With a busy day planned, we then drive to Pontremoli in the Massa-carrara province to scout out a recommended location for a nice lunch. Trattoria Bacciottini, via ricci Armani 13, known for their Stoccafiso (stockfish) and Baccala fritto (fried cod). Having had my fill of cod a few days prior at the festival, I opted for another item that the area is known for: testarolli. Testarolli is like a pancake that is partially cooked in a round disk (some in an wood fired oven) and then, prior to serving, it is cut and boiled. Here is the Testarolli I ordered, served with a fresh basil pesto and extra virgin olive oil, which I then topped off with parmigiano cheese. Delicious.
Testarolli with pesto
After walking a bit to digest lunch, we were off to Lunigiana to meet with Pier Paolo. Pier Paolo is the banker turned cheese-maker owner of ‘Naturalmente Lunigiana’. This cheese and salumi shop makes all of their cheeses on premise, with the majority of the cheeses being local styles.
Front of Naturalmente Lunigiana
Pier Paolo teeding to the farm
Yep, that’s fresh ricotta in the background!
Last stop before heading back was to Birrificio Forte. We were running out of time so we took a quick tour of their one-room microbrewery which makes artisan italian microbrews such as ‘2 cilindri’ Porter which won the 2012 European Beer Tasting Silver Award. Interestingly enough, the beer is made with live yeast, so after the beer is bottled, it is put in a room climate controlled room where it ferments for a minimum of 25 days and then boxed.
Inside Birrificio Forte
At this point it is about 7:45pm and we are off to Lucca, where I will hang out while Heather has another sommelier course as part of her personal professional development. Buona Notte!