Now is the time to enhance your garden with edible flowers
Cari amici!
How's everyone doing out there? We hope that all of you are well, staying healthy and hanging in there. We are sad about canceling our trips to Italy this spring, but " tornaremo in Italia !" We will return to Italy !!

This month we focus on the variety of flowers we find in Italy that are beautiful as well as edible. During the spring Italy bursts with color from roses and perennial herbs in the gardens, wild and cultivated mustard in the vineyards, red poppies in the field and black locust lining the roadways. May is the perfect time to plant flowers in your own gardens that you can bring inside to enjoy at table.

We heard from friends in Montalcino regarding the excellent 2015 Brunello just released. This is an amazing opportunity to buy some great Brunello at a great price, more below on that!

While this year it is doubtful we will return to Italy for our tours, we'll be adding several more for 2021. We hope you'll join us! Check out our website often for dates and details.

Stay safe and stay healthy!

Buon appetito!
Gina and Mary
Roses in bloom
Blooming Thyme
Insalata con erba cipollina (chives)
Insalata con Fiori
Bruschetta con formaggio e fiori
Edible Flowers
Edible flowers are both beautiful and functional. So many flowers are edible, from nasturtiums, pansies, and violets, to perennial herbs like rosemary, sage and chive. The effort you make to plant and cultivate them will reward you both in the garden and on the plate.

The burst of color from edible flowers to garnish a dish is common, especially in the Italian alpine regions of Friuli and Alto Adige. The pop of color you get from violets or nasturtiums sprinkled in a salad or served on a cheese board is a joyful alpine expression! A little further south, acacia and elder flowers are a springtime treat in the regions of Veneto and Lombardia. The acacia (aka black locust) trees are in bloom now in Italy and the US and line the roadways with their full white boughs. And everyone who has been to Italy knows that fried zucchini flowers are a summer staple. Plant zucchini now for flowers all summer long.

We have really been enjoying the chive flowers this spring, sprinkled on soup or in salads. The slight oniony bite gives an unexpected lift to so many dishes. Plant chives now and you will have flowers next spring.  Rosemary flowers are delicious sprinkled on sautéed mushrooms that top a grilled steak. Sage flowers are wonderful fried and served as aperitivo with a cold glass of prosecco or white wine.

Be sure to only eat flowers that have not been treated with chemicals though. Buon Appetito!
Black Locust blooms
Pastella per friggere (Ba tter for frying)
This is a simple tempura-like batter and wonderful for dipping zucchini flowers, sage leaves, acacia flowers, cauliflower, mushrooms, even shrimp and seafoods.
You don't measure the ingredients as you make however much you think you will need.

white wine (or beer for seafood is nice)
oil for frying

Put enough flour in a bowl to make the appropriate amount of batter for what you intend to fry.
Add salt, one teaspoon for 2 cups of flour, and with a whisk begin adding the wine slowly, whisking and pouring simultaneously and constantly, until the mixture is the consistency of a thin pancake batter. Allow to sit for a few minutes before using, whisk again and dip each piece in the batter before frying in hot oil. We like to use peanut oil and sunflower oil.
Zucchini blossoms
Frying the Black Locust blooms
Black Locust blossoms
 This Month's Italian saying... 

" Reaprire!"

Let's reopen!
Heard and seen throughout Italy now is another popular hashtag - #reaprire - being used on social media and all over Italy, Let's reopen! This is typically followed by "piano piano" or slowly, slowly. Makes sense, people are ready to get on with their lives!
Wine News - Great deals on 2015 Brunello di Montalcino
We’ve heard from our friends at Enoteca Pierangiolini in Montalcino, our favorite little Tuscan wine shop. They expressed their concerns for a very slow 2020, with no tourists visiting and wine sales plummeting. How sad that this is happening when the newly released 2015 vintage of Brunello di Montalcino is one of the best vintages in years! 

Gina had the opportunity to taste a number of the 2015 Brunello’s at the release this past January in New York City and can attest to their excellence! “Every brunello I tasted was delicious! Some needed a little more time to age, but many of them were excellent right now!” Her favorites were Uccelliera, Mocali, Ciacci Piccolomeni, Pian delle Quercia, Franco Pacenti and Paradiso di Frassina. 

And as always, Pierangiolini does NOT charge shipping for full cases (6,12, 24, etc) and they have great prices on their wines! click here to go to their website Or send an email: Stefania's email

Wonderful gift for Father's Day!!
Gina Stipo and Mary Stipo Potter | Ecco La Cucina | 1-972-342-8308| Email | Website