Culinary Concierge
makugingy.jpg

culinary concierge, blog

ViaMedina is a culinary concierge service providing private chefs, cooking lessons, exclusive events, and interactive food and wine tours.

Posts tagged Tuscia
Sagra Season: A Primer

Ah, Italia. The drama of the ruins, the majesty of its great cities; the art, the architecture, the beauty...

Wait, wait. 

While all of that is true and important and life changing, it's very surely not the whole story of what makes Italy what it is. Chiefly of course because that description is missing the most important pastime in the country: food. Italy without food is like the ocean without fish; glorious and wonderful and awe inspiring but lifeless.

But of course, everyone knows this right? Everyone's got a checklist: eat a cacio e pepe in Campo Fiori or a Margherita in Marechiaro, a tortellini in Bologna and then die happy. But that's just scratching the surface of the food culture here. 

Read More
A ViaMedina Thanksgiving

So here's the thing. What we eat is almost always a function based on proximity and therefore convenience: we eat the things that are grown around us or that we manage to save for a while and an area's specialties will reflect this availability. Why we eat is elemental: in whatsoever form it takes, eating is our most fundamental tool of survival. 

Read More
Olive Harvest 2015: Don't Call it a Comeback

Of all the many things that make Italy a special place, the olive harvest is an undeniable contender for the top of the list. It's got just the right ratio of ritual to pragmatism which is a crucial element towards most of my existential quotients. Because I must confess that I am a sucker for a good ritual; I've very nearly joined a handful of religions for the ceremonial perks, only to be ultimately saved by my fundamental disinterest in long term commitment and lack of enthusiasm for changing my name to something my mom would have to look up to pronounce. 

Read More
A Tale of Two Sagras, Part Two: The Sagra degli Gnocchi
β€œAnd a beautiful world we live in, when it is possible, and when many other such things are possible, and not only possible, but done-- done, see you!-- under that sky there, every day.” 

When last we met I told you about the certain strange and not unpleasant sense of pride and belonging I felt while wandering along through the Sagra del Baccala in Tuscania. It was a singular feeling and one that was aided and perhaps only possible because I was alone, and was a wholly different experience. The Sagra degli Gnocchi, however, was a very different experience based on a few key points. Mostly, it was the presence of a very special Sagra Crew. 

Read More
A Tale of Two Sagras, Part One: The Sagra del Baccala

I must first make a confession. I don't necessarily love Baccala (salt cod) as a foodstuff, and its various permutations as they are found throughout the world rarely leave me enraptured in any substantial way. Instead, I have a much clearer memory of piles upon piles of salt cod pieces stacked upon each other in the myriad bodegas that have featured throughout the course of my life in New York. I remember living in Montreal near a cluster of Portuguese shops where giant unwieldy licks of preserved cod would dangle precariously above voluminous sacks of short grain rice and make the impossibly narrow aisles of the grocery store even more so. I remember the great bellies of cod splayed out across tabletops in various epiceries around Marseille and not in the beautiful old port section where you all still figure that young men named Marius await their next departure whilst debonairly drawing smoke from a never-ending Gauloise. No no, this was in a particularly dodgy little narrow lane in Noailles, and while the name escapes me now the smell lingers on in that lizard bit of brain none of us ever seems to shake. 

Read More