Calabrian preserves and running update

Right, before I get into any injury and running talk… I have a lovely little review of some Calabrian preserves.

I was sent a trio of typical Calabrian preserves from Artimondo.

The delicacies are produced by Sirianni, a family business founded by Agostino Sirianni in 1999 and located in Cittanova, a small hamlet in the province of Reggio Calabria, Italy.

The trio consists of (from left to right in the photo) Spilinga ‘Nduja sausage spread, Tropea red onion jam  and a black olive paté.

Spilinga ‘Nduja Sausage Spread

“‘Nduja is the most typical and traditional culinary delicacy of Calabria, Southern Italy. Its name comes from “andouille”, the French word for sausage, and it consists in a very soft sausage, so tender that it can be spread. Its unmistakable flavour is vigorous and piquant.Source

I made the mistake of putting a big blob on a teaspoon to try it out before using it in anything. MISTAKE. It is ridiculously spicy. Spicy in a nice aromatic way though. It’s lovely and flavoursome. I jazzed up some rather boring courgette spaghetti (courgetti – I hate pasta). I made sure to tame it down with a bit of cream cheese though as it was quite spicy. It’s apparently very good on bread and pizza (and of course regular pasta!).

Tropea Red Onion Jam

This is Italy’s answer to onion marmalade I think. It is SO good. I’m loving it. It’s lovely and sweet but does have a slight bitter twang to it, which adds to the flavour. It’s advised to have with grilled meats and mature cheese, so very much like a chutney on a cheese board or a ploughmans.

To be honest, I’ve just been throwing it into stir fries and salads. It goes especially well with grated parmesan cheese (chicken, the jam and parmesan = SO GOOD). I have such a sweet tooth and love the savoury-sweet combo so this just rocks my world.

Black Olive Paté

I was a little confused about this one. It’s apparently a black olive paté… but I couldn’t see any black olives. And it didn’t seem like any paté I’m familiar with! It was more like an olive pesto. Again, it’s ideal for topping bread, pasta and pizza. I added it to courgetti again.

There’s a lot of oil in it but it’s so flavoursome and mixes really well with the ‘pasta’. It is quite spicy but not crazily so.

It went very nicely with tilapia (a white fish) and chicken as well. If you don’t like olives, you won’t like it as the olive flavour is very strong. I love the taste of olives so this really worked for me.

All three jars are £14.96 (inc. P&P anywhere in the UK). A nice addition to a meal 🙂

Now on to my run on Wednesday evening… I ran at an easy pace for three miles. In general it was quite tough. I’ve lost a lot of fitness and as I haven’t done any cardio (bar a few minutes of warming up before my strength workouts) or running for 6.5 weeks. That said, I didn’t need to walk and I wasn’t hugely struggling. Just the slower pace I was running was a lot harder than it used to be.

In terms of my knee and leg? Well to begin with everything felt creaky. Everything felt absolutely fine but as the run continued I just felt a bit off: tight and stiff, and towards the end a bit of discomfort cropped up. It left me feeling a bit unsure about how it went.

I was disappointed, I won’t lie. I felt 98% fine before the run so I thought that would translate into the run perfectly. Yes I know, rather naive! I got a bit grumpy and fell into a bit of a well of despair thinking I’d regressed. After the run my leg did feel worse than before but there was no pain, just tightness and discomfort. A niggly, slightly tender feeling basically. Though I was pleased to find walking downstairs caused no issue other than a bit of discomfort. Walking down stairs was the one thing when my injury was bad that would always hurt and cause me grief so the fact that stairs are no issue gave me hope.

I saw my physio the next day and he calmed me down. He said that the fact I felt no pain during or after was a very good sign. He said it was to be expected that it would feel uncomfortable and niggly. He worked hard on my whole left side and reassured me that the issue I had before (my internally rotated leg – because of the excessive tightness in different muscles) wasn’t there so I hadn’t buggered anything up. He even said a gentle parkrun on Saturday would be a good idea to see how continuing to run affected things. YAY!

I’m still nervous I’ll regress but I’m hopeful I’m on the path to recovery!

Do you enjoy Italian food?

What’s your favourite pasta meal?

What are your plans for the weekend?

**Full Disclosure: I was sent the preserves for free in return for a review. All opinions are my own honest ones.**

17 Replies to “Calabrian preserves and running update”

  1. How is it possible to hate pasta? It’s such a neutral food! It just takes on the flavour of whatever sauce you put on it and the texture changes depending on cooking time. I mean, it’s not my favourite food at all, but aside from being (wrongly) demonized as a ‘bad’ carb, I can’t see any reason to actually hate it. Each to their own!

    I agree with your physio – the signs are looking positive! I’m really pleased there wasn’t any pain, and fingers crossed that Parkrun goes well.
    Jess recently posted…Marathon MeditationMy Profile

    1. OK to clarify the pasta thing: firstly, I was sick with food poisoning when I was younger and I’d had pasta and well…just imagine.
      Secondly, the taste of pasta yes is nondescript so it’s not the taste that puts me off, it’s the texture (see above) and also the heaviness of a pasta meal. I’m not afraid of carbs – I like potatoes, rice, bread, couscous, cake, I’d just prefer that if I was having a ‘pasta-like’ meal to not have the bulk of the calories come from something I’m not that keen on. I’d prefer to have more protein or fat (the fillings basically). Does that make sense? I don’t demonise any food – except liquorice and the aniseed taste. That belongs in hell 😉
      AnnaTheApple recently posted…Calabrian preserves and running updateMy Profile

  2. I think N will like the sausage spread (oh, that just sounds So Wrong). I may need to investigate.

    I love pasta. Love it. Despite issues with gluten (hello endometriosis symptoms!), so I’m perpetually on a gluten-free pasta hunt. Pizza too. But, pasta is my love.

    This weekend, I’ve packed, gone to a training morning for Guides, shivered, packed, and been for a nice longish run. Parkrun didn’t happen – I had to be at the training (annoying, about a half mile from parkrun) at 10am…
    Jane recently posted…Hilly chillyMy Profile

  3. The red onion jam sounds amazing! I think that is the company that sent me a sort of pistachio Easter pannetone thing and that was really good too.
    I have not had jam with cheese, only chutney, but at the afternoon tea on Saturday one toast thing was spread with jam, then goats cheese, and then apple slices and it was so good. I may be a convert!
    Hope the parkrun went OK.
    Maria @ runningcupcake recently posted…Freezing runs!My Profile

  4. It always amazes me how, after recovering from injury, you are still aware that an injury did occur… months and months later on.
    In no way the same thing, but I twisted my ankle ten days before Mablethorpe Marathon at the end of September and was in a lot of pain at the time. It had pretty much healed by race day, and unless I made any sudden turns I didn’t notice anything whilst running, but even now if I go to sit cross-legged on the floor, I am aware that my ankle doesn’t bend in quite the same way and is a little uncomfortable.
    Stupid bodies! 🙁
    On a seperate note, I like the sound of the spicy sausage spread and the black olive paté, even if it doesn’t look very paté-like!
    Mary recently posted…Cook your way to a healthy smile 🙂My Profile

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