What’s the cost of flavour? Milan food review

As a lone Brit the owner was surprised when I wanted a table inside.

Before I could take a look at the menu, there was already food under my nose. A lovely small piece of bruschetta.

The tomatoes were fresh and the acidity cut through the olive oil, while the bread was crisp and thin enough to serve as the perfect vehicle for the tomato and garlic mix.

Fact Check: Do tomatoes taste better in Italy?

The obvious answer is that they are fresher, grown in their country of consumption leading to fewer miles of travel.

But there is also some science behind it. 

Like grapes for wine, different areas in Italy produce different varieties of tomato. Areas in the south with volcanic sand are ideal for growing with nutrient rich soil.

In contrast, tomatoes for UK supermarkets are picked earlier to give them a longer shelf life. They are artificially ripened using ethylene gas, helping them turn red but not providing any of the natural sugars received when on the vine.

Supermarkets prioritise uniformly round tomatoes for ease of transportation over flavour in many instances.

Supermarkets do however offer premium toms, BUT at a premium price!

Sources: Scientific American, GoodTo.

Finished in a delicious couple of bites, enough to remind me quite how hungry I was.

I was then greeted by my wonderful server Erica, who’s English was excellent, as she helped me through the Italian menu.

I asked for the recommendations and was guided toward the self named “Scui’ Scui’”.

After the explanation I thought the dish was a pasta, but to my surprise about 5 minutes later a pizza arrived at the table.

To join the unexpected main, I ordered a cheeky half litre of wine, it came with another surprise as it was fizzy.

Though at only 5 Euros, anything would have been sufficient.

The pizza had a marinara base, buffalo mozzarella, ham, quartered and halved cherry tomatoes and a pistachio crumb scattered all over.

As with the bruschetta, the tomato was the stand-out, so flavourful I dread going back to my local supermarket, and eating what they claim grow on the same vines. 

The mozzarella was just as fresh, creamy and slightly melted but still maintaining a firmness. 

Fact check: Why is there a tomato shortage in UK supermarkets?

There have been serious supply issues with many supermarket items due to a mix of covid-19, post-Brexit driver shortages ad the war in Ukraine.

Tomatoes stocks are now even lower, with chains like Tesco, Aldi and Asda limiting purchases.

In winter months The UK imports over 90% of tomatoes consumed, with most coming from Spain and North Africa.

Bad weather has caused flooding destroying crops, while stormy weather has delayed ferries carrying the goods.

General tomato production in Europe is down due to the rising costs of electricity.

Sources: BBC News, Insider.

The ham didn’t blow me away, it reminded me of the decent sandwich ham you find in the shops, but it worked well with the other ingredients.

You could feel the heat from the log burning pizza oven as you walked in, and the char on the crust was exactly what I expected, though that doesn’t take away from its excellence.

I think the pistachio was slightly irrelevant but it added some nice colour and the occasional textural variance.

I had started eating with my hands until the Italian gentleman to my left ate his with cutlery.

I swiftly swapped my flesh utensils for their metal counterpart.

By this time the restaurant was filling up, I sat down at 7:30 but half an hour later and the room was full of families and couples. 

The table in front of me had three generations siting and eating together, with the nonna’s chatting  away while the youngsters played with their toys and food in equal measure. 

While I adjusted to my quite enjoyable sparkling red, the server allowed time before reciting the desserts without help from a menu.

I had already eyed up the fridge sitting in the middle of the room and pointed at what looked like a simple custard tart.

The plate that arrived was double the size it needed to be, making the slice of tart look far smaller than it was.

But blimey, the plate could have been been full and I would have eaten it. 

A buttery but firm pastry with toasted pine nuts hidden on the top by the heavy sugar dusting. While the lemon custard filling blew me away!

I let out an audible noise after taking my first bite, ignoring the sticky caramel sauce that looked more for decoration but added a lovely rich sweetness to the dessert.

For something that looked so humble sitting in the fridge, it would still amaze in a Michelin star restaurant.

The bill came to 28 Euro with a tip, a sum that would have been justified for the last course alone.

Scui’ Scui’ is a restaurant that will stay with me.

The tart alone gets a 9.5 but Scuie’ Scuie’ as a whole is 8/10.

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