I recently went to Bellavita, the largest Italian food and and wine fair in London.
I felt like I was at home with plenty of nice people to chat to and lots of good food and beverages.
There were so many stands that it would be impossible to feature them all in a blog post. However I was particularly attracted to one stand which displayed hazelnut products from the region of Piemonte which produces many high quality hazelnuts. Margherita Caffa of “Maison della Nocciola” showed me many of their typical products and one of them is Gianduia, a chocolate spread containing hazelnut paste which was invented in Turin. It is similar to Nutella but of a much better quality and incredibly addictive.
I also met miss Gaia from Comaro. We come from the same region. She lives just 30 minutes away from my own town in Italy and I recently bought some honey from her for my own consumption. It was nice meeting up again and sampling some of her new honeys.
You will always find limoncello at an Italian fair. This time I even found an organic one. What’s to say, like everything else there seems to be more and more choice with food.
I enjoyed Neapolitan baba which is a small cake saturated in limoncello.. my goodness I could feel the alcohol straight away…. soo good though!
The onion of Tropea in Calabria is available all over Italy these days. It is known as “The Red Queen” for its sweetness and delicacy.
And this is Nadalin a cake very similar to pandoro which comes from Verona the native city of Pandoro.
When I sank my teeth into this 11 years old Parmesan I thought: Wow this is unique! With an aftertaste of nutmeg, this robust and strong cheese will leave your palate clean and with a flavour that lingers long in your mouth.
And now the salami section: lots of slicing…and sampling going on.
As you can see a recipe for happiness is working with food!
Sundried tomatoes straight from Sicily. These were tomatoes of an intense and almost spicy flavour.
And more from Sicily: almond and pistachios pastries.
There was also lots of wine tasting going on and a sommelier course too.
I loved this lady, Silvia from NuoviPoderi. I had a long chat with her. She, along with her husband Marco, have their own little vineyard in Sardinia and her wines are robust and of a strong flavour.
I wish them good luck!