With all of the photos I’ve received from friends in Italy donning their “Carnevale” best and with Fat Tuesday soon approaching, I’ve been doing quite a bit of research on traditional Carnevale foods and customs. For Christmas this year, I received an Italian cookbook called Le Ricette Regionali Italiani, a 1,200-page collection of traditional recipes from Italy’s 20 regions, packed with cultural anecdotes and culinary history. The beauty of this tome is its colloquial recipes calling for ingredients such as “melanzane belle” (pretty eggplants). One interesting and rather unusual Carnevale dessert recipe from Abruzzo that I found is for “sanguinaccio,” a dark chocolate custard of sorts that calls for “un litro di sangue di maiale appena ucciso” – a liter of blood from a pig that has just been killed.” More on Carnevale later in the week! Ciao!