Olive tree above Dolceacqua

Olive tree cave

by Mike

Little did I know at the time that this was the first of many many olive trees we’d take pictures of. This tree was on the walk down from the amazing howevermany course dinner high above Dolceacqua to which we had to hike… and from which we had to hike back. Drunk. We walked on stone walls that lined olive tree orchards that spanned the terraced hillsides.

It was interesting to cross the border from France to Italy and see an immediate difference. Physically, there was much less emphasis on aesthetic beauty, powerlines were all over the place and the hillsides were mostly terraced in this region (which was beautiful, but not natural). At the same time you cross the border and the people are much warmer and the food has different emphases as well… freshness rather than alchemy.

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2 Comments

Filed under Dolceacqua, Europe, Italy, Photography, Travel

2 responses to “Olive tree above Dolceacqua

  1. Ooo, I love the idea of food as alchemy. So fresh and more simply prepared, fewer ingredients?

    • Definitely. Based on the dishes I’ve had (admittedly too few) they take an ingredient and just try to show off its flavor without confusing the whole thing too much – asparagus & prosciuto pizza (no sauce) or pasta with a sauce of only fresh tomatoes…. that kind of thing.

      French cooking seems to be about turning a number of ingredients into something that it wasn’t before. Rich sauces, baking (the ultimate alchemy is a souffle, but croissants aren’t far behind).

      Here’s the difference to me – with French cooking you look at something or smell it from four rooms away and know it’s going to be amazing and when you finally sit down to the meal it’s even better than it smelled. With Italian cooking you look at something simple and take a bite and your jaw drops it’s so flavorful. You take a second look at what you’re holding because you can’t believe the flavor they’ve gotten out of the same ingredient that you’ve been eating your whole life without the same effect.

      To each their own, of course, and I think if you got in an argument about which cuisine was better then either country would be a safe position to take.

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