I love Alexandre Dumas, but I do not share his opinion on Italian food. Perhaps the elaborate preparation involved in French cooking made him resent the fact that the Italians could come up with cuisine equally delicious yet far simpler to prepare.
Celebrating Italian cuisine and wine, Italia in Campagna (Italy in the Countryside) is an Italian Festival which takes place annually at Da Capo Vineyards. Situated on the outskirts of Somerset West, this wine estate is an idyllic hint of the Italian countryside. As you walk up the long avenue of trees and the dust swirls around you, you almost expect a black Alfa Romeo 6C to pull up alongside you and see Michael Corleone step out. I didn’t see a member of the Corleone family, but I did see the latest Alfa Romeo, as well as the new Fiat.
The mood was set with fine weather and the sounds of a live band playing old Italian songs. Pony and tractor rides, a jumping castle, a petting zoo and many other activities kept the children busy; while colourful stalls, a boulles game and wine-tasting also gave the adults the opportunity to browse and relax. Then, of course, there is the food. With cannoli, panini, polenta, salamino, pasta, formaggio, wine, coffee, ice-cream, there was an abundance of delightful Italian cuisine on offer.
After surveying the gorgeous countryside and spotting the Atlantic blue in the distance, a strong cup of Italian coffee helped wake me up. Children had the opportunity to become little Italian chefs and sommeliers as they made pizza and pasta and stomped on grapes in wooden barrels.
In the meantime, my friends and I enjoyed lunch in the cool shade indulging in the most divine panini bread prepared with olive oil, sprinkled with rosemary and salt and layered with Parma ham and mozzarella cheese. Dessert consisted of delectable cannoli filled with mascarpone cheese and chocolate bits.
It didn’t end there as we also indulged in wine-tasting and gelato ice-cream offered in a variety of flavours…even vodka lemon! While standing in line, the sun beating down on us, we were served the most amazing iced coffee I have ever had from Lavazza.
Embracing the love of fellowship and food, this was a great way to spend the day and over-indulge in culinary contentment.
Originally published on Dinner and a Movie