Peaches, Summer Wines & Italy Travels
Ciao amici!
It's peach season again - and as you know, a favorite "season" of ours. We've always loved peaches and have fond childhood memories of picking peaches in Virginia's Shenandoah Valley. We'd get baskets of beautiful, ripe peaches and return home to help Mom can them. Mostly, we remember eating them fresh off the trees! This month Gina shares the recipe for peach gelato. We also have Vermentino wine as a feature - it goes great with peaches too!

We thoroughly enjoyed our food and wine groups in Piedmont and in Tuscany at the Palio of Siena last month. Always great groups of people who loved the experience we offered - learning and experiencing the real Italy. Our culinary tours are a fun time - we bring together like-minded people who are gathered in a love for the excellent wines and foods and are eager to learn about each region we visit! We've had 2 spots open up for our Tuscany Culinary Tour THIS October 12-19, 2019! If you're interested, please contact Mary for the details and to register.

Buon appetito!
Gina and Mary

Fresh Aromatic Vermentino wines from the Italian coast
 
There are so many varieties of white grapes grown in Italy and we love introducing our guests to them through our culinary tours or at the Louisville restaurant. Everyone knows chardonnay and sauvignon blanc, those international grape varietals that are so prevalent in the US, but not everyone is familiar with the excellent Italian whites from cortese, arneis, grecchetto, grillo or vernaccia grapes. This past June in Tuscany, our favorite white wine was made from 100% vermentino grapes.
 
Vermentino is grown all along the western coast of Italy, from the Italian riviera in Liguria, where it's the most widely planted grape variety, down along the Tuscan coast. One of vermentino's best expressions is in the denomination Vermentino di Gallura DOCG on the island of Sardinia. Any number of wines from 100% vermentino are made all along the Tuscan and Ligurian coast so look for "vermentino" on the label.
 
Vermentino wines have hints of aromatic herbs like fennel, sage and thyme, as well as fruity notes of pear and green apple. The finish tells of the proximity to the Mediterranean Sea with hints of salty minerals. It's delicious to quaff on a hot summer evening and pairs well with fish and seafood. Look for Italian vermentino at your local wine shop, you won't be disappointed, and you'll have another lovely white summer wine to turn to when temperatures flare!
Peach Season - la stagione della pesca
Peaches are one of our favorite summertime treats and you find many varieties in Italy beginning in mid-June. The white peaches are said to be sweeter than the yellow ones, but the yellow varieties are delicious and sweet too - you be the judge! Peaches are packed with nutrients - rich in many vitamins, minerals and beneficial plant compounds. They are the perfect light summer dessert and can be prepared and enjoyed in a variety of ways.  
 
Here are some peachy ideas: fresh cut peaches over a lavender panna cotta; grilled peach halves and serve with vanilla gelato; marinated in Vermentino wine and serve with a glass of Vermentino, of course into cobblers, pies and tarts too. Our fave is Gina's peach cake and it never disappoints. For something light and refreshing - here is the recipe for the peach gelato Gina is serving this week at her restaurant. 
Peach Gelato
Contrary to what you might have heard or read, what sets gelato apart from ice cream is the sugar content. An increase in sugars keeps ice crystals small, makes it creamy and prevents it from freezing hard.  But too much sucrose would make it overly sweet. So adding dextrose, an inverse sugar, increases the sugar but not the sweetness.   
 
3 cups peaches 
Juice from half lemon 
3-4 cups cream 
1 1/4 cup sugar 
1/3 cup corn syrup 
 
Purée the peaches w lemon juice, mix all ingredients together, dissolving the sugar.  Put mixture in fridge until very cold and churn in an ice cream maker.  
This Month's Italian saying...
" È buono come il pane."

This literal translation is:  " He's as good as bread!" 
We would say a person is "as good as gold", and is someone you can count on.
Our Culinary Tours to Italy - 2019 & 2020
As mentioned above, 2 spots have opened up for this fall's Tuscany Food and Wine tour. October 12-19, 2019. Email or call Mary if you can make it with us this year!dates are full, but it's not too early to plan for next year!  mary@eccolacucina.com or call: 972-342-8308.  
 
2020:
Piedmont:  May 27 - June 3, 2020
Tuscany: June 6-13, 2020; October 17-24, and October 24-31, 2020
Puglia: October 7-14, 2020
If you have a group of 8, we'll organize a tour to Campania - Naples, Sorrento & Amalfi Coast!    
Gina Stipo and Mary Stipo Potter | Ecco La Cucina| 1-972-342-8308| Email | Website
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