Friday, May 11, 2018

Wine & Food of the Giro 2018 Stage 7: Pizzo to Paria a Mare

Where are we?
Pizzo: To the mainland with a stop in a seaside town in Calabria. Explore Calabria tells me that "Pizzo is a small coastal town which marks the northern point of the Coast of the Gods. Boasting an Aragonese castle, beautiful marina, two beaches and a unique cave church as well as a picturesque old town, Pizzo has a lot to offer. Don’t leave without sampling the famous ‘tartufo’ of Pizzo, an ice cream dish which comes in a variety of flavours, rolled into a large ball with a nutty or chocolate coating and a runny chocolate centre. Sit and enjoy down by the marina or in the town’s main piazza, and you will have many opportunities to try the selection of flavours, although a personal favourite is the pistachio with a chocolate hazelnut centre!"
Giro regional specialties: Ice cream and semifreddo (such as the famous Tartufo di Pizzo), tuna in oil, seafood specialties (especially fried scallops, called “surici”).

Paria a Mare: Staying on the Calbrian coast. Paria a Mare is known for its two kilometer beach.  
Giro regional specialties: The typical strong flavors of Calabria with the influences of the nearby Lucania makes for a real blaze of wine and cuisine. This great tradition can be seen with its fish dishes for example swordfish, tuna and anchovies that can be found in the different local restaurants. A typical traditional pasta dish that is also found here is fusilli. This pasta is skillfully made with an underwire and is topped with a sausage and anchovies sauce. Praia a Mare is also part of the Riviera dei Cedri. This fruit is also used in different fish dishes and pastries.

The stage: A flat sprinting stage to welcome us to mainland Italy.


Indeed, a quite day on the roads, but pretty. So quiet that Eurosport has time to bring on their "wine guy." Why don't I have that job again?
Most teams probably spent the ride wondering if there is any chance Viviani  would not win the stage, given his dominance so far.
Along the road.
Twenty five kilometers to go and the gap was under two minutes.
Twenty kilometers and one minute, all signs point to the very expected bunch sprint. Soon enough, they would be all together.
Hey, Tony Martin. I can dream.
Time for riders to attack and attempt to disrupt the sprint. But, indeed, time for both the sprint trains and for the gc teams attempting to protect their main riders. After the three kilometer mark, they may pull back, but for now, a crowd at the front. Speaking of crowds, a lot of riders are in search of Viviani's wheel. Why not follow the fastest man?
Inside three kilometers to go and the gc men are safe. Sprinting time.
Wow. It looked like another stage win for Viviani, but perfect timing and position from Sam Bennett. Great work from him. 



The wine: Giuseppe Calabrese Terre di Cosenza Pollino 2013  from Biondivino 
From the importer:
Giuseppe Calabrese tends four hectares of mostly bush-trained old vines, in the Pollino Mountains of northern Calabria, in the ancient town of Saracena. He works without peer in this remote area; to say he’s plowing the rough road is understatement. The winter’s here are bracing, summer’s are fresh, thanks to the nearby mountains and high altitude (400 meters). The soil is a mix of Neogene marine deposits and limestone, as seen by the many ancient limestone caves you find in the area.  Giuseppe’s wines are an echo of the local wildness, and the ancient Saracean civilization, which still imbues the area. The great Calabrian historian, Giovanni Fiore da Cropani described Saracena as an “Ancient land…built by the Oenotrians..500 years before the Trojan War.” The Oenotrians were no ordinary ancient people, these people from Greek Arcadia, their name itself means ‘people from the land of the vines.”
The red grape variety Magliocco Dolce [mah-l’yee-OHK-koh DAWL-che]* is  intriguing and moody: smoky, savory, fresh black fruit, and grainy tannins. The limestone and 40+ year old bush vines make a difference. It is not sweet or dolce, as the name could mislead.  It will be interesting to see how it ages, but it seems to have all the components (tannins, acidity, extract) to do so. If it ages, to give a Calabrian reference, anything like Ippolito’s ‘Riserva del Falco’ we’re all in for a treasure.  Wood-fired dishes, such as roasted lamb or eggplant pair well, even with a bit of Calabrian hot pepper. Though complex and smoky, it’s not a big wine, so don’t be afraid to put this with many of the fresh made pasta dishes made in these mountains: macaroni al ragu with shaved goat cheese, for example. 

The food Tartufo de Pizzo recipe from Great British Chefs

Chocolate ice cream

  • 500ml of whole milk
  • 25g of milk powder, skimmed
  • 125g of caster sugar
  • 200g of dark chocolate

Hazelnut ice cream

  • 500ml of whole milk
  • 25g of milk powder, skimmed
  • 125g of caster sugar
  • 65g of hazelnut paste

Chocolate sauce

Sugared hazelnuts

To serve

Begin by making the chocolate ice cream. Mix together the milk, milk powder and sugar in a pan over a medium heat. Bring to a simmer, whisking regularly to prevent the mixture from sticking
  • 500ml of whole milk
  • 25g of milk powder, skimmed
  • 125g of caster sugar

Once simmering, remove the pan from the heat and stir in the dark chocolate until melted and fully combined. Pass the mixture through a fine sieve to remove any lumps, pouring into a plastic container

Chill for a few hours, then remove from the freezer and churn in an ice cream machine as per the manufacturer's instructions. Return to the freezer and chill until required

Repeat for the hazelnut ice cream, bringing the milk, milk powder and sugar to a simmer and adding the hazelnut paste. Blitz with an electric hand blender to combine, then pass through a sieve, chill and churn. Keep in the freezer until required
  • 500ml of whole milk
  • 25g of milk powder, skimmed
  • 125g of caster sugar
  • 65g of hazelnut paste

To make the chocolate sauce, place the double cream, sugar and water in a pan and bring to the boil over a medium heat. Remove from the heat and gradually whisk in the cocoa powder, mixing until smooth
  • 90g of double cream
  • 80g of caster sugar
  • 85g of water
  • 30g of cocoa powder

Bring the mixture back up to the boil, whisking continuously. Once bubbling, remove from the heat and stir in the dark chocolate until melted and fully combined. Set aside to cool, then chill until ready to assemble

Preheat the oven to 180°C/gas mark 4. Line 2 baking trays with greaseproof paper

Next prepare the sugared hazelnuts. Spread the hazelnuts out across 1 of the baking trays and gently toast in the oven for a few minutes until golden brown and fragrant – be careful as the nuts can burn very quickly

Meanwhile, place the water in a small pan over a high heat. Add the sugar and, without stirring, allow the mixture to come up to 140°C on a sugar thermometer
  • 25g of water
  • 50g of sugar

Once at this temperature, add the hazelnuts straight from the oven and mix quickly over the heat until the sugar becomes dry and powdery. Remove the pan from the heat and tip the nuts out across the other, clean baking tray to cool

Before assembling the tartufo, remove the ice creams from the freezer and allow to soften slightly. Line 8 ramekins with a large square of parchment paper, making sure there is plenty of overhang – scrunching up the paper first can help to give a snug fit

Scoop a large spoonful of the chocolate ice cream into the base of each ramekin and use the back of the spoon to form a well in the centre

Fill the wells with 2 or 3 of the sugared hazelnuts and 1 teaspoon of the chocolate sauce. Cover with a spoonful of the hazelnut ice cream, pressing down with the spoon to fill all the gaps

Finally, cover the hazelnut ice cream with another spoonful of chocolate ice cream, making sure that the fillings are covered completely in the chocolate layer

Fold up the overhanging paper to cover the ice cream completely, twisting slightly to hold it in place, and chill in the freezer for at least 2 hours to set

To serve, remove the paper parcels from the ramekins and place on serving plates. Unwrap the paper to reveal the ice cream bombe, sprinkling over a liberal dusting of cocoa powder to finish.

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