06 May 2009

Letters from Calabria













Today is my first day back from Italy, and I'm fighting a bad case of jet lag. I shot up and down the southwest coast, otherwise known as the beautiful unknown Calabria, for a book about, what else, the food of Calabria. Let me tell you, I've never eaten more food or better food in my life. Everything is so simple and so fresh, it puts "fresh and organic" in this country to shame. I'm so frustrated that I don't have access to unpasteurized cheese right now and I don't know how anyone in their right mind could come up with something so tasteless and stupid. One of the highlights of the trip was shooting a shepherd making fresh ricotta. He scooped a bit off the top of the giant black pot over the fire, put it on some homemade bread, and that was my breakfast. I almost passed out; it was too good.

32 comments:

Anna Kuperberg said...

You rocked this shoot! I love these!

Robyn Valarik said...

Ahhhh! Thanks for sharing your working vacation. My own need for one has lessened a bit after viewing such beautiful images. Or maybe you've just help me decided where my next vacation will be. Either way,my eyes peel away feeling better.

Erin Lee Gafill said...

These photos leave me breathless, make me madly jealous, reaffirm the value of all the most simple holy things (a loaf of bread, fresh cheese, an act of giving another food) and you have captured love, life, hope, in all its earthy human glory. I just love what you wrote too and the passion I hear in your words. Between this and Nani's most recent post about making jam at mynepenthebook.com, I am reeling with the community of art/food/life we are all so blessedly inhabiting!

Tom Birmingham said...

What a fabulous group of photos. Evocative, Spontaneous, and Assured.
Thanks for sharing

Tom B

Ilva said...

Fantastic photos, I think you have caught the soul of Calabria in them

Justin said...

Cassie Jones, my editor at Morrow, directed me to your blog. My paternal grandfather is a native of Chorio, just above Melito di Porto Salvo in Calabria. I have lots of cousins in Reggio and have visited often. Your photos are gorgeous and show Calabria in a light that most people, even Italians, fail to see. It's not Tuscany, but it has so many charms. And the food...! Good luck with your project.
Justin Catanoso
www.justincatanoso.com

michelle | bleeding espresso said...

Here via Justin; glad you got some great shots of bella Calabria...definitely one of my favorite places on Earth (speaking as someone who has lived here for the past 6 years)! Best of luck with the book :)

Sparrow said...

Thanks for sharing Sara! as always your images make me feel like I am there. And yes, I still have your lovely photos hanging in my home.

Justin said...

In the third row of photos from the top, that castle on the end of a point, that's Scilla, right?

Alessia said...

sara, I do love these images...I can only imagine what you could do in Rome or in another beautiful, wild italian region call Puglia (not too far from Calabria)...all my family come from there...you have to go!
kisses
alessia

Colleen Watts said...

Wow, came across your blog on Twitter and I can't stop reading and looking at your photos. SO beautiful!

josephine said...

i'm in love with these photos! you must have seen a hundred different shades of oranges and yellows on this trip.

Kathryn and Brooke said...

my gawd you could NOT take better or more amazing photos Sara. literally these take my breath away. W.O.W. No other words. K

Kevin said...

Beautiful photos, Sara!

rachael said...

Is the cheese in south america unpastuerized too? I remember really liking the dairy products there.

Your pictures are amazing!

Anne in Oxfordshire said...

Hi just came across via Lucillian Delights who has a link to you on her latest post...you photos of Calabria are fantastic, makes me want to go back to Italy now !!!

The Cocktail Store said...

I came across your cocktail photography on Dougs Pegu Blog and came through to your site. Just wanted to say fantastic photographs. Keep up the excellent work!

Julie Blair said...

I love all of these images! Wow, you are so gifted and it sounds like you had an amazing trip. Thank you for sharing.

Bethany (Dirty Kitchen Secrets) said...

beautiful photos! sounds lovely! :)

Amanda Mae said...

dream job, i tell you! you're living a dream. and you deserve it, your photos are incredible. keep sharing!

Sheli said...

Beautiful photographs! I love food and I love photography so your photos are an inspiration. I got here from 101cookbooks, she was talking about the work you did for the Big Sur Bakery cookbook and now I want to buy it even more just to see your work in it! :) What equipment do you use? I scanned down a couple posts and saw you said you use alot of digital but your photos are so beautiful and have a slide film color quality. I'd love to know what camera and lenses/filters your using, do you do alot of color editing afterwards?

Josephine said...

I can't wait to study-abroad in Italy, I may just go straight to Calabria after reading your little tale and looking at your gorgeous pictures. Your art is amazing. (And I can't wait to have my share of fresh-scooped ricotta on homemade bread.)

Caroline Hancox said...

these are beautiful images, really captures the magic of Italy, I love them

viceversaweekly said...

incredible photos! love them all!=)

MsGourmet said...

Spectacular photos Sara!

Lisa Wiseman said...

gorgeous as always and i'm (not shockingly) fairly hungry after looking at your images!

closetchef said...

pretty much leaves my skin with goosebumps. Your images are stunning. I stared at the shot of all the buildings for about 30mins no lie.

- Suzie - said...

Ciao Sara,
I am glad to see your Calabrian impressions! Please let me know when the book is published!
I am a fan of Calabria myself with a "pied a terre" in Pizzo.

Germaine & Antonio said...

These photos are gorgeous. I came across your site from my sister's page (www.some.fancypiece.com).

My husband's family lives near the border of Calabria, in a little village above Sapri called Torraca. It is so true that south Italy is so much more interesting when it comes to food. In fact, south Italy produces some of the best food like mozzarella, onions from Tropea, n'duia and many more.

My husband is a chef and everytime we are back in Italy for holiday, we will try not to miss the sagre held in the little villages. Each village has their speciality, the food is genuine and are mostly home-made.

Next time if you visit Italy again and have the chance to visit Campania region, don't forget to try the famous mozzarella from Vannulo, one of the best mozzarella caseificio.

Thanks for sharing the beautiful shots.

ale said...

I'm italian and it's fantastic as you, with your shots, have described the Calabria's mood ( there is not only stereotype of n'drangheta, mafi and so on... as you have seen). Everytime, I live close to Rome, I go to the South - Campania, Puglia, Calabria, Sicily - I find out landscapes and flavours that are unique and that go straight to the heart.

Anonymous said...

I really have to concur with the last person who commented. You have really been able to capture what the Calabrese themselves treasure about their culture. So many people take beautiful places in Calabria and photoshop them to be dark and sketchy. Thank you for allowing Calabria to shine!

Amelia PS said...

simple life is actually rather complicated to capture. You did it.