Well, well, well. Sometimes Royal Mail really excels. I posted my Europan Blogging By Mail on Monday afternoon (kindly hosted and coordinated by Andrew at Spittoon), and as I had a slight exchance of unpleasantries with my post office clerk I was thinking afterwards that I should have asked for a proof of postage, should the parcel mysteriously dissappear. But I was pleased to find out on Tuesday afternoon that my EBBM buddy Moira of beautiful Who Wants Seconds had received the parcel on that morning (click here for Moira's very kind write-up).
This was good news. And even better news was that I had been woken up by postman that morning, delivering a food parcel sent to me! Hurray! Excited like a small kid on Christmas eve (that's when we open our presents back home), I quickly took a snapshot of my parcel before tearing the wrapping apart.
My lovely-lovely parcel came from Johanna of the passionate cook and what a treat it was. All the three items in the parcel were delicious and I've already managed to taste everything! Johanna had also included a lovely note introducing the items in the parcel. Although an Austrian living in London, Johanna has an Italian grandfather, so the parcel was a nod to her Italian roots.
There was a jar of chilli & coriander pesto that I used to spice up my fresh (though not home made) mushroom tortellini - lovely. This shop-bought pesto was a last-minute replacement for the homemade cashew, rocket & chilli pesto. I'm looking forward to Johanna posting the recipe for the original pesto on her website soon, so that I could try that one as well:)
The other delicious item in the parcel was a bag of cantucci, the crunchy Italian biscuits. I nibbled on Johanna's really nice almond, ginger and pink peppercorn cantucci while drinking tea and watching a DVD with two friends. The cantucci were gorgeous - crunchy and sweet, with sneakily devillish pink peppercorns (see the pink dots on the picture?) giving some bite every now and then.
And finally, there was a lovely small jar of fragolaceto. I had never heard of that before, and it's was my loss, as it was gorgeous. Johanna describes it as 'strawberry jam with balsamico' and says that it is 'best consumed with (hard) cheese, like parmesan or old gouda. Some people even pour it over vanilla ice cream!'. I really enjoyed this preserve. You see, I had come across several recipes combining strawberries and balsamic vinegar before, but somehow they failed to entice and convince me. I am now so going to try that combination soon. Meanwhile, I ate a spoonful of fragolaceto with some sliced Estonian smoked cheese, suitsujuust. Lovely. And then I threw a spoonful to my Scottish strawberry + Italian mascarpone dessert (ehh - that's strawberries and mascarpone in a small bowl kind of dessert). Utterly lovely again. I really like the sweet-tangy flavour combination - no wonder it complements both savoury and sweet dishes.
PS The DVD I was re-watching while eating cantucci was Todd Solondz's utterly weird and disturbing Happiness from 1999. There must have been something in those yummy cantucci to spark my memory, as I actually rememembered what was going to happen every now and then despite of having seen it last time more than five years ago.. Or maybe it was the rosemary I had couple of weeks ago:)
Update 9 Aug 05: Johanna has kindly posted the recipes for fragolaceto and rocket & cashew pesto on her site, the passionate cook, now. Thank you!