I really like cooking and eating Italian food. Turns out I also like talking and writing about it. Can’t explain why, but this blog chronicles my encounters with it.

I began this project hoping to find some people out there who might share their secrets about finding great Italian ingredients/food at reasonable prices in Philadelphia. While that hasn’t happened so much, I’ve instead found that the “everyday practice” of reflecting on something I love has helped anchor my path in this period of my life, connecting me with friends afar and, occasionally, new ones nearby and online.  I’d like to have a big kitchen again one day, and an open space where I can gather my friends for fabulous meals and conversations.

The picture above, taken by Carla – the best Italian cook I know – was shot about 5 minutes away from her beautiful house in the foothills of the Alps, between Rivoli and Avigliana, west of Torino. No Photoshop here – the picture represents a very small piece of the incredibly beauty of the area. Just wish it were closer.


  1. Has the Italian market slumped that much? I know it’s mostly southern Italian stuff — no Piave vecchio or dolcetto there — but the salume and southern cheeses were always great when I went to college in Philly two decades ago.

    No longer the case? If so, that’s very sad. (I realize that all those red-sauce restaurants in South Philly are terrible compared to the real thing in Italy, but I always thought at least you could find good ingredients on 9th St.)

    As for Philly based wine stores, I cannot say. But if you do make the trip up to NYC, there are at least two over-the-top great Italian-only wine stores. One is on 16th St (maybe 15th), just east of Union Square, the other is on, like, 27th? Also on the East Side, maybe between 3rd & Lexington.

  2. Thanks for the tip on the NY wine shops! I’ll check one out next time I’m up there (after all these heat waves pass).

    IMO, the problem with shopping in the Italian Market is that behind every bargain is a scam. Claudio’s will sell you old mascarpone (import w/no date stamp) and then refuse to believe you when you call them on the phone, mid-tiramisu, to tell them it went south. I just can’t deal, you know?

    With that said, Talluto’s pasta shop, the butchers and the spice shop in the Italian Market make it a worthwhile trip. The Italian-American meals in the South Philly restaurants have their charms as well. While not the ‘real’ thing, I appreciate the ‘family’ atmosphere and history they provide. Shank and Evelyn’s has great roasted peppers and a nice red sauce. 🙂

  3. Ciao Lisetta,

    as you well know for me cooking is more than action….it is to express your feeling (who did not cook for a romantic date?), is to share your feeling (who did not cook to celebrate something?).
    First time I did cook in Philadelphia, of course, I cooked for myself. I did not have friends and I just share myself with myself ….…..
    Then I have been meeting friends and I thought why do not have them in my cooking life? You are my friend, and thanks so very much to be! So, I did join your blog and I felt this is the perfect kitchen to meet my friends and cook for them!
    Today I was missing so very much my mom and her sweetness …so I thought lets make her Crema that reminds me all happy days I had, and I hope I will have, in my life.

    Here the receipt, in Italian of course because she does not speak Italian and this Crema is just her!

    Crema mamma Carlo:

    5 tuorli uova piccole o 4 tuorli uova grandi.
    5 cucchiai di farina
    5 cucchiai di zucchero
    1 l di latte
    una scorza di limone (metà)


    Unisci lo zucchero ai tuorli fino a che il composto non diventa bianco. Aggiungi tutta la farina e mescola sempre. Riscalda il latte (non deve essere molto caldo) e versalo piano nel composto mescolando a fiamma bassa fino a prima dell’ ebollizione.

  4. Che bella ricetta. La scrivo in inglese e metto sul blog. Se non fossi all’universita oggi, ti inviterei a farla a casa mia!

  5. Cara Lisa,

    Thank you so very much for the space you gave me in your blog! I will always try to surprise you with new dishes and have you and all my devoted customers enjoy all the flavors of my hometown and country…Buon appetito!


  6. I really like this blog Lisa!…..maybe because I know you but your personality really comes across in the writing and bravado for the food…..you can tell you really love to cook and some of these dishes make me want to go cook em.. like that vegan dinner you and Blaine made with friends…Francesco

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