Chances are you live a stone’s throw away from a Thai restaurant in your neighborhood, and you’ve got a go-to local favorite for pad thai. These days I often find myself traveling north of Berkeley, where there’s quite a few wonderful Thai eateries clustered in Albany, El Cerrito and San Pablo locales.
Legend has it that an innkeeper caught a glimpse of the goddess of love in her bedroom and then rushed to his kitchen to create an egg pasta inspired by Venus’ belly button. Today the art of making tortellini is endangered, but several groups are devising creative ways to preserve the tradition.
Is it possible that pasta originated in China and traveled west to Italy? Author Jen Lin-Liu travels the historic Silk Road from Beijing to Rome, tracing the evolution of pasta and sampling the offerings along the way.
Among the many culinary treats Italy has given the world is gelato, a frozen dessert with roots in ancient Mesopotamia. Gelato lovers from all over the world are flocking to a university outside Bologna, Italy, to master the art of gelato-making. Here’s a free lesson: Don’t call it ice cream.
There are a lot of reasons that we love Italy here in San Francisco. The heritage of our city, caught in the hiss of a thousand espresso machines every morning and the beckoning scent of chopped garlic sizzling in olive oil at night, is a melting pot, to be sure, but a fine portion of the pot can be traced back to Genoa and Liguria, Venice and Rome, Sicily and Sardinia.