If you’ve read my earlier posts you may remember that my beautiful husband took me to Paris and Italy for our honeymoon. We spent eight glorious days in arguably one of the most beautiful places in the world.
See. What did I tell you?
One of my favorite parts of the trip, of course, was the food. Oh . . . the food.
Well, aside from getting food poisoning on the plane and throwing up four of the eight hour flight to Paris. There is nothing more romantic than holding both hands over your mouth while frantically looking for a bathroom in the Paris airport. If you’ve been there you’ll know that THERE ARE NO PUBLIC BATHROOMS in the airport and therefore you will have to toss your cookies up into the recycle bin while sympathetic tourists and employees stare aghast at your misery. Let me tell you that a cab ride in Paris with a stomach turning circles is NOT a good time. My first day in Europe was sadly marred by a tummy revolution but I would not let that spoil my attitude. I was in Paris after all. If one has to be vomitus, Paris is not a bad place to do it.
After a long nap and a long walk exploring the streets of Paris we found a bistro to have our first meal. I ordered a penne with gorgonzola sauce. WOW. There are no words to describe how very good it was.
The meal which stands out most for me was a mushroom risotto I had in Firenze. It’s flavors were layered and rich. The serving was huge and I honestly could have eaten more. The trattoria was called Il Porcospino (the porcupine).
It’s in a building older than the US. The restaurant is situated in S.Lorenzo neighbourhood, in front of Cappelle Medicee and is on the ground floor of Benci Palace built in the XVI century. It was beautiful!
We ate outside on the sidewalk and were seated next to (not surprisingly) Americans who were preparing to move there. They knew the wait staff and it was so much fun. We talked and drank to much and honestly had one of the best dates we’ve ever had. Here we would have the first Lemoncello of our trip. We are converts. Yum.
So, the point to this blog was to tell you about my attempt to make risotto. Trader Joe’s had a box of Arborio rice with a recipe. I should have followed Cook’s Illustrated’s recipe. It was good but lacked the depth and richness of Il Porcospino’s.
What I learned about the food in Europe. Ingredients matter. Fresh is best. Oh my goodness, yes.