Tuesday, July 10, 2018

Buono Come il Pane, Quattro Passi, Nerano (Na)



Buono come il pane...As good as  bread.  An Italian proverb that describes someone who has a good heart and an excellent character. The longer that I am in Southern Italy (25 years last June), the more I can appreciate a good piece of pane.  Long gone are the days of Wonder Bread and Homepride Butter Top Wheat Bread.  The more that I go out, the more that I appreciate the love that goes into this simple staple.   This bread basket that accompanies me at the table.  
Like these specialties that I had a chance to try last month at Quattro Passi, the 2 starred Michelin Restaurant in Nerano. Home to Chef Antonio Mellino and his son Fabrizio.  In fact, it was the 26 year young Fabrizio who described the restaurant's baked goods to me with a spark in his eye...pride in his heart.
Let's begin with the crackers...Buckwheat. Homemade. Try to eat just one.  Try...


Then...


Two loaves of bread,  Crispy crust, warm, full of flavor.  Let's begin from the bottom, shall we?  Bread (prefermented with type 1 stone ground flour and sourdough).   
Then, one of my favs, Mellino's wheat bread prepared with stone ground wheat and covered with grain.  


Poi a simple cube of pane cafone- bread baked in a wood fired oven.  It was hard not to be taken back in time as Mellino shared memories of dipping freshly baked bread in tomato sauce prepared by his grandmother. Memories that he decided to share with me and the rest of his guests who shared the dining room with me that Saturday afternoon. The bread arrived in a piccolo dipping bowl with tomato water and a sprig of fresh basil - straight from Quattro Passi's herb garden.


A stone (ground) throw away from the bread that I grew up with...
Buono questo pane!

Buono...
Like the character that patiently watched it leaven, baked it, and took those quattro passi, that little walk, and shared it with me....



Grazie...

Chef Fabrizio Mellino and I




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