Maremma…a vast oasis of cowboys and anchovies…wait, haven’t I heard this somewhere before? Ah yes, West Village, Ducasse, Bastianich…yadda, yadda, yadda. I’m just waiting for my plane ticket from the pro-Tuscan association to whisk me away to the beautiful land so I can actually see it for myself. Hello…hint hint…anyone out there? Alas, I am to admire it from afar.
The Fancy Food Show at the Javits was a week ago, and I am just getting around to writing about it. It was my first time attending, and let me tell you that I absolutely fell in love. Booth upon booth of food and beverage products. A kid in a candy store…that’s all I have to say about that. OK, no, not really, I have much more to say. I met some absolutely wonderful people from all over the world, and tasted THE most exquisite anchovies I have ever even thought about eating.
I could only make it on Sunday, and, of course, only for a few hours as the game was on at 2. Yes, I could have watched it at the German pavilion where a nice little café w/TV was set up; however, I had already made plans with friends to watch it on their brand new high-def wide-screen. In other words, just like being there, sans the sweat and SWAT.
On the subway, I circled all booths I wanted to check out, just to make life a bit easier. Once I arrived, I followed the map to highlighted destinations, and boy were there a couple. How easy it would have been to set up a tent and spend the entire 3 days there. Every product from baskets to Beaujolais, and every region from Montana to Martinique.
Gumbo and Corn/Crab Bisque from Creole Brother’s Cuisine, out of the spicy Chalmette, Louisiana
Dry and slightly salty (in a very good way) Jamòn from Madrid’s Campofrio
Subtle yet sensuous Cabernet/Grenache from Montsant in Tarragona
Bittersweet Etrog (citrus) confiture from Beit-Yitzhak comin’ outta the Bronx, yo
A true dijon from Bornier in Couchey
Several treats from the European Gourmet Products area:
Serrano Ham Croquetas
Manchego on Toast with Quince Paste
Baby New Potatoes with Garlic Aioli and Sardine Paste
Polenta with Creamy Gorgonzola
Buffalo Mozzarella with Parma Ham
and last but not least:
Sweet, delicate melt-in-your-mouth anchovies bathing in extra virgin olive oil accompanied by a light, yet hunky red…from where, you ask? Maremma, Tuscany of course. Roberto from Grosseto Export and Armando from COPAIM were gracious and welcoming, and gave me yet another insider’s view of Maremma, a place I absolutely must get to very soon. Sitting with them, I could feel the Italian aching to burst from my lips, yet my lips knew not what to do. Note to self: take Italian lessons.
Born and raised in Louisiana, my only complaint was that there weren’t more Louisiana booths. The culinary culture emanating from the soil and waters of Louisiana can compare to no other. Believe me folks, it has nothing to do with blackened or BAM! anything.
On another note:
Restaurants recently dined at:
Wolfgang’s Steakhouse – for superb steak, hearty cocktails, and plenty of Midtown Manhattan testosterone
Pastis – for ooh-la-la Eggs Hussard (Poached Eggs w/Ham, Tomatoes, Mushrooms, Bordelaise and Hollandaise)
Peep – `for lunch – Charred Tomato and Mushroom Napoleon with Coconut Cream and Basil; and Massaman Dish with Peanut and Potato ($7 for both for lunch)
That’s all for today, but I’m sure I’ll be back shortly as more friends are coming to visit, hence, an excuse to try new places. But then who really needs an excuse? Have a delicious day!