In the mid-1980s, I was sitting at the counter of the newly-opened Jackson Filmore Trattoria in San Francisco. I had finished a dinner that included gnocchi “come nuvole” (like clouds) as the Jack, the chef/owner, liked to say, when the subject of a dolce came up. “Have the zabaione,” Jack said. “Trust me.”
My seat at the counter was only a few yards from the kitchen stove. I watched as the pastry chef whipped up egg yokes in a deep round copper bowl, adding only Masala wine and sugar, and heating the mixture slowly as he whisked. Copper … Read More
INVISIBLE WOMEN, a documentary based on the book Invisible Women: Forgotten Artists of Florence, written by American Jane Fortune (The Florentine Press, 2009) won an Emmy award on June 1, 2013, as the Best Documentary in the Cultural/Historical Program category by the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences. The documentary, produced by WFYI Productions of Indianapolis, was recently aired on American public television (PBS).
“Winning the Emmy is a new boost to my project, which aims to restore and exhibit artworks by women in Florence,’ said Jane Fortune, art collector, philanthropist, as well as Founder and Chair … Read More
Not only is 2011 the 150th Anniversary of the Unification of Italy – it is also the 150th birthday of the Garibaldi Biscuit.
Giuseppe Garibaldi probably never ate a Garibaldi Biscuit (although there is one dubious story about dry bread smeared with a mixture of berries and horse blood consumed by his starving troops as they conquered the Kingdom of Two Sicilies to unify Italy).
It was after Garibaldi won worldwide fame as a military strategist that an understated British biscuit (redundant, I know) was given his name. This dry, barely sweet Victorian relic was wildly popular in 1861 … Read More
Giuseppe Garibaldi resigned his commission of leader of the army of Unification (I Mille) on September 18, 1860 and retired to his home on the island of Caprera off the coast of Sardinia. He was 53 years old and recovering from a battle wound.
In 1861, at the outbreak of the American Civil War, Garibaldi was approached by a representative of the United States Government, reportedly on behalf of President Abraham Lincoln. The Union Army was in disarray and Lincoln was unhappy with those in command. He needed a proven military leader.
As Herbert Mitgang wrote in his … Read More
Italy will spend 2011 celebrating the 150th anniversary of its unification – known as the Risorgimento (Resurgence). From a land of city-states, many under foreign domination, Italy became a country in 1861.
Most historians agree that the unification of Italy started in 1815 with the end of Napoleonic rule, but it took a tortuous path through the insurrections of the 1820s and 1830s and the abortive revolutions of 1848-1849. The War of 1859 created the Kingdom of Sardinia that encompassed most of northwestern and central Italy, including Tuscany. But the move to unify the peninsula stalled there. The rich north … Read More