Tuesday, July 1, 2008

RNSI Adventures - San Patrignano Day Four

I attended the UN Office on Drugs and Crime (based in Vienna) seminar today to learn about the trials and tribulations of turning drug crops in developing countries into "alternative agriculture" crops to drug crops. Ironically to Americans mainly, San Patrignano operates a vineyard and a winery and other social enterprises (for at risk youth) operate breweries. The relationship to wine and beer is a culinary and cultural one that does not force an “abstinence only” ideology for well-being. On a lighter note, San Patrignano has just introduced cheese wrapped and and aged in a tobacco leaf that when swallowed leaves a delicious burn in the throat that tingles like you just smoked a cigarette - really strange but delicious.

I will just leave you with a few of the more mouthwatering delicious culinary offerings that our hosts forced us to try:

- Bombanella sandwich (From Puglia)- pork sausage wrapped in bacon and then shish kabobed and put into a sandwich cone
- Tripe Sandwich – this was the Tuscan version from Florence, never thought I liked tripe until I ate this!
- Fried tiny fish - don’t know the names, tasted like the sea
- Asti Champagne and a Canoli - a peak eating experience
- Gelato – one with Pistachios from Lebanon, one with saffron and mint from Afghanistan and one with mangos from Columbia.
- “Caramela” - handmade pasta by Fifteen that looks like shape of caramel, stuffed with cheeses
- Olives stuffed with beef and pork, breaded and deep fried
- Copa di Parma, and the Culatello di Zibello courtesy of the ancient local breed of pig, mora Romagnola

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