December 5, 2006

Bright & shining

Wait until dark, then light a candle inside Ravenna's Basilica of San Vitale: you'll be dazzled, awe-struck. Byzantine architecture dating from the middle of the 6th century, its brilliant mosaics--including 25,000 pieces made with gold--virtually intact.

San_Vitale_Ravenna.jpg San Vitale altar cupola.JPG

Then go for dinner. You might be served an appetizer of sformatino di squacquerone, bright-tasting and fresh from the oven, accompanied by a delightful, frizzante (slightly effervescent) Malvasia. Two equally satisfying aspects of Ravenna: serious art, traditional food.

Mosaic at San Vitale.JPG Sformatino di Squacquerone.JPG

Posted by Ronald Holden at December 5, 2006 4:15 PM

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Um, yes, you're right. I didn't explain what Squacquerone is. A formaggio from cow's milk, though unlike the great Parmigiano-Reggiano it is not aged at all. More about the cheese itself here: Am uncertain how they gussied it up, no doubt beating in an egg or two, before molding it into that cute little shape, popping into the oven to let it puff up a bit, topping with porcini and showering with sprouts. Quite tasty!

Posted by: Ronald at December 6, 2006 11:12 AM


You used some words without explaining what they mean. For example: "You might be served an appetizer of 'sformatino di squacquerone', bright-tasting and fresh from the oven...." The most I can make from that is that it is a little ("..tino") something with butter, flour, milk, Parmesan cheese, eggs and breadcrumbs thrown together in a mold "Scquacqueratamente. adv. without moderation, heedlessly." It is hard (for me) to determine just what was in the mold. Clarification? Another subject: when are you going to put all your travel and culinary adventures and photos in a book?

Posted by: Dave L. at December 6, 2006 9:49 AM

It must be breathtaking to see that artwork and taste the delicious food in Italy. Do you even want to come back to Seattle?

Posted by: Trisha Nerney at December 6, 2006 7:16 AM