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Hello!  My name is Carmen author of The Heirloom Chronicles.  The intention for this blog came from a desire to document my family recipes and traditions along with their related stories.  I am an Italo Australian born in Domodossola, a small city in the Piedmont region in the north of Italy.  My parents and sister are from the Basilicata region of Italy – papa` from Acerenza, mamma from Montemurro and my sister from Potenza.    

We migrated to Australia in 1970 and with this great move we brought with us as many of our heirlooms and maintained food traditions that have kept us connected with our family back home.    I married an Australian who is of Sicilian descendant and with these three regions of Italy coming together in our family, recipes with related stories have evolved.   
The ingredients I cook with and write about are those that my grandparents grew and cooked with, maintaining this philosophy of 'cucina povera' that my parents still live by. Making do with humble seasonal ingredients and transforming them into memorable tasty dishes resonates with my idea of cooking.   These most treasured heirlooms are the sweet memories of our family that I write about and wish to pass down to my children.

The Heirloom Chronicles blog has been inspired by my varied interests in cooking - researching recipes and ingredients from the past; gardening - learning to grow, preserve and cook with fruits, vegetable, herbs and wild greens commonly used by my parents & grandparents.

I also love to travel, have an appreciation for art and photography, so occasionally you will see this interwoven through my blog posts, and Instagram. I cook from the heart and hope you enjoy reading my blog!

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Popular posts from this blog

Cucina Conversations: Rosette di Pane (Rosette Bread Rolls)

Rosette Soffiate, or puffed rosette rolls are probably one of the hardest bread types I have attempted to make.  It has taken me many attempts and still cannot claim that I have achieved the hollow centre being 'the' inherent characteristic of this Italian panino.  This month, our CucinaConversations topic is all about bread, and provides us with an opportunity to learn more about the many bread types found in the different regions of Italy. There are claims that there are over 350 types of bread in Italy, of which many are specific to their regions while others are more widespread and exist based around religious, utilitarian or prepared for celebrations.  

This rosetta roll is ideal and typically used for fillings due to its hollow centre. In the Friuli-Venezia region of Italy, a region which borders Austria, rosette rolls are similar to Austrian bread, and have a soft, compact crumb.  Like those in Austria, they are sprinkled with poppy seeds. Rosette rolls produced in Milan…

Panzerotti /Tortelli di Castagne & Cioccolato (Chestnut & chocolate filled morsels)

When I think of chestnuts, I reminisce about my birth town - Domodossola, where I was first introduced to this distinctive flavoured nut.  We were fortunate to live close to Sacro Monte Calvario, a mountain lined with chestnut trees. My mother cooked many dishes which used this flavorsome nut, especially sweets such as these panzerotti di castagne & cioccolato.  Withthis sweet mamma has more recently substituted the chestnut filling with chickpeas as they are readily available all year round and knowing that my papa`enjoys this sweetmade frequently.

Chestnut season is a favourite for our whole family and we are of the belief that if you've never had a freshly roasted chestnut you haven't lived. We often visit Daylesford in country Victoria around autumn to purchase them fresh and enjoy them roasted at the farmers markets.

This recipe is a variation of panzerotti / tortelli di ceci which I have shared previously with you.  The filling is more delicate in texture and lighter t…

Cucina Conversations: Cassatelle Siciliane

Cassatelle are typical Sicilian pastries filled with lemon scented ricotta, and also known as cassateddi in Sicilian dialect.  The name derives from the word cassata, and by adding the diminutive suffix ‘ella’ you get the word cassatella, a smaller individual serving. An assortment of these pastries can be found in different regions of Sicily and are considered traditional deserts for the Carnevale and Easter period. In researching this topic, I become enthralled by the history behind the most complex of cassate from Palermo through to these more simple-to-make pastries from Siracusa, and therefore could not help but share some of its history with you.
Sicily is known as the sweets centre of Italy, and it appears that the most colourful and famous cassatasiciliana in all its glory, is one of the reasons.  It is believed to have originated in Palermo, made with sheep’s milk ricotta – at its richest and herbaceous during Spring; and containing other ingredients prevalent to the area suc…