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Sage Advice

■ 11 June 2010 by James Martin

Yesterday we spent a great afternoon in Chianti, first having lunch with Kyle Phillips of Italian Food, and then sitting down with Twitter buddy Tuscan Ray of Tuscan Enterprises and talking Cinta Senese.

But let’s talk about lunch first. Kyle, a local, took us to Trattoria la Baracchina, a place that repeats the Tusan mantra “Cucina tipica, semplice, genuina” on the menu and on its business cards. It offers a good house wine and traditional food at prices very reasonable for Chianti. Three course lunch for three with a big flask of house wine was €77.50. Although eating at the Baracchina was reasonably light on the wallet, the place was not devoid of weighty guests; the mayor of nearby Castellina in Chianti and the head of the Chianti consortium showed up while we were eating.

And why not? The day was perfect; warm with a slight breeze made sitting on the veranda overlooking the vineyards of Chianti a perfect choice for an informal business meeting. But let’s get to that sage advice.

Which is—> “Order the Following”:

stuffed sage leaves

Chianti has enormous Sage leaves. If it weren’t for Monsanto and its devious ways of screwing up good food worldwide for enormous and unwarranted profit, I’d call them mutant sage leaves. What you see up there is four pairs of these leaves, each pair sandwiching an anchovy and fried.

Now oddly, from the great minds think alike category, on the very same day Diva Cucina posted this picture on her facebook page. Read the comments. Giant sage leaves, stuffed with ricotta. You can’t get more “typical, simple and traditional” than that, can you?

Oh, and the paparadelle with wild boar and the osso bucco were outstanding as well, but wholly unsuited to the warm weather, I know.

Sage Advice originally appeared on WanderingItaly.com Jun 11, 2010, © James Martin.

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