Taste, Sip and Enjoy | Food, Wine and Travel

Taste of Solvang

Taste of Solvang

 

The 20th annual Taste of Solvang runs from March 14th to 18th.  A celebration of Solvang’s rich culinary and cultural heritage is packed into four days of food and wine.

The kickoff began with a farmers market tour, two cooking classes, and wine dinner at Valley Vino Wine Bar, pictured to the left.

I attended the market walk and cooking demonstration presented by Chef David Cecchini of Cecco Ristorante. Less than one year old, Cecco’s faux painted walls set the tone for the cozy restaurant. Seating options range from a more formal dining area to counter service.  One counter provides the opportunity to watch pizzas being put together and carefully watched over in the Italian, wood burning, brick pizza oven.  David explained, when setting up the restaurant, the oven was so large a window needed to be removed in order to put it in place.

David’s rustic Italian cuisine is cooked with fresh ingredients which are local and seasonal.  He discussed the way he approaches a visit to the farmers market.  He does not go with a list  but instead looks for the  items that stand out on that particular trip.  He is eager to experiment as he considers the daily specials.  For example, one purchase was red pepper hummus which was later used with other ingredients on a pizza.

The pizzas made in Ceccos are Neapolitan inspired with a thin crust.  David described the process of making the dough and pulling it rather than rolling.  He stressed the correct placement of the pizzas in the ovens and the need to rotate and maintain them in the same location.   The oven is so hot it took only three to five minutes per pizza.

Another ingredient David purchased was buffalo sausage.  We learned there are 4,000 people raising over 450,000 bison in America today.   Buffalo has more protein and nutrients, with less fat than other meats.  It can be purchased as steaks, ribs, ground or sausage.

Spinach, arugula, yellow tomatoes, mushrooms, asparagus, leaks and wild boar sausage are the many varied items included in the preparations of the wonderful pizzas we sampled.  Pizza and wine, a winning combination after a trek through a farmers market.

There are many exciting events yet to come this weekend.  Included are a Dessert Reception, a Walking Smorgaasbord and a Walking Wine and Beer Tasting Room Tour. Check the schedule on the Solvang website.

And, be sure to save time for a visit to Cecco, say “Hello” to David and taste, sip and enjoy in his superb restaurant.

 

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3 Comments

  1. Great gobs of Arugula!

  2. Great mushrooms!

    • Thanks for reading! Elizabeth

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