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Eggs, do we know what we buy? Let's read it on the label – Italian Cuisine


They are full of cholesterol and saturated fats, they are bad for the liver and are difficult to digest. How many times have we heard of eggs in these terms? Yet the evidence scientific they are very different. Just think that egg proteins are considered as much "Perfect" to be taken as a reference point by nutritionists to measure the biological value of protein of all foods. And that research on the relationship between eggs and health have given interesting results, dispelling the link between the consumption of eggs and the increase in cholesterol levels in the blood and the increased risk of illnesses cardiovascular.

But be careful: the eggs they are not all the same. How they live, that is how the hens are raised, makes a big difference. Of taste, and not only. We must therefore choose them well. Fortunately, the eggs have one of the labels more complete e transparent from all over the food world.


Also promoted by the WHO
The results of recent scientific studies are so interesting that they have pushed theWHO to remove the eggs from the list of foods to limit and to induce dieticians to recommend them to (almost) everyone, and especially to those who want to lose a few pounds. For those who want to diet eggs are an irreplaceable resource: they have few calories (78 for a large egg), stimulate the metabolism (all thanks to the choline) and provide lots of protein without the kit salt, additives or added fats of others products with which eggs are often replaced. Moreover, it is about source of protein that costs less than ever and therefore the eggs are suitable for any budget of expenditure. Not to mention cooks is chef that continue to enhance them in table, to the point that even restaurants where only served are born recipes egg-based gourmet, from Breakfast at dinner. Therefore, the time seems to have arrived unhinge the old ones "Legends" food and give the eggs the role they deserve table.

155789 Why reassess them
They are already perfect because theequilibrium between yolk and albumen it makes them balanced: theegg white contains about87% of water and the 50% of proteins (among which albumin stands out), while the yolk has the other 50% protein, but less water (about 50%), more fat, cholesterol and other nutrients, such as lecithin, which favors the digestion, and carotenoids, for action antioxidant. The yolk is also concentrated iron, which is better absorbed by our body when taken together with polypeptides and amino acidsegg white. In short, it is the mix its two parts to make the egg a high food nutritional quality: this is why it is better consume it whole rather than limiting oneself to the "white" and discarding the "red", as many do. Eating a egg great whole are obtained well 6.4 grams of "noble" protein and 5 grams of fat (especially unsaturated, including Omega 3), ie less than 8% of those recommended each day. And those 200 mg of cholesterol are a small thing compared to what you can take every day with food and has the effect of lower the cholesterol total in a circle in the blood, why increases the "good", which protects the arteries. Starting from these numbers, nutritionists have "Rehabilitated" the eggs. On condition of cook in the right way. For example, simply leave the egg for 3-5 minutes boiling water. In this way there are a couple of advantages: zero fat added and maximum absorption of vitamin B7 present in the album.

155799Life as a chicken
Over 40 million laying hens only in Italy; 13 billion eggs a year consumed only in our country; about 215 eggs a year each. Chicken breeding is a huge business. But how they are raised these hens? The simplest distinction is that concerning eggs biological (as long as it is a true biological one): they guarantee at least that the hens are not given antibiotics, feed no GMOs or fishmeal and that number of animals per square meter does not exceed a maximum number. There scientific research existing in this respect confirms what applies to meat and milk, that is to say the biological ones they are superior at both level nutritional (in part with more Omega3, vitamins A and E, beta-carotene) that of taste. obviously what the hens eat makes the difference. As for cholesterol in particular, it is clear from the studies that the eggs come from hens with a varied diet – and not the standard of soybean + corn only – contain less cholesterol. 155801As they increase antioxidant substances. The diet of the hens also affects the taste of their eggs, it is more than logical. Certainly chickens that graze have access to one variety of aromas incomparable with that of the bird seed from the battery.

The egg is really the superfood cheapest in the world, and for few cents more, it's really worth it compare it good.

Transparency on the label
Therefore it is fundamental how those who create the eggs live, that is the hens. Once established that, this food has another advantage not just: it does not contain any ingredient or additive added. And it boasts one of the labels more complete (although not always easy to interpret). The alphanumeric code which also comes stamped on the shell gives us theidentikit complete with the egg we are about to buy. Here is a guide for read correctly without getting lost or confusing. 155791There first digit indicates the type of breeding: 0 stands for agriculture biological, of which we have already spoken. The number 1 indicates theoutdoor breeding, where each animal is guaranteed a living space of 4 square meters. The number 2 is that for breeding a land, a method increasingly used by manufacturing companies but whose name is misleading, because the conditions of the animals are worse than they sound: they are huge warehouses closed with 7 animals per square meter, and this type of breeding does not require any rule in terms of feed. Finally the number 3 indicates breeding in 'equipped cage ', with twice as many animals per square meter (14) and cages as high as 40 cm. The next abbreviation is that of country of production: for example, Italian eggs can be recognized by the initials IT. Following is the figure of the Istat code of the Municipality, that of the Province. These two information They are only on Italian eggs. Finally, the last three digits identify the distinctive code of the breeder.

The labels are however clear. Unfortunately the same thing cannot be said about the eggs used in industrial preparations: anywhere, from biscuits to mayonnaise to vegetable pies, the type of eggs is not indicated used. We can only suspect that it is from default the cheapest, in spite of health and taste … For this reason some big companies are communicating to declare that they now use only eggs from free-range hens.

155795 I'm ok for a month
On package of eggs, then, comes the expiration date and above all the freshness of the eggs.

Eggs have a life of 28 days from the date of laying but must be withdrawn from the market seven days before the storage term indicated on thepackaging (24 to 48 hours between production and packaging). The wordings "extra" and "Extra fresh" they can be used only if the date of deposition and the term of consumption within which the eggs can be defined as extra and extra fresh, ie nine days from the day that the hen made the egg or seven since it was packed. These eggs are those of 'category A', the only ones for sale in stores. The category is established based on the characteristics of the shell, of the yolk, of theegg white and theirs freshness. Category B eggs are those with lower quality characteristics (for example, they can be frozen at a temperature below 4 °) while category C (and possibly D) is used for further downgraded eggs. All these eggs are intended for the food industry …

The expiration date is stamped also on shell, usually accompanied by the phrase "to be consumed preferably by …".

The place worse to store the eggs in the fridge are just the niches dedicated to them that are usually found in the top shelf of the front office. Frequent opening and closing causes temperature changes and abrupt movements they create microfractures in the shell, diminuendo the time of storage some eggs. Better to keep them in package original in one of the internal shelves.

155797Size and details
In terms of size, the eggs are not all the same. They can be varied size, that's why they are classified with letters capital letters like clothing sizes: XL le larger (over 72 grams); L le great (63-73 g); M le medium (53-63 g); S small (less than 53 g).
Furthermore, the eggs are classified into four categories of quality, identified by the first four letters of the alphabet.

Egg producers can add on other packages information, which underline any particular quality of the product and thus help consumers in their choice. For example the type of supply of the hens. If on the packaging there is written that they are nourished with cereals, means that at least the 60% of the ingredients of feed data to the hens is composed of cereals. If the label refers to a specific cereal (for example the corn) this must be at least the 30% of the feed. If we talk about more cereals, then each of them must constitute at least the 5% of the "recipe" of fodder.

Manuela Soressi
February 2018
updated in August 2019
by Carola Traverso Saibante


the most expensive cheese in Italy that you would never buy – Italian Cuisine

the most expensive cheese in Italy that you would never buy

It costs € 450 per kilo and is made in the kid's stomach (as tradition requires). Would you eat it? No, but if you knew how other cheeses are made, maybe yes

The Calle de crabettu is an ancient cheese, almost an ancestor of the cheese, an authentic example of “paleocasearia” art: the stomach of a suckling kid closed at the ends with a rope and matured with all its contents, that is the last feeding of breast milk. It is useless to make faces, it is a very rare preparation, which survived in the Sardinian tradition, and which will reveal something that you do not know about the majority of the cheeses in circulation …

The intense flavor

The consistency, on the other hand, changes according to the seasoning: at the beginning it is a spreadable cheese, then refining beyond two months it becomes compact enough to be sliced. The flavor condenses and gradually takes on a more intense color, until it reaches an ocher color, a compact, grainy paste, and a very intense, spicy flavor (and for many decidedly too much). It is eaten spread or sliced ​​together with bread (including the sides of the stomach), or sliced, fried in lard.
It goes well with red wines like a Cannanoau, with Sardinian carasau bread and with sweet vegetable jams, which balance the taste. The shepherds of the province of Nuoro still produce it, and thanks to the distributor and refiner of Guffanti cheeses, it can be found throughout Italy and during FORME, the festival dedicated to cheese that takes place every year in Bergamo.

Rennet is animal

Sardinian shepherds also used this cheese as rennet for milk, hence the name literally in Sardinian means "kid rennet". The Calle de crabettu does not need an ingredient that is widespread in almost all the cheeses in circulation: animal rennet. To make cheese, from Parmesan to mozzarella, it is necessary to add rennet, and the rennet can be of animal, vegetable or microbial origin. The rennet of animal origin is the only one accepted today for the production of DOP cheeses, for example, and is the most used. Where do you get it from? From the abomasum, that is from the stomach of some ruminant animals, mainly calves and lambs, but also from kids and pigs. The cheese therefore if not otherwise indicated would not be suitable for a vegetarian diet, because although in minimal quantities, it contains particles of animal origin.

Neapolitan Pastiera, where to buy dessert in Naples? – Italian Cuisine

Neapolitan Pastiera, where to buy dessert in Naples?

The homemade one remains unbeatable. But for those who do not have a grandmother, a mother or a Neapolitan doc relative, it might be useful to know where to buy the pastiera in Naples

In Naples there is no Easter without pastiera, the sweet pastry with a soft and intoxicating filling. His recipe was the most sought after on Google in 2018, so much so that it has now been cleared through customs and can be found all year round. But as the festival approaches, the aroma intensifies in the alleys of the city. Cooked wheat, ricotta, candied fruit and orange flower water, these are the main ingredients. Housewives usually set to work on Good Thursday or Friday, to give time to the flavors to blend and reach perfection, served as a slice (or several slices) on Easter Sunday. In time they were born different variations, some of which made the purists cry out, like the addition of custard in the filling or the use of buffalo ricotta. As with any traditional dessert, even the pastiera, each family has its own recipe, which is handed down from generation to generation and the home-made one usually remains unbeatable. But for those who do not have a grandmother, a mother or a Neapolitan doc relative, it might be useful to know where to buy the pastiera in Naples.

Scaturchio pastiera, an institution in Naples

Scaturchio is an institution. The reason is one: the sweets that come from the laboratory in Piazza San Domenico Maggiore, in the heart of Spaccanapoli, manage to preserve that I don't know what home-made which makes them authentic, both in flavor and appearance. This obviously also applies to the pastiera. The traditional recipe is executed to the letter, except for ricotta. In fact, a small part of the vaccine is added to the sheep's one, «to balance consistency and flavor, they specify from the back. The short pastry is made with lard, the wheat is cooked with a pinch of salt. These ingredients are then added sugar, whole eggs, candied fruit (cubes of orange, cedar and pumpkin) and a very small quantity of neroli, the precious essential oil produced by the distillation of bitter orange flowers. The secret of Scaturchio pastiera is caramelization: the cake is left five minutes longer in the oven at low temperature, for "Make them shed tears", the drop of caramel, a master's touch. (Piazza San Domenico Maggiore, 19 – Naples)

Gran Caffè Pasticceria Santoro, the best in Vomero

Still a historical pastry shop, this time at Vomero. To found it, in 1926, Ferdinando Santoro who, over the years, transmitted his secrets and his knowledge to his son-in-law, Massimo Giordano. It is he who today guards the precious cookbook written by Don Ferdinando and it is always he who, proof after trial, has perfected the doses and given form to the ancient traditional Neapolitan sweets, including of course the pastiera. Tall and golden. Little sugar. A mirror when it comes out of the oven. «The ricotta is more fat, the more the pastiera is good. This is the rule of Massimo, who from time to time chooses between vaccine or sheep's (never mix!) Only after a personal taste. The secret of its filling is the "maturation" of fresh cheese in sugar. Lard in pastry, wheat cooked in the laboratory and a mix of neroli and millefiori to perfume it. Each step is followed personally, from the selection of the raw materials to the realization. And the results are there for all to see. (Via Simone Martini, 113 – Naples)

With Bellavia's Neapolitan pastiera you can be on the safe side

Bellavia is another of the historic pastry shops of Naples. Founded in 1925 by the Sicilian Antonio, it was his son Vincenzo who made the family name great. Today at the helm is the third generation. With time, the Bellavia have imposed themselves for the goodness of their homemade desserts and today they count six locations, one of which at Capodichino airport and one in Rome. Pastiera is one of the leading products. Also in this case it is the tradition to command and the family recipe to guide the new generation. (Headquarters in Piazza Muzii, 27 – Naples)

Hearts of sfogliatella: classic, cold and … Vesuviella

The pastry is very close to the Central Station. Perfect for those who are leaving and want to take home a sweet memory of Naples. Tradition and innovation are the ingredients of the success of Antonio Ferrieri, creator, among other things, of the savory puffs. A project born in 1987 and which translates into a showcase where typical sweets coexist alongside their reinterpretations. Just like the pastiera. Here, in fact, in addition to the classic, there is also the Vesuviella, one puff pastry in the shape of Vesuvius stuffed with a filling to the taste of pastiera. Then there is the cold version, almost one cheesecake, with the pastry as a base and one mousse made with the ingredients of the pastiera. And finally, the typical sfogliatella always taste pastiera. The filling of the classic is made with wheat, cinnamon, ricotta campana, candied orange and natural aromas. (Corso Novara, 1E – Naples)

Pasticceria Di Costanzo, the inspiration brought back to its origins

Mario Di Costanzo is a whimsical pastry chef from Naples, who became famous throughout Italy after taking part in the Best Bakery TV program. His creations are a mix of Neapolitan flavors and French aesthetics. For the pastiera it takes inspiration from tradition, in an almost radical manner. No artificial flavors, is his golden rule. Which translated means to perfume the filling starting from the prolonged cooking of the wheat together with the lemon and orange peel and with the addition of cinnamon and vanilla bean. No neroli, just a memory of millefiori water. The better the raw material, the better the pastiera. This is the second precept. Great attention is given to the selection of ricotta cheese. He is for the vaccine and sheep blend, with the delicate taste of the first that goes to dampen the aroma of the second, more fat instead. The result is one light filling as a mousse, with a delicate flavor. (Piazza Cavour, 133 – Naples)

Ancient pastry Fiore, a classic of the Spanish Quarter

If you are in the Spanish Quarter and ask where you can buy a good Neapolitan pastiera, the answer, 90% of the time, is at Antica Pasticceria Fiore: the showcase, at No. 164 of Vico Speranzella, is not very conspicuous, the place not very bright, the Fiore are not given air. To make it welcoming, the aroma of caramelized sugar and melted butter. Indeed, the laboratory is adjacent to the shop. Today, at the wheel, there is the third generation. Behind the counter Susy, concentrated with a smile. He is preparing a tray of Via col vento, typical Neapolitan sweets made with choux pastry and stuffed with nutella or white chocolate. The showcase also shows the pastiere, made according to tradition, following the recipe of grandfather Gaetano. The style is felt, is the homemade style, in the positive sense of the term. Excellent value for money. "Better to order it," suggests Susy, especially at Easter. (Vico Speranzella, 164 – Naples)

At Mennella's the angel hair pasta

The Mennella pastry, renowned for the goodness of its 100% natural ice cream, also has a vast repertoire of typical Neapolitan desserts. Among these there is obviously also the pastiera. In addition to classic version, the Torre del Greco family proposes the Angel Hair Pasteera, a typical product of the Vesuvian countries: the recipe foresees, instead of the more common grain, the use of the "angel hair" pasta format, a name that evokes lightness, a paste with a delicate texture to the touch and the palate. It is to this main ingredient that fresh cream, sugar, candied citron worked locally and the natural aromas of the Amalfi Coast are added. The scent is given by the neroli bigarade and the Ceylon cinnamon. (Via Carducci, 50 – Naples)

The Moccia recipe with buffalo ricotta

In Naples, Moccia's pizzas are an institution. But the pasta maker is no less so. Here it has been produced since 1936, along with a whole series of other typical Neapolitan sweets. That of Moccia, however, is one "particular" pastiera, why instead of sheep ricotta, the buffalo one is used here. A variant that has made people scream in scandal for a long time, but that lately is starting to be accepted, even by the most skeptical. According to the maître pâtissier of Moccia that of buffalo is a type of richer and more creamy ricotta than sheep's or cow's ricotta, and mixed with wheat, lets the perfume of neroli leak out better. Sooner or later it must be tried to believe. During Easter, it is best to book it four or five days before to be sure of finding it. (Via Posillipo, 20 – Naples)

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