*Updated 26 February, 2018*
Blogging = Networking
At least for me it is. I have so much fun meeting people who share my passion for Italy.
We bloggers get to virtually share our adventures and discoveries with the world (and one another), telling you where to wine and dine in our regions, venting about our rocky road to learning a foreign language and maybe sharing a story or two about how we ended up living abroad in the first place.
While I love the fact that technology and virtual worlds allow us to connect with people across the globe, the old fashioned side of me isn’t satisfied in this electronic land of Tweets and emails.
I like tradition. I like receiving snail mail, hand written post cards or phone calls (yes, even phone calls “just because” are few and far between any more).
So what is a gal like me to do with this desire for snail mail and hand written notes? I find another like-minded person who is interested in the same thing and…voilà!
The Italian Blogger Exchange is born.
In cahoots with wine-loving gastronomic expert Diana Zahuranec, this idea was brought to life recently. By exchanging some of our favorite artisanal products via snail mail, we had the opportunity to connect on a more personal level rather than electronically and promote a local artisan. An awesome opportunity for all of those involved!
The first Italian Blogger Exchange involved Grosmi Caffè from Friuli for some Riso Maratelli from the Cascina Canta rice producers in Piemonte.
Why An Exchange?
I wanted to do an exchange so I could network and promote local artisanal products.
Friuli, for example, is famous for Illy caffè, a quality coffee that is internationally known, but how many of you know about Grosmi caffè that is also roasted in Friuli?
Thanks to the Italian blogger exchange, Diana Zahuranec now does, and she’ll share her thoughts about it with you on her blog. Please read about her experience here.
Riso Maratelli for Grosmi Caffè
In exchange for some of Friuli’s artisanal coffee, Diana suggested a particular rice from Piemonte that I was thrilled to try: Riso Maratelli from Cascina Canta.
This “Riso Maratelli” is a short grain rice very similar to Arborio and it is ideal for making risotto.
Friuli has some very unique and interesting risotto recipes, so I decided to put the Friuli spin on things by making a risotto with sciopet, smoked ricotta and some of Friuli’s famous cured meat: Speck from Sauris.
The term sciopet is referring to a wild grass that grows in this part of Italy, and it’s actually the term used in the Veneto dialect and not in the Friulano language. In this area, it’s also called grisol, scolpit (which is the Friulano term) or you can use the Latin name to be safe: silene vulgaris.
As I was posting these pictures, my husband passed by and said, “Mmmmmmmm!”
I got two thumbs up on this one because he loved the rice and the recipe!
It wasn’t excessivly creamy and the natural flavor of the rice paired well with the wild, grassy flavor of the sciopet.
I would love to visit Piemonte so I can tour the paddies and buy the rice in person. There is more to Italy than just the vineyards!
I know that Diana wrote about her visit to the producer of this delicious artisanal rice for Wine Pass, an online magazine dedicated to the gastronomic wonders and wineries of Piemonte, where she highlighted a recipe that looked like a creamy bowl of “death by cheese” risotto that I could probably swim in.
Can’t wait to try it, Diana!
For more information about Diana, visit her on her blog Once Upon A Time In Italy!