Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Wine and Food of the Giro 2016 Stage 11: Le Fraghe & Gnocco Fritto

Where are we? Arriving in the Veneto as they leave Modena and ride 227 kilometers to Asolo. 

From the Giro site:  Lying at the heart of the Po Plain, Modena has a rich history and plenty of traditions. Piazza Grande is the heart of the town, and together with the Duomo, the Ghirlandina (bell tower) and the Town Hall, it was listed as UNESCO World Heritage. Another major site is Palazzo Ducale (Ducal Palace), the former residence of the Dukes of Este, which currently houses the Italian Military Academy.
The city is also famous for its culinary excellence, including protected designation of origin balsamic vinegar (aceto di Modena DOP), Parmigiano DOP, zampone, tortellini and Lambrusco wine.
Besides its cuisine, Modena is also worldwide renowned for its automobile legacy, above all Ferrari and Maserati.
COOKING: Gnocco fritto, pesto modenese (creamed lardo with rosemary and garlic), tortellini; zampone and cotechino di Modena, prosciutto di Modena; Parmigiano Reggiano; traditional balsamic vinegar of Modena; bensone modenese (traditional sweet cake), torta Barozzi (chocolate and almond cake), amaretti di Modena (almond cookies)

The stage: Flat stage with a few bumps towards the end. Former race leader Tom Dumoulin has abandoned due to saddle sores. Ouch. 

Quiet stage so far. This is the sort of day when I find myself feeling bad for the commentators. Lots of air to fill and little action, yet. So quiet, I went out to water my garden mid-race. Thirty kilometers to go and the gap was at 2:25. Out of nowhere, a crash. Leigh Howard even ended up in a small stream. 

Lots of small groups now trying to chase back to the main peloton. Caught up Pozzovivo, Scarponi and others. Twenty kilometers to go and the gap was around 20 seconds. Suddenly, some gc action as they climbed. Perhaps hoping to gain more time on Pozzovivo who was said to be 1:30 behind. 
On the downhill and attack by Nibali, Valverde and Chaves. Just as they were caught Amador attacked with Jungels in pink the first to chase. Ten kilometers to go and they had around ten seconds as the bunch was growing larger behind them. Five kilometers to go and seven seconds to the two leaders.They would be caught by Ulissi. With 2.5 kilometers to go, 10 seconds. 

Stage: Diego Ulissi
GC: Bob Jungels

Wine: Le Fraghe  Chiaretto  rose Rodon
 From the importer: There are very few traditional Italian rosΓ©s, despite being such useful wines when the weather's warm. We have been collecting them recently; one of our new finds is this charming rosato (called, traditionally, 'Chiaretto') from Matilde Poggi, our excellent producer of Bardolino. It's a saignΓ©e* of her red Bardolino, pale pink in color and redolent of wild strawberries with hints of bitter herbs; we drink it with salmon and other substantial fish dishes, and it's very good with grilled chicken or pork. It's made of Corvina (80%) and Rondinella, two of the traditional indigenous varieties from the area, fermented and aged in stainless steel, and it's bottled under screwcap, to retain freshness.
Be sure to read Elaine's profile here.  

I say: Aren't we lovely and very gulpable. Crisp strawberry, with enough acidity to keep it from being cloying. 

Food: Gnocco Fritto
Gnocco Fritto because it is one of the Giro picks. Essentially fried bread, often served with cured meat. And what could be wrong with that? I had mine at one of my favorite SF restaurants, Delfina.  
If you'd like to try making it at home, this recipe from Academia Barilla, looks pretty doable for a home cook. 

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