Saturday, April 23, 2011

The Easter Bunny

The Easter Bunny

Everyone loves the Easter Bunny. He is warm, fuzzy and always brings creamy candy and chocolate to the little ones. And although the Easter Bunny is so loved, we question where did the Easter Bunny really come from?

Folklore says, that the Easter Bunny came to America sometime in the 1700’s with the Germans who had
...settled in Pennsylvania. The fabled tale of the Easter Bunny, once called Osterhase, evolved and the tradition of coloring eggs and putting them in Easter baskets spread across the USA.

The Easter Egg
According to Saint Bede the Benedictine Monk, the word Easter came from Eostre, an Anglo Saxon goddess of Spring. In Medieval Europe, eggs were forbidden during Lent. So eggs laid during that time were boiled, and saved to be a mainstay of Easter food, including prized gifts for children. And throughout time, the egg is a symbol of new life and fertility.

Celebrate spring and Easter with our Italian traditions from Cooking Vacations, including Mamma Celeste’s Easter Pastiera, and Mamma Maria’s biscotti.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Boston Marathon Carbo Charge!


CARBO CHARGE for the Boston Marathon this Monday with
with fresh Italian pasta courtesy of Cooking Vacations Italy.

Chef Salvatore Barba from Positano and Lauren Birmingham are busy in the test kitchen gearing up for Monday's Run. Any and all runners need just call for a complimentary delivery from the Boston Test Kitchen. 
Eat healthy pasta with our hand made artisan pasta and organic Cooking Vacations virgin olive oil, and pass the finish line a winner!!! 

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Todd English To Nonna's Kitchen

Lauren Piscitelli On Delicious Food Writing

by Taqiyyah Shakirah Dawud
I asked Lauren Birmingham Piscitelli of Cooking Vacations about the food-focused start of her career as a food writer, the special characteristics of food writing, and her favorite food writing adventure.

Q: How did you get your start writing about food?
I grew up in the kitchen with my two Italian grandmothers and mother. Cooking is a big part of the Italian culture, and my grandmothers and mom have kept all those traditions alive. Although we have a big Italian American family, as a young teenager who loved to read, cook, paint and write, I didn’t think about my roots. I lremember choosing fun books to read each summer on the hammock in our yard. We had a very Italian-looking yard and garden laced with grapevines and growing everything an Italian family could want: eggplant, zucchini, tomatoes, basil, garlic, pumpkins, oregano, thyme, and sage. We also had cherry, fig, pear, peach and blueberry trees. But it wasn’t until I was older that I realized the importance of my background.
Q: What characteristics make a good book or article about food?
Tell the story of the roots of the food: its etymology, history, and orgin. Tomatoes for example, although icons of Italian culture and food, are not indigenous of Italy; they’re American. Eggplants are Chinese, lemons are Persian, and the list goes on. It’s also fascinating to write about how civilizations travelled with food, intrducing things like fruits and vegetables to other people who would then replant it ad have it flourish based on their climate. The information and knowledge is endless.

Q: How should a food writer prepare to write about a topic? What kinds of things do you regularly do when you’re writing about food?
Learn the source of the type of food or the ingredients of each dish you’re writing about. Find out the season, origin, and best compliment of each food. Then try everything in the kitchen. It’s almost impossible write or learn everything about food from behind a computer. Good food writing requires hands-on experience. All the senses need to be engaged as the writer touches, smells, cooks, and learns.Tasting is an absolute requirement.

Q: Tell us about the best food-writing adventure you’ve had to date.
Interviewing great chefs from Todd English and Franck Cerruti to a humble Nonna in the kitchen has been wonderful; each interview is always a learning experience. Although I am proud and pleased to meet and talk with each of them, my last interview featuring Chef Cerruti and a visit to Monaco was a true adventure. This world class, three-star Michelin-ranked chef is as simple as the country ingredients he cooks with. Look for the interview in the next issue of “Tastes of Italia”, coming to newsstands in June.

Lauren Birmingham Piscitelli is creator and owner of Cooking Vacations. She is a published writer, photographer, and owner of Birmingham Associates Communications, a public relations and marketing agency. She is married to Rino Piscitelli and they live high on the Amalfi Coast in Positano Italy surrounded by lemons, olives, oranges and an ever-blooming vegetable and fruit garden. They are producers of their own first-pressed Virgin olive oil and herbs, and they advocate organic products free of pesticides and the healthy Mediterranean diet.