Tag: day

Dama (of the tortellino) for a day – Italian Cuisine


At the Festival of the traditional tortellino of Castelfranco Emilia tasting the best tortellini in the world

And yes, I was a lady for a day. Indeed the lady of the tortellino. Yesterday on the closing day of the Festival of the traditional tortellino of Castelfranco Emilia, now in its thirty-ninth edition, broadcast from 4 to 13 September, I dressed (literally) as the lady, in the historical reenactment in costume of the birth of the stuffed bundle. Legend has it that around 1200 a marquise landed in the Antica Locanda Corona in Castelfranco. while refreshing herself with a bath in her room, the impertinent innkeeper had spied on her through the keyhole and, seeing her navel, was inspired by the famous shape of the tortellino. When he went down to the kitchen he created the miracle of goodness by arranging eggs, flour, pork loin, ham, mortadella, Parmigiano Reggiano, nutmeg and salt.

Ergo, I found myself dressed like a queen, in a long and embroidered dress with a crown, made by skilled seamstresses Anna and Rita. First they carried me with the canopy (I swear) and then on the stage together with the host of this edition, Paolo Cavicchioli, president of the Fondazione Cassa di Risparmio di Modena, also dressed ad hoc with a commemorative rolling pin. Together we participated in the cheerful theatrical skit that took up the mementum according to the legend, although obviously I only revealed the ankle. My busty predecessors Carmen Russo and Iva Zanicchi, not pennies. Anyway, joking aside, the festival is very beautiful for many reasons: the enthusiasm of Gianni Degli Angeli of the La San Nicola social promotion association, which has always organized the event. His sfogline is very good (even if it is said in these parts rezdore) that knead and roll up to 2,000 kilos of tortellini with a rolling pin and then close them by hand, one by one. The quality of the food was excellent and I tell you, the best tortellini in the world are here. Heavenly filling, just the right knotty pasta, served with capon broth as tradition dictates. Perfect organization, lots of young people, lots of joy as often happens in this region of Italy. To remind us that the festivals are one of the many (and precious) beauties of this wonderful country. See you for next year's edition which will be the 40th (lasannicola.it).

World Bee Day – Bees in danger: adopt them! – Italian Cuisine

World Bee Day - Bees in danger: adopt them!


The alarm was raised a decade ago when the sudden and inexplicable depopulation of entire countries began to be noticed in many countries. bee colonies. And with the United Nations World Bee Day we rightly talk about it again.

Between 2007 and 2014, there has been a 30% drop in the number of insects in the hives worldwide and is a trend that has not diminished in recent years.

Now according to United Nations data, it is estimated that over 30 years their world population has shrunk by 70%. While in Italy 200,000 hives have been lost in 5 years. And in Europe 1 out of 3 bee species is endangered 1.

This phenomenon directly worries him beekeepers that produce the honey and, with them, the whole food production chain, since 70% of the plants existing on earth depend on the pollination of bees. To give an example of how much it can affect economically, just think that, in certain areas, the production of coffee has decreased by 50%.

The projections for the next decade speak of alarming hypotheses.

The dangers for bees

According to the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) almost 10% of European wild pollinators are at risk of extinction.

Many factors contribute to endangering bees worldwide: the rarefaction of biodiversity and intensive monocultures, the illnesses infectious and bacterial, fungal diseases, i parasites, like the fearsome varroa destructor, which acts directly on the hive, i predators and, last but not least, poisoning from pesticides and agricultural treatments.

Within this scenario there are many activities to preserve these precious insects. From the choices in environmental policies: the European Union since 2018 banned the use of neonicotinoid pesticides, which were decimating European hives. To private initiatives to raise awareness and safeguard the beekeeping heritage.

A thousand bees adopted for each year of the company's life is the idea of Monini, producer of Spoleto extra virgin olive oil. The project is part of the "2020 – 2030 Sustainability Plan": for its centenary, Monini is giving "family" to 100,000 bees from the Milanese hinterland, thanks to the collaboration with the Terrafiena organic farm in Carugate.

For example Meleto Castle, in the heart of Chianti, launches the Nel nome project
Bee. The goal is to triple the presence of bees through the time-controlled system of its biological hives. Whoever becomes the custodian of an apiary, will take care of it remotely and will be involved in the growth step by step. On each hive taken in custody with a donation of 350 euros, those who have adopted will have their name affixed to the cottage and will receive 1 kg of honey per year, for 5 years of foster care.

Actimel, simultaneously with the release of its new 100% Italian honey probiotic, has adopted an apiary supporting more than 180,000 Italian bees together with 3Bee, an agri-tech startup that develops intelligent monitoring and diagnostics systems for the
bee welfare. And it launches the consumer awareness initiative, inviting them to support and expand the 100% Italian Actimel apiary, adopting hives or planting flowers at home.

Barbara Roncarolo
May 2020
credits photo: PollyDot

How to celebrate World Bee Day – Italian Cuisine

How to celebrate World Bee Day


Today is World Bee Day. That's why they are important for the life of planet Earth. And the new trend of urban hives that produce zero-kilometer honey

Every May 20 is celebrated the World bee day. The aim is to remember their importance, which goes far beyond the final production of honey. Bees, in fact, are an essential link of our ecosystem, fundamental for its balance and indispensable also for many other living species, which pollinate and fertilize making their existence possible. For all these reasons, we must remember our pollinators and preserve them from extinction: not only today, but every day. Let's see how it could be done also in the city or in other places and not only in the countryside.

The bee crisis

Unlike us, bees live in a perfect society. They communicate with each other with extremely complex movements; the architecture of their nests is an inspiration for architects and designers and in their system the concept "vos, non vobis" (work, not for you). Yet they have to deal with us, which has caused them many problems. In fact, since the 1990s, as is well known (although it would not seem), the crisis in bees has worsened and has steadily and consistently decreased everywhere. There have been many causes, first of all the use of pesticides (such as neonicotinoids) which, as a Cilento beekeeper explains, Giovanni Cavallo, "Cause the depopulation of the hives, as the bees are no longer able to orient themselves and therefore, being poisoned, the colony collapses".
This would seem an unimportant fact, but if the situation worsened further the impact would have a large-scale impact. Because, as anticipated, bees are fundamental for the whole system, therefore starting from agriculture, as (statistically) bees pollinate more than two out of three fruits that arrive on our tables.
Thus, in recent years, various projects have been born (although not yet enough) to raise public awareness and change the trend of these data. Even for those who live in the city. In general, Giovanni Cavallo continues, "places far from conventional agriculture, immersed in the Mediterranean maquis or over the Alps and Apennines at more than 1000 meters, should not be underestimated; the important thing is that the environment is as clean as possible ".
Also another beekeeper, the Marches Luca Bianchi, he continues by arguing that «each of us has an important task for the survival of this insect. We should change our lifestyle, trying to make everything cleaner. For example, what I unfortunately see around these days is indecent: plastic masks and gloves thrown along the roads and unsuitable environments: each of us, with our own small gestures, contributes in favor of nature, or against it, degrading its beauty".

Are bees better in the city?

The result of this awareness has been the installation of hives even in cities where, despite common sense, bees seem to be better than in the countryside. The idea is based on a scientific fact, namely that paradoxically, the city air and soil present fewer pesticides than agricultural ones. As far as smog is concerned, it is potentially more harmful to humans than to insects, although the concentration of ozone in the city can confuse bees in identifying flowers, and therefore make it more difficult for them to feed. In the days of quarantine, in fact, the hives were superproductive! Luca Bianchi tells us that "although man has stopped much of his activities, nature has continued to run its course. The bees, in particular, continued the work, going to collect, to my surprise and happiness, an early, intense honey, with a very marked smell and taste … You will feel ".

Urban hives: the new frontier which is also a trend

But in reality urban experiments have also given excellent results: just think of the skyscrapers of New York, where having bees today seems to have become a real fashion. And maybe the fashions were all like that! Not least is the situation in Europe, such as the Vulkan Beehive urban beehive projects in Snøhetta, Oslo; or the Parisian bees that live on the roof of the Opera or Notre Dame (and also resisted the fire of last April). In Italy, on the other hand, the forerunner was Turin with the project Urbees, presented at Expo 2015, then followed by other cities such as Rome and Milan. How could in fact the Lombard capital not feel called into question, given that its patron Sant’Ambrogio is the protector of beekeepers and wax producers? In the city you can also attend various courses for enthusiasts, such as the Apiculture course Parco Nord Milano at Cascina Centro Parco. Last but not least, the honey produced by urban bees is technically zero km, which would further benefit the environment by reducing CO2 emissions due to any transport avoided. In short, is it making you want to adopt a queen bee and her friends?

Hives on the terrace

This could be the best way to celebrate World Bee Day: install an apiary on the terrace. According to the requirement of minimum distances, it is not recommended to adopt a swarm on the balcony, while there is the possibility of doing it precisely on terraces, gardens and condominium roofs, according to some rules. There are different policies in this regard, so the advice, as a first step, is to ask your condominium administrator for information. But remember that that of the beekeeper is a real job, just as making honey requires a lot of preparation, as bees must also be treated against varroa (an external parasite mite, their enemy number one); for this reason, before starting, we advise you to contact professionals in the sector. In this regard, the commendable initiative of Mauro Veca that, with his Apicolturaurbana, can be an excellent help to get you closer to the world of beekeeping, from finding bee colonies, to knowing the tricks of the trade, as well as to extricate yourself in the regulations of the bureaucracy.

Finally, we advise you to watch the episode Universal hatred of the Anglo-Saxon series Black Mirror: do we want all the precious work of the api to be replaced by technology in the future?

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