Capodanno 2016: review of the year

Hazelnut, cherry, and chocolate panforte.


This has been a great first year for Chestnuts and Truffles and I would like to thank each and every one of you who has visited, read, liked, shared, or commented on the site. I can promise you that 2016 will be an even better year with lots of authentic Italian recipes, how tos, reviews, and videos to come. I only started this blog in the spring but its been very successful already, achieving amongst other things the blue badge of approval from the Tuscan Tourist Board, which you can see on the right. And, if you’ve not seen it already, I’d like to draw your attention to the recipe for Hazelnut, cherry, and chocolate panforte which I created for their blog Tuscanycious! and which is pictured above.

This period is known as capodanno (head of the year) in Italy, and tonight Italians up and down the peninsula will be eating zampone or cotechino (types of sausage made with pigs trotter) with lentils, which are a sign of good luck and affluence for the year to come (the lentils represent coins).

I thought I’d take this opportunity to share my top five posts for 2015 and then to tell you what was the most memorable thing I’ve eaten this year.

So, for the popular posts.

#5: Did you know … ?

A Tuscan antipasto featuring finocchiona.


In fifth place was (appropriately) Five things you didn’t know about Italian food … probably.

This post was about the differences between the Italian cuisine known outside Italy and the reality you will find when you come to Italy.

#4: Going home

Palazzo ducale
Il palazzo ducale at sunrise


Fourth place goes to My Venice an account of my return to my home city of Venice after an absence of more than ten years.  

#3: Apples!

Apple tarts
Crostate di mele


In third place we have Crostate di mele a recipe for apple tarts and an account of my rocky relationship with the fruit over the  years.

#2: Pesto!



Second place goes to First contact with a classic  the story of how I discovered pesto along with a recipe.

#1: La befana vien da notte …


But in first place, we have … drum roll … In Italy Christmas comes twice a year an account of the festival of la befana which is coming in a few days.


So, now we have the most memorable dish. This was really difficult to decide as I’ve had some amazing food in Tuscany and beyond this year. But the prize has to go to this baccalà manticata (buttered salt cod) which I had at the Osteria ai Carmini in Venice. It was served as an appetizer and consisted of a quenelle of salt cod, whipped into an incredibly light mousse without losing the taste of the sea. I’ve had a lot of salt cod over the years, not least as its a speciality of my home town of Venice but also as its found all over Italy.



So, it just remains for me to wish you all a very Happy New Year and a peaceful and prosperous 2016. Thank you so much for having come on this journey with me and I look forward to spending time with you all over the next twelve months.

Buon Anno a tutti!

What was your most memorable dish of the year?

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