You may have heard of Italian stallions (and I knew quite a few during my years of cheffing at Italian restaurants!) but how about Italian cowboys? The marshy areas of the Tuscan Maremma are home to Italy’s few remaining traditional cowboys, responsible for herding the enormous native Maremman cattle with their lyre-shaped horns, which may reach 2,500 pounds, over double the size of American Angus cattle! Read about the cattle and the revival of this heritage breed and the cowboys who work with them here: http://www.nytimes.com/2011/07/05/world/europe/05italy.html?_r=1&scp=1&sq=maremma&st=cse.
I’ll be taking a small group to visit this fascinating and non-touristy region on my Pasta Lover’s Culinary Tour, October 19 to 29. Just 4 spaces left (www.epicopia.com). You’ll learn to make your own hand-stretched pasta–the ultimate in flavor and texture. You haven’t tasted fresh pasta until you’ve experienced hand-stretched pasta, a specialty of the region along with game and wild mushrooms.