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Welcome to delicious Destinations, a GourmetStation blog. Through the charater of T.Alexander and occasional real-life guests, our aim is to share with you light-hearted fun ideas about food, gift giving, entertaining and culture. At the same time we would love you hear from you. Please share your experiences from home or abroad.

Lunch In Alberobello With Carla King

Posted: June 20, 2005
by: T.Alexander

Carla_ural_1 When I think of travel writer Carla King the famous line from the play Auntie Mame comes to mind. “Life is a banquet and most poor suckers are starving to death.” If the daily grind is pressing on your sense of adventure, I have a solution.  Voted the Best Online Travel Magazine in 2004 by the North American Travel Journalists Association, I invite you to explore Wild Writing Woman Magazine.

Carla King
, of the Motorcycle Misadventures and one of these gifted storytellers, poets and avid travelers, knows how to live life to the fullest. She’s off on another adventure of a lifetime. From June into the beginning of July, Carla is circumnavigating the Adriatic Sea on her Moto Guzzi Breva 750. She’s given permission for us to pull snippets from her online travel dispatches to share with you.

On June 3rd Carla picked up her bike at Lake Como, then went on to Venice and down the east coast of Italy. From Brindisi, Carla caught a ferry to Greece then rode up the coast of Greece. From June 18-21 it’s Albania and on to Serbia-Montenegro, Bosnia-Hertzogovina, Croatia, and Slovenia, circling back to Italy to hit Trieste and then Venice again – full circle!

Carla’s #1 motivation for this extraordinary trip was probably not food, although she has experienced some out-of-this-world cuisine. I invite you to live vicariously and join Carla for lunch at Casa Nova in the little Italian town of Alberobello.

Motorcycle Misadventures June 10, 2005: Alberobello & the Trulli – They have a number of trulli in town and out of town. The one I’m staying in is in the residential group of Alberobello trulli called the Aia Piccola district, just a five-minute walk to the Monti district, which is tourist group of trulli that’s full of shops and restaurants where I had lunch at a fabulous place called Casa Nova. I ordered the tasting menu tipici (typical) of the region and they stuffed me silly. Carla_king_post_1_restaurant_1

To begin there was a plate of cold cuts and cheese, which meant several kinds of beautiful salami and procuitto and two kinds of mozzarella, one bufula mozzarella and one from the herds of burro I saw as I was riding in. I poked at the burro mozzarella and inside it was quite runny, more like clotted cream and much sweeter than the bufula. I could have eaten another, but the waiter was weighing down my table with more plates of tipici dishes: little sausages in white wine (lovely and delicate flavored), broad bean and chickpea pureed with onion (fabulous), tripe in a minestrone vegetable-like sauce (love the sauce, can’t deal with the texture). Then there was a plate of fried and baked things: fried zucchini flowers, pancakes with mozzarella mixed with tomato inside, puffy little breads, and bread balls of some sort. That was the first course.

The second course was “little ears” of pasta with broccoli flowers sautéed in lots and lots of olive oil. If it hadn’t been so heavily salted it would have been stellar. Between second and third the chef decided that I had to try the dish typical of this restaurant, gnocchi made of bread, olives, and eggs served in a tomato sauce with fresh uncooked basil. Heavy and wonderful. And now I had a steak coming, perfectly grilled, but who could blame me for not even eating half of it?

Whisking that away, the waiter soon returned with another platter – inside I groaned, it’s not possible, I thought, but he laid down a plate of delicate little homemade cookies and a bowl of ripe, red cherries that turned out to be just barely chilled. Who could resist? It was the perfect anecdote to overeating. Italians know how to fool the stomach by wooing the palate. The cookie I liked best was not the Amaretto or the chocolate but a vanilla with an invisible cracklature of caramel. It absolutely melted. It was nothing…you see?

Espresso? Yes. And then I waddled up the hill to see the trullo church and shop in the little trulli shops where they sell olive oil and lacy tablecloths and pendants with magical trulli symbols.

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