Sunday, May 13, 2018

Wine and Food of the Giro 2018 Stage 9 Pesco Sannita to Gran Sasso D'Italia

Where are we?
Pesco Sannita: Pesco Sannita is a town in the Province of Benevento in Campania, located about 70 kilometers northeast of Naples. 
The local tourist site tells me that:   Pesco Sannita is a characteristic medieval town set on a rocky hill to the right of the Tammaro river. The profound agricultural vocation, which has always been the primary source of livelihood of the fishermen, is favored by the presence of the river that makes the surrounding lands fertile. The approximately two thousand inhabitants are distributed between the town (approximately 70%) and the various villages that make up the territory. Presents all the typical characteristics of the hilly countryside of Campania, rich in shapes and colors: vineyards, olive groves and green Mediterranean vegetation, typical of the medium and low hills, alternate with the ordered geometries of the arable land, which make the territory extremely pleasant and relaxing. The slope along which the town is located is located at about 393 meters above sea level.

Giro regional specialties: Paccozze (fresh pasta), Saragolla durum wheat.

Gran Sasso D'Italia: Abruzzo!  The Gran Sasso (or Gran Sasso d'Italia) is the highest mountain of the Apennines. The Corno Grande is the highest peak of the mountain (2912 m.). A reminder that you should read more about this and all the other Giro climbs in Will's Mountains Preview. The regional tourist site tells me that: Campo Imperatore is a plateau at about 2000 meters altitude. in the middle of the massif of the Gran Sasso d'Italia. It stretches over 15 km long and 5 wide. It 'also called the Tibet of Abruzzo, the view is magnificent, takes away your breath. Campo Imperatore can be reached via a 100-seat cable car running from Fonte Cerreto (1150 m asl) and takes only 7 minutes to complete the journey, or from the point of Vado di Sole Farindola or from Castel del Monte .. It is also home to a botanical garden and one of the most important astronomical observatories in Italy. In 1943, at the Campo Imperatore, was Benito Mussolini held prisoner until his release made by the German soldiers. Campo Imperatore is home to a ski resort with 3 lifts and includes 15 km of trails for alpine skiing and 60 km for Nordic skiing. 

Giro regional specialties: Solina wheat. 

The stage
Time to climb a mountain. It should be a long and cold day today. They will be climbing into the snow. 
The break of the day gets a large early gap.

This was interesting: 

Interesting that several of the riders interviews showed during the stage had a common theme: that there might be two races on the day: one for the breakaway in search of a stage win and one for the gc riders in terms of time against their rivals.

Interesting also that the Eurosport weather report is for high winds. Perhaps that will add even more excitement.
Forty kilometers to go and the Astana led peloton had the gap under seven minutes. Behind, the autobus was forming with the sprinters just hoping to survive the day. Thirty seven kilometers and it was at 5:30. That went quickly.

Ahead, the breakaway was falling apart. Not surprising at all as their goal is the stage win. Twenty kilometers to go and the gap was around three minutes to the very reduced break group.

Note to self, visit this part of Italy, but maybe not on a bike.
3.5 kilometers and the gap was around 45 seconds.
Turns out the prediction were wrong and it would be a gc fight after all, as with three kilometers to go they were all together heading further up the mountain.
Good effort by Ciccone, but he appeared to be not getting away at all. Behind, Froome looking to struggle again. Ahead of him, attacks from the gc group causing excitement. Such great riding from Simon Yates. The only time he was in front all day was at the finish. Lots of time gaps in that top ten gc group as well. Froome and Aru both over one minute down.


Wine: Sarno 1860 
The producer tells me: In a single site, a single vineyard for a single type of grapes, giving life to a unique product. The courageous choice of Maura Sarno, to cultivate a single Fiano vineyard in a single site, which for her means authentic expression of the territory.
Candida, an ancient village in the province of Avellino, is located at 600 meters above sea level. In a calcareous clay soil, the vines benefit from cool nights and mild summers, well tolerating winter snow. The subsoil in spring returns heat and humidity to the roots, thus promoting minerality and water supply to the vines. In winter an important pruning is carried out in order to limit the quantity of vine bunches to the benefit of the quality. In summer, green peeling and pruning allow the grapes to be aired, guaranteeing perfect exposure to the sun.

Food: Back to Saveur for Fried Stuffed Castelvetrano Olives
Because, really, I love fried olives.
Olives are stuffed with a simple beef and pork filling and fried for a more substantial snack in this recipe from Abruzzo winemaker Emidio Pepe's wife, Rosa. Featured in: The Road to Abruzzo
Find this recipe in our cookbook, SAVEUR: Italian Comfort Food

serves 4-6 35 minutes

12 oz. (about 40) Castelvetrano olives (
3 oz. ground beef
2 oz. ground pork
2 tbsp. grated parmesan
14 tsp. freshly grated nutmeg
1 egg yolk
1 whole egg
1 lemon, zest finely grated
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
Canola Oil, for frying
2 tbsp. whole milk
1 12 cups bread crumbs
12 cup flour


Pit olives by lightly crushing them individually with the flat side of a chef's knife; discard pits, leaving olives as intact as possible. Mix beef, pork, parmesan, nutmeg, yolk, lemon zest, salt, and pepper in a bowl. Divide mixture into forty 12 tsp. balls. Stuff 1 ball of meat mixture into each olive; press olive around filling to seal.

Heat 2″ oil in a 4-qt. saucepan until a deep-fry thermometer reads 375°. Whisk whole egg and milk in a bowl. Place bread crumbs and flour in separate bowls. Working in batches, roll olives in flour, dip in egg mixture, and coat in bread crumbs; fry until crisp and filling is cooked through, 3–4 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer olives to paper towels; season with salt.

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