Food Porn in Rogliano, Calabria

January – December, 2018

Food porn in Rogliano is a culmination of the wonderful times spent in southern Italy’s Calabria region, to indulge in amazingly edible creations!

I’m dedicating this post to my good friend Maria from Le Manche – a couple of kilometres from Rogliano – for continually creating such incredible works of art that sometimes, are just too artistic to eat!

To say that Italians are passionate about food is an understatement. And, this year this passion takes me to Rogliano countless times, on food quests.
Rogliano, Calabria, Italy

Where is Rogliano?

As Rogliano isn’t really on the tourist milk-run, then this map gives you a good indication of where in Italy this sleepy village is, should you want to visit.

I’ve published another post on Rogliano, which helps with travel information and tips, but only touches on food.

Food background

I need to give you some background on why Maria creates such works of art.

Running a high-end catering business in London for 25 years, food is not only about tasting amazing, but also about an excellent presentation, which makes a dish so much more appealing – I’m learning loads from my naturally gifted, personal Master Chef.

Food garden

Most Italians but especially in southern Italy that have some sort of backyard, will definitely grow their own basics. It’s not uncommon to see various types of tomatoes, olives, fresh herbs, cucumbers, zucchini (courgette), citrus fruits, apples, but to name just a few, in backyards – Maria is no different.

I believe that the food prepared at Casa Maria tastes so luscious is because everything is picked fresh from the garden moments before going into a pot.

Food, Le Manche, Rogliano, Calabria, Italy, Europe
Photo credit: Keith Jewitt

The flavour in locally grown fruits and vegetables is indescribably tasty. Even the plain old potato is taken to another divine level, when only steamed or boiled.

vegetables, Le Manche, Rogliano, Calabria, Italy, Europe
Photo credit: Maria Russo-Jewitt

Perhaps it’s the soil, the lack of pesticides, how lovingly everything is planted, the fact that everything is seasonal, or it’s just the region in southern Italy…

garden, Le Manche, Rogliano, Calabria, Italy, Europe
Photo credit: Maria Russo-Jewitt

…I’m not sure, but it’s similar to when I was a child growing up in Australia and my father was a farmer, but also hailed from Calabria.

We used to pick fresh fruit and vegetables straight from the farm, and gorge ourselves until so full that laying under a tree was our only recovery.

Now for some food porn…

Although in Australia, I never cooked with zucchini flowers, here in southern Italy, this fresh ingredient is found in many recipes, of which one of my very favourites is zucchini fritters – simply delicious.

Food, Le Manche, Rogliano, Calabria, Italy, Europe

My first attempt at making these for a dinner party in Cosenza was a disaster and a gluggy mess. Luckily, I made a back-up starter so my friends didn’t starve. 

These are Maria’s zucchini fritters and are lusciously perfect each time…

Food, Le Manche, Rogliano, Calabria, Italy, Europe

Passion fruit flower adorns this moist cake, which is also drizzled with a splattering of fresh passion fruit pulp, and topped with home-grown red currants and citrus peel.

Food, Le Manche, Rogliano, Calabria, Italy, Europe

Even breakfast is special…

Food, Le Manche, Rogliano, Calabria, Italy, Europe

…but regardless of the meal, everything is a work of art – see what I mean?

Food, Le Manche, Rogliano, Calabria, Italy, Europe

I’m happy to be the taste tester for any of Maria’s recipes, especially whilst Keith (hubby) insists on keeping my glass topped up!

St. Valentine’s Day

On this lover’s day, a visit to Rogliano sees us eating again at Casa Maria with friends, music, and wine.

The theme is of course, Valentine’s Day.  And, the table is adorned with fresh miniature roses for the ladies and cute Ti Amo (I love you) napkins.

Heart-shaped beets with individual quiche on a bed of fresh Rucola, and decorated with petite roses from the garden, sets the Antipasto scene.

Food, Le Manche, Rogliano, Calabria, Italy, Europe

Fresh hand-made ravioli stuffed with pork and spices in a porcini (mushroom), artichoke, and pork sauce, for Primi.

Food, Le Manche, Rogliano, Calabria, Italy, Europe

A medley of succulent seafood morsels with home-made Horseradish and refreshing mushy peas, for Secondi.

Food, Le Manche, Rogliano, Calabria, Italy, Europe

To top off another creative meal is a Floating Island in brandy custard, accompanied with roasted almond slivers and a topping of crunchy caramelised strands.

Food, Le Manche, Rogliano, Calabria, Italy, Europe

A break from feasting as snow starts to fall and creates a white wonderland.

Le Manche, Rogliano, Calabria, Italy, Europe

Food glorious food…

Just a selection of photos from yummy meals at Casa Maria and by no means all of the meals consumed here this year!

Food, Le Manche, Rogliano, Calabria, Italy, Europe

Roasted herbed potatoes with cauliflower mousse, flamed-seared baby carrot, and tender lime chicken.

Food, Le Manche, Rogliano, Calabria, Italy, Europe

Sublimely rich chocolate fondant with chocolate coulis. When cut, the centre slowly seeps melting chocolate lava.

Food, Le Manche, Rogliano, Calabria, Italy, Europe

Delectable fish mousse garnished with crispy bacon shreds.

Food, Le Manche, Rogliano, Calabria, Italy, Europe

Swiss Raclette sitting with individual trays to cook our own selection of meats and vegetables to our liking, whilst outside and of course, with wine.

Food, Le Manche, Rogliano, Calabria, Italy, Europe

Divinely rich dark chocolate and almond torte accompanied with amaretto cream, fresh raspberries and strawberries, and passionfruit coulis…

Food, Le Manche, Rogliano, Calabria, Italy, Europe

…and I’m wondering why I’m putting on so much weight here – trust me when I say, it really is food porn in Italy!

Pizza parties

Something I’ve also learnt in Italy is that if there’s room in the backyard, then usually a pizza oven is built in somewhere close to the house, and Casa Maria is no exception.

Le Manche, Rogliano, Calabria, Italy, Europe
Photo credit: Keith Jewitt

Attending two pizza birthday parties so far, both times Eugenio the Pizzaiolo (pizza master), made deliciously amazing thin-crust pizzas – 80 to be exact one night.

Eugenio worked like a beast but also ate, of course!

Check out this serious pizza oven and the master at work in my short video. Maria is asking Eugenio if her homemade tomato passata is good, whilst others helping, like to contribute to the pizza making and my video attempt.

Family visits

Maria’s daughter Loredana, is also a brilliant cook – must be in the DNA. Everything is homemade from scratch of course.

This feast includes fresh wild boar pâté with homemade chutney, pickled accompaniments, and crusty wholegrain toast for Antipasto.

Food, Le Manche, Rogliano, Calabria, Italy, Europe

Seared salmon with a medley of gently stripped vegetables, for Secondi.

Food, Le Manche, Rogliano, Calabria, Italy, Europe

Short cake with whiskey cream, fresh red currants, and a red currant coulis, for dessert.

Food, Le Manche, Rogliano, Calabria, Italy, Europe

A better close-up shot…

Food, Le Manche, Rogliano, Calabria, Italy, Europe

On one other occasion, Loredana treated us to an Indian curry meal, which I have to say is the best curry that I’ve tried so far…

Any excuse to eat

After consuming many pizzas during this birthday party for the 2nd generation of great cooks, it’s on to traditional Calabrese cakes.

Le Manche, Rogliano, Calabria, Italy, Europe

Delightful moist torte following another excellent pizza birthday party for the 3rd generation of great cooks!

Le Manche, Rogliano, Calabria, Italy, Europe

Ladies lunch

With a kind invitation to a luncheon in Le Manche, it’s off to Rogliano I go…

The table is beautifully set with sprigs of fresh flowers and a bottle of local red.

Le Manche, Rogliano, Calabria, Italy, Europe

But first, chilled Prosecco with fresh floating pomegranate arils, awaits.

Food Porn in Rogliano, Calabria

Smoked salmon drizzled with a citrus vinaigrette on a bed of assorted leafy greens, for Antipasto.

Food, Le Manche, Rogliano, Calabria, Italy, Europe

So busy enjoying my A La Carte feast that I forgot to take a photo of the Secondi, sorry.

Individual meringues with lemon curd, crushed toasted almonds, fresh passion fruit pulp, and Cointreau cream for dessert.

Food, Le Manche, Rogliano, Calabria, Italy, Europe

As always Maria is a wonderful host and dedicates so much time and passion to scrumptious creations in her kitchen.

Le Manche, Rogliano, Calabria, Italy, Europe
Photo credit: Giusi Tosti

Food festivals

There always seems to be a festival on that either relates to food or involves food. Whether the celebration honours the humble olive, wine, chestnut, bread, chocolate, potato, or other food – it’s any excuse for a festival and why not? This is Italy after all: The Land of Food.

Only taking in the Festa del Pane (bread) festival on a visit to Rogliano, this is enough to set eyes on a massive 4-kilogram artisanal, traditionally wood-fire oven baked bread – a creation of the famous Panificio Cuti on via E. Altomare 6, in Rogliano.

Bread fest, Rogliano, Calabria, Italy, Europe

Breads from 2 to 4 kilograms are on sale – crusty on the outside and heavenly soft on the inside.

Bread fest, Rogliano, Calabria, Italy, Europe

Last year I also popped over to the Chestnut Festival in Carpanzano – a small village only a stone’s throw from Rogliano. Most cities, towns, and villages revel in festivals throughout the year.

In Cosenza, many food festivals are held each year and I’ve published several posts, which you may wish to read: Food and Frivolity around CosenzaFood and Frivolity around Cosenza, Calabria Part:2, Food and Frivolity around Cosenza, Part: 3, and the Chocolate Festival.

What I’ve learnt about food?

Southern Italians are amazing cooks!

Food is an intrinsic part of Calabrese life and somewhat a mantra. Lunch is never a fleeting moment in time, but usually lasts a few hours, especially on a Sunday.

Everyone in Calabria seems to be an excellent cook. I’m apprehensive about cooking pasta for a local, as it really is a passion here with hundreds of recipes.

On the many occasions that I visit Casa Maria or relatives in Calabria, the pasta is made from scratch and with passion.

Pasta making is a skill I’m yet to learn, but for now, I’ll leave you with one of my own creations…

Fresh Fusilli (shop bought pasta) with smoked salmon, sweet cherry tomatoes, yellow and red peppers, in a tangy lemon sauce. A sprinkling of fresh chives from my own pot and a light dusting of grated parmesan cheese, makes this dish very tasty, if I do say so myself. 🙂

Cosenza, Calabria, Italy, Europe

Still have loads to learn from Maria, so bring on the 2019 food feasts!

Visit Nilla’s Photography for more global images. More posts on Italy.

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43 thoughts on “Food Porn in Rogliano, Calabria

Add yours

  1. Love zucchini flowers! And your pasta dish looks delicious. It’s wonderful that if you (read that, me) have zero inclination to make your own pasta, there are plenty of opportunities to purchase fresh pasta in shops. Enjoy!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Karen, they’re wonderfully tasty in meals. I now use the flowers in some pasta sauces and i does add another dimension to the dish.
      I still would like to learn how to make pasta from scratch – just can’t remember how my mother used to make it as with gnocchi – a blank. 😉

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Yummy! one of the happiest migrations to Peru is the Italian one with, among other qualities, their delicious cuisine.
    I tend to think there are things in the world I would not eat because they are quite exotic to me (and I think others feel the same about the local cuisine of my region) but with Italian food I feel I could try with food porn pleasure everything. Thank you, Nilla for this fantastic voyage ^w^

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Francis, I totally agree with you about Italian food, although delicacies here (and when I was growing up) are tripe, blood pudding, ok tongue, and more – I can’t stomach these…

      I’m currently changing WP themes, so hoping that my site is functioning OK? Still have customisation to finish.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Ha, ha, my food photography doesn’t really do the dishes justice – I need to practice more as these meals and desserts were really delicious and by no means all of the meals I had! 😉

      Like

  3. Food feasts indeed. Hi Nilla, Happy New Year. What inspirational food. These are the type of photos I need to help me find my cooking mojo. I have a few ideas from the wonderful photos. I like the look of your own pasta recipe too. I do a similar one with baby tomatoes, salmon or tuna and fresh mint! The lemon sauce sounds interesting … any secret ingredient in your sauce for this dish? Bring on more! Louise

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Louise – happy new year to you!

      Great to hear your thoughts and that I’ve given your mojo a little spur on! I need to practise food photography as I’m still learning – most of these are taken with my little compact camera and not The Beast.

      The fresh mint sounds lovely and I’ll try that version. For the lemon sauce, I vary it depending on what I have in the cupboard or growing in my pots on the balcony. I added fresh lemon basil (tiny leaves) to this version with lemon juice and white wine, and sometimes a little fresh parsley also. In the past, I also added a tiny bit of cream or snipped a dried cilli into the pot, but only so it’s a hint and not spicy at all – just takes it to another level. Let me know how your recipe goes… 😉

      Like

  4. Mille grazie Nilla per avermi ricordato delle meravigliose volte che ci godiamo insieme.
    Many thanks Nilla for reminding me of the wonderful times we enjoy together

    Liked by 1 person

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