Sunday, September 6, 2009

Cooking and Climbing in Praiano, Italy

I've been in Praiano for one week and I'm still amazed with this little town. First let me tell you that it's hot here... really hot. Second, the stairs are a killer. I don't care what anyone says climbing 67 steps in hot humid weather is not fun.

Third the food is out of this world... fresher than fresh; if that's even possible.

For example: The rabbit we are cooking tonight was hunted just yesterday, according to the butcher, in the hills above town. And the calamari I made last night was fished from the very waters I can see from my patio. The house we are staying in has a huge garden and our landlord, Antonio, is very generous with his bounty. He's given us, among other things, fresh tomatoes right off the vine and lemons picked from his tree.

We've learned what it truly means to cook local. Instead of ordinary meatballs we made lemon polpette with zest from Antonio's lemons and veal ground as we watched, from the butcher. In place of a traditional meaty tomato sauce to dress our pasta we made a sort of salsa crudo with Antonio's tomatoes and the basil which seems to grow wild on the property.

We've been enjoying the long trek to the market each day; and planning our meals around what looks good.

It's something we don't do back home due to time limitations and the fact that it wouldn't make a difference in freshness anyway. I wouldn't trade these experiences for anything. Praiano has opened my eyes to some new things and has strengthened my calf muscles better than any trainer at the gym.


  1. Oh, how you make me want to go to Italy...someday!

  2. yummy food and the clips are so fun, like we are there with you, love love love Italy

  3. Welcome to paradise!

    If at one point you wish to take a little holiday from cooking and negotiating those stairs, I suggest you take a trip down to La Praia, where Armandino will pamper you and feed you the most amazing seafood. Go for lunch and sit at one of the small outdoor tables. Let the sun sparkling on the water a few feet away dazzle you and the food in your plate nourish you as the waves timidly lap the shore.

    Take a snooze on the shady beach and occasionally pinch yourself. You're not dreaming...

    Buona vacanza!
    Lola xx

  4. I'm turning green with envy!! Enjoy every moment!

  5. I keep thinking of those stairs and can't get past that. That is a lot of stairs. I have this feeling, I wouldn't go home too often.

    I am glad the food is so good. You work it off on the stairs. Yes, I am fixated on the steps.

  6. Oh this is awesome! When you come home we WILL get together, and you can fill me in on all the amazing details of your trip- I can't wait!

  7. How did you get your luggage up there? I just kept visualizing that looking at all those steps!
    The food looks beyond amazing!

  8. Little towns are the best, visited recently Lille in North France and I'm in love.

    Beautiful view from the window, great photo.

  9. Thanks so much for sharing such a wonderful place! The foods look great and remind me, I must return!! Great Job !!

  10. You must post the recipe to lemon polpette. I've never had them. I hope that you didn't eat at San Gennaro restaurant above the church. It must be the worst meal we've ever had out!
    You make me want to go back, but then I remeber how hot it was. Thank goodness the rains have come!