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Five curiosities about yogurt that (maybe) you do not know – Italian Cuisine

Fermented milk, heated and mixed with 2 live bacteria, the Lactobacillus bulgaricus and lo Streptococcus thermophilus, the type of probiotics they maintain healthy the gut: a few things are simple and natural like yogurt.

Yogurt is the favorite snack for Italians: in 2016, almost two billion jars were produced in our country

According to Nielsen data of 2016 – one in two Italians prefer it as a snack to other alternatives: in our country, according to reports from Assolatte, again in 2016 were produced almost two billion jars of yogurt, to confirm a good and healthy love.

Yogurt is an Italian excellence, thanks to the 'capitals' of Vipiteno, Merano and Bolzano

But there's more, because it is yogurt it is also a local excellence, of which we must go tremendously proud: the "capitals" of Vipiteno, Merano and Bolzano alone represent half of the Italian market, and one reason for the success of South Tyrolean production lies in the "familiar" dimensions of the companies, which make the often vaunted zero kilometer really tangible. For example, the Latteria Vipiteno Cooperative has been on the market for over 130 years, and from 30 produces the homonymous yoghurt with whole milk daily taken from the farms of the 600 member farmers, which are no more than 30 km from the Latteria.

Short distances, fresh raw materials and total absence of preservatives, flavor enhancers, aromas and artificial colors: if you love yogurt and you can not do without it, here are five curiosities that (maybe) you do not know.


The origins: yogurt was produced in Turkey as early as the sixth century BC

The word yogurt is from Turkish origin and derives from the verb yogurmak, which means precisely thicken. Historians believe that yogurt was produced in Turkey as early as the 6th century BC: Central Asian shepherds used to put goat's milk in containers made of animal stomachs, to keep it while they were traveling. Part of the milk stored in these skins, to their surprise, became dense and harsh, but still edible – even after being exposed long time in the sun. The reason was that yogurt contains "good" bacteria that flourished when milk interacted with the animal bags.

Arrival in Italy: directly from Asia, the first to mention it is Pliny the Elder (1st century AD)

It is not clear who brought yogurt to Italy: some support the Huns, others the Bulgarians; certainly there is that anyway he came directly from Asia. The oldest texts mentioning it are those of Pliny the Elder (1st century AD): the writer, admiral and Roman naturalist in his works spoke of ancient barbarian nations who knew how to "thicken milk in a substance with a pleasant acidity".


Success in France and in Europe: in 1542 it was discovered that it was an excellent cure against diarrhea

In France, yogurt spread later and for health reasons: in 1542, King Francis I suffered from severe diarrhea and doctors could not find a cure. Suleiman the Magnificent, sultan of the Ottoman Empire and an ally of the throne of France, then sent a doctor who treated him with yogurt: the news of the benefits of this exotic food began to spread in France and then throughout Europe.

Yoghurt production develops in South Tyrol as a response to the harsh climate and the altitude of the area

The rather rigid climate and the altitude of the area around Vipiteno did not give great prospects for economic development: the agricultural activity and the production of dairy products were thus the guarantee for the sustenance of the population. In 1884 the Dampfmolkerei Genossenschaft, the social dairy in Vapore, the starting signal of the professional transformation of the collection, treatment and marketing of milk. The merger – in two moments, in 1968 and in 1983 – of the three local dairies, the Latteria di Stanghe, that of Stilves and that of Vipiteno, was fundamental for the growth and development of the cooperative, which today produces one million half a jar a day.


The secret of goodness: the "menu" of the cows, the fact that they are happy and the hard work and commitment of the farmers

The question arises: how does Vipiteno's yogurt to be so good? The secret lies in the perfect combination of three factors: first, the "menu" of the cows, consisting of the best pristine water and mountain herbs. Then, from the cows themselves, happy because they were not locked up in intensive farms and treated with love and respect, so that each of them has its own name and is considered like any other member of an "extended family". Last, but not least, the hard work and commitment of the farmers, which every morning they milk with care and attention, to ensure the fresh milk that will be transformed within 24 hours after milking.

Marianna Tognini
July 2018
updated to January 2019


Headaches, friends and enemies food – Italian Cuisine

Migraine is also taken care of at the table: some foods, from potatoes to ginger, can help to defeat it. Others, like meats and cheeses, make their symptoms more annoying

Headache it can be an annoying travel companion who gets up with us in the morning and does not abandon us until the end of the day. There are different types, caused by various factors, including the stress, the lack of sleep or eye strain. Even nutrition can play an important role: some foods contain substances that can trigger it (in this case it is migraine, pulsating pain and localized in one part of the head), others can instead relieve the pain.

The foods to avoid

Assuming that each of us is sensitive differently to the influence of nutrition on headaches, there are different foods and substances from which anyone should stay away to dodge headaches. First of all thealcohol, which accelerates the blood flow and releases harmful toxins: a prolonged headache is not by chance the most frequent memory of an evening with a high alcohol content. But to increase the pressure also contribute tyramine and phenylethylamine: we must not therefore exaggerate with aged cheeses, yogurt and sausages. Salami and red meat are also a source of nitrates, preservatives capable of stimulating headaches. A little surprise, also attention to chocolate: cocoa is a concentrate of histamine, which has more or less the same effect. To be taken in small doses monosodium glutamate: a substance that abounds in kitchen nuts, in the soy sauce (very common in oriental cuisine) and in cheeses. Net of sudden headaches caused by the ingestion of cold food (better to drink water at room temperature and eat ice cream slowly), a good advice related to nutrition is to never skip breakfast nor remain fasting for a long time: it is often the lack of glucose in the blood that causes pain.

Headaches, friendly foods and HER enemies

Allies against headaches

In contrast, eating certain foods can help fight the symptoms of headaches. It starts from potatoes (better if you eat with the peel): i complex carbohydrates they generally promote nerve relaxation by releasing serotonin and long-range energy, while the potassium it's great for blood vessels. As well as the magnesium, which together with salicin makes the almonds one of the best natural remedies for headache. Acts also against pain chili pepper, thanks to capsaicin, le bananas, i spinach and i flax and sesame seeds. But the real panacea in these situations is ginger, a spice used since ancient times as an analgesic: an infusion or a toffee can have the same effects as traditional medicines. It is also important to drink a lot: a liter and a half of water a day, associated with the consumption of fruit is vegetable fresh, keeps dehydration away, one of the main causes of headaches.

Coffee, but not too much

Coffee, on the other hand, is a double-edged sword, because it can fall into both categories: caffeine is in fact a prompt remedy capable of reducing the pain caused by the headache, but at the same time, if taken in large quantities, it causes addiction. Drinking more than three coffees a day can therefore have the opposite effect and cause painful withdrawal headaches when the appointment with the espresso is skipped.

recipes and customs for the funniest party – Italian Cuisine

Carnival in the mouth has the flavor of a sweet fried. Sugar and boiling oil. And often a super-alcoholic touch. From the times of the times: even the ancient Romans, in the centuries Avati Cristo, fried and sold fried, sweet and stuffed pasta, along the streets of the empire, for citizens and travelers during the Carnival era. Probably accompanied by wine, and in particular by an ancestor of vin brulé, which could date back to those times (by the way: here the recipe for a perfect mulled wine, the sangria of winter!).

We hope you have taken advantage of the time window between Epiphany and Carnival by following the advice to not give up the diet in winter, because now it is no longer time to save calories: Fat Tuesday is coming! From the peaks to the islands of the Bel Paese, the pans start to quiver and sizzle: here is a roundup of sweets Local carnival.

169659First of all there are the chatter, or lies (or 'intrigoni', in Reggio, or many other local names) whether you prefer: perhaps now the most common carnival frescos in the national territory – even if, we must admit, there is now also the 'baked' version , but above all there are the stuffed versions – like the delicious one with cocoa and pine nuts – or the accompanying sauces – in particular the hot zabaglione, also derived from it Piedmont-Ligurian. Similar to lies the 'sfrappole', typical of the carnival emilian and in particular Bolognese (here the recipe for a grappa version). Then of course i fried sweet ravioli, filled with cream, chocolate, jam, hazelnut cream & chocolate. Or maybe ricotta, in the case of Sicilians fravioli.

169662Also filled, with custard, i Milanese tortelli Carnival: an ancient recipe, which in the twentieth century was further enriched thanks to the vanilla. And then there are the 'Chinulille', sweets typical of the tradition Calabrian: it's exquisite panzerotti stuffed with a cream based ricotta, orange and cognac. from Romagna they arrive instead sweet carnival noodles, with sugar and grated orange peel. Fried desserts from the Carnival Tuscan are the rags at the Vin Santo, whose dough is enriched by the exquisite dessert wine, as well as by the orange peel – and orange is also the jam with which they are usually served.

47711They are the only ones that are made with the batter, as Orsola knows, confectioner Venetian blind that fry in the eighteenth century in a comedy by Carlo Goldoni. I'm the 'fritole', fried batter balls whose particularities are raisins and rum – a liqueur in use since the sixteenth century. Ball shaped – of the size of a walnut – they are also the Castagnole', an ancient recipe spread in the regions of Center of Italy which has different variations, but a simple base of flour, butter, sugar, eggs, yeast and lemon. And oil for frying, of course! Try them in various versions, like that aniseed or that with marsala.

Of balls – of the size of a hazelnut, however, is also composed the 'cicerchiatadi Carnevale', scenic sweet carnivalesque native ofUmbria but widespread throughout central Italy, which at mountain of fried balls unites the colorful candied fruit.

169668Simple, similar and certainly delicious recipes. Pancakes in gogo spread throughout Italy, starting from a great classic apple fritters. But fantasy to Carnival is essential, then invent your sweets! From February 28th to March 5th melt the reins to the imagination even in the kitchen: disguised and super-colored recipes, revelers in the kitchen. There is only one rule: at least the dessert, must necessarily be fried!

Carola Traverso Saibante
January 2019