smoothness.
The best and simplest way to showcase the oil: Toast or bake some white French or Italian bread, perhaps rub with some garlic and generously drizzle with new olive oil.

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After a year and a half in Florence, we finally made it to the Uffizi gallery yesterday (not for lack of trying...). What can I say, it's a quite impressive collection. You know you've been in Italy for a while when you start recognizing the secondary artists -- "Luca Signorelli, didn't we see something of his in ...".

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Channeling Stephen Colbert, a Wag Of My Finger to Amazon for its change of policy on MP3 downloads. For the past year and a half, I've been able to download their free promotional MP3s, and I've purchased several albums, using my credit card with US billing address. Since a few days however, they state that their service is only available to users physically within the United States. Why do companies make it so hard for people to legally get music? Now I'm forced to resort to illegal downloads, or use some proxy software to hide my location. Blerg.

1 comment:

regentropfen said...

Wow!! That looks amazing!! :D