Grissini (Bread Sticks) & Costigliole d’Asti, Italy

Grissini is a specialty of the Piedmonte region of Italy.

Costigliole d’Asti, Italy (by: lefotodimarzo)

Yesterday I made grissini at home. Why?  Well, because when organizing my recipe files a few days earlier, I found my old breadstick recipe from the time I spent living and studying in Costigliole d’Asti, Italy.

Costigliole d’ Asti is a small and very beautiful wine-producing region outside the larger town of Asti in the Piedmonte region of Italy. Asti and this region are also well known for their Sparkling Wine production, the most famous being Asti Spumante.

Grissini and “Miami Manatee

Grissini also reminds me of Miami as strange as that might seem.  Costiglioli d’Asti, Italy to Miami, Florida? Yes! I worked once as a morning baker for Big Fish Restaurant in downtown Miami on the Miami River. This was an early morning job. I was the only one there along with a Cuban gentleman that cleaned and organized the restaurant. Every morning around 9 am to 9:30 am my Cuban friend and I took a coffee break. He would make a nice strong cafecito which is basically a sweet espresso and I often would bring some of the freshly baked grissini that I would be making. We would sit outside along the Miami River and watch the morning unfold. At this time in the morning, the river was very still and the sun would be gently glistening off the water.

Manatees would swim right up to the side of the restaurant which was only a few feet from the river’s edge.  It doesn’t get more Miami than this.  We would break up a few heads of lettuce and toss them into the river and watch the manatees bob up and down and eat. These gentle sea creatures would appear every morning. I guess they looked forward to seeing us just as much as we looked forward to seeing them each morning. This memory always comes to my mind when making grissini.

Summer in The City

Now let’s fast forward to yesterday in New York City.  It was a hot day in NYC and finding my old grissini recipe brought me back to this golden cooking moment and memory from my culinary career.  So, I figured why not share is this cooking memory with others.

I made the recipe as well yesterday and the grissini were just as great as I remembered them to be.  Unfortunately, minus the palm trees and friendly Manatees!

Grissini (breadsticks)