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  • Writer's pictureRaven Walters

Mastering the Art of Pumpkin Perfection: JFRC Students Take Part in a Pumpkin Baking Class

Interior of Alice Adams Carosi's Latteria Studio. (Photo by Raven Walters)

During the rainy month of November, students increasingly long for holiday traditions from home. Baking with friends and family is an integral part of the season for many and missing those simple goodies can make students homesick.

A few students; however, were given the opportunity to indulge in some homestyle baking. On Friday, Nov. 17 students enrolled in sections of Italian Culture: Food & Wine were invited to join a cooking class with Professor Elizabeth Simari.

Opened in 2015, the “Latteria Studio” is owned and operated by Alice Adams Carosi who came to Rome from Melbourne in 2005. She has since helped out with multiple cookbooks and worked in the film and advertising industry. The original kitchen closed in July 2020, however, the new kitchen hosts food photography sessions, film and video projects, and occasional cooking workshops, according to her website.

The main objective for the class was to make pumpkin bread from the pumpkins harvested from the John Felice Rome Center olive grove. Planted in 2023 by summer session students, the pumpkins were the main ingredient in the preparation of both the bread and the farro salad recipes that were made.

After the pumpkins were brought in, one group got to work cutting into the pumpkin while my group started on the first batch of pumpkin bread. In total, six loaves of bread were made by the group along with a large batch of farro grain salad with pumpkin mixed in.

Two finished loaves of bread cooling down. (Photo by Raven Walters)

The bread was divided among students to take home, to eat for lunch, and to donate to the Sant’Egidio Community of Rome elderly residents.

Students cutting up a pumpkin. (Photo by Raven Walters)

After all the dishes were cleaned, the group sat down around the table to share a meal that they had just created together.

Only six students were in attendance, but where the class lacked in numbers it made up for in comradery.

The studio itself is quite small, there is only room for about ten people maximum from my observations. With fewer people in the class, it was easier to move around the kitchen.

Ella Michalak, junior, reflected on what she thought of the class.

“It was fun to incorporate things from the JFRC garden,” Michalak said. “It really incorporated what we did in class.”

I had never made pumpkin bread, so this was a first for me as it was for a few people in attendance. Turns out, it is much simpler than one would think. As long as you do not stray too far from the recipe that is.

The bread I made was better than anything I have ever baked before, thanks to the help of Professor Simari and others who helped me understand what I was doing.

You can keep up with everything happening at the Latteria Studio by following Alice on Instagram: @alice.adamscarosi.

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