Everyone here at Vineyard Adventures is traveling or changing houses all at the same time. We’ll be back to regular posting here in about a week or so. We do still seem to find time to tweet, so look us up! @robbin_g @raelinn_wine @zrdiana @mbwdimarco

I is for impepata di cozze: Fresh seafood in Campania is an abundant treat that southern Italians are fortunate enough to enjoy daily. Cozze, or mussels, are part of the cornucopia of seafood that Italians call frutti di mare, or fruits of the sea. Cozze have a fresh, delicate flavor that should be subtly enhanced…

H is for hazelnut: Campania is Italy’s oldest hazelnut-growing region. From 3 BC, Ancient Romans have attested to its tasty crunch through frescoes of hazelnut trees uncovered in Herculaneum. Carbon dating of ancient tree samples reveal that today’s little brown nocciola (no-cho-la) is quite similar to what Ancient Romans snacked on. The hazelnut’s versatility in…

  We asked many of our native Italian friends for the meaning of fuia fuia in this context and got a few differing answers—some said it was “fast”, as in fast to make, some said “running away” as in they will vanish quickly, others saying “thief, thief”, as in they will be quickly stolen. After…

G is for gragnano pasta: Gragnano (grah-nyah-no) pasta IGP indicates a high-quality pasta from Gragnano, Campania, a city that has 500 solid years of traditional pasta production behind it. Gragnano is a city built for making pasta, with wide streets for hanging long strands of spaghetti to dry in the hot sun and salty sea…

This chilly, wet spring day I choose this comfort food dish, full of gooey cheese, potato chunks and pasta with sauce. Prep time is very minimal; it doesn’t take much longer than bringing a pot of water to boil. While the water is boiling, sauté sliced potatoes with olive oil. Add a peeled tomato or…

“Gaeta olive [gah-AY-tah]- Small, blackish Italian olive that’s either dry-cured, which produces dry, wrinkled, slightly brownish fruit, or cured in brine, which results in plumper fruit with a purplish cast. They are meaty and slightly tart to salty in flavor with hints of nuts.” This definition, found in my copy of the Food Lover’s Companion,…

  ….Or as they spell it  in Campania— cignàle Cinghiale, the famed Italian wild boar (part of the Sus or pig genus) is normally seen sporting a dark brown to black bristly coat, rather pronounced tusks, sharp teeth and a bad attitude.  These wild beasts have in the past wreaked havoc on the Italian countryside, not in the least…

I had purchased all the ingredients to make the sartù on page 111 of Frijenno Magnanno when it happened, my usual change-of-season cold struck. I’ve been down for 3 days. Cold pills just make me feel worse anymore so I just have to sleep it off. In lieu of actually cooking this week, I give…

C is for carciofo bianco: The carciofo bianco, or white artichoke, is a regional specialty that is farmed in Campania in the areas of Caggiano, Auletta, Salvitelle, Valle del basso Tanagro, and Pertosa. It is most popular in the small town of its namesake, Pertosa. The carciofo bianco is a culinary delight, prized for its…

The aperitivo is an Italian institution which has fueled many festive evenings since its inception in Turin approximately 200 years ago. Since then, the practice has spread throughout Italy and inspired several neighboring countries to follow suit in this most spiritually productive of cultural customs. A simple translation would suggest that the aperitivo is an…

As I looked over the recipes from Frijenno Magnanno, my eye immediately went to “Bucatini alla napoletana,” and I knew right away that it would be the first recipe I’d try. Similar to spaghetti, this thick, hollow noodle ranks high among my favorite pastas. I also had a can of whole tomatoes sitting on my…

B is for babà rum:  The sweet and yeasty dough of the babà rum cake is soaked in a syrup of lemon or orange juice and rum, and can be found in all of Campania. It is most popular in Naples, the city of its origins, and every pasticceria will have a selection of these…

Succulent and juicy with a layer of crisp crackling, it is impossible to resist the siren call of freshly roasted porchetta. Though the dish has since spread throughout the country, it originated from central Italy, where it is ubiquitous in butcher’s shops, and commonly sold on the streets. During holiday fairs and festivals, large crowds…

A is for annurca: The apple has a distinct American identity, with Johnny Appleseed nearly as well-known as Santa Claus. Yet the Annurca apple is, indeed, a regional specialty of Campania that has nothing to do with America. I challenge you to think beyond the Red Delicious and perfectly-stacked pyramids of Gala apples at the…

“Hmm… let me see what I’ve got from Campania…,” mumbled my local wine seller as he rummaged through his extensive, yet unorganized, collection. “Here are my Taurasis; they’re good… but quite pricey. Oh, here’s one that’s reasonably priced. But unfortunately, it’s crap,” he adds apologetically. “I’ll find you something perfect.” And indeed he did. The…