Subject: Re: Travelling in my pan
Dear Travellers,

In October, I purchased a winter's supply of Rio Mare canned tuna fish and a big mortadella from my favorite little grocer in Mercatale di Cortona, walked across the street to the country post office and mailed all to myself. The agent sold me a pretty yellow carton that came as one sheet and could be magically folded into a box that makes its own lid.Also into the box went an aged Pecorino, a packet of whole dried Peperocino from Val d'Orcia, and five tubes of Calve Maionese Limone. These tubes make nice gifts, too, it is absolutely the best tasting mayonnaise ever. Rio Mare tuna is decidedly better than anything available in North America, plus it has no additives, just good tuna, olive oil,and salt. It is marketed all over Europe but not here.

Other times I have brought back big bags of dried porcini, sun-dried tomatoes, Fanina di Mais to cook polenta (cooks up more quickly with less fuss,)and Baci dark chocolate. Back when luggage was less of a problem, Vin Santo Toscano and Chianti from Grave. When friend Emilio was in the business of making wine and cheese, I packed his Vino Nobile di Montepulciano from the house of La Macchia (now under the ARKES label) and a heavenly round of Pecorino del Casentino that kept me happily in touch with Italy for months.

Once in the Houston Customs area, Sam the food police beagle, ignored my well-wrapped prosciutto for a mother's baby food pack, where her baby's bottle etc. were examined with great suspicion. However in October at the Dallas/Ft. Worth Customs, my lunch sack was impounded when I freely admitted to having the remnants of a porchetta sandwich! I was not arrested.

Lovely to be in the company of you all who share my passion for quality ingredients.

Jane Estus Tulsa, Oklahoma