Two Years of Blogging

Another year has gone by, marking Quatro Fromaggio’s second birthday, and the time for me to look back at 12 more months of blogging!

With about 30 articles published, I managed to keep my resolution of posting at least once every two weeks, having failed my real resolution to post every week. Out of the 19 new recipes, a few became quite popular, confirming that people go to food blogs when they are looking for genuine recipes.

I presented an appetizer (Cannellini and Radicchio Crostini), a summer salad (Insalata di Riso), two second courses (Asparagi alla Milanese, Frittatona di Cipolle), one side (Polenta Taragna), two desserts (Caldarroste and Tiramisu), one soup (Summer Minestra), one risotto (Saffron and Leek), several pasta dishes (Pesto, Potatoes and Green Beans Pasta, Bell Pepper Pasta, Pasta alla Norma, Egg Pasta with Green Beans and Mushrooms, Baked Shells Pasta with Ricotta and Spinach, Tagliolini with Mushrooms, Eggs and Smoked Scamorza Pasta), and, finally, the interesting Canederli, the Italian version of Knödel.

As you may have noticed, Quatro Fromaggio has the “unadvertised feature” of containing all vegetarian (lacto-ovo) recipes, most of which being first courses. This is because my wife and I have a vegetarian household and because these are the recipes that I enjoy cooking the most. In the coming year, I would like to present more sides dishes, appetizers, and a few second courses.

By posting more new recipes, I had the opportunity to work on my food photography. I still have a long way to go, but I think I managed to make my recipes look at least appetizing, which is actually quite challenging. I invested a bit in the equipment, but I also followed a few important tips, such as the ones from Michael Ray and from Katherine Martinelli.

Still, recipes are not the main focus of this blog; the main focus is to talk about Italian culture and the difference between contemporary (continental) Italian food and its misrepresentations around the world. As I expected, having covered in year one all the basic Italian themes (and most of my pet peeves), I now have to dig deeper to find new topics and do much more research. This is the real reason why I have so many recipes this year, relatively to the number of articles – I keep posting recipes because the articles take longer to write! However, this also means that I’m learning a lot – instead of just comparing Italian products to their North American counterparts, I now need to understand the reasons of this difference. For the Italian Myths article, for instance, I discovered a lot about Italian-American cuisine, of which I admit I didn’t know much about. Other articles were about: Panini, Ravioli, Limoncello, Amaretti and Amaretto, Tomatoes, and Coffee.

This year I also ran one interesting experiment, the Pasta Calendar giveaway offered to all who participated in a Quiz on Italian cuisine. Many took the test, and I very much enjoyed looking at the results. Especially because they confirmed that there is still very much need for blogs like mine!

But the most interesting initiative of the entire year is, without doubt, the introduction of the Cannolo Award, which has gained far more popularity than I expected by reaching several acclaimed food blogs, and by being proudly displayed by most of them. The inspiration came from the many awards that food bloggers give to other food bloggers as recognition for good work and to cross-link. I’ve always dreamed of some kind of “certification” for food that is presented as “Italian”, as for any other regional or ethnic food. Wouldn’t it be awesome to dine at Paolo’s Italian Restaurant, licensed and certified? Well, I thought, at least let’s certify food blogs! I would like to thank my wife Candace for coming up with the name (which then gave birth to the logo) – I think it played a big part in the award’s success.

As usual, thanks all for reading! Please contact me if you have any request or suggestion, or please post a comment. Feedback is always welcome.