July 25, 2005
Tuscan Treasures- Roberta
When I first started teaching classes for Syracuse University here in Florence in 1988, one of my first teachers at the San Lorenzo market was Roberta.
She had the largest fruit stand upstairs with her oldest son. Roberta would always give me huge bags of ripe fruit for 5,000 lira to make huge bowls of Macedonia for my classes once a month.
To this day when I make Macedonia I think of Roberta.
Since the days of my classes for students, Roberta's son died and she had to abandon her stand as alone it was impossible to take care of it on her own.
Macedonia is a fruit salad, of many mixed fruits, probably getting it's name from the region of Macedonia, above Greece where they are a mixed population!
Usually at the end of a meal, one would cut strawberries into a small water tumbler, sprinkle a tablespoon of sugar or two on top and cover with red wine.Talking while waiting for the sugar to dissolve. then eating the fruit and drinking the infused wine. Mangi e Bevi, Eat and Drink!
Peaches are usually done in white wine... sound familar.. the Bellini cocktail, peaches in prosecco, Italy's sparkling white wine.
Today I buy my fruit downstairs at the more expensive stands, often using wild strawberries, raspberries and other more elegant fruits instead of the family style pears, apples, bananas,peaches, apricots and plums that Roberta gave me.
Non the less, fabulous.
Join me in this tribute to Roberta, with whatever ripe fruit you have!
Macedonia alla Roberta
2 to 3 pieces of really ripe fruit per person
Apples,peaches, bananas,kiwi, peaches,pears....
Cut the fruit up into bitesize pieces and place in a large bowl.
It is important not to skimp on the sugar.
In a big bowl add about 1 cup of sugar.
If you were making jam it would be a pound of sugar to a pound of fruit!
We are not making jam, but the sugar brings out the juices in the fruit, which will blend with the wine to give you a great liquid that you can drink when you finish the fruit salad!
Add white wine to cover.
Stir and let sit.
Taste and if you tastes like too much wine, add more sugar!