Showing posts from March, 2013

Focaccia alla Veneziana

"Every Thursday," writes Fred Plotkin, "[Pasticceria dal Nono Colussi] makes focaccia alla veneziana... It is sold until Sunday but is best sampled on the day it is made."

My only Thursday in Venice was yesterday, which was also the day I arrived. So no matter that I was jet lagged and dopey; my one and only goal for yesterday (okay, my goal after finding our apartment and taking a shower) was to hike across town from Castello to Dorsoduro and get some focaccia.

Focaccia alla veneziana, or fugassa alla venexiana in the Venetian dialect, is not the same as the focaccia we're familiar with in the US. That flat, savory bread, topped with olive oil and herbs, is a product of Liguria, a region on the Italian riviera. Focaccia alla veneziana is a sweet yeasted cake. It looks a lot like panettone, an Italian cake eaten at Christmastime that's shaped like an oversized muffin with straight sides and a puffy top. In the picture above, the things that look like muffin…

Italy bound

A few weeks ago, during a long weekend in Baltimore, I dragged a friend across town to Fell's Point. I needed to visit a shop that I was hoping would have a certain map of Italy in stock. My friend indulged me, in part because she is a good friend and in part because a visit to Fell's Point was also a good excuse to pick up some gelato. Our trip was a success; we both got gelato and I got my map. Now it's hanging above my desk, just beyond my computer screen as I type these words, a happy distraction.

Italy has been a happy distraction for the better part of a year now, ever since I started imagining the month I'll be spending there this spring. A few months ago imagining transitioned into planning, and since then every shelf and side table and spare flat surface has been buried under stacks of guide books and tomes of Italian cookery. Now that my trip begins in two weeks (!!), many of those books have been buried under to-do lists.

Here's the plan as it stands no…