Tuesday, June 5, 2012

The Best Meal I Ever Ate (Eats in Italy: Part 2)

 The majority of day three in Tuscany was spent in a family vineyard eating the most ridiculously delicious meal I've ever had in my life.  The meal started with champagne and parmesan cheese.  The owner of the vineyard, where they make their own champagne, opened the first bottle with a sword.  So the meal literally started with a bang.  The name of their champagne is Bella Bolle, which means Beautiful Bubble in Italian.  And the champagne was beautifully delicious.  Then an enormous wedge of parmesan cheese was brought out and cut into chunks.  So we sipped champagne, nibbled on the cheese, and enjoyed the amazing view of the beautiful Tuscan vineyard.  And that was just the beginning.

The meal was served family style and our group of sixteen sat at two large tables.  The wine flowed and the food never stopped coming.  First several types of antipasti were passed around the table.  I of course, sampled all the vegetarian options which was almost all of the antipasti.  Pictured are a slice of typical Tuscan bread, two crostini (one with mushroom spread, the other with a spicy tomato spread), grilled marinated eggplant, and an artichoke tart.  The mushroom crostini and artichoke tart tied for my favorite antipasti.  It was all delicious.

Wild boar are a huge problem in Tuscany, as they love feasting on grape plants.  So they are widely hunted in the region.  Because of this, wild boar was a large part of the meal and everyone was served wild boar lasagna.  Everyone except me.  And boy was everyone else missing out, because the spring vegetable lasagna, filled with asparagus and zucchini, was incredible.  It was a little salty for my palate, but it was so good that I really didn't care.  At this point in the trip I began pacing myself at meals, because I realized I would be served crazy amounts of food, but I ate every last bite of that lasagna.  Every.  Last.  Bite.

After the lasagna, but before dessert, everyone else was served stewed and sliced wild boar, while I was served eggplant marinara.  It was good, but I only managed a few bites as I was stuffed from the lasagna, and I also knew dessert would be on it's away.  And this dessert...oh my god...The highlight of the meal, and until two days later when I finally had tiramisu, it was the best dessert I had ever eaten.  Ever.  It was a pear cake served with pastry cream and macerated strawberries.  Everything about it was perfect.  I requested the recipe and am excited to recreate it at home.  


  1. wow, yes that looks like one incredible dinner! and that pear cake --- my oh my! thanks for sharing!

  2. MmMmMmMmMmMmMmMmmmmmmmmmmmm artichoke tart?!