Archive for the ‘ food porn ’ Category

Pabogel 2012

After two years Pabogel is in Rome again! Two pavilions in the nowhere land of the Fair of Rome. The entry was restricted only to professional food operators, but I have got a special card to get to every fair. The main food typologies were pizza, fried, croissants, ice creams, coffee. It is all very interesting…

This fair is the opportunity to eat great food for free. A competition about pizza was held in the fair, so you could eat pizzas from master chefs. Or you eat it or we throw it away. I sacrifice myself and eat as pizza as possible to my stomach.

Traditional pizza is cooked in wood stove. So this company is selling electric ovens disguised as wood stoves. Tree stumps are furnished to camouflage the truth! With the wood stove the taste is different, more bitter, and the consistency is harder, but pizza made with electric oven is good the same. The real difference are ingredients and leavening with natural rising agents. Often these are the weak part in a pizza, not the oven!

Various fresh croissants and strudels, ready for the oven. They were selling machines to industrially produce them. So the frozen product is sold to vendors that cook it as their homemade product.

The great revelation: the crisps machine! So we can understand as they are made! They were even selling an automatic crisps machine for movable vending stands. From the potato to the hot crisps in your hands.

We know this Kanon coffee from Naples only because they are present in the fair. Every time they promote themselves with the use of gorgeous South-Americans stand assistants. Another reason to go to fairs is to watch female stand assistants. The only remark is that for a food fair you expect rubicund female cooks, a sign of good appetite, while here you could see only slim girl with bare thighs. I appreciate them for sure, but they are a sign of anorexia indeed.

I still have got some posts about 2012 events like this one. So I’m late about my things but I want to show all to you. After these kind of posts more arenas and little soldiers.


Arti & Mestieri 2012

It is Christmas time and in Rome there was the annual fair about handicraft and regional foods. More than ten years ago I participated with one game stand a couple of times. It was called “Natale Oggi” (Christmas Today) when we were in the old fair structures inside the city, while now it is called “Arti & Mestieri” (Arts and Crafts) in the new fair along the Tiber valley.

My first beer after some time. It was my first exit after my allergic reaction that lasted two weeks due to stress: I run three different jobs. In the morning I visited the Happymodel fair about railway modelling and 54mm soldiers for collectors. Sorry, I took some stuff but I didn’t take photos because I was late. Then I was in this other fair. I bought some gifts for my family. There was a lot of good traditional food: cheese, jam, beer, oil, sausages,…

This was the place where a Guinness record was established: the biggest pizza. And it was edible to coeliac people too. This pizza was cooked a couple of days before so nothing remains. They ate it all! Pity!

Another event was inside the fair, an international beer exposition. A good idea ruined by the policy of high prices, among other idiocies as sloppiness and the distant place where they put it. These the rules to drink: 20cl of beer for 12 euro; 3 euro more for each additional 20cl. But they gave to you a glass and a book. Well, this is not the snob wine market, this is beer, another way to drink! Moreover the nearest snack or other kind of food was 10 minutes walk far. How you can drink without nothing to eat? And the fair is reachable by car at most, so after all that alcohol you cannot drive.

The result: 420 kinds of beers, 40 cash registers and 40 paying people.


Gundam Café

If you like Gundam you can think to go to Japan to have some coffee in the Gundam Café. Have you understand? Yeah, a place where you can sit and talk with friends, surrounded by the epic deeds of giants robots manned by soldiers. It is a bit far, but it is the Gundam Café!

The video shows a nice place, a little weird, but with an appeal on anime fans. If you look better, you can find that this place is not so nice, it is only a café with a LCD showing a Gundam video on rotation, a couple of glass cases with some plastic models out of the box, a cappuccino with a Haro sketch made of chocolate on the top (instead of the usual and more romantic heart), and some dishes with an uninviting appearance (toasted bread with oil and herbs and tomato sauce as side, and so on…) but with very little Gundam decorations. They could do something more. Viewing this longer videos you can better understand the topic.

A theme restaurant built on a license so strong, but weak on the realisation. I can save to myself the trip to Japan. The best customised thing is the loo, where you can have a private Gundam experience. Last note: the loo is Federation for men and Zeon for women. Look here.

Men (Federation)

Women (Zeon)


Birthday Battle

Once again it was the time of my birthday! Now they are forty-three. My mate Diego had his birthday the day before, so I tried to create a birthday event with miniatures for both of us together with our friends. The choice for the location was Terni, our adoptive city as regard to the miniatures. This is the picture of the participants. You may notice that Andrea Ganesha is sponsoring a vintage box of D&D miniatures that he found at Sergio’s home. A little pirate instead taught us Blood Bowl secrets.

A big surprise for us was a prototype test for a new rule engine by Sergio, the man behind the revolutionary Large Battle Drums and Shakos. It was only the basic engine without historical and terrain features, and it just worked very well! It is a game based on area movement and presence, driven by cards and a fighting style adapted from the LBDS dices. It can be develop for various periods. It is very great! An entire family of rulesets can be generate from this engine. The only problem is that wargamers are not fit with the concept of areas, they think that this is not for wargames but boardgames.

The latter half of the day was with Blood Bowl, a game that I tried a lot of years ago when the first edition was out in the eighties. At that time we haven’t got the miniatures but die cut cards on plastic bases and Games Workshop was only a creative company from Nottingham. My friend bought the expansion too. We didn’t understand the rules very well, we hadn’t experience with games, I don’t didn’t speak English, so we put the two boxes in an angle and forgot that fantasy football field. Now after ten years with DBA we want to find something new (!!!) and we are interested in Blood Bowl. I made my first game after 25 years and I liked it. The beautiful football stadium is made by Sergio and will be present at the next convention in Terni “ALT si gioca” in October, when a BB tournament will be held.

The day went very well, we had fun, we celebrate our birthdays. Sergio cooked the Bulgarian national dish, a fresh mixture of yogurt, cucumbers and herbs. Cheese and a rice salad as side dishes. In the evening we ate a great “piadina”, even if Diego suffer from Bulgarian “counterattacks”. I feel happy : )


Bar & beverages?

And now something different. Well, it is not so true, because it is another report from the Fair of Rome. In the past I had delight you with other fairs as Hobby Show or Pabogel. They aren’t fairs about games but I have a special pass for a free entry even in business fairs for selected people, so I sometime go to see what seems interesting.

This fair was about bar & beverages opened only for operators of the sector. It could be an opportunity to eat and drink a lot for free! The plan was to impersonate restaurant owners to taste food. So I called some friends of mine and we went to this place. But none were around. The moon landscape of the Fair of Rome seemed empty. The pavilion was proposed with a dark atmosphere, with only big screens to light the scene. Some extremely beautiful hostesses were walking around in their mini-skirts with nothing to do. Some waders and jugglers played for a few people. Only a couple of stands or a little more had something to taste. Some stands were abandoned to their own because of the fiasco. To scrounge a Carlsberg from an annoyed person was not a decent thing to do, so we quickly leave the fair for our homes. Pity!

I haven’t photos of the hostesses so I propose this one about Smurf popcorns! I took it in a cinema. It is weird enough. I don’t know the taste.


Lucca 2011: food

What can you do when you have to eat and other 155000 want to eat too? You remain hungry. Dinners, the moment of main meal for a fair vendor, are a desperate search for a restaurant with empty seats. Years ago a pizzeria in Lucca told to Andrea:”we have ended wheat”!!! This year we eat always but the quality was not the best.

One thing that resolved our lives was ramen. I didn’t believe in this type of meal for Japan fashion victims but now I converted myself to ramen! The meal is very cheap but the price is cheap too. The great thing is that if you have hot water you can cook ramen in 2 minutes and so eat something cold. Moreover you have got a hot broth to drink, a great thing if you are dehydrated because the queue for water is so long. Volunteers sold ramen at industrial rates. At the end of the fair hungry people bought even ruined packs of ramen because it was running out!

A pause with ramen. After the first cup I remembered as use chopsticks, an art that now I can master.

We tried Barilla pasta to cook with microwaves. More than 2 minutes to heat it (5 at least), no broth, higher price, overcooked pasta, blobed sugo, a long queue. No more pasta for us, we are devoted to ramen now.

In the Japan Palace there was a Japan restaurant. This photo was taken at 9 in the morning, at lunch hour there was a total mess. Prices as the food was really brought from Japan that morning with a special delivery.


Another day with SDS LB

Another day in Terni, another day with Song of Drums and Shakos Large Battles (maybe in the final version the name will be without “Song”). The train left Roma station at 7.48 in the morning. This time Federico from Rome was with us. He is a veteran of Napoleonic battles. Our guest is Sergio as usual, with his game, his kindness and a powerful pasta with red and green pesto, red and green as Terni’s coat of arms.

I resulted in a very bad performance. I act as an amateur. I went straight ahead but enemy cavalry was not so convinced to permit this to me. It is true that in this manner we could destroy it because was alone in the field and under fire from our forces. At the end I put my soldiers at the will of my partner in the game, Sergio himself. But Sergio wrong move was that he didn’t develop early the reserves, especially the artillery.

As I thought, this is not the last version of SDS LB (from now DSLB). Other tweaks have to be do. Nothing so big, but something to improve the game in some situations. Linear games are even a bit complicated by geometric messes, and we don’t want a game for land surveyors.

Maybe we could see the complete game at the end of the year…


Salute 2011: I love London

Londinium is a really great city. I love it! This is my 8th or 9th time that I visit it, and I want to come again and again. This is my report about the other things I did beside Salute together with my old chaps. And there is no Salute without a visit to London…

First thing to do in London: to see the latest miniatures painted by our guest Luca. It is late, but little soldiers are little soldiers!

This is Henry, but it is a female. It lives in the house and used to sleep between me and Narciso. I had only half bed because the other half was for Henry. It has very affectionate ways, a puss machine!

Next year will be the Olympic year. The clock in Trafalgar square.

Renzo Piano has the longest… skyscraper. The skyline has a new presence, you can always see it around London. Ready for 2012. The Belfast vessel and the Tower of London pier watch the development.

The heart of Little Italy, the church of St. Peter.

The memorial on the sink of Arandona Star, the ship with part of the Italians who lived in London, deported toward Canada in 1940.

Another ship, a reconstructed ship, with a freshwater sailor on it.

Even the Doctor visits Forbidden Planet shop.

A local delicatessen: a Dalek cake!

Real British food: gammon with eggs and chips.

British food again: fish and chips with peas.

From left to right: Luca (his left arm), me, Narciso, the right hand of Paolo with a pint of bitter, Paolo, Ornella (the back of his head).

Shop of Westminster Abbey. Maybe there will be a marry the 29th of April…

And in another shop there is a salute from the Queen.

28mm scale to show the construction of the underground. Museum of Transport.

The dock outside Canal Museum.

New London Architecture and a view on the development of the city. It is not a dead city like Rome, here there is a plan for the future realised in the present. London is a great city.