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Savour the sweet life
Italy and India. What do we have in common, besides the hues of our tricolour flags? Perhaps our mutual passion for the sweet life, la dolce vita.
The Indo-Italian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (IICCI), a non-profit organisation recognised by the Italian government, launched the fourth edition of Festa Italiana (November 20 to December 1), which touched Mumbai, New Delhi, Kolkata, Chennai and Bangalore, offering a taste of the essential Italy.
The festival brochure says, "To be Italian. is to be committed to get the best out of yourself, whatever you are doing. Whatever it is in business or the arts, at social meetings, or designing something new, what matters is how you do it. Doing the best in the most beautiful way: that's the Italian way, that's to be really Italian."
To substantiate this claim, the festival in India spanned tourism seminars, film festivals, an art exhibition, and other events cued into Italian film, lighting, music, language. And even exhibition football matches pitting AC jeremy scott wings Milan's Team Beretti against local teams in Mumbai and Kolkata.
In Bangalore, from November 21-27, the focus was four-pronged. `Italy: one jewel, many facets,' was an intense tourism seminar at the Leela Palace Hotel. Through travel operators, it addressed relevant questions: Is an Italian culinary tour possible? How easily can senior citizens travel to this destination? And so on.
Trussardi, the stellar Italian fashion house since 1911, launched its boutique at the same venue with a flourish. With a classily choreographed 25-minute fashion show, which showcased its Spring-Summer 2006 collection. The design line in adidas wings jeremy scott India, to be made available at premium malls by 2006, is currently based on leather accessories, handbags, eyewear and perfumes. It will soon branch into the Trussardi prêt line, eyeing the well-heeled local globetrotters.
The core of the Bangalore festival cheap mulberry handbags was, possibly, the Italian Food and Wine Festa. The first recognisable face of the event was Chef Massimiliano Orlati (popularly, `Max') of the still young Fiorano restaurant at Koramangala. Gearing up for a 10 to 5 cookery demonstration, Orlati warms up with a quick espresso, while providing early birds with food for thought chocolate éclairs oozing crème patisserie, delicate lemon cheesecake, and more.
First bites behind us, we plunge into the kitchens of Ravenna, where Orlati mastered his art. What sets this cuisine apart from the better known Venetian or Neapolitan ones? Take the Mediterranean mulberry purses Prawn Salad that he shares. He picks a chunk of fresh tuna fillet, rolls it in a tray of freshly ground pepper, then dry fries it in a pan.
While it cooks, Orlati efficiently prepares tiger prawns for a fish stock, juliennes tomatoes, red cabbage and lettuce, then prepares a citrus vinaigrette with an jeremy scott wings orange, lime, olive oil and seasonings.
By the time Orlati serves us with the almost raw yet delectably marinaded tuna tataki and irresistible prawns to taste, we've picked up nuggets beyond the classy antipasti/ starter. That the Mediterranean is significantly drained of quality seafood, so Italy's main source is the sea north of Africa. That a Chinese knife, first cousin to a cleaver, is best for juliennes. That grapefruit can make for a superb vinaigrette.
As smoothly as swigging grappa, we turn our attention to a rustic shrimp soup from adidas jeremy scott the original seafood stock, its heartiness drawing on chickpea paste, chopped garlic and onion, with a drizzle of olive oil to round out its air jordans for sale flavour.
We're hungry for a main course. Wine glasses in hand, we wonder: what does Orlati who has worked in Mauritius, Tunisia, Jamaica, Brazil and London have up his impeccable sleeve? Oyster ravioli with tricolour bellpepper sauce.
As he cobbles together this unusual dish, he cues us into the secret life of oysters and ravioli. how to ease the flesh out of the shell by finding the crucial valve within. Or the significant comment: "Be careful because oysters already have seawater in them. You might over-salt them." Or a tongue-in-cheek son of the soil one-liner as he kneads the pasta dough, harking back to his family's trattoria in Emilia Romagna, "If the ravioli don't look all the same, they look homemade. That's what my father always said."
Since tasting is believing, we tentatively fork our ravioli. Only to discover them oozing the richness of Parmesan and ricotta cheeses, garlic and parsley, with the delicate oyster coddled within its creamy heart. A dish isabel marant sale to savour and savour again. Full-blown Italy on the plate, sidelining mere pizzas and Pasta Pomodoro out of the reckoning.
Not content with wooing jordan 11 our mulberry handbags uk taste buds while cooking, Orlati insists that we sample an array of authentic Ravenna antipasti over lunch. They include subtly stuffed fried queen olives, crisp sage leaves fried in beer batter, delicate mozzarella whirls revealing minced herbed tomatoes.
If Italian cuisine, a la Orlati, proves a winning combination, do its wines said to be second only to the French match up? Sip by sip, we find they do at a five-course sit down dinner at the Leela Palace, enhanced by Kiara Wines, the largest importer of Italian wines into India. Compered by Abhay Kewadkar, wine maker and vice-president of Grover Vineyard, invitees including Bangalore Wine Club members, art gallerists, restaurateurs, Italian expatriates found the evening sparkling more with jordans for sale each glass of vintage.
A Villa Antinori Toscana 2002 celine mini bag launched the high spirits. Through an eclectic menu spanning an mulberry outlet UK asparagus and leek parfait with tomato confit and crushed pink peppercorns, mille feuille of vegetable tartar with cream cheese, roasted red and yellow peppers, smoked root vegetables in wild mushroom consommé, orange passion fruit sorbet the chilled Tuscany white made the company sparkle.
The pick of the evening was a Dolcetto D'Alba 2003 that proved a soft, supple red from the Dolcetto grape, a perfect match for the spicy Penne Primavera served as the middle entrée. We learn that this wine is usually drunk young, within two years of bottling.
An equally isabel marant sneakers vivid Barbera D'Alba 2002 lit up the main course, an extraordinary Lamb Rack with Roasted Winter Vegetables and Saffron Cous Cous with Rosemary Jus, the rustic, acidic wine complimenting the red meat well.
Italy, we hear, does not buy nike air max have a major reputation for its dessert wines. But the Pater Sangiovese Toscana 2003 served with the cheeses, walnuts and black grapes enhanced their basic flavours. Equally, it merited attention with the exquisite Chocolate Truffles Sorbet, Orange Reduction and Chocolate Sauce.
It is easy to agree with the Kiara Wine Club newsletter, which spells out the experience, "To better understand wine is jeremy scott wings 2.0 to better understand ourselves and others. And yet, we needn't go beyond the glass itself. This is the joy of wine; it can be sensual or cerebral, or both. It is our pleasure to decide."
Beyond fashion and tourism, the mainstay of the Italian economy, Festa Italiana won us over completely. By teaching us to differentiate between kaju katli and tiramisu, soma and Refosco. If that isn't la dolce vita, what is?
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