sharing (Italian) food to enjoy life

Archive for November, 2011

A little Italian – prosciutto any day

Posted by Jim Carfrae on November 21, 2011

More than any other deli meat, prosciutto is served for guests. However, two out of every three times it is eaten within the home; that is, not with guests. So lately I have taken to asking people how they eat it; so here goes:

• Straight out of the pack – multiple mentions
• On bread with provolone cheese – a few mentions
• With buffalo mozzarella cheese, olive oil, fresh basil – multiple mentions
• With bread and grilled vegetables (out of a jar)
• Rolled around provolone cheese and stuffed inside a chicken (in place of stuffing) – two people
• Wrapped around a breadstick, the kids especially love this – multiple mentions
• On a baguette with spinach and tomato
• In bread, by itself, nothing in the way
• In a sandwich with bocconcini and grilled vegetables
• In a bun with provolone cheese, tomato and basil
• Wrapped around figs and walnut, gorgonzola cheese on the side
• On pizza (put on after the pizza comes out of the oven)

What we eat with our family is usually the best tasting or the simplest, how do you eat your prosciutto?


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A little Italian – the mortadella sandwich, do they know something?

Posted by Jim Carfrae on November 16, 2011

We did some video earlier this year, and so I asked the obvious question, “What is your favourite deli meat?”  This video is just 50 seconds long, and yet beautifully captures the essence and passion Italians have for their food:

I had the wonderful opportunity to share Italian deli meats with the Canadian Living test kitchen a couple years back. These people know food, and were still a little nervous when we finished with a mortadella panino. Amazingly most of them had never tried it. I was so grateful to Editor Susan Antonacci who spoke right up, “I’ll have one of those”, everyone joined in to surprised delight.

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A little Italian – the mortadella sandwich

Posted by Jim Carfrae on November 11, 2011

Mortadella is the classic everyday food for Italians. Rarely is there more than thinly sliced mortadella on a fresh Panino. The premium cuts of meat and spices are slow cooked in clay ovens. The sweet, buttery taste comes with the most beautiful aroma. If you’ve never … you are invited to give it a try.

We provided mortadella Panini as part of a school fundraiser; some of the kids were good enough to talk about it. It was really fun to share something that was new for many of the students.

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A little Italian

Posted by Jim Carfrae on November 10, 2011

Many years ago I came across a book called How to be an Italian by Lou D’Angelo, published in 1968. Amazon rates it 4.5/5, okay so only 5 people did the rating, and yes I am one. (The only person not giving a 5 did so because of the condition of the book, the content is indisputable.)

Some people achieve greatness; others have it thrust upon them. Then there are those people who are born Italian.  If you are not an Italian, don’t be despondent. You can become an Italian. You can learn to look, dress, walk, gesticulate, think, and talk Italian by mastering a few simple rules….


Amazingly he missed the one thing that everyone returning from Italy raves about, the food! The easiest way to become Italian is to enjoy the food and share it with others.  Food plays an important role in the Italian culture, and that means sharing it and the conversation around the food is one of the staples.

I am rediscovering my Italian heritage and invite you to be a little Italian, if only once a week. Think about the food you are eating, share it with others – there are more than a few ideas here, and maybe try a hand gesture or two – carefully.

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