The great James C. is on the road again. He decided to go to Calabria, in the far south of Italy, because the airfare from the UK was only 14 pounds, and because he had tried Calabrian cuisine at a restaurant in England. He writes:

I loved the bold and pungent food, particularly the antipasto: crostini covered in a rich dark red spreadable sausage called ‘nduja. It’s used for everything in Calabria, and it’s magnificent. Superbly spicy, but not in a way that numbs your taste buds. I believe it’s about 75% Calabrian sausage, 20% local pepperoncino (which have a wonderful quality!) and about 5% extra-virgin olive oil. Man, I just love it. That’s what you see in the picture, spread on some stupendous bread. Whatever you can say about southern Italians’ business acumen, they certainly beat the northerners in the bread sweepstakes!

Tropea is home to the most delicious onions in the world, a remarkably sweet purple variety named after the town. I had no idea what Tropea onions were until I saw them for sale at the Chestnut Hill Farmer’s Market in Philly, and bought some to try. They are really something special. James says they make confiture from them in Tropea, and even, get this, gelato.