About

Thanks for visiting my site. I am Paola (though I generally get called Paula) and my family is from Veneto and Istria in North Eastern Italy. I live in Melbourne, Australia. My love of Italy and its food is part of the journey I am taking to embrace the growing, making and sharing of food through the culture that my parents gave me. Eating and sharing food go hand in hand. Our memories of food are often links to places, people, events and feelings. I share stories about the food I cook and its memories.

I return to Italy every couple of years to spend time with my extended family, sharing meals, talking and hearing stories of days long gone. I love sharing these visits through the photos that you will see in my blog posts. My mother is from a tiny town on the outskirts of Treviso and she is my greatest food inspiration. I would love for you to be inspired to explore your own memories of food and family; I hope you enjoy reading my stories and cooking the simple Italian food that I love.

paola e mamma settembre 2012

100 comments on “About

  1. Paola Bella…mi ricordi?!? “BRAVA PAOLA!”….”VIVA ITALIA!” Le giorni dei sogni di cibo. Hope I got that right. Email me xxx

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  2. hI Paola , i am really enjoying your blog and following you on instagram .. your food photos always look amazing !!!!! regards , Sharon

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  3. Hi Paola! I found your blog through another one and I like it a lot! I’m from Friuli and I have been living in Melbourne for the past (almost) two years. Now I’m about to go back but I’ll miss this place. Just thought I’d come past and say hello.. I love cooking too, so i’ll be coming back to have a look at the recipes!
    ciao
    Linda

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    • Linda! Thank you so much for stopping by to say hello. To sorry to hear you are leaving Melbourne (though it is winter and summer will be lovely in Pordenone) – I had a look at your blog too, it is terrific, so many recipes to try 🙂

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  4. Ciao Paolo, I would love to bring my girls to your classes. Their Nonna and Nonno were from Marostica and Valonara in Vicenza and miss cooking with them. Do you have regular classes?
    Grazie Mille
    Catherine
    I follow you on Instagram.

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  5. Ciao Paola,

    I tripped accross your blog while looking ofr a recipe for crostoli and I tried the one you posted – fabulous, they worked a treat. Just like mum used ot make.

    I found your popst on zucchini flowers too. Mum used to do these when we were kids too and they were great. I also recall her baby zucchini, no more than a few centimetres, thinly sliced, floured and deep fried till golden crisp. Mum used to cook green tomatos sliced and battered too. Joyous home cooked seasonal fare and I continue that tradition to the day.

    I couldn’t agree more with what you post here, Northern Italian culture is just so relaxed we should all take more note of it. I come from Friuli (San Vito al Tagliamento) although I was only a few months old when we arrived in Oz. I reckon our folks had the right idea and were much the happier for it. Love you blog, keep it up.

    ps. If you want a laugh, follow a bit of the Northern culture’s more humorous side try: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5b3EUC438Ls and follow Dino’s adventure throught he rest of the series.

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    • Grazie for your lovely comments Albert and for reading my blog – feedback makes it even more worthwhile. I am so happy you tried my mother’s crostoli recipe. Viva Friuli!! And how lucky are we to have such an amazing culture and life in Australia!

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  6. No problem Paola, it’s nice to catch up with someone who understands what it’s like to grow up in the Veneto culture. It also takes me back to my childhood when, as I recall, the kitchen was the hub of the household much like the fogolar was back in Friuli.

    I can remmeber when everyone was involved in preparing a meal and the ends of the panetta, the crust off the parmesan after most of the cheese was ground out of it or the “cuorexini” from the first cut of radiccio were all hotly contested commodities. And us kids simply took it all for granted…because we never knew anything different.

    I see you have lots of recipes on your blog, some I recognise, some I don’t but I’ll give them a go. I’ll post replies and let you know how I get on. Hope to share some of my mum’s recipes as well.
    Albert

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    • Ah the crust of parmiggiano! My mother still puts pieces in her “minestra di verdura” – a little salty surprise for the lucky one who would get it in their plate! Gorgeous memories :))

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  7. I am happy to discover your blog… I have been following u on IG for quite a long time but this is the first time I check this out.
    Everything looks fantastic…. I will try first with the Panforte… I hope that is not too difficult for a begginer !!!

    Thanks and keep it on !
    Daniel Rios (mex)

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  8. Hi Paola,
    Being an Australian married to a beautiful Italian man, with three beautiful daughters, we have decided we want an Italian Christmas as both families coming but at different times; Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. So could really do large quantities. But more than anything we want an Italian celebration this year. He loves Antipasti, and I love really fresh clean eating. I would so love some advice re menus from you. I love your love of food and passion for Italy, I would like to be/need to be organised!!

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    • Hi Catherine, thanks for your lovely message. I love planning food for Christmas!
      A few things we have had in past years (and they genenrally revolve around seafood) – sarde in soar (Venetian style sardines), grilled baby calamari, scallops on skewers and barbequed. My mother also makes an amazing stuffed chicken – she debones it and stuffs it with layers of cured meats, pistachio nuts – the centre looks like a terrine surrounded by chicken. We always have an enormous salad with green radicchio and tomatoes from the garden.
      I am still planning for this year’s Christmas. I can send you and email once I have it planned if you like – let me know. Paola

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      • Dearest Paola,

        I have had the craziest busy time with work and unable to reply. This sounds wonderful.

        I would so love to receive your email once you have planned.

        your mama’s Chicken sounds sublime, that would be a winner here with the brothers, and big plates of salads are my strength!!

        Sardines mmm I adore them.

        Look forward to hearing from you and again apologies for not getting back to you sooner.

        Regards,

        The Serafini Family

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    • Hi Catherine – after much deliberating, I have decided what to make for Christmas antipasti – they are lovely vegetable rolls based on an Antonio Carluccio recipe. I will put these in a blog post soon – hopefully this Sunday if not a few days later. Just perfect for Christmas!

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  9. That’s fabulous Paola. I have been on your blog today looking at Antipasti in particular as we sat down and talked about the menu over the weekend. Your panforte is also temtping to try… I’ll await Antonio’s recipe eagerly. thank you. 🙂

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    • Thank you! I have an uncle from Fiume (who moved to Pola then eventually to Monfalcone). Have you ever been there? I had a look at your blog about living in Dubai – terrific photos! Thanks for stopping by 🙂

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  10. Hi Paola,
    Thank you so much for such a great blog! I look forward to your posts each week and my knowledge and love of Italian food is growing, fed by you. I have a question for you however, I have decided to make gnocchi for the first time, boiled the potatoes last night (I had been told that was a winning way by a friend) and am to put the rest of the recipe together today. However, I did peel and cut the potatoes before boiling (pays to look at a recipe before you start cooking, doesn’t it?) – is this going to make the gnocchi too moist, is there something I can do to remedy my mistake?
    Much appreciate you taking the time to help me with this is you can!
    Lissa.

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    • Hi Lissa, thanks so much for your kind words, I really appreciate it. I always cook my potatoes whole (and use floury ones like Desiree) as they do absorb less water. Cutting them into pieces before cooking will probably mean they will absorb more flour. The secret is to add as little flour as possible so add the minimum you can, roll a few and then cook one and check the consistency. If it falls apart, add a bit more flour and repeat until they hold together. Certainly not a disaster but might be a bit “chewier”. Good luck! I am sure they will still be beautiful

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  11. Hi Paola, I just discovered your blog and am loving it! We have recently moved from the UK to Piemonte and are gradually learning all about Slow Food, not to mention all the incredible wines… Your knowledge and passion is clear for everyone to see. I look forward to reading more!

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  12. Hi. Nice Blog! There’s a cute lil Italian cafe called Two 10 that I came across in Albion St Brunswick that specialises in Calabrese dishes & panini. Was the best panino ive had since I was in Rome a couple of years ago! Cant believe that its so hard to get a good panino sometimes. Keep up the good work. Anthony

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  13. Hi Paola, have been following you for some time on instagram but didn’t think there was a blog also. Will spend some time now pouring over past posts. Hope you enjoy your travels overseas.

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  14. ciao paola! I love your site. the food and travel photos look wonderful. I look forward to reading more. I also love your zia dina’s name!

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  15. Hi Paola,
    Thanks for liking my blog. You will see some of your dishes on it in 2014 no doubt!
    Will post shortly on instagram for a chance to win that book!
    Ciao!
    David

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  16. Hi found your blog after looking for a cherry cake recipe with a jar of morello cherries that I have had in the cupboard for a long time. I made the cherry cake last Saturday for Chinese New Year in it was fantastic and very easy, everyone loved the cake, Red colour symbolises good luck, prosperity and good health. Thank you for sharing your recipe
    Susanne

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    • I am so glad you liked it Susanne – a recipe that never fails (and that has to be good). And I like prosperity and good health so here’s to all red things!! Thanks for commenting, I always appreciate hearing from those who enjoy my recipes 🙂

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  17. Ciao Paola!
    I randomly found one of your pics on Instagram and started following you. Now I’ve found out your mother is from a town outside Treviso, and so am I! Out of curiosity, where exactly?
    Anyway, keep posting your great photos and yummy recipes!
    Have a great day,

    Andrée

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  18. Your blog is beautiful Paola! I am so glad that you found me so that I could discover your beautiful writing, history and food culture. I’ll be following you from now on. Cannot wait to read more of your stories x

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  19. Paola! I am happy to have discovered your blog. I blog about the difference between what is considered “Italian Food” and the actual food of Italy. Your blog definitely deserves a Cannolo Award for the preservation of authentic Italian food! Here you can read all about it:

    http://www.disgracesonthemenu.com/p/cannolo-award.html

    I hope you will accept it, I’ve already added you to the list.

    P.S. People often call me Paulo too… But I have a feeling that’s not the only thing we have in common 🙂

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  20. What a wonderful blog, Paola! I share entirely in your delight in the rich and varied Italian culinary tradition – and all things Italian. Thank you for this. I noticed that your daughter is coeliac. My mum is also, having been diagnosed later in life. She has her own blog on which she shares delicious GF recipes – have a look if you have time: http://cookingwithoutgluten.wordpress.com/

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    • thanks Andrew, I am so glad you are enjoying the blog. I will definitely pop over to your mum’s blog – my daughter is not coeliac (we don’t think, never been tested) but she definitely can’t eat gluten. I am always on the lookout for new recipes so thanks very much.
      Paola

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  21. Bounasera Paola,

    first of all…I love your food blog. I love the pictures of food. Sometimes I catch myself buying cookbooks just for the creative constructed images. And when I look at my bookshelf I almost see Italian cookbooks. I love Italy. I’m from Austria. I live in the south, near the border to Italy. For me it’s a normal thing going to Tarvisio for Pizza, Pasta o Calamari e Pesce,
    It takes me only half an hour. This is nearly a family tradition since I am a little Girl.
    I spend actually every holiday trip in Italy. I’m a fan of the Lago di Garda.
    Enough of me…your pictures are amazing. You know exactly how to position small things so that your image captivates the viewer. Tu presenti la cucina italiana con tanto amore.
    Tanti Saluti
    Stefanie

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    • Cara Stephanie, grazie!! You are very sweet, thank you for your kind words and for telling me about you. People living close to the border of other countries are so lucky – like you, going to Italy for dinner! And you must speak/write at least 3 languages. My nonna (name was Stefania) was born in Klagenfurt (days of the austro-hungary) but I don’t speak german (my father did, a bit). Thanks so much for following my blog Paola xx (ps. My second name is Stephanie)

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      • Cara Paola Stephanie 🙂
        Il mondo è un villaggio. This is a proverb in german. I’m from Villach. This is about 40 kilometers from Klagenfurt.
        Best regards from me from the land of your grandmother. All the best for you and your family!
        Stefanie

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  22. Ciao Paola,

    It was a pleasure meeting you and Mark at Fabrizia’s. I am enjoying your blog & look forward to meeting you again in our travels. If ever in NY, you are welcome to our home.

    Best,
    Ursula

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    • It was a pleasure meeting you too and thanks for taking the time to look at my blog. Will definitely let you know when we head to NY (we will eventually go there I am sure). I hope you enjoyed your stay at Fabrizia’s, an amazing place!

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  23. I am going to thoroughly enjoy going through your blog. I’ve been looking at the sweets and I can’t wait to try some out for myself. Thank you kindly for sharing your wonderful recipes. You have a fan in me! Best, Koko❀

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  24. Ciao Paola! I am recently new to your blog and Instagram feed and am so glad to have found you! It’s such a delight browsing through your beautiful photos and recipes. I write my own food blog called Flavia’s Flavors. My paternal grandparents were also from a small town outside of Treviso–it’s a small village called Lovadina just outside of Spresiano. My mother’s parents were from Rome and I still have many cousins in both regions of Italy. I spent all my childhood summers traveling to Italy to visit my extended family. I spoke Italian before I spoke English and when we weren’t visiting Italy, the Italian food culture was always kept alive in our home in Maryland. I’m looking forward to exploring more of your blog and someday I would love to visit Australia. I have heard so many wonderful things about your country and love how there is a thriving Italian population there! Thank you for sharing such wonderful stories and recipes with your readers! P.S. I liked a bunch of your photos on Instagram the other day–my apologies if your feed blew up with a ton of likes!

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    • Ciao cara Flavia, thanks so much for your kind words and for taking the time to write on my blog (and for all the Instagram likes as well). great to hear you are almost a paesana – I love how social media connects us and finds people with similar backgrounds or interests. There are so many Italians here (more seem to be migrating each day). Are there lots of new Italian migrants in the States as well?
      Heading over to your blog right now. X

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      • Ciao Paola, What a lovely way to start the day by reading your reply; thank you! Social media is pretty fantastic. The US has a good amount of Italians as well, but they are mostly concentrated on the East Coast, especially near New York City. Canada also has a large Italian population in and around Toronto. Many Italians here in the US are second and third generation, so they are more Italian-American, with many people no longer speaking Italian at all. I’m not certain, but it doesn’t seem that we have many Italians migrating anymore to the US, but I could be mistaken.

        Thank you for visiting my blog. You may have noticed that I haven’t blogged for some time. I am doing a complete overhaul. I am having it re-designed and moving to WordPress. My blog has always been a “passion project” for me; I’ve deliberately chose not to make a living from it. When I first started it, I had intended on writing solely about Italian food, but I never stuck to that goal and I was often unfocused. The content management system the current blog runs on is also glitchy and some of the older posts are a disaster with slow-loading photos. So, I decided that once the new Flavia’s Flavors launches, it will be a completely fresh start. I’m not migrating any past content. I’m going to re-test and re-photograph most of the Italian recipes from the “old” blog and write entirely new posts. It will look like I just started blogging, but I don’t mind. This is still a passion project for me and my focus is now more specific and I’m much more organized this time around with how I want to write, photograph and cook for the blog. Once the new Flavia’s Flavors re-launches, I’ll be making announcements on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter. I’m very excited!

        Have a great weekend!

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