Michela welcomes us into her home in Varmo, a small town in the province of Udine, which is found at the confluence of the rivers Varmo and Tagliamento. Our Cesarina has always been very attached to where she comes from and is fascinated by her hometown’s history – so much so, that she has done a great deal into her local traditions to find out as much as she can about her roots. Her curiosity has been rewarded, as she is now an expert in the food tradition that defined her childhood.
Guests at Michela’s dinner table will take a journey back in time; her humble and authentic cooking awakens cherished memories of country life in Friuli for all to enjoy.
Our Friulian Taste Experience begins with an antipasto of salami cooked in oil and a little vinegar, which is laid out over polenta galettes.
Next, we have ‘brodo abbrustolito’, a thick broth, topped with crunchy toasted crostini breads. This is made using a ‘soffrito’ base of butter, egg and flour, to which broth and water are gradually added, resulting in a smooth soup, which is flavoured delicately with cumin and marjoram.
For the second course, Michela serves ‘cotechino e brovada’ (muset e brovade in dialect), which is finely sliced cabbage served with cotechino sausage. This slightly acidic cabbage is typically grown in Friuli and is pickled in vinegar, which is what gives it such a distinctive colour.
Last but not least, dessert. Our Cesarina opts for a Friulian speciality that is usually served for the Epiphany. It is called ‘pinza’, a cake made with cornflour and a variety of dried fruits.