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Consuming Passions

With food gifts, ’tis better to give than to receive—as long as the recipients are willing to share.


Photos by Davies + Starr.  

For the
Finicky Italophile Cook

(1) Beans from Republic of Beans: Tuscans may be bean-eaters, but Beppe and Maremma’s Cesare Casella aims to convert the rest of us, too, with his spectacular heirloom varieties ($4.50 to $27; 212-696-6685).

(2) Benedetto Cavalieri pasta: An exquisite dried pasta with a beautiful wheaty flavor and rough, sauce-grabbing texture, painstakingly produced in a small Puglian town ($4.99 at DiPalo Dairy, 200 Grand St., at Mott St.; 212-226-1033).

(3) Il Buco’s salt trilogy: Delicate fiore di sale, packaged with glass vials of fine and coarse sea salt as well, is hand-harvested from an ancient Trapanese salt pan in Sicily. Use them to cook, to garnish, and to season ($65 at Il Buco, 47 Bond St., nr. Lafayette St.; 212-533-1932).

(4) Gianfranco Becchina Olio Verde: An unfiltered, grassy Sicilian olive oil to anoint a salad or eat with a spoon ($35 at Bellavitae, 24 Minetta Ln., nr. Sixth Ave.; 212-473-5121).

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