Friday, June 20, 2008

fragoline ~ those wild things

The other day in a blog I read, Barb & Art Live in Italy!, Barb posted a link here about a site called Italian Notebook where you can sign up and get a daily blurb on happenings around Italy.

I signed up and each day I get a lovely email that allows me to day dream about a beautiful country that I have come to love its culture and customs. It also has tidbits of information that I might not have known about Italy. If you aren't signed up to receive the Italian Notebook you may want to check it out.

I've found out that in Scalea there are mosaic wonders that date back to the 3rd century B.C. Read about it
here. Cherrye at My Bella Vita just wrote about a trip she took to Scalea, you can check out Cherrye's website here.

Did you know that there is a group called the Miracle Players that put on Historical Hysterical plays during the summer in the Roman Forum area? Think the Monty Python troupe wearing togas quoting Virgil in a Mel Brooks movie. Read about it

This week in one of the Italian Notebook articles it was about the small town Nemi approximately 20 kms South of Rome that is filled with the fragrance of Fragoline, wild strawberries. Read about it

The mention of fragoline took me back to May 2007 when I was in Florence and ate at Trattoria Sostanza (Il Troia). It was highly recommended by a fellow traveler I had met. I always take advantage of these recommendations; I haven't been led astray yet. They recommended the Chicken Breast cooked in Brown Butter and a slice of a Meringue Cake.

The chicken arrived on a plate with two plump juicy breasts perfectly cooked in brown butter. It was cooked to perfection, tender and mouth watering that I couldn’t put down my fork. Really I did try. Oh, how I wish I could have some now.

It was suggested we also try the meringue cake. I don’t know the official name of this cake but do ask for it. This cake had layers of yummy goodness in it along with chocolate (never a bad thing) and of course meringue. The magic touch was the fragoline on top. These tiny red fruit about the size of your thumb nail aren’t the prettiest of berries especially when you put them up against their bid brother the regular strawberry but don’t give up on them.

These tiny strawberries had more flavor and sweetness in them then any strawberry I’ve ever tasted. The whole dessert was memorizing and I believe there was moaning involved too. I shared a piece with someone in our group but I silently wished I would have acted like a little piggy and had a whole slice of my own.

I always recommend Trattoria Sostanza to friends that will be in Florence and tell them to try the meringue cake. You might decide to share as its a little pricey, €8/slice. Here is a picture of the cake:

Trattoria Sostanza (close to SMN Termini)
Via Del Porcellana, 25/R
50123 Firenze, Italy
+39 055 212691

The food is served on individual plates with no pomp or circumstance which fits the ambiance of the restaurant. You will not find fancy designer food here, just good ole’ down home cooking. The restaurant is small and the tables are set in a communal setting, great way to meet the locals or others from around the world. There are two seating’s, 7pm and 9pm, I’ve read that you’ll dine with tourists at 7pm and Italians at 9pm. I recommend you make reservations, this place is busy.

Today’s Temperature
High: 113°F/44°C
Low: 80°F/27°C


Jerry said...

That cake sounds soo good that 8 euros would not put me off in the least!

rowena said...

I can't think of a better way to get your daily dose of Italy via newsletter. Isn't it just amazing at how many things there are to discover? A friend in Trentino once told me, it will take you 20 years to discover my country. At first I thought he was telling me some sort of wise saying or something (like how if you put a chestnut in your pocket it will keep you from getting sick during the winter!), but living here makes me realize that what he said is so true.

About the melon, I'm betting that I won't find another melon of that caliber for the rest of the summer. The other "generic" one was absolutely's going to the dogs. What this means though is that now I need to research melon species in order to grow my own organic melons for next year!

Ice Tea For Me said...

Jerry - I was not put off by the price either. I do wish I had been a piggy and not shared it though.

Rowena - wouldn't it be great if one had the time/money to get a map of Italy and visit every town big or small. That would take a lonnng time but what fun.