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If you’re on Facebook and follow Ortensia Blu (you do, right?) you’ve seen lots of really nice photos and videos from my trip to the gorgeous Prosecco region earlier this month. And if you’re not on Facebook, I don’t want you to feel left out so I’ll catch you up on a few things. First of […]

Food Production, Travel, Wine and Cocktails

A Glass of Prosecco Awaits You

Le Volpere Prosecco

I’ll never forget my first one. It was in springtime in Sienna. I’m a bit fuzzy on the year, but it was post lira and the dollar was 80¢ to the euro (far better than $1.38 today) so quite a few years ago. And I very clearly recall the beautiful Tod’s shoes I bought that […]

Food Production, Travel, Wine and Cocktails

10 Things to Know About Prosecco


  I hereby give a huge apology to all the boxes of pasta in my pantry – “I’m so sorry for taking you for granted all my life and will never do it again.” I promise to never look at a box of pasta in the same uncaring way, nor toss it in my grocery […]

Food Production, Pasta, Recipes

A Visit to Pasta Rigo (Pastificio Rigo) and Baked Stuffed Shells Recipe

Stuffed Shells

I guess I really never gave much thought to where buffalo mozzarella actually came from – it’s one of those special foods that show up on a nicer Italian restaurant menu but is always difficult to find in an American grocery store. However, when those buffalo looked me in the eye, I figured it out. […]

Food Production

Buffalo Mozzarella {Mozzarella di Bufala}

Buffalo Mozzarella

Driving through the gorgeous Brescian countryside on a magnificent May day, we arrived at Gardalatte in Lonato to see how Grana Padano cheese is produced. Grana Padano is a hard, semi fat, cow’s milk cheese with a rich, slightly salty taste and is one of Italy’s most produced and consumed cheeses. Luigi, the head casaro or […]

Food Production, Lake Garda

The Making of Grana Padano Cheese

Grana Padano Cheese

As I was strolling down the hill from Residence San Rocco to meet Nicoletta for dinner, lovely Signora Graziella Manestrini was walking up, carrying a heavy pot wrapped in a red and white checked kitchen towel.  She had just brought a piping hot dinner down to her husband Signor Manestrini who had been at the […]

Food Production, Lake Garda

Part 2-Olive Oil Harvest & Pressing, La Spremitura delle Olive

The drive from Verona was picturesque and traveling up the road to Residence San Rocco, I heard a gentle buzzing noise – louder than an airplane but quieter than a lawn mower. I got out of my (very fun) rental car and smack dab in the middle of the olive grove, I saw the first […]

Food Production, Lake Garda

Olive Oil Harvest & Pressing-La Spremitura Delle Olive (Part 1)

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