Italy, day 17

And day 17, was easter. Which meant: #matteo day. We were invited for dinner (or was it lunch? cause, it started around 13.00. Then again, it finished around 23.00? hmm). I was a little excited, cause i didn’t really know anyone. of course I had met Hande and two other guests during the tasting two days before, but still. Expectations were high, I had been told so much about this by my girl, how nice the people were and the food and that last time she was there two years ago, she had been there for 12 hours.

When we arrived, the glasses and prosecco bubbles (franciacorte, one of the wines from the tasting that I really liked) already awaited us, so did some fresh peas (lovely), salami and cheese. A nice and relaxed start of a very long lunch, dinner, whatever. The people were kind, I felt very welcome and everything went on in a very uncomplicated atmosphere of talking, eating, drinking, laughing, more talking etc. My girl had been right: a great way to spend easter. After the snacks and aperitivo we moved inside and got antipasti: puntarelle, a typical roman dish, as I was told. We ate it as a salad, with a dressing of anchovies, vinegar and oil. Its tastes a little bitter, and very fresh. Good dish. Unfortunately it is very hard to get in northern europe, pity…

This dish was followed by a pasta with red chicorei, also a little bitter taste, and it occured to me that my taste has been developing over the last two years or so. It wasn’t that long ago that I really didn’t like these bitter tastes, but now, I enjoy them, and I think it is a very nice combination to any meal that probably has sweet, and salty notes anyway.

After the pasta, we had a longer break, cause Matteo, the baby goat, had to stay in the oven a little longer. He was in there ever since 8 in the morning and not allowed to leave it until at least 16.00. I think in the end, he was in the oven for over 10 hours, cause we waited for a friend of Hande and Theo to join for the main dish. The baby goat (a whole goat, without it’s head, that is) was put in the oven with herbs (rosemarin, sage I think) and garlic and oil. This was served with some kind of vegetable, I forgot to ask its name, it was a bit like endive, but milder, with olives, pine nuts and raisins. And the of course roasted potatoes. Lucky us, again, such a nice meal. The goat tasted completely different from what I expected. I thought it would be more like lamb, but it remembered most of organic chicken or maybe rabbit (but much less dry), it was still very juicy, and had a very fine taste, lightly herby, but not too much. yummie.

Now, the only thing left was desert, which was zabagione like, with fresh strawberries (hmmm can’t wait for them to be in season here!), and cream.

Oh, and I completely forgot the wine. hmm, well, no wonder, i guess, cause, I counted afterwards, and I think we drank at least 13 different wines. Start was Prosecco, then two white wines (of which I only remember that the second one was absolutely great, and the first one was called difficult by Hande.). Then an experiment with two white wines, which were the same apart from the fact that one had and one did not have undergone the maleolactic fermentation. We had to guess on the basis of colour, smell and taste, which one was which. We all had it right, the smell was completely different, both were nice, but the first one, without the maleolactic fermentation most of us preferred, fresher, lighter, a somewhat cleaner taste. This was followed by two red wines, of which i remember that they were: great, and they had crown caps. (i have to get a system to remember those wines, i can remember the food and how it was done, but not the wines…such a pity really!). And after those two reds I think at least 4 more different reds followed, as well as two desert (austrian or german?) desert wines. No wonder that I do not remember the exact names of the wines anymore. Only thing I remember is that i liked most of them a lot.

What a nice afternoon, and evening it’s been. Such pleasant company, nice conversation. Great. Thanks Hande and Theo for the hospitality!

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