This time of year seems to bring a lot of impromptu hosting. With this in mind, I stocked up on some cheese and salami (and olives and crackers) to have on hand for hungry friends. And because many of those friends also arrive chilled this time of year, I make sure to have a pot of soup on hand. This week I did spicy chorizo and greens and chicken and barley soups.
As for those goodies, for a little decadence I picked up the truffle variety of the Creminelli salami I’ve mentioned before. Then the cheese! Asiago Fresco was my favorite–a baby at two months–the D’Affinois and Port Salut–the standbys–and some blue for those who enjoy it. All from Whole Foods, but also all outshown by a cheese brought by one of those friends–of the soft shell crab dinner party fame. A true splurge, she brought a sottocenere al tartufo, that is a raw cow’s milk semi-soft mixed with sliced truffles and encased in gray Venetian ash. Baked and oozing, it was a revelation.
Speaking of splurging on Italian imports, I recently bought the Italian dried pasta at Whole Foods. It was about 50 cents more than the domestic brands that I usually buy. Used to buy, I should say. No more! The Italian pasta was a different species and well worth the extra change.