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!).