24 June 2011

food at the Agriturismo

I've mentioned the word 'Agriturismo' a couple of times in recent posts, and it occurs to me that not everyone knows what it means. It's basically a B&B with an amazing homecooked dinner. Agriturismos are fairly new in Italy, as I understand it, and with your room rental, you get a room, bath, breakfast, and, for a nominal extra fee, an unfancy-but-delicious dinner. We booked our Agriturismo a few weeks ago, and Filomena is our hostess. Her mother Elena is always around, and there are a couple of other family members who pop their heads in from time to time. Breakfast is fairly consistent: plain yogurt, rustic honey, apricot jam, bread, coffee/tea, and either biscotti or a cake. Dinner varies much more widely, but always consists of: pasta (we've had risotto with zucchini, tagliatelli with pesto & cream, penne with tomato sauce, and spaghetti with sardines, olives, and capers), a secondi (we've had pork cutlet/potatoes/green beans, sausage/potatoes/peas/carrots, meatball/green beans, and chicken/green beans/potatoes), house wine, bread, dessert (we've had tiramisu, biscotti, apple cake), and limoncello. Every meal has been terrific, and served on a terrace with the other guests. Actually, we're the only ones in the agriturismo tonight, so dinner was a little boring, but the other nights have been very exciting!

Filomena reminds me of Marianne Penna, down to the glasses. She's around most of the time, and her English is passable (but her German is much better!). Her mother Elena is also around most of the time, and we've been trading vocabulary words with her. Last night (when Paul and Grace's daughter broke a wine glass), I taught her 'dustpan' and 'broom.' Tonight, she taught me the words for 'garlic' and 'parsely,' but I had too much wine and forgot them (I do know 'basil' - 'basilico' - and I wonder what the common root is for 'basilica' and 'basilico' - maybe basil was a holy herb that was only grown by the clergy? or maybe the leaf of the basil plant sort of looks like the tower of a basilica?)

Anyhow, tonight, as we're packing up for an early departure tomorrow, I wanted to recommend to anyone that they check out Agriturismo Monte Brusara if they find themselves on the Amalfi Coast. It's a great place with a great family running it, and the small hike it takes to get home at the end of the day is more than compensated for by the delicious dinner that awaits you from Filomena and Mama Elena!

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