Tag Archives: Italy

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Photo Friday: Carnival in Venice

My family and I just got back from a trip to what have to be two of the most photogenic cities on the planet, Amsterdam and Venice. In addition, we had the stupendous fortune to be in Venice during Carnival, the week-and-a-half celebration that ends on Ash Wednesday and the beginning of Lent. Between the natural watery scenery, the multi-colored old buildings, and people in all varieties of costumes and mysterious masks, nearly every turn in Venice led to something fascinating, beautiful or surreal. Perhaps the most surreal of all was the mix of grand costumed revelers on their way to cafes and balls, wandering tourists, and those simply going about their daily business, ducking into butcher shops with rolling carts and churches in solemn black outfits and furs.

Have you seen and photographed something unusual, whimsical, beautiful, or otherwise interesting in your travels? Has anything surprised you or caused you to pause? Or have you simply experienced a small, lovely moment that you wanted to capture? If so, I hope you’ll share with us by leaving a comment with a link to your photo. I look forward to seeing it!

Photo by Susan Sachs Lipman

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Cheese of the Week: Sartori SarVecchio Wisconsin Parmesan

This is a fantastic Parmesan-style cheese, perhaps all the more because it’s made in Wisconsin, rather than Italy.

According to the Huffington Post, it was recently named Best Cheese in the U.S. in the 2009 Championship Cheese Contest. It’s easy to see why. The SarVeccio grates beautifully and has a wonderful, distinctive Parmesan taste that is great plain and can also hold its own in many dishes. The taste is at once sweet, salty and nutty, and the cheese has a nice crystally crunch.

Sartori is now in its third generation of cheese producers. The company patriarch, Paul Sartori, hailed from Valdastico, Italy, not far from the cheese-town of (and producers of the parmesan-like) Asiago. It was his dream to bring Italian cheesemaking methods and tastes to America. Wisconsin Master Cheesemaker Larry Steckbauer has been at the helm of the company’s Parmesan operation for some time.

A lot of processes are carefully cultivated and unique to SarVecchio. The cheese is washed with olive oil and aged a long 20 months. The milk is from local cows.

In addition to being the perfect grating cheese for pastas, salads and soups, SarVecchio also makes a nice dessert or munching cheese, and works with dried fruit, flavorful wine, or sherry. As a bonus, it is fairly reasonably priced, when compared to other Parmesans or grating cheeses.

We recently grated some SarVecchio over a dish of lemon-ricotta ravioli, with olive oil, super-thin zucchini slices, and soybeans. Yum!


Photo by Susan Sachs Lipman

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