Tag: Choice

The definitive guide to the choice of panettone – Italian Cuisine

The definitive guide to the choice of panettone

The panettone is not all the same. Not even the craft one. Until a few years in addition to the industry, only a few did it, then the best could be counted on the fingers of one hand, now the competition has become ruthless

The disciplinary by decree (which applies to all)

Panettone is one of the few standards regulated by a ministerial decree, so you will never find hydrogenated vegetable fats, margarine, artificial flavors and other ingredients that are widely used by the confectionery industry in other products. Mother yeast and fresh eggs, as well as a two-leavening process, are part of the law and indispensable for affixing the Panettone label. Eggs and butter can be frozen, UHT milk, powdered yeast, candied fruit made with glucose syrup … The quality of raisins and flour can then be top, or just enough. The definable panettone, artisanal or industrial, are already good products, but it is on the raw material and the processing that the true difference is played.

Panettone artisan, what does it mean?

Panettone artisan means everything and nothing. Craftsman is literally the one who personally and professionally leads his own company by carrying out his own work, even manually, in the production process. It does not produce in series only in an automated way but with a manual processing and has a maximum number of 22 employees.

Panettone produced in hundreds or thousands of pieces are certainly handcrafted (not necessarily good). But when you exceed 10,000 pieces, 30 thousand? The Bauli to speak produces more than 8 million panettone, obviously there is no game, but the wording is still misleading. A 2003 ministerial circular reaffirms that wordings such as "artisan production" do not guarantee superior organoleptic, nutritional or health quality; also states that another analogous term, that is "hand-worked", does not increase the quality of the product and that it can be indicated as a guarantee on the method, only if it is possible to demonstrate the manual execution of all the phases of the production process.

As for ice cream, the definition of “artisan” leaves a little to the time it finds, since it only guarantees that the creaming has taken place on the spot, and not if it is made from fresh raw materials or semi-finished products to which to add just water or milk. Ditto for the panettone, it is artisanal if it is manipulated, but this does not necessarily form by form.

Emulsifiers, flavorings and semi-finished products

Emulsifiers or preservatives sorbic acid and potassium sorbate are allowed by the disciplinary and should not be demonized but mean that the deadline is being extended…. the emulsifiers guarantee a better conservation of the product in a natural way but an artisanal product without additions lasts a maximum of 40 days, within 30 it gives its maximum. If it lasts a couple of months or until March, a light bulb should light up. The aromas, natural of course, are used to give a nice scent even in the absence of long and wasteful processing such as candied fruit pastes, infusions of citrus peel, true vanilla berries (very expensive). Behind aromas and preservatives are often hidden the famous "semi-finished products", ie mixes of flour and dried yeast that make life easier for those with little experience or want to save time – they are widespread, often even sponsor of sector competitions.

The Milanese disciplinary

The Milan Chamber of Commerce registered a trademark in 2003 which certifies that the panettone is produced in a traditional way. The use of the trademark is regulated by a production regulation drawn up by the "Milanese Confectioners' Committee" consisting of representatives of sector trade associations and a consumer representative. The Panettone Tipico of the Milanese Artisan Tradition cannot be sold more than thirty days from the date of production, because it is free of preservatives, and it is not allowed to use any other ingredient, even if harmless, such as: brewer's yeast, starch, vegetable fats ( excluding cocoa butter), whey and derivatives, soy lecithin, emulsifiers, dyes, artificial flavors, preservatives (sorbic acid and potassium sorbate). Also excluded are mixes of flour, semi-finished products, mono and diglycerides and candied fruits with sulfur dioxide – which are instead granted, even in many competitions.

the differences and the choice of fruit – Italian Cuisine

the differences and the choice of fruit

There are so many that you often don't know which to prepare or choose. Of every color, made with every type of fruit and vegetable. But what is better for our well-being?

"Do you want to drink a smoothie or do you prefer a smoothie?" Have you been in crisis with this question? frightened from the English-speaking name you feel reassured by the smoothie. Then on the menu you will also find the centrifuged; plunged into uncertainty. To choose well we discover then what differentiates them.

Differences between smoothies, centrifuged and smoothies

Many names to indicate well-being concentrates. Let's start with the difference between centrifuged and smoothies. The centrifuged is a concentrate of vitamins and mineral salts obtained by fruit or vegetable centrifuge. The extractor separates the juice from the pulp and peel. Therefore often centrifuged is synonymous with extract. The shake it is a drink obtained by mixing pureed fruit and fresh milk. The milkshake is obtained when the ice cream. The smoothie, finally, it is a pureed fruit or vegetable drink; water is added in the preparation and light yogurt or, if you are vegan, soy milk.

A wellness centrifuge

Any doubt clarified we can identify in centrifuge the real elixir of good health. Compared to smoothies and smoothies, i centrifuged are leaner and suitable for purifying. To do it you need an extractor that separate the fibers of fruit and vegetables from the final drink. Now there are several home versions. It is important that thejuice extractor is cold since in this way the micronutrients (vitamins and antioxidants) of fruit and vegetables that with traditional blenders will often be lost will be maintained. For your recipes you can combine fruits and vegetables together or choose based on the color that represents the property of the food.

A rainbow of colors

The colors of fruit and vegetables represent specific properties to be known to offer your body the substances it needs most. The red of strawberries, cherries, turnips, beets, pomegranates promotes the cardiovascular system and fights free radicals. The yellow of citrus fruits, pineapple, carrots indicates anti-inflammatory power and is effective against cellular aging. The green of asparagus, mint, avocado, kiwi, rocket, basil it is indicative of an extraordinary antioxidant power due to chlorophyll. The Violet of blueberries, blackberries, figs, chicory indicates anti-inflammatory and defense properties for the immune system. You just have to experiment and do the full of well-being in whatever form you want, be it smoothies, centrifuged and smoothies.

The peppers are not all the same: choice guide – Italian Cuisine


Colorful, tasty fruits – or rather berries! – in the warm season, we learned the 5 tricks to prepare and above all to digest the peppers. Protagonists of tables, recipes and grills, even if i pepperoni they are on sale all year round, it is in the maturity of the summer season that they should be parted and enjoyed – as with all fruit and vegetables, seasonality is important.

The pepper is normally grown in flat, silty and sandy lands. Sowing takes place between December and early April, while it is harvested, strictly by hand, from the end of July. In August the apotheosis begins and it is then in September that we can still buy those nostrani, grown in open fields in the regions of our South, more tasty. In the other months of the year, peppers grown in greenhouses are marketed, or they come from abroad. In Italy, in fact, lately the imports have exceeded the exports, due to the constant reduction of the cultivated surfaces.

How to proceed with their choice and purchase, then?

The choice

At the time of purchase, choose the peppers with the shiny and well stretched peel, with the firm pulp to the touch, without roughness and dents, with the cut of the peduncle quite fresh. If you do not use them right away, you can keep them in the lower part of the refrigerator even for a week.

177436The varieties

There are many types of peppers, also because each year new varieties or selected hybrids are added to the traditional ones. Commercially sweet peppers are distinguished by their shape ("long" or "square") and color (green, red or yellow). In general, the red peppers have thick and crunchy pulp, the yellow ones are more tender and juicy, the green ones have a more herbaceous flavor. The Slow Food presidium watches over the Lungo, renamed Corno di Bue: intense yellow or bright red, conical shape and dimensions that exceed 20 centimeters.

Square of Asti: it can be red or yellow, it has a very fleshy and sweet pulp and is recognized by the typical shape that gives it its name, with four lobes at the base. For this reason it is an ideal "basket" for stuffed rice or meat, to be cooked baked. In Piedmont, its territory of origin, it is eaten raw in pinzimonio or with the typical bagna cauda.

Pepper of Carmagnola: it is cultivated with traditional methods on about 200 hectares in the territories of the province of Turin and Cuneo and harvested from the end of July to the end of October. There are four types, but the most common are the "Corno" or "Lungo" and the "Quadrato", both yellow or red. These too can be tasted raw, but they are also excellent roasted in the oven or in the classic combination of Piedmontese cuisine with rabbit.

Pepper of Pontecorvo Dop: cultivated in the province of Frosinone, where it is harvested until the end of October, it has an elongated shape and a bright red color, but can have green streaks up to 40% of its surface. With an intense and slightly spicy flavor, it is characterized by a particularly thin skin, which makes it more digestible. Excellent consumed fresh (in salads or in pinzimonio), but also cooked (for peperonata and caponata).

Friggitello: small (about 10 cm), of an intense green color and tapered, its production is concentrated in the South, mainly in Campania, as well as in Puglia and Basilicata, where it is harvested as it matures until the end of September. Characterized by a sweet taste, it can be used raw in mixed salads, or in the classic peperonata. Traditionally, in the Neapolitan cuisine comes fried in a pan (hence the name): those young, particularly sweet, can be fried whole, without eliminating seeds and peduncle.

Cornelius: it's a new variety of pepper, selected from the traditional "corna di toro", with which it has in common the elongated shape and the intense and brilliant color: yellow, red or red with green streaks. The peel is thin, so that it is not necessary to peel it, the flesh is meaty, crunchy and very sweet. Characteristics that make it ideal both for raw consumption, for greater digestibility, and in the kitchen, for the simplicity of preparation. It is produced in Sicily, with the integrated production method.

How to clean

The internal white seeds must be eliminated, as are the more fibrous ribs. Also the petiole must be eliminated, unless it is used to lift the cap in the filled versions. If the peel is thick, remove it with a potato peeler: the peppers will turn out more digestible. Another method is to put them on the plate lined with wet and squeezed baking paper and toast them (180 °) for about 40 minutes, turning them often. Let them cool in a bag, then peel them: you will get perfect and well-cooked layers.

Paola Mancuso
September 2016
updated August 2019
from Emanuela Di Pasqua


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