What is this blog all about, or why did you write about meat?
Be warned, this blog will center around all things meat, as in charcuteries, beef, pork, poultry, and all forms of organic food, particularly “meat”; so if you are vegan or vegetarian, this is most likely not a site you will want to frequent, although, I do plan on have information on a number of non-meat related post.
As in life, there are a number of reasons to write, which in and of itself could be an entire post, but I’ll leave that for those better able to address the finer points of why and when to blog. I’ve chosen to write for myself, as a way to get my thoughts down and as a way offer up an opinion that may resonate with likeminded people and give them a way to respond, interject, agree or disagree with ideas bouncing between my ears.
So why write about meat, and certainly why call your blog Danese Meats?
OK Meat is just one aspect of this blog, I also will look at other artisan crafts as I learn and grow, and hopefully through the association of those of you that find this information somewhat useful.
The Short answer is that this blog started from my appreciation for food that is a culmination of a number of familial influences that have taken me along this journey as wannabe gourmand and foodie; and as always, is always on the lookout for something new to try or create.
The name Danese, pronounced Da Nay Say, the name of my grandparents that instilled in me a strong link between family and food, is a way to remember my roots, as I journal the trip.
The longer answer is, I am someone that has always been fascinated by how foods are prepared, such as salami, sausage, pate, cheese, beer, and wines that are masterfully created by the artisan by hand, on small scale.
The start of this trip started way before computers, and obviously blogs, when I was a young boy visiting my grandparents in Florence Italy, during summer vacations. My fondest memories of those visits to Florence are when my grandfather, nonno Tonino would take me with him on our daily trek to the outdoor markets.
Trips to the mercato usually started with nonno and me looking for fruits and vegetables, as my nonno described the perfect tomato or the sweetest cherries, or the best olives. I always gravitated to the olive stands because nonno would explain the history behind each variety of olive, as we sampled the purple black Kalamata, the Sicilian Sevillano, or the black Gaeta, before we would decide on the suggestion of the vendor, which was only fair since we were making a meal at his expense. Sometimes the same variety of olive would be cured using different methods to produce different styles, but all were wonderful.
We would then continue on through the Cheese Stores for a wedge of parmigiano, a carton of fresh ricotta, and mozzarella made the day before, and lastly a visit to the “mercato delle carni” for bistecche, that nonna would use to create something marvelous, and not to be forgotten the endless samples of the various salumi. On the way home, we would stop off for bread, my favorites were pane Bolognese or schiacciata, a Tuscan flat bread that literally means “squashed,” is usually about an inch thick.
Before lunch or dinner, nonno or nonna would slice off a bit of parmigiano for me to dip into the most wonderful aceto balsamico, or maybe give me pane Bolognese with ricotta, and a sample of Tuscan salami made with wine fennel of course pork. When nonna prepared the bistecche, she would often times brown the steaks in a skillet, with chopped tomato, olives, and garlic, with a squeeze of lemon juice. Just before serving, she would add fresh oregano and olive oil.
Ever since that time, I’ve had an intense desire to try and re-create my own version of some of these charcuterie and cheese, using local natural or organic meats. (Just so you know, organic, as used in this blog are those food that are mostly free from pesticides, chemicals, hormones and genetically modified organisms). Although there is no organic food that is 100% free from pesticides, they are much healthier than normal non-organic foods, which are commercially available at your grocery or specialty store.
When you look at my bio or consultancy practice, it is not obvious to the casual reader, my food addiction. Yes, I like to eat, I also like to entertain, and no, I am not a professional cook, nor have I ever taken a cooking class, yet… I do look forward to taking classes in the future, hopefully in a Tuscan Castle, and blogging about the classed, but for now, I will work on my passion by trial and error, cook book and recommendation by whomever wants to carry on a food dialog.
I look forward to hearing from you.