Tuesday, September 12, 2023

Olives for Days and a Pasta Class

Last night from Cleto we drove south to our new headquarters at Agriturismo Costantino.

We were now a bit further down the toe of the boot. The isthmus of Catanzaro is the narrowest point in Italy.

We started off with a pasta making class.

It was cool to watch the pros do it before we gave it a try. This was a super old school style that was made of just two different grades of flower mixed together and water.

Ernie was excited to get started.

It turns out there's a reason people do this with machines now. It was quite a laborious process. We kneaded the water and flower into dough then pulled off tiny bits and twisted them around a stick. Every part of this required an infinite amount of finesse that I did not have the patience for.

Tom was really good at it.

Tom was also super interested in having deep conversations about tomato varieties.

The final product were these little seashell looking guys.

They cooked the noodles up for us and we had a taste. I have missed my calling evidently.

Next we took a tour of the grounds. This is the building that we are staying in.

There were olive trees everywhere.

I tried one raw and it was absolutely awful. Had so many tannins that the taste was still in my mouth hours later. I now understand why olives need to be brined.

One thing we learned is that black and green olives are the same except for the maturity level before harvesting.

Later we had an olive oil tasting. I was severely handicapped by that tiny bite of horrid olive I had earlier. They sort of tricked us because one of the oils was the old crap oil that we have in the US.

Then finally it was eating time. A few Aperol spritzes also made an appearance.

Ernie got a change to dip his plump little feetsies into the pool.

We headed to the nearby city of Lamezia Terme for some shopping.

The supermarket had a fun "local products" area that I appreciated.

You can see the little boot toes of Calabria hanging from the ceiling indicating more local products.

It turns out that Italians like pasta. 

We chose some local artisan looking stuff to take home. Ernesto helped hold it for me.

They had this big section of baby food jars. We don't usually mess with this type of thing but hilariously there were several types of baby food meat. I was forced to buy Ernie some baby food horse meat and prosciutto.

My parents wimped out at this point and probably ate spaghetti at a local KFC somewhere. Meanwhile we dined at the Michelin Starred Luigi Lepore Ristorante.

We got a set menu and tried all kinds of wild stuff in small bite form.

The architecture of the place was very fun. I want to say it was a former monastery. I don't think we saw any other customers our entire time dining, which was fine by me because that meant the Ern Dawg wouldn't intrude on anyone else. I asked about it and our server said that it was the end of the season.

After our fancy dinner we hooked by up with the grandparents and had some gelato.

It was a lovely place for an evening stroll. I think Italians like walking around at night as much as I do, which is a rarity.

There were plenty of unlicensed amusements on display. This is how I imagine Disneyland that naughty children have to go to.

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