Italy Wine Country: Of Orecchiette and Octopus

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courtney_octopus.jpgBy Courtney Cochran

In Barbara Kingsolver's delightful "Animal, Vegetable, Miracle" the author criticizes Americans' penchant for eating things trucked over thousands of miles in lieu of goods produced locally. The reason for our bad habits, which negatively impact our environment and send food dollars away from local communities? Kingsolver claims it's due to our lack of something she calls a "food culture" - a set of beliefs and customs unique to a country that compel its constituents to prefer foods that originate nearby. Italy, she asserts, is an excellent example of a country with a model food culture.

In Italy's sunny Puglia region - literally, the heel of the boot - seafood caught in the nearby Adriatic, pizza and rustic pasta dishes reign supreme.

courtney_pizza.jpgPictured here, (1)locally caught octopus I enjoyed last night, (2) a fantastic pizza with buffalo mozzarella, and (3) orechiette pasta, a local specialty that's been codified over many, many generations. It's nearly all local, and I'm willing to bet the distance travelled from sea or farm to plate is nearly nil.



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I SO needed a beer!

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