This is the week where we venture off to some other parts of Europe that we would never expect to get a taste of. I am finding the ingredients and flavor combos from Italy's northeastern regions to be some of my favorite food. Friuli Venezia Giulia is described as a "double region" because it borders Slovenia and Austria, and definitely has some Hungarian notes in there as well. All to find in these rugged mountains and vast landscapes are mulberry bushes, cheese, and lots of prosciutto from the fattiest pigs. Smoked meats are also common here, and families would gather in the Fogolar ( room in the center of their homes) to burn these huge fires to smoke salami while staying warm. My mouth waters when I see the cotechino a sausage made from pork, wine, and lard that is so delicious. It falls apart as you eat it because it's so tender from all the fat within. It's also very similar to the spreadable ciauscolo from Marche which is why I like it.
Cinnamon and saffron are the two most common ingredients in Friuli Venezia Giulia. I have never tasted a sweetened pasta or boiled dumpling before, but leave it to those regions closest to Italy on the northeast side where, here you will get all of that and more. Boiled dumplings filled with potatoes, onions, cinnamon, and raisins called Cialsons may make you scratch your head a bit. Sprinkle with Pecorino Romano and they should almost be more savory than sweet... almost. They are typically eaten for dinner, and then dessert you have another boiled dumpling filled with nuts and sugar and dusted with more sugar! I can see eating Sucio if they were fried, but not boiled. I am really trying to understand the textures of slimy cornmeal and spinach Paparot and goulash, but it's so hard to get used to a sweet pasta dish like Lasagne ai Semi di Papavero (see below). So very difficult.
***sweet sausage and dumplings made by the class.
Poppy Seeds and sugar, you really want to know? See the link below to learn how to make Lasagne ai semi di Papavero or Mákos Tészta . It's one of the most unique pastas you will ever try.