The journey continues, for those rascally Hairy Bikers, eating their way through Europe on a mammoth “Bake-ation” that certainly looks like a lot of fun. In the latest episode they reached Italy, where they were genuinely thrilled to find a baker who made pasta-filled pies!
It’s been quite a journey so far – if you enjoy [can tolerate] their sometimes overgrown-schoolboy sense of humour. (Stuart Heritage of the Guardian once described them as “charming and enthusiastic, or seriously annoying” - so you choose.) They're not everyone’s cup of tea, admittedly, but at least they seem to be having fun and are far more watchable than other TV chefs who just rant and swear. (And yes - you know who you are!)
In the previous episode in Austria, the boys enjoyed a bit of an Inntravel moment overlooking Zell am See, when they met Fritz Sendlhofer, an ebullient bearded schnapps drinker – who just happens to be pictured on page 179 of our Walking and More brochure for this year (right). (He was also last year’s ‘Page 3 pin-up’, too!) In his traditional 'sodel' (a makeshift wooden mountain hut) he cooked a huge dish of pinzgauer kasnocken, (or a type of cheesy gnocchi, to the Hairy Bikers) in between bouts of laughter, yodelling and good-natured back-slapping.
But back to that pasta-filled pie…
For their first stop in Italy, the lads left their trademark bikes behind and took to a gondola in Venice, where they made a traditional ciabbata. However, they were soon on two-wheels again, heading south to the walled town of Ferrara. Here they were greeted by flamboyant restaurateur Federico Pellegrini of 'Al Brindisi', an intimate and atmospheric hostelry (below) that first opened its doors in 1435, hidden way amid the town's twisting mediaeval cobblestoned streets.
Chico Calanchi, the head chef, then demonstrated how to make the perfect pasta-filled pie, as the intrepid duo watched – and salivated – in expectant, wide-eyed awe.
Duly sated, the lads moved on to Tuscany – where Si’s sister just happens to live – and then on to Liguria and the beautiful coastal towns and villages of the Cinque Terre (below). However, far better than me telling you what they got up to, you can watch the programme here >
We whole-heartedly agree with the Hairy Bikers that mouth-watering regional dishes are a key ingredient of any memorable holiday, just as much as the incredible landscapes that provide such a spectacular backdrop to this programme and – more importantly – to our walking holidays in Italy.