|yet another antipasto - salami, veal, and carne cruda - raw veal|
It is interesting to look at vineyards here as everything is SO different. As you can see in the photo, Nebbiolo grows very tall and is pruned to only one cane. The plants are much closer together than we see in New Zealand, and the rules around status of wines and vineyard are as strict as those in France. DOC and DOCG status mean specific growing, pruning and wine making conditions that growers and winemakers *here generally one and the same) flaunt at their peril. The wines are a bit tannic but tend to age well, and even rushing things a bit we find a bottle opened one day and drunk the next is very satisfying.
Now, I must reserve some space for the glories of pizza.
The place we stay has a terrific pizza restaurant attached. The fact that dozens of locals turn up every night is testament to the quality. In our endless pursuit of the perfect pizza base we do a little more research, paying close attention to the guys in the kitchen. Their technique is practised and flawless. The oven is set at 370 C and the pizzas take less than 10 minutes in the oven. Crusts thin and crisp, toppings light and fresh.
Some, including my favourite, the Pizza Cruda, have the ingredients added after the base is cooked. This one is more or less a Caprese salad on a pizza - the buffalo mozzarella, tomato and rocket version. Delicious! So many varieties - so little time.
We would be reluctant to leave Piedmont if we weren't heading for the south of France.
Spending a few days in this beautiful province I wonder why people continue to favour that tired old chestnut, Tuscany. Piedmont is equally, if not more beautiful with the Alps surrounding it, the little terracotta villages sprawling across hills and excellent food and wine.
1/2 liter fresh milk
8 T. caster sugar
50 grams amaretti cookies
6 T cocoa powder
1 cup hazelnuts
sugar for carmelizing
1. Toast hazelnuts and chop or grind.
2. In a bowl, put the milk, powdered sugar, amaretti, eggs and hazelnuts and whisk until combined.
3. Caramelize ¾ cup of sugar and pour into the mold or molds.
4. Pour milk mixture into the mold and cook in the oven with a water bath at 180C for about 45 minutes.
5. It is done when you insert a knife and it comes out clean.
6. Unmold to serve