Friday, May 18, 2018

Wine and Food of the Giro 2018 Stage 13: Ferrara to Nervesa Della Battaglia

Where are we?
Ferrara: Discover Italy tells me that: Ferrara, city on the low Emilian plain surrounding the ford of the Po River, is an enchanting result of Medieval and Renaissance art and architecture

During the Renaissance, some of the most important Italian maestros, in the service of the Estense Court, realized structures and monuments of exceptional value for Ferrara. The city's history is profoundly tied to that of the d'Este Family, who rendered  Ferrara (between the 13th and 16th Centuries) the magnificent place it is today. 

The very first thing visitors to Ferrara should do, in fact, is roam the charming city streets for a bit. Admire the unique network of roads, because Ferrara is one of the few big Italian cities whose urban structure is not Roman. After all, it was the House of Este to give their own imprint to Ferrara, with an ambitious city plan that later, along with other aspects, led to Ferrara's meriting a place on the UNESCO World Heritage List (1995). 
Giro regional specialties:
Coppia ferrarese IGP (bread), Caplit (cappelletti soup), Cappellacci di Zucca ferraresi IGP (pumpkin stuffed pasta); Salama da sugo IGP (pork sausage), marinated smelt, watermelon, Torta Tenerina (chocolate cake), Pampepato di Ferrara IGP (traditional sweet cake).

Nervesa Della Battaglia: To the Veneto we go! Apparently we should visit an amusement park.  Atlas Obscura tells me that " Nestled in a lush green Italian forest, the Ai Pioppi Playground began as a hobby meant to promote a small restaurant has evolved over 40 years of creation into a stunning home-brewed amusement park full of one-of-a-kind rides, all built by one man. "

Giro regional specialties: 
Patata del Montello (local potato variety); mushroom, asparagus and radicchio dishes, salt cod specialties.

The stage: Another sprint day! Speaking of sprints, the competition for the sprint jersey has gotten tight, so perhaps some excitement there.


Bernie Eisel on Eurosport bringing some joy to the day. I still miss you, Breakfast wtih Bernie. "I realised it was serious when there were 10 doctors around the screen.' Yikes! Fingers crossed his recovery continues to go well and we can see him back on his bike soon. 


Thirty five kilometers to go and the gap was around 1:30 with rain predicted ahead. Thirty kilometers to go and they had a sneak preview of the finish line with the gap under one minute.  It looked like a bunch sprint was very very likely. 
Hey, Tony Martin! Probably doomed, but it would bring me joy. Indeed, doomed.


Fifteen kilometers to go and the break was still hanging onto twenty three seconds. Ten kilometers and twenty seconds. Juts under seven kilometers to go and they would finally be caught. Time to watch the sprint trains.
With ease, Viviani.



General classification after stage 13
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Simon Yates (GBr) Mitchelton-Scott  
2Tom Dumoulin (Ned) Team Sunweb0:47:00 
3Thibaut Pinot (Fra) Groupama-FDJ1:04:00 
4Domenico Pozzovivo (Ita) Bahrain-Merida1:18:00 
5Richard Carapaz (Ecu) Movistar Team1:56:00 
6George Bennett (NZl) LottoNL-Jumbo2:09:00 
7Rohan Dennis (Aus) BMC Racing Team2:36:00 
8Pello Bilbao (Spa) Astana Pro Team2:54:00 
9Patrick Konrad (Aut) Bora-Hansgrohe2:55:00 
10Fabio Aru (Ita) UAE Team Emirates3:10:00

The wine: Casa Coste Piane Valdobbiadene Prosecco
From the importer: Loris Follador is from a long line of farmers in Valdobbiadene. His family had vines on the steep hillsides when the flat areas of the valley were still pastureland and turnip fields and the main local industry was the nearby pottery and tile factories. Now those flatlands are full of vines, and commercial prosecco with a capital " P" -that insipid, slightly cloying, and frankly disgusting wine- is the main economy of the region.
Thanks to his father and grandfather, Loris and his two sons have never had to plant a vine. This is a good thing because their vineyards are absurdly steep and the soil is very shallow, hitting solid limestone or sandstone rock in a few centimeters. As a result, they have only 60 years or older vines, planted in high pergola on steep hillsides. In high season, the vineyards give the impression of a primaeval vine forest. The Folladors are well aware of this fortunate legacy and treat it with the reverence and respect it deserves. No herbicides, pesticides or fertilizers are used.

Food: Pampepato di Ferrara IGP, from the Splendid Table
Pampepato was created at the Monastery of Corpus Domini during the 15th century. A century later the monastery achieved further distinction by becoming the burial place of one of Ferrara's most illustrious duchesses, Lucrezia Borgia d'Este. Some believe the cake's original name was pan del pape, or bread of the pope, while others say it was pan pepato, or peppered bread.
Pampepato was first cloaked in chocolate in the late 19th century. The crisp coating not only singles out Pampepato from the Christmas cakes of Emilia and Romagna, but also seals the cake, keeping it moist through the entire holiday season. Ferrarese Riccardo Rimondi shared this recipe with me. He tells of Christmas in Ferrara when every pasticceria makes its own Pampepato, packing it in golden cellophane or gilded boxes. On Christmas Eve, every shop has platters of sliced Pampepato. Shoppers are invited to share the Christmas tradition as they collect the last-minute supplies for the next two days of feasting.

The regional website offers a simple recipe:

Pampepato- spice cake
Ingredients: 200 gr. flour, 100 gr. almonds, 100 gr. sugar (or better honey), 100 gr. powdered cocoa, 100 gr. chopped candied fruit, 2 gr. cinnamon, 2 gr. Crushed cloves, 80 gr. semi-sweet chocolate for the icing.
Work the above ingredients with lukewarm water or milk, mixing at length to obtain a rather solid compound.
Shape the pampepato, giving it the characteristic domed shape of a skullcap. Bake it in the oven taking great care for if it burns it becomes bitter. Let it rest in a cool, damp place for ten days. After this time, ice it melted semisweet chocolate.

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