Road tripping ... across the Italian countryside. Dinah (Kim's mum), Don (her husband) Kim and myself met in Rome earlier this month. We pile our stuff in a little turbo VW golf and head off bound for Tuscany .... our first stop, and a taste of what was to come, was a little town called Montalto di Castro. We squeeze the car through miniscule little cobbled streets and stumble across some beautiful sights, including this particularly pretty blue door:
But we did pull into this little town with the hope of food, but weren't so blessed with that. We get back on the road, and to our horror and dismay pass a Salumi & Fromagi van on the side of the highway .... oh my?! But it's on the wrong side of the road and it's way to hard for us to turn around, so the mission continues.
We are taking the beautiful coastal drive up to Grosetto, before heading inland towards Greve in Chianti. It between Grosetto and Siena Kim and I simultaneously spot a sign proclaiming "PORCHETTA" - an Italian culinary wonder of boned pork, that is heavily salted with herbs or fennel seed and then roasted over charcoal. A crisp, crackling skin and super moist meat, we know if that's to be had at this roadside stall we'd be good for the last stretch of the drive.
The place was pumping with Italians, loads of construction workers happened to be stopped for the lunch and coffee fix as we arrive.
Then we walk in and are greeted by a delicious pork head, crackling skin covering his face, with those come hither eyes. So it's prochetta x 2, piled between delicious Tuscan salt-less bread. But the pork, oh the pork, this one packed with crystals of salt and loads of fresh rosemary.
2 massive sandwiches and 1.5l of mineral water, for 5.5euro. Awesome!
We then see that all the locals seem to then head into the bar and drink a coffee at the counter before moving on. Well, you know what they say "When in Rome ...." So we perch at the bar and order duo caffe. Watching the precise and efficient use of the coffee machine makes me weak at the knees.
Then we are overwhelmed with the choice of panforte, sweets and pastries on offer. We both decide on the spiced panforte - which is taken from the showcase ... a animated indication with our hands of how much we would like, and a little buffalo horn knife (yes, we found one in Tuscany and Kim bought one back with us, tres cool!) cut's a chunk for us. It's placed on the scales - so many things are just sold by weight, so cool - and we scoff it down.
And all this was had at a little service centre / road side food stall. You can only imagine what lies ahead on our 14 day adventure in Italy .........