Do you know how to best enjoy food? – Italian Cuisine

Do you know how to best enjoy food?

Foods are often like humans: it is only when you put them at ease that give the best of themselves. Served at the right temperature, cooked in the best way, cut comme-il-faut, food products are able to release all their aroma, intensify their flavor and (also) release their beneficial properties. Yeah, but what are these ideal conditions? Here are the ones that chefs and experts have revealed to us.

They wouldn't go never cooked but added at the end of cooking or directly into dishes, grinding them only just before consuming them so that fully maintain aromas and flavors. The exception is cumin, the cardamom and it ginger, which become more fragrant if they are fried in a little oil before being added to recipes. The chili: the fresh one must be added to dishes at the last moment, crumbled or pounded. On the other hand, the powder one expresses all its power after it has been dissolved and diluted in water: and therefore better to use it already at the beginning of the preparations.

Cured meat
They should never be cut and served cold but at room temperature, so as not to lose part of the taste. Then they must be taken out of the fridge at least an hour before. The thinner the slice, the more the fragrance and delicacy are enhanced. If you cut them on a cutting board, the best ones are those in maple or beech wood which can be flavored by rubbing the surface with oil, herbs, garlic or other ingredients to enhance the aromas of the salami. If you use the slicer, you should wait a few seconds between one slice and the next so that the heat of the blade does not oxidize the fat.
The only exception: the salami, Which is cut into thick slices and without the casing (if it is properly seasoned it must peel itself), otherwise the mold present will be partly transferred by the knife onto the pasta, contaminating its taste.
If cold cuts are used to fill a dish, such as pizza for example, they must always be added at the end of cooking: thus consistency, flavor and aroma remain at the top.

If you bring them to the table as soon as they are removed from the refrigerator, you lose much of the pleasure, because the cold does not allow dairy products to express their aromas and their flavors. Therefore, it is best to keep them at room temperature for some time before enjoying them. For example, cheeses with a flowery rind (such as Brie and Camembert) should be left for a couple of hours at room temperature, still closed in their packaging, so that they regain their aroma and softness. And they are cut into wedges only when it is time to bring them to the table. Also there mozzarella cheese it should be left at temperature environment for at least 30 minutes before eating it. The buffalo milk can be immersed, still packaged, in a bain-marie in hot water. Thus the fatty components will have time to regain their softness and release all the typical fragrance of buffalo milk.

Extra virgin olive oil
Have you bought a quality extra virgin olive oil and want to enhance its aromatic bouquet? Then just pour a teaspoon into a small glass, preferably a tulip shape, and that it warm in your hands for a couple of minutes: the heat releases and enhances the components that give aroma to the oil, and which are enhanced when used raw, on bruschetta or salads. In this way you will discover that Campania oil has a hint of grass, that the Ligurian one reminds of fresh almonds, that in the Umbrian one you can hear the artichoke and in the Sicilian one the fresh grass or tomato.

Garlic and onion
They are authentic superfood, with proven anticancer and antiviral properties. As long as you don't "cook them", that is, you consume them a raw, because cooking (especially if prolonged) significantly reduces the available quantity of beneficial compounds. If you really have to cook them, better do it for short time: onions should be removed from the heat as soon as they are golden and when they are still "al dente", that is still firm and fragrant, and retain all their wealth of inulin, a fiber known for its prebiotic and mildly laxative action. Does raw garlic not go down well? Try to rub a clove on the sides of the salad bowl, to soften the aroma, or to add a little fresh ginger, which helps digestion.

The chef's trick for perfect fried or roasted potatoes is there bleaching, which allows you to seal the surface and make them crunchy on the outside and soft on the inside. It's done like this: the potatoes are peeled, cut and then sboil for a minute about in salted boiling water. Then they must be drained and cooled in water and ice. So, if they are fried, they must be dried well and then thrown in boiling oil. If, on the other hand, you have to use potatoes for fillings, mashed potatoes or gnocchi better to cook them in the oven because they will remain tastier and drier. The important thing is that, once cooked, you cut them in half and put them in the peeler. So the peel is removed and only the pulp remains.

January 2022
Manuela Soressi

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