Friday, August 21, 2009

Driving through grape vines to Verona

Welcome to 7th Kitchen!
There are so many grape vines in the area on the way to the Verona. We decided to have some detour and visit wineries for wine tasting. You can see grape vines everywhere and see the grape growing on the vine. 

We stopped at some wineries we found on the way but unfortunately, all of them were closed. Also, it was a bit difficult to find winery because there are many grape vines but it seems like many of them just grow grapes there but do not make wines. In the U.S., there are wineries next to each other and you can easily do winery hopping if you are in wine area but I guess it is little bit different in Italy. (or at least where I was) 

Anyhow, we also stopped at this town called "Basso Del Grappa". This place is famous for its Grappa liquor. It was a nice small town and we decided to have lunch there. 

I had pasta with bolognese sauce. I don't remember how they called this past but it was really thick. It was almost like Japanese Udon noodle. It tasted good.  It is not in the picture but I also had Prosecco which is famous wine from this region. 

My husband had fusilli with tomato and olive and mozzarella. It was like a past salad and was great for a hot summer day. 

My sister had risotto with zucchini and shrimp. The seafood taste was too strong for me but my sister seemed to like it. 

Next to our table, there was this big Italian family. They were about 12 people surrounding one big table. They were talking very excitedly and kids were crying and everybody laughing. It perfectly fit with my image of Italian family. It is very nice that Italians value family and enjoy great food together. 

After lunch, we walked around the town. There was a nice bridge with nice view. 

Then, we found this store where they make Grappa and sell them there. The inside of the store was little bit like a museum for Grappa. Also, they had tasting for Grappa. Grappa is a pretty strong drink so I was not sure if I should have tasting or not but I wanted buy something from here for my parents in-law and also for myself so I tried some of the stuff they have. 

I ended up buying a calssic Grappa for my parents in-law and Mocha Grappa for myself. I think I can use this Mocha Grappa for making some dessert and stuff. And, it turned about that my parents in-law love Grappa from this brand I bought! I was so happy to find that out :-)

We drove to Verona and first thing we notice was this big stone wall which is still partially left around the city. And of course the Arena. It looks so old but beautiful. I was so amazed that this Arena is still there and functioning. I am sure that they take good care of it and spend a lot of money for maintaining but it is thrilling to think that so many people have enjoyed this Arena from different ear over the years. 

We walked about the city but ended up having dinner close to the arena. I had steak with truffle sauce. I did not like the steak too much but I love the truffle sauce. 

My sister had Calamari filled with vegetables. They drizzled this balsamic cream like thick sauce on top of it and it was really good. I decided that this was something I want to bring back from Italy. 

After dinner is Gelato time. We had gelato almost everyday. It is cheap, everywhere and so good. My favorite flavor is called "Straccitatella". It is kind of like milk ice cream with chocolate pieces in it. It is not chocolate chips. That is the key. It is thin layer of chocolate inside the ice cream. Oh, it is so good. 

Well, next day, we went to a lake close to Verona and also the Opera at the arena! I will write about them tomorrow. 

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