World's greatest car snack and Italian adventures
So we're in Italy filming beautiful videos of our amazing friend Gennaro Contaldo cooking some delicious Amalfi grub. Minori is beautiful, just sublime, but getting here was a bit of a mission.
We set off from Dover - 3 hours late - on the cross-channel ferry in force 9 winds. Nothing on what our friends in America have been suffering, I know, but on a ferry!
We are now running six hours late and driving a van full of filming equipment and food team 'stuff' full pelt towards the Amalfi coast. We have to stop in Lyon for the night, too late for dinner in the food capital of France, what a bummer! Next morning through the Alps into the thickest blizzard I've ever encountered - 3 feet deep and rising. Out of the mountains and into Italy and we were now a tad peckish. So what would you do in the UK? We have the odd decent Waitrose and Marks and Sparks for choice on the motorways, but in Italy you can get a surprising amount of local, artisan produce from these stop-offs.
We spent far too long choosing our lunch; in the end we go for a make-it-yourself job - local salami, slightly waxier-than-usual pecorino and olive breadsticks. So we wrapped the cheese around the breadstick and then tie it all together with a slice of meat. Hoo-ha magic, not kidding, melt-in-the-mouth pork and salty cheese with a crunchy aftershock.
On to Florence - need I say any more about this European jewel? Dinner of spaghetti vongole, Tuscan cabbage soup, pizza Neapolitana and Chianti for two - £35. Great.
Now we are in Minori, hometown of that Italian whirlwind Gennaro and ready for lights, camera action. The people of this town are so beautiful and friendly, and boy can they entertain. We visit the Orto Paradiso, a luxury guesthouse where you can cook your own food and also enjoy the remarkable hospitality of Flavio and Miranda (pictured). They treated us to spaghetti pomodoro, grilled prawns and pomegrante with banana.........I'm slowly falling in love. Watch this space.
Che bello to know you're over here! PLEEEEASE drop in to our humble farm for Istrice in umido and you can give us hand with the olive harvest. All the very best, Elspeth and Family.
Carassai, A.P Le Marche