Tag: crazy

All crazy for pancakes (even in Italy) – Italian Cuisine

All crazy for pancakes (even in Italy)

I'm a classic of american breakfast, so much so that Donald prepares plenty for his grandchildren Qui, Quo and Qua. And they never fail even in the brunch English style. But, for some time now, it has become increasingly common to find them also in Italy: they are pancakes, the delicious pancakes that in America are served "washed down" with Maple syrup or smeared with peanut butter, but which in the Italian version can also be enjoyed in many other ways, namely with jams, sweet spreads or honey. But gourmets also love them with salmon or gorgonzola. I am over 4 million Italians who have (pleasantly) let themselves be conquered by these American pancakes, says a research conducted by Nielsen for Barilla, and over half of them enjoy them on the weekend at home, at breakfast or as a snack, and with the family.

Home made or ready-made?
The success of pancakes in Italy is confirmed byincrease in supply proposed by supermarkets and health food stores, where they are found in various versions: from those already ready, which should only be heated and stuffed, to those in the form of blend, dry or liquid, which can be cooked in a few minutes. Many, then, love to make them at home also because they are really simple. Just prepare a flour-based batter (you can use and experiment with all types of flours, from wheat, oats, spelled), eggs, milk, sugar and yeast. Once the dough is ready, pour some a spoon in a small non-stick pan (like the one used for crêpes) and cook over low heat for a couple of minutes, turning the pancakes halfway through cooking. The convenience is that the batter can be prepared on day before, stored in the refrigerator and taken out about half an hour before cooking the pancakes.

To each his own pancake
The beauty (and the good) of pancakes is that they can easily adapt to the needs of those who follow particular diets. Being made of few ingredients, all natural, they can be easily replaced in case of food intolerances or special diets. Who is it lactose intolerant can avoid milk and replace it with a vegetable drink (such as soy, rice, oat or almond), while those who struggle with cholesterol chooses those based on oats, the tastiest solution to eat the beneficial dose of anti-cholesterol beta-glucans every day. Plus, by removing the eggs, they turn into one vegan recipe. Anyone who loves alternative grains can use spelled or corn flour, while those who love Anglo-Saxon desserts can add banana puree or pineapple pieces to the mixture.

Raw pancakes
Pancakes are also accepted by many "raw food" gurus since this food philosophy also tolerates foods subjected to a light cooking (never higher than 40-42 °) and these pancakes can be cooked at a very low temperature in a dryer or, alternatively, in a semi-open ventilated oven kept at the minimum temperature. Cooked in this way, pancakes are a perfect base for strictly raw fruit, vegetables and fish.

At breakfast or as an aperitif?
Nutritionists also "promote" pancakes. Starting with breakfast, which must provide 20% of the daily calories. Objective achieved if in the morning meal you enjoy 60 g of pancakes (made with only egg whites) stuffed with 20 g of jam (or yogurt or ricotta), 30 g of dried fruit and 200 ml of unsweetened tea (or barley coffee). In addition to ensuring the right amount of energy to face the day, you arrive satiated and gratified until lunchtime. Instead the American version, the one with Maple syrup, is richer (in particular in sugars) and, therefore, should be reserved for the days when you dedicate yourself to aintense sporting activity. Unusual alternatives to crepes, pancakes can become a tasty and delicious main dish, if served with pesto or vegetable creams, tuna and diced tomatoes, or they can be served withaperitif, accompanying them with traditional blue cheeses, such as gorgonzola, and with soft and tasty cured meats, such as ciauscolo from Marche and n'duja from Calabria.

And who is on a diet?
To combine the pleasure of enjoying a rich pancake with attention to well-being, just choose how topping fresh fruit or raisins or two wisps of whipped cream. Or simply sprinkle the pancakes with a soft cloud of powdered sugar.

January 2022
Manuela Soressi

Everyone is crazy about artisanal panettone – Italian Cuisine

Everyone is crazy about artisanal panettone

As we approach Christmas, talk about trends by the way artisan panettone it might seem obvious, but it is not. From year to year, in fact, around the dessert of the holidays typical Milanese a real movement has been created that involves foodies even before professionals, all in search of perfect leavened. A treasure hunt that now keeps producers and consumers busy for practically twelve months a year in the name of seasonal adjustment, as proven by the success of the summer panettone. Naturally, it is in these weeks that the climax is reached. When, to the delight of gourmands, the best pastry chefs, chefs and bakers compete with doughs, top ingredients and unusual fillings.

A little data
According to a recent one Nielsen research, dedicated to the evolution of consumption of this dessert in Italy, 7 out of 10 families do not give up on tradition and bring panettone to the festive table and even earlier, given that massive purchases are already starting to October. Half of this audience of consumers prefers artisanal productions, also preferred to those "premium" industrial. And if it is true that the same research has shown a slight decline in the market for “anniversary” sweets, it is also true that of all the panettone is the one that has suffered the least from this contraction. Also thanks to the "change of use": no longer just dessert at the end of the meal, it is also chosen for Breakfast (even at the bar!) e snack.

The characteristics of the top panettone
In the weeks leading up to Christmas, many fervent supporters give life to a thick chat, on social media as on convivial occasions, where everyone has their say. tastings, correctness of the dough, quality of the ingredients. If you want to join the conversation too, here are the main things to know to judge competently whether or not what you have in your hands is a good panettone. Point one, the perfume: the butter, but also the aroma ofOrange and the discreet but present underlay of the natural yeast. Three elements that you must also find when tasting. The pasta must not present alveolations, that is holes, too big (at times they look like caves!), but dense and regular. Rather, when breaking the slice with your hands, you need to check that the dough is racy, a sign that the leavening took place correctly, developing vertically. Another thing to evaluate is the cooking. No to dark brown panettone, almost black on the surface, with the characteristic bitter aftertaste of burnt. But a firm no even to those that are too heavy, with the wet crumb which, once pressed, remains where it is without lying down again: an unequivocal sign that the panettone is raw! Raisins soft and candied fruit pleasant under the teeth, tender and not sticky, which taste of fruit and not just sugar, will mark the extra point that can make the difference.

Undisputed champions
All these parameters, judged by experts and amateurs, contribute to the success of individual brands. Some of which are now firmly at the top of the national rankings for several years. As Vincenzo Tiri which, in Potenza, makes what – according to experts – is probably the best panettone in Italy, which has almost become an object of worship. They are not far behind, being able to boast legions of loyal fans, the Campania Salvatore Gabbiano from Pompeii (10 references, including Cuba with chocolate and rum) e Sal De Riso, "Pastry king" of the Amalfi Coast who offers among others the Cilentano with buffalo butter, white figs, walnuts and wild fennel. The fact that these samples come from Southern Italyby successfully bringing their interpretation of a Milanese specialty to the podium, it no longer surprises anyone. After all, the confectionery tradition is very rooted in our South. Not to mention the fact that among the most distinctive ingredients of the panettone there are candied fruit and there is no doubt that the best come from Sicily. He knows it well Angelo Inglima which, in Canicattì (AG), combines them with pistachios from Bronte and chocolates from Modica.

Milan and panettone
This does not mean, of course, that the Lombard capital is ready to give up the scepter. In the shadow of the Madonnina, the panettone rite knows no decline and takes place in the discreet and elegant atmosphere of historic pastry shops and gourmet shops. As Marquesses 1824, famous for decorated panettone, which this year dedicates its most chic creations to the Christmas ballet of the Nutcracker. While the pastry chef Vincenzo Santoro of pastry Martesana he thought of ideally combining the Milanese dessert with the Viennese Sacher to create the Panetùn de l'Enzo, with a dark chocolate glaze and apricot filling in jam and semi-candied fruit. The timeless Peck, temple of Milanese gastronomy, accompanies the “special edition” gianduia, mandarin and hazelnut glaze with a surprising hazelnut and white truffle cream. Finally, the pastry panettone is greedy and fashionable Jasmine: in their beautiful colored striped boxes, they are enclosed in a traditional and creative version, such as the one with gianduia di Valrhona, candied Ciaculli mandarin peel and Piedmont hazelnuts.

The list goes on
As proof that panettone is now a national flagship, the prestigious productions are multiplying every year everywhere. Among the most awarded, those of Olivieri 1882 which declines the Christmas dessert in 12 variations of flavors and formats: from peach, amaretto and chocolate to apricot and salted caramel, now a great little classic of the pastry shop of Arzignano (Vicenza). The panettone of the collection are also absolutely for connoisseurs AT Pâtissiere from Andrea Tortora who, in his workshop in Mantua, bakes sweets at the limit of perfection, acclaimed by gourmands. Its secret? Carletto, the mother yeast created at the age of 17 together with his pastry chef grandfather. A selected yeast, loved and pampered over the years also for the pastry chef from Brescia Francesco Bedussi, which also produces candied fruit on its own. Instead, he is a third generation baker Antonio Follador, a member of the Academy of the masters of sourdough, who in his oven in Pordenone expertly mixes traditional panettone, almond, glazed, with Peruvian chocolate, berries or pistachio, a great top seller in recent years.

Young leaveners grow up
The world of modern leavening lives on research, experimentation and contamination between different artisan realities. The Bolognese of Brisa oven which have given life to unprecedented partnerships with shops and bistros animated by the same philosophy, such as gastronomy Gigliola of Lucca or the Food Typography from Milan. Young teams with which mixtures with very original additions have been studied: lemon, dates, sesame, or quince, lemon and chocolate. It is making a name for itself among the young leaveners Simone De Feo from the Cremeria Terminus of Reggio Emilia. Born ice cream maker, he developed a passion for mother yeast thanks to the master Rolando Morandin and today he bakes soft, stringy and … very pop panettone. Like the Panettone Nero “to listen to”: a coffee-flavored gianduia dough, with drops of salted caramel, linked to an electronic music project to be combined in streaming. Speaking of contaminations!

And then there are chefs and … pizza chefs
Now there is no restaurant or chef who has not tried his hand at making Christmas sweets. To the San Domenico of Imola, two Michelin stars, the chef Massimiliano Mascia and the pastry chef John Morning they bake three panettone including the semi-candied "three apricot" one, dehydrated and in drops of soft jellies. Roberto Di Pinto, Neapolitan who moved to Milan with the restaurant Sine, perfumes his O 'Panettone with the aromas of the pastiera. Always in Milan, Eugenio Boer of the BU: R restaurant, in collaboration with the pastry chef friend Jean Marc Vezzoli, has revisited the classic of the holidays by including honey from sulla di ape nera, candied fruit from maestro Corrado Assenza, Selva della Valtellina eggs, malga butter, Tahitian vanilla and Cervia salt. While Daniel Canzian in his Emporio he offers the MIO panettone perfumed with an intense roasted orange paste. A lot of “roast” even in the panettone with salted and smoked butter on the restaurant's grill Andreina of Loreto (Ancona), a Michelin star: the idea came to the chef Errico Recanati, famous for its refined cooking on the grill. The Veronese “pizzaricercatore” Renato Bosco chooses for its panettone evocative names of the fillings: Recioc is with coffee and white chocolate, AmaRè with dark chocolate and black cherries. After all, it should not be surprising that a pizza chef is familiar with the leavened cake par excellence. Thus, the Brianza area Cristian Marasco from the Blue Cave of Merate (Lecco) has created the "three-dough" panettone, a limited edition, which combines 8 other recipes including that of the "fake panettone": without raisins or candied fruit, with orange and Madagascar vanilla paste, in the gourmet version it is accompanied by 4 pastry bags filled with mascarpone, chocolate and coconut creams, hazelnuts and pastry.

A salty surprise
If you found so much sweetness a bit "cloying" … let's conclude this long roundup with a total outsider, decidedly salty and made in Puglia. It is the Pancapocollo, the salumificio's panettone with capocollo from Martina Franca Santoro di Cisternino (BR) conceived by the butchers together with Emanuele Lenti of the homonymous bakery in Grottaglie (TA). Ideal to serve, lukewarm, with Christmas appetizers and open the menus of the most beautiful, greedy and … leavened party of the year!

Francesca Romana Mezzadri
December 2021

all crazy about spritz – Italian Cuisine


The weekend has finally come. We relax, we allow ourselves an extra cheat and why not even an extra glass. So, let's do it a spritz? Already thinking about its color we have a good mood. It is true that we cannot resort to happy hour in our favorite place, but we can still prepare it at home by giving a rainbow touch even at our table.

The drink of good humor

183994Orange, red, green and blue… but do you know how many colors the spritz can be? The good news is that it can actually be all you want, because this famous aperitif of the Triveneto tradition, born as a simple mix of white wine and sparkling water, over time has been enriched with many liqueurs.

We have the "Aperol Classic ": put ice cubes in a glass, fill it halfway with prosecco and pour a glass of Aperol; fill with sparkling water and decorate with a slice of lemon. This is the typical tradition that never goes away.

To the "Campari": proceed as for the previous spritz, replacing the Aperol with the same amount of Bitter Campari and complete with an orange slice. This Red it will ignite all your passion at the first cin.

To Curaçao: wet the edge of the glass and pass it through sugar. After putting the ice, fill it halfway with Prosecco and complete with a glass of curaçao and water. Does it seem like a magical concoction? Maybe it is, in the meantime try it

Mint flavoured: After putting ice cubes in the glass, fill 2/3 full with Moscato and finish with 1/2 glass of mint liqueur, fresh mint leaves and lime slices. A unique freshness for your taste buds. You will feel like you are reborn.

Campari or Aperol? What team are you?

184007It is vI was that by now with all the versions of the spritz on the market you can indulge yourself but the fundamental difference between the two classic versions is the territory in which they were born: Campari Spritz is Milanese, product par excellence of a company in the Lombard capital, as well as a favorite drink for "bee hour" on the streets of the Naviglio. Campari is used in the preparation of Negroni and the Americano. Its typical features? Ruby red color and strong and decisive aroma and flavor.

184004Then there is the'Aperol Spritz, "From" Bassano del Grappa, which not only conquered the palates of all the inhabitants of Lagoon, but also those from all over Italy, from teenagers to adults, for its slightly sweet aftertaste. The original recipe has always remained a secret but each region is particularly keen to give its own reinterpretation.

Its origins

There are numerous theories on the origin of Spritz, but almost all lead to the area of Triveneto (Veneto, Friuli Venezia Giulia and Trentino Alto Adige) already in the ancient nineteenth century. The lands of Lombardo – Veneto at the time were in fact subjected to domination of the Austro-Hungarian Empire and the diffusion of Spritz would be attributed to the Austrian soldiers: in fact they found the flavor of Venetian wines too strong and, in order to fully enjoy them, began to dilute them with'sparkling water. To support this hypothesis is the name of the cocktail itself, which derives from the German verb "Spritzen", or "spray", indicating what still today is considered the Spritz with a capital S, in Friuli Venezia Giulia, that is, a simple still white wine with the addition of sparkling water: "The white spritz", which we can find in few places today. In short, from here we deduce that it is a piece that we like to drink …

City you go, spritz you find

The Bianchin, Pirlo, Spruzzato, certainly in Italy the Spritz varies not only in the recipe, but also in the names. In Brescia, for example, where still white wine is used instead of Prosecco, it is called Pirlo, while the Sprayed is the Piedmontese version which provides Vermouth, Seltz and ice. TO Trieste, you can still find the original recipe, with wine and sparkling water, while the Bianchin from Milan uses sparkling white e Bitter Campari. Venice, like Brescia, makes the Spritz with still wine, but adding the Select, indigenous liqueur, with a bitter and dry taste. In short, every lover is satisfied as he pleases. We would rightly say. Is it or is it not the drink of carefree?

184005Spritz in Italy in 2020

So how do you drink spritz in the Italian regions? Regardless of the type preferred by each area, according to its traditions, we want to offer you a tagged statistic Idealo – Europe's leading international portal for price comparison – which Italian regions are fans ofAperol and which of Campari. According to their research, Italians over the past twelve months seem to have shown almost similar interest for both versions, with ten regions oriented towards Aperol and nine that instead preferred Campari more. A true all-Italian derby, with some surprises: at the Veneto, for example, despite being the home of the Spritz Aperol, this ride seems to have been drawn to its rival. While the Lombardy to her beloved Campari he always remains faithful to it. Surely everyone will have different tastes, but the important thing, in these cases, is to have an aperitif.

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