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Smoked duck breast & pomegranate salad

The Middle Ages is one of my favorite periods in history. I still remember that my high school Italian teacher used to tell us that was absolutely wrong to define dark that era, because it was in that very period that the culture was reborn, in abbeys, castles, and the first markets where trading resumed slowly.

Now you would consider me a crazy person, but suspend for a moment any judgments, especially the historical ones… when I saw the pictures and the colours of this pomegranate and smoked duck salad – a magret de canard fumé that comes straight from Paris, a gift from my parents – I thought: this looks like a medieval dish! There is meat and fruit (it is a medieval habit to mix them into the same dish), there is a sense of long nights in dark castles in front of a fireplace, the wind blowing outside, the Lady of the manor housing a pilgrim, seasons going by…

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Gourmet Gifts and cooking generosity

Cooking is a matter of generosity. This is the sum of my experiences so far, including cooking classes, sharing recipes and memories on my blog, meetings between foodies and projects developed thanks to the essential cooperation with friends. Last week I was explaining a Tuscan recipe to a group of Americans, and I realized that rather than giving precise doses I kept on with recommendation like this: “add a generous handful of almonds,” “season generously with extra virgin olive”… is it lack of precision and professionalism? maybe. But I’d rather consider my behaviour as living cooking with generosity and passion.

The very same generosity that you can infuse into wrapping up parcels of sweet treats or bags of care and snacks can be found, multiplied, into the eyes of those who receive them. Now I can adfirm that the affection that I have put so far into sharing recipes, experiences and treats is coming back toward me as friendship, a generous and disinterested friendship that confuses and touches me.

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