By Alison Goldberger
March, what a month it’s been for us all! We went from looking forward to a month filled with courses to living under a lock-down. Who could have expected what was to unfold?
However, we were extremely lucky to have two talented students join us on the Advanced Salumi Course Tuscany at the beginning of the month just when the coronavirus came to northern Italy and we all still hoped it could be contained. The course was fully booked but travel restrictions and strict government rules were already starting to be put in place meaning some of our participants didn’t make it.
We welcomed Seamus Platt who is head chef at The Shambles in Seattle and sources all his ingredients locally. I was particularly interested to hear his pigs come from a small farm that has a variety of old breeds. Katie Krauss is an ex-chef who now produces her own premium distilled vodka and dry gin in Australia. She’s also teaches salumi making. An interesting pair! Below are some of our favourite photos from the course.
As soon as the students were dropped off at the station Erica had to quickly negotiate the realities of the new coronavirus lock-down. One unexpected problem was trying to get a friend’s car out of an airport car park before it closed down. While they were stuck in England Erica had to rescue the car…without breaking the strict new rules. Read all about it in her blog post.
Now it’s the little things that keep us all going! Erica has been enjoying cooking some delicious, and seasonal meals. Such as castagnaccio made from chestnut flour. It’s a real comfort food but naturally sweet and with no added sugar. It’s made from chestnut flour, a little extra-virgin olive oil, grated orange rind, water and topped with walnuts and rosemary. Best hot from the oven! The woman who owns her village shop has also been baking colombine (literally ‘little doves’) early as a treat for the locals! It’s usually eaten at Easter and is a yeasted bread dough with just a little sugar and butter – it should be neither sweet nor savoury so it can be eaten with either jam or salumi. Above you’ll see a photo from a beautiful walk she took along the mulattiera from her village to the hamlet of Corona (a complete coincidence!) – she wrote about it for Slow Travel Tours here.
It’s definitely not an easy time for small businesses but we are looking forward to welcoming you back to Italy soon to share the knowledge of our artisans and show you the most beautiful, off the beaten track parts of this fantastic country.
If you have any questions about future tours, please get in touch with Erica at firstname.lastname@example.org. We wish you all good health!
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