I have a new, favorite word in Italian: goloso. There are three English translations of the word: greedy, gluttonous and gourmand. Those who know me can vouch that these words represent me to a T when it comes to my relationship with food. I can be very greedy at times. I’m not the person who is eager to give you the last bite, but I’m always more than willing to take it. Sometimes I am gluttonous and tend to eat and drink excessively. Even if I’m full but eating something delicious I am more than likely to have seconds. Finally, I am definitely a gourmand since I’m completely obsessed with good food and drink, but even fonder of eating and drinking them in an excessive manner. This week I treated myself to a three-day food fair called Golosaria, a true gourmand’s heaven. There were 100 of Italy’s top food producers and the top 100 wine producers rated by the Club di Papillon. I started off in the food area sampling cheese from the different regions. I tried everything from fresh, sheep cheese to aged, mountain goat cheese, parmigiano reggiano and of course the true gorgonzola (actually produced in the town of Gorgonzola). I tasted some of Italy’s finest prosciuttos and salamis and even stumbled upon some Iberian ham (pata negra) from Spain. I sampled different types of extra virgin olive oil coming from Tuscany, Liguria and Lombardy which tickled my throat with their strong bitter taste and spicy finish. There were marmalades, jams and jellies made from ancient fruits such as white figs, gooseberries and jujubes (I came home with a jar of that). I went to the Modena booth and tried balsamic vinegar aged for over 25 years which was so syrupy and flavorful that I was about to buy a bottle until they told me it cost 70 Euros. As I went to the southern region of Calabria I tasted spicy pepper spreads that sent my mouth into flames and was surprised to see that they have finally brought the habanero pepper to southern Italy. There was an abundance of producers to satisfy my sweet tooth specializing in everything from chocolate to baked goods to candies. And let’s not forget the truffles from Piedmont and Umbria. I sampled everything from truffle oil, purees, pastes and sauces. Just one bite and you can understand why these babies cost as much as gold. After my thorough investigation of the food area it was time to hit the wine hall. Armed with my wine glass I was ready to take on the top 100 producers. The list is endless of all the different varieties of wine that Italy has to offer but some of my top choices, in no specific order were:
Il Calepino non dosato: a dry, sparkling white wine from Lombardy
Fasoli Gino Soave: a fruity and floral, organic, white wine from Veneto
Zof Friulano: reminded me of fresh peaches from Friuli Venezia Giulia
Elena Walch Kastelaz Gewurztraminer: a fruity, white wine with spicy notes from Alto Adige
Oddero Poderi Barbera d’Alba: a fruity, acidic red wine from Piedmont
G.D. Vajra Langhe Freisa Kye’: berry flavors with good acidity and somewhat spicy finish, red wine from Piedmont
Querciabella Chianti Classico: a full-bodied, red fruit and berry notes, biodynamic, red wine from Tuscany
If you see these producers in the supermarket I definitely recommend getting a bottle.
So after my three-day foodscapade I have realized that no matter how much you taste and how much you try there is always something new to be discovered. Now I wouldn’t say it’s good to be goloso all the time, but every once in a while definitely doesn’t hurt!