“La miglior cucina comincia dal mercato”–the best cuisine starts from the market.
Rick Steves on Italian cuisine in his 100-day blog.
I couldn’t agree more. This reinforces my position that to eat well at home, you don’t necessarily need to know how to be a great cook. But you do need to know food, and how to shop. Someone who cannot cook can still own a nice plate upon which they can put some nice salami, high-quality cheese, some olives, and a chunk of resepectable bread – served with a nice glass of wine. No cooking, but one of my favorite ‘meals’. So I thank Rick for the reminder. Italians are obsessed with regional fresh ingredients, and it’s inspiring. Example. In 2002, at dinner with our friends Robert and Liz in Tuscany, they served a pasta tossed with some truffled sausages they bought locally, followed by seasonal mini pears and figs, and because it was september – roasted chestnuts to finish the evening. Sounds posh – but it’s simply very fresh, local, seasonal ingredients prepared simply. I suddenly feel very grateful for my garden, local market & specialty food shops, and the fish and game I often have access to. I don’t need to be a great cook with those resources – I just need to not screw up the great ingredients.