German Regional Food: Die Schweinshaxe is a Bavarian specialty food, it’s a roasted ham hock aka pork knuckle. Elsewhere in Germany, a variation is known as Eisbein, in which the meat is pickled & slightly boiled. Schweinshaxe is a typical former “Armeleuteessen” (poor people’s food), in which inexpensive cuts of meat were used and made delicious through special cooking methods. Such cuts usually require a long preparation. The meat is marinated for days, in the case of big cuts up to a week. The Schweinshaxe is then roasted at low temps for 2-3 hours. The Bavarian version is usually served with a savory brown sauce, red cabbage, and potato dumplings, or with sauerkraut and potatoes. You will feel like Fred Feuerstein eating this. ;D
Pulled Pork Sandwiches, coleslaw, cucumber salad, fresh BBQ sauce and fresh salsa. Took a 7 pound pork shoulder (bone in), rubbed with Memphis Blues BBQ rub made from their cookbook. Left in fridge 24h. Up at 6am to start the 8 hour smoke in the Smokey Mountain. Loaded with charcoal and applewood chunks. Smoked for 6 hours, then removed, wrapped in foil and finished for 2 more hours to preserve moisture. Shredded and ready, had a wonderful smokey flavour. Coleslaw and BBQ sauce and dressing made from their cookbook as well. Well worth picking up.
Fresh salsa was 10 tomatoes, fresh cilantro, garlic, a jalapeño, green onion, olive oil, salt and pepper. Cucumber salad was 3 cucumbers chopped and de seeded, chopped green olives, red chilies, fresh mint, lemon juice, olive oil, salt and pepper.
A fantastic summery meal in autumn. The guests were pleased and I was happy that everything except the chips for the salsa I prepared from scratch.
When it comes to cooking, pasta in its different shapes and forms is the adhesive that unifies Italy - but there are great regional differences. Only a few dishes are considered ‘national dishes’; each region has its own typical food, cooking methods, and recipes, as well as dialects. This is due to centuries of small city states before the country, at least on paper, fairly recently was “united”. The Unified Kingdom of Italy only happened in 1861. As a result, Italy is all about regional food. To experience the best of Italian cuisine, one should try typical dishes in their home region. There are some trends that allow the division of Italy into 3 general areas, coinciding with the approximate geographical division into North, Center, and South.
North: Gastronomic tradition here revolves around hearty food, hot soups, minestrone, vegetables like radicchio. The Northern tradition is based on dishes richer in fat, more of cold weather and mountain foods. Cheese, truffles, apples, polenta, risotto, mushrooms, speck, butter, game, gnocchi, and Germanic influences with buckwheat and potatoes. Example: Pizzoccheri, short tagliatelle made with 80% buckwheat flour and 20% wheat flour, cooked along with Swiss chard or Savoy cabbage and cubed potatoes, layered with cheese, and dressed with garlic and sage that are lightly fried in butter.
Center: The Center is renowned for being the area of heavy-bodied foods: Pecorini (cheeses from sheep’s milk), Scamorze (cow’s milk cheeses similar to Mozzarella), Insaccati (sausages), and Sottoli (pickles/preserves). Umbria is famous for truffles and mushrooms. Some special pastas here include: paste fresche, maccheroni, and spaghetti alla chitarra, often with sauces containing meat and game. The meat of choice in this area is pork.
South: Southern food is typical Mediterranean cuisine. A lot of fish; shellfish on pastas or pizzas. Pizza in Naples it’s relatively thick by Italian standards. Mozzarella and other dairy products are specialties here. A lot of herbs and spices are used, seasonings like basil, oregano, citrus, red pepper. tomato-based sauces. Mozzarella di Bufala Campana is the pride of the South. All cooking is done with olive oil while in the North, butter is often used.
University of Southern California Co-Eds wearing their “Senior Plugs” (top hats, usually as beaten up and weathered as possible, which were traditional senior class garb, while freshmen wore beanies and sophomores wore pork pies), 1902