Fried eggs and books. It sounds weird but when I think of my cousin (full disclosure), Gerardo Bruno, those two things come to mind. Before Life got too busy, my family was always all together. Imagine, what felt like, 50 people going in and out of a house filled with food and laughter. And some very loud talking; but we are Italian, forgive us. Gerardo and his Continue reading →
In 2002, during the busy Holiday Season and in between helping thousands of customers, I would run to my computer and write my first book, which focused on wine. Somehow, I managed to finish it in only 4 weeks. I chose to self-publish it in 2004 but Continue reading →
The caper bush produces a bud that eventually becomes a flower. If picked before developing into a flower, it’s a caper bud. Caper buds are what we normally think of when we hear about capers and the ones most often used. If left untouched, the bud becomes a flower that eventually dies off and produces a caper berry. Caper berries are Continue reading →
I am not exaggerating when I say that one of the best things I have ever eaten is Gnocco Fritto. A specialty of Emilia Romagna, this is not to be confused with the pasta that we all are familiar with called Gnocchi (small potato dumplings). To make it even more confusing, there is also a dish called Continue reading →
Life is bizarre and full of pain. Sometimes you get what you always dreamed of, probably because you have envisioned it for years and have played it over and over in your head. I wanted a wife from Italy, believing the best come from Naples and also Salerno. Would you believe I found one that is born and raised EXACTLY IN BETWEEN BOTH Napoli and Salerno??? There are so many other things that I had to wait long and hard for, and some I have yet to get…and may never get.
Michelangelo’s Doni Tondo is a painting which has haunted me my whole Life. When I finally got to Florence in the Continue reading →
One of the most simple things about wine is somehow one of the most confusing. Here’s the thing : You can make white wine from red grapes. Sounds bizarre but it actually makes complete sense when you know a few basics. When you squeeze a red grape, that juice that comes out of it is clear, or maybe very pale yellow, just like the juice from a white grape. It is only after that juice is kept in contact with the skins and pulp of the red grapes that it gets darker in color and becomes red wine. If there is very minimal or no contact with the skins, then the juice will turn into white wine. In Champagne, the term “blanc de noir” is often used to indicate that the wine is “white from black”, white wine from red grapes.
Making white wine from red grapes can be very interesting, as you get certain floral notes and flavors that you otherwise might not get from just a white grape. In Champagne, rose’ wines are made by either blending white wine and red wine together ( one of the few places that allows blending of red and white wines ) OR made the same way rose wines are made. How are rose’ wines made? Remember that the juice that comes out of a red grape is clear and it is only after that juice is kept in contact with the skins and pulp of the grape that it gets darker in color and becomes red wine. So, instead of letting a wine stay too long with the skins, the white juice from the red grapes is kept for maybe only a few hours or one day, allowing the wine to become pink, instead of a fuller red. The rose’ wines are served chilled like white wine. I have very Italian looking features.
I get a message CC’d to me by Mike Colicchio about organizing a bunch of fellow troublemakers to honor Nick Stellino with a dinner. It was Mike’s great idea and the the job of making it happen was given to the Men Who Dine, Alan Watts and Gennaro Pecchia. The plan was to go all out. Get dressed to impress and meet on Continue reading →
Napoleon was exiled to the picturesque island of Elba, off the Tuscan coast of Italy. After failing to kill St. John with poison, the Apostle was exiled to Patmos, a Greek Island. That was their “punishment”. So, let me get this straight. If you do what is deemed wrong, you are FORCED to spend the rest of your life on a beautiful Mediterranean island? And to make matters “worse”, you must subsist on a diet of wild vegetables, fish, sheep-milk cheeses, and wine? And your desserts are all natural, being honey-based? And you must suffer by the sea?!?! And you have minimal contact with people? If that’s the punishment for exile, who do I kill? Please, I want to be exiled. Please exile me now.
Photo is mine from Positano, Italy, close to where my mother was born and raised, close to where my wife is from, close to where I was married, and it blends into the beautiful Mediterranean Sea, where I hope to be cremated when I die and my ashes thrown into water.
Whenever my father tries a new style wine, loaded with oak, vanilla, and ripe fruit, he shakes his head in disappointment and says, “This wine is not sincere. A wine should be sincere ! ” Maybe it’s because Charles Scicolone is Italian and Continue reading →
As I wrote in my world-changing website pizzaandcoffee.com
“No culture, people, or race takes food as seriously as Italians. 10 year old Italians can give you whole monologues on why a certain vegetable must be grown, cultivated, and prepared for the Continue reading →