Deals, Dares & Reviews To Help You Savor Your World.
There’s a pretty little medieval town called Forlimpopoli tucked away in Northern Italy. It has been, for the past several generations, the absolute mecca for food lovers from every corner of the world. Many of the visitors to this famous village are women, and almost every single one of them arrives in Forlimpopoli with a look of reverent awe on their faces and a well-worn copy of a 120 year-old cookbook tucked under their arms.
The book, ”La Scienza in Cucina e l’Arte di Mangiar Bene” (“The Science of Cooking and the Art of Eating Well“) is the seminal masterpiece of native son Pellegrino Artusi — connoisseur, writer and arguably the Father of Italian cuisine. And it is Artusi’s famous footsteps that these hungry food disciples have come to Italy to follow.
Artusi was a fascinating character — his life reads like a sweeping Victorian novel full of riches, plague, madness, raiding bandits and really good minestrone (he actually wrote the definitive recipe for that wonderful stuff!) Artusi lived, ate and wrote fully and well, and he died a contented gentleman in 1911 at the age of 90. He left behind such an indelible mark on Italian cuisine, literature, and culture that more than 120 years later the picturesque village of Forlimpopoli still celebrates his life with Festa Artusiana, a lovely annual festival dedicated to the passionate relationship between man and food.
With her usual thoughtful flair and passion for rich experiences, Margaret Cowan of Mama Margaret & Friends Cooking Adventures in Italy has put together a girls-only getaway perfect for women who love the food and friendship espoused by Pellegrino Artusi. Lucky ladies who snag a spot on this field trip will of course explore the wonders of Festa Artusiana, but they’ll also get an insider’s immersion into all things Italian and Artusi: an elegant dinner at the museum dedicated to his life, a hands-on cooking class at Casa Artusi (a former convent turned state-of-the-art cooking school), an expedition through Bologna‘s colorful food markets with a charming local family, and a peek inside a traditional balsamic vinegar cellar near Modena, where they’ll sample a rare 25-year old version that feels like “liquid velvet in the throat.” Artusi would have been very, very proud.
The field trip is scheduled for June 17th through the 22nd 2012, and includes five glorious Italian nights in a four-star hotel, hands-on cooking classes, fabulous shopping and sightseeing, plenty of friendly interaction with local people passionate about food, and wonderful Artusi-inspired meals complete with carefully selected regional wines. Space is strictly limited — this is not a motorcoach-packed-wth-gawking-tourists trip, but instead a small, intimate cooking and eating pilgrimage led by Margaret Cowan herself, and intended especially for women who want to savor Italy like Pellegrino Artusi once did, if only for a few life-changing days. For a complete itinerary (it looks wonderful!) contact me at ShawnaBohnVoyage@gmail.com or check out Mama Margaret’s fascinating website