We kicked off the day bright and early with an 8h00 tour of the Campo with professional chef and American ex-pat, Bill Guion, who took us on his “best of the Campo” tour, including a butcher, a fish market, a creamerie, a bakery, and a norcineria (pork butcher who specifically sources meat from Norcia, a small town in Umbria known for its pork and butchers). We learned how to ask about different cuts of meat in Italian, how involved the EU is in the import/export and general production/sale of food products (did you know corn tortillas are effectively contraband and cannot be imported because the EU has a ban on GMO foods, namely the corn from which these tortillas are made?) and where is the best place to find what.
We took a short break and reconvened for another field day at 9h00, walking to Piazza Venezia and taking a bus to Santa Costanza and Sant’Agnese fuori le mura (Saint Agnes outside the walls). Sta. Costanza, originally built in the mid-4th century for either Emperor Constantine or his daughter, Constantina, contains original mosaics of vintage scenes (think vintner not Sally Jessy Raphael). Scholars are still debating whether or not this building was originally built for Constantine (or his family) as a Christian structure, or if it was initially a Bacchic temple before being converted into a Christian mausoleum.
After class, we returned to the apartment and finished cleaning up in anticipation of tonight’s group dinner. Chef Bill, Profs. Lingo and all 22 students will be packed into our apartment tonight to learn how to cook a Roman meal.
Antipasti – Local cheeses, mixed olives and Norcia salame with ciabatta bread (“None for me, thanks!” was my line for the antipasti) as well as fresh Fava beans and Pecorino Romano (local sheep’s milk cheese)
Insalata – Sliced Fennel and Blood Orange Salad
Primo – Penne all’Arrabbiata (“Angry Penne” because it’s so spicy! – and Bill was nice enough to bring a separate bag of GF pasta just for me, which was totally unexpected and truly above and beyond – what an amazing guy!)
Secondo – Pork Tenderloin Braised with Balsamic Vinegar, Red Onions and Fresh Rosemary
Dolce – Panna Cotta con Caffe (Coffee flavored Panna Cotta)
Bibite – 22 bottles for 22 people. Wait, what?
Fennel and Blood Orange Salad