Summer holds so many great food memories from my childhood in Italy. One of my favorites is the smell and taste of a ripe tomato right off the vine. Everyone in our town had a vegetable garden, and no matter its size, there were always lots of tomato plants. After all, the gravy (sauce) that we canned had to last for a whole year of pasta meals.
Nonna Assunta with her baby, our Mamma Antonietta
My nonna loved to harvest the plum tomatoes. She cut them in half, squeezed the seeds and liquid out, sprinkled them with salt and placed them on a white sheet in the sun to dry. While helping nonna, I got to taste them as they grew progressively dryer and more intense in flavor. Yum!
My mom did the rest of the work with the tomatoes. She blanched them and ran them through a food mill to remove the skin and seeds, and then put them in jars. It was a time consuming task that was repeated a number of times during tomato season, and well worth it.
In South Philadelphia, bottles of homemade wine flow freely as hostess gifts and gracious thank yous from friends and family. Most of them have three things in common:
- The gifter thinks highly of you to share their precious stash.
- You must be incredibly grateful for their generous gift and enjoy it, or at least pretend to love it.
- It will almost certainly be more palatable as salad dressing than wine.
Jules Esposito, Jr. is determined to change the perception that homemade wine is nothing more than glorified vinegar. Jules is our cousin, and far from the average twenty-something. By day, he works alongside his family at Esposito’s Porchetta (1627 S. 10th St., Philadelphia, PA 19148). You may have enjoyed their sandwiches at any number of festivals in the area. In his free time, he crafts delicious homemade wines. Continue reading
Filed under Beverage, Wine