Do Bianchi becomes VITELLO-TONNATO-WIRE!

Above: The best vitello tonnato of 2010 was prepared for Tracie P and me by our friend Giovanna Rizzolio of Cascina delle Rose in Tre Stelle (between Neive and Barbaresco). I’ve eaten a helluvalotta vitello tonnato over the last two months, with TWO (yes, TWO! COUNT ‘EM!) trips to Piedmont in as many months.

I love vitello tonnato. I could eat vitello tonnato every day. I’m not kidding. In fact, while I was in Piedmont with the Barbera 7, I literally ate vitello tonnato four times in four consecutive seatings, over three days. That’s 1.33333 servings of vitello tonnato per day.

Above: Getting to have dinner in someone’s home in Piedmont was a real treat for me. I’ve traveled to Piedmont so many times for wine but you always end up in Michelin-star this or Michelin-star that… Always great but nothing beats exceptional homecooking like Giovanna’s. Supper began with traditional Piedmont salame.

I am fascinated by vitello tonnato — culinarily and intellectually. And, gauging from all the comments here and on Facebook in the wake of the recent vitello tonnato pornography, you’re fascinated by vitello tonnato as well.

Above: And no Piedmontese meal is complete (lunch or dinner) without raw beef, in this case, homestyle.

That’s why I’ve decided to give up all the petty politics and ego-driven parochial bullshit of wine blogging to devote my blog exclusively to vitello tonnato and its epistemological implications. Veal with tuna and anchovies and capers. The basic ingredients alone and their highly unusual but thoroughly delicious combination will occupy volumes and volumes… The dissertation I delivered in 1997 was about Petrarch and Bembo, apostrophes (no shit!) and dipthongs (no double shit!) and episynaloepha (no triple shit! look that one up, Thor!). But this, ladies and gents, I assure you, will be a mother of all dissertations.

Above: But the true pièce de résistance of Giovanna’s superb repertoire was this sformato di spinaci, a spinach casserole topped with a fondue of Fontina and Parmigiano-Reggiano. I couldn’t resist a second helping. Simona, you would have LOVED this.

Seriously, back from Mars now, I don’t have time to blog today because I’m on my way to San Antonio to make a living. It won’t be long before I pick up the narration of our February trip to Piedmont again — the meals, the wines, the tastings, and most importantly the people. Giovanna runs a wonderful bed and breakfast in Barbaresco country and her wines are killer.

And all joking aside, I have a great deal to say about vitello tonnato (no kidding!).

Stay tuned…

19 thoughts on “Do Bianchi becomes VITELLO-TONNATO-WIRE!

  1. Is episynaloepha here to refer to the melding of the disparate ingredients, or are we just supposed to wonder how you got an entire dissertation on punctuation approved? ;-)

    (I shouldn’t make fun. My friend Lou wrote a thesis entitled — wait for it — “Lou’s Thesis.” And he did not win the prize for best thesis title of the year.)

  2. Having vitello tonnato with every meal is much more fun and much easier to handle than having foie gras twice a day for almost a week, as it happened to me in France on several occasions. This is one of the many reasons why I am heading back to Piemonte in a couple of weeks!

  3. When are you going to post about your visit to the Las Flores Squirrels B+B and the wine tasting we took you to before you got married. If you keep this up, not only will you be banned from future Italian wine blog events with famous Italian wine bloggers and journalists, but you will be banned in San Diego too, mon frere.

    Chop, chop ;p

  4. Andrzej, on one of my many trips to Alsace, I decided to find out how many meals in a row I could eat foie gras. Or, more specifically, pâté de foie gras, which is actually my favorite way to have it.

    It turns out that the answer is five. Followed by about six months of being unable to look at any sort of foie gras without a little internal lurch. ;-)

  5. I am the “master of the house,” and yet I find I cannot tell this story. Help me out, here. Were they introduced by Mr. Mustard in the conservatory with a candlestick?

  6. @Thor episynaloepha is a wonderful metrical form, whereby the final vowels of a line form one syllable with the initial vowels of the next… it’s very difficult to employ but think of Dylan’s “Simple Twist of Freight”… It’s more common in neoclassical Italian poetry than medieval, to be honest.

    @Veronique I was hawking some wine! :-)

    @Andrzej and Jury vitello tonnato is the shiznit. ;-)

    @Adrian you coming to SD on Sunday?

  7. …thank you Jeremy, I’m not a so great cook! someone (uncle Franco) asked me to have a nice “family dinner” for Tracy and you… he was really your fantastic guide here in Langa, opening you many doors like a present for your honey moon.
    It was a nice, happy evening all together!

  8. @Giovanna so glad to see you here! :-)

    This post was really about vitello tonnato. I have a wonderful post about the “deaf river” coming up and I’m so glad that I got to meet you and taste your wines. Thanks again for everything… stay tuned for my post on the “lady of the deaf river”… ;-)

  9. @Jeremy, are you really going to ask Andrzej and Jury to try to find “shiznit” in their *-English dictionaries? ;-)

    And Luca Zaia posts here? I’d never have guessed. Doesn’t he have better things to do? :-P

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