Friday, October 16, 2009

Cinque Terre: Enoteca Internzionale

Cinque Terre is one of the places that gets rave reviews from just about everyone who has ever travelled through Italy, and with good reason. This is a place of breathtaking beauty, and the food and wine don't disappoint either. For those of you who haven't read about this place, Cinque Terre (Five lands) are a string of five small villages built into the steep hillsides of Italy's Ligurean coast. Villages are connected by a single train line and a footpath, and, if you're the active type, you can spend your day hiking through all five villages, winding your way along the coastline and through the terraced vineyards that hug the hillside. These vineyards produce some excellent wines, which go well with the seafood dishes that Cinque Terre specializes in.
We had read that anchovies were a popular snack in Cinque Terre, so we ordered up a plate at the first place we could find, a beachside bar filled with tourists. This was a total waste of money, but it was also the last bad thing we ate on our trip. It was at this point that we started following the snails to our meals. Our first "Slow Food certified" snack came shortly after our failed attempt to get good anchovies on the beach. As we were wandering around some of the interior streets of Monterrosso, we happened across Enoteca Internazionale.

This little shop claimed to be the oldest wine shop in town, and they proudly displayed a Slow Food sticker in their window and their chalkboard advertised a trio of anchovies.
This seemed like as good a place as any to have another go at anchovies. These more than made up for the crappy anchovies we had at the other place. They were awesome. All of the anchovies were cured in house, and the trio consisted of anchovies with slow roasted tomatoes and capers

anchovies on a thin slice of lardo (yum!)

and, last but not least, anchovies on toast with butter. This last preparation was awesome. I've made anchovy butter a number of times, but for some reason, serving anchovies on toast with butter never occurred to me. It is such a good combination (if you get high quality ingredients, that is).


Jen said...

The anchovies on buttered toast looks marvelous! i just tried Sardines [not canned] on a spicy chickpea puree thing on toast at Contigo, San Francisco. AMAZING!!! next time you guys are up on San Fran you've got to visit that place!

Anonymous said...

The information here is great. I will invite my friends here.