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Celebrating Summer with a Mille Miglia Roadside Picnic

We're using some of our favorite spreads and condiments to make a summertime roadside picnic lunch inspired by the open roads of Italy.

One of the most prestigious open road races in the world is Italy’s Mille Miglia, (MEEL-leh MEEL-yah), a select group of classic and vintage sports cars racing through Italian cities and villages, across panoramic vistas for 1000 miles non-stop during the middle of June. Known as the “most beautiful race in the world” for 5 days classic cars like the Abarth, Alfa Romeo, Aston Martin, BMW, Bugatti, Citroen, Ferrari, Fiat, Lancia, Maserati, Mercedes, MG, Peugeot, Porsche and Renault compete in an open road, motorsport endurance race that evokes Italian passione at its most palpable.

The race begins in the Northern Italian town of Brescia where the 1000 Miglia has been in the town’s heart and soul since the race began in 1927. Divided into 5 stages over 5 days, the chosen route various each year. This year (6-11 to 6-15) the route passes through some of Italy’s most interesting towns, historical landscapes and regional cuisines starting in Brescia in northern Italy, down the eastern peninsula to Rome, then up the western side back to Brescia, circumnavigating the northern half of the country in a clockwise direction.

You don’t need to be a driving legend or professional driver to take part in the Mille Miglia. You do need the right car, which means a car built before December 31,1957 and belonging to a car model that took part in at least one edition of the 1000 Miglia from 1927 to 1957. It is said that to win you need clever tactics and a bit of “buona fortuna” on your side. The race lends itself to a personal connection between the cars, drivers and spectators that line the race route. People of all ages gather side-by-side to cheer the cars and drivers, flags waving with the famous red arrow a striking symbol of the race. 

I’m taking my Fiat 500 out this weekend for a drive in the countryside and although my car doesn’t have the prestige of a vintage Abarth we’ll enjoy an Italian inspired picnic that showcases some of our spreads and condiments and the food from the towns and regions along the corso of Italy’s Mille Miglia, a race that is outside the natural, reminding of old fairy tales, stories of wizards with boots, of endless horizons , a crazy, draining race, without pit stops, through countryside and city, mountains and seashores, day and night pilots with nerves of steel. (Giuseppe Tonelli, Italian Journalist, 1927)

Here are a few ideas for your picnic panini –

Mortadella, Milano or Genoa salami, emmenthal cheese, arugula, mustard or red pepper confit

Prosciutto from Parma, buffalo mozzarella, tomato, black olive crema (spread)

Salami, arugula, horseradish, artichoke and garlic crema (spread) Capezzana extra virgin olive oil

Mozzarella di bufala, tomato, basil, Capezzana olio extra vergine d’oliva

Italian Inspired Hot Dog 3 Little Figs Plum, Figs and Cherry Chutney/Mostarda

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Great post. My mouth is watering. I have placed an order for my products. I appreciate he hard work that goes into making these posts! I love your books as well.

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