Tag: Eat

Eat at school. Canteens: the 10 most common mistakes – Italian Cuisine

Eat at school. Canteens: the 10 most common mistakes


From the experience of Foodinsider, Claudia Paltrinieri analyzes the menus of school canteens in a book and reveals the lights and shadows of the meals offered to Italian children

Eat at school it is a book that was born from the experience of Foodinsider, or a group of parents who joined in 2015 to "transform the school canteen into a health tool for children and for the planet". They are those who actively participate in the so-called "canteen commissions", giving votes, proposing improvements, sometimes fighting to get them. On the other hand, school catering is a phenomenon with significant numbers, if we count that in Italy there are 380 million meals served in canteens every year.
In addition to being a founding member of Food Insider, Claudia Paltrinieri, author of the book, is the creator of the canteen rating, or a grid for judging the meals offered to children. In the book Eat at school has selected the experiences, skills and case histories collected in these five years of work. And there is no lack of critical issues on which parents must watch and, if necessary, intervene.

Protein share too high

An example: pasta with meat sauce, cooked ham and peas, three protein sources in the same meal. Added to this is a tendency to abound with red meats, which however Paltrinieri notes as it is gradually being reduced. Added to this is the use of preserved meats, or cured meats, which are recommended to be totally eliminated from the menus. Also because the same reasoning can be applied to cured meats that Paltrinieri does with regard to cheeses: it is not correct for canteens to offer meals that are not actually cooked internally, such as cold cuts and cheeses, which on the contrary can be save-dinners for parents often in trouble at the end of the day. Add to this the attention that Paltrinieri emphasizes towards "hidden" proteins that are often not counted in the balance of the menu, such as egg in the dough or parmesan on the pasta.

Improper combinations

Another common mistake, adds Paltrinieri, are the improper combinations, which end up unbalancing the children's diet. First course pasta and side potatoes, first course with pasta or rice and pizza or polenta as a second course: in this way children are weighed down with carbohydrates. Conversely, the reverse also occurs, perhaps with a first course of legumes combined with a second one based on eggs or cheese, which involves an excess of protein.

Poor variety of cereals and legumes

"Pasta and rice are dominant on menus with a 4 to 1 ratio." Apart from a few exceptions related to the territorial characteristics, the velvety, the past, the Roman dumplings, the dumplings are almost unknown in the canteens of Italian children. We find barley and spelled only in central Italy and the polenta practically stops in the north and does not exceed the Rubicone. As for the wholemeal versions of pasta and rice, despite being recommended by the WHO guidelines, in Italian canteens they are almost unknown.

Monotony in vegetables

Vegetables are often the weak link in the food chain for children. Yet little is done to make them appreciate, often offering them as unattractive side dishes, including salads, carrots or raw fennel. The result is that the pot ends up being discarded evenly. Already if they were offered as an appetizer, suggests Paltrinieri, it would be possible to take advantage of the pull of the hunger of the children. Or make them become a second course in an intelligent way, perhaps combined with the easiest potatoes, or in strudel, patties or other "smart" dishes for children.

Fish and eggs: too easy if packed

As far as the difficulties of managing large numbers and food safety can be understood, Paltrinieri stresses how often products already pasteurized are used to prepare eggs and fish is almost always breaded and frozen. The result is that children end up eating anything but homemade products and that the menus are too repetitive, with omelettes that make up the lion's share and fish that becomes hopelessly stick-shaped.

End of meal: no to sweets and fruit

That the fruit should be eaten is not in question, but the end of the meal is not the ideal time to offer it to children. Rather, its ideal location, suggests Paltrinieri, is the mid-morning snack. On the contrary, desserts should really be banned from schools, especially if we talk about snacks, puddings and fruit yogurt. Yes instead with white yogurt and, if you really want to gratify the children every now and then, Paltrinieri suggests desserts made internally with a low sugar content.

Underrated bread

"Too often," says the author, "the importance of bread quality is underestimated in the canteen." On the contrary, he adds, this should play a crucial role, since it constitutes a sort of "safe haven" for children that children can count on when they do not like the other proposals on the menu. We hardly speak of a short chain or we know the flours or we propose breads that are perhaps made with wholemeal and organic flours.

Condiments not disclosed

Even if it is not said that there are flaws in this sense in school canteens, the mistake is nevertheless not in informing families about the condiments used. A good quality extra virgin olive oil must be communicated, also to convey to the parents a sense of tranquility on the general quality of the raw materials used in the canteen.

Dried fruit, seeds and olives, these unknown

It is true that in the school catering guidelines, warns Paltrinieri, they are not present, yet it is the WHO that promotes these foods for a number of good reasons: «They educate children on new flavors, they are good for health and should be included in habits even at home . As the author suggests, they can be used as condiments for main courses, or as a "crunchy note" in salads and vegetables.

Organic on the rise, but not everywhere

The increase in attention to organic food is evident, yet a little leopard-like. In the canteens analyzed by Paltrinieri in 27% of cases the use of bio exceeds 70%, but in contrast 19% does not even reach 30%. What the author points out is that, in cities where there is an important organic presence, such as in Bologna, there has been an important intervention by the parents, who actively collaborated in the definition of the specifications.

The best ice creams in Italy and the world (and where to eat them) – Italian Cuisine


Italy wins the ice cream world cup at the Sigep fair in Rimini and the best ice cream makers in Italy are awarded. Here are their names, from Piedmont to Catanzaro

The Sigep of Rimini is an industry fair so its name will say little to readers, but very much to professionals of ice cream shops, bakeries, pastry shops and bars. It brings together companies of equipment and products for professionals each year and becomes the chosen stage to discover the new trends in the sector, meet the big names and reward the best. In a few days there are competitions of all kinds, from the one for the most creative Latte Art to the recognition for the world bakery championships. Ample space is dedicated to ice cream, and so to prizes and competitions that proclaim the best ice cream makers and the best ice cream parlors.

Competition or guide?

Excluding popular vote and word of mouth, there are two types of awards in the restaurant sector: those assigned by the juries of critics and experts to locals or professionals, and those that instead require a team competition made of selections, tests and heart-pounding final. In the first case the recognition is then given to the work "on the field", in the second case the evaluation takes place on the basis of a competition to which one enrolls and in which one competes live, passing skill tests worthy of an Olympic triathlon and tests aimed at testing competitors' skills and abilities in extreme situations. There are those who have never done one of competitions, and are awarded by industry guides, who is a professional in competitions and boasts awards and prizes, who is known to both. Why compete? To win a competition like a world cup, you train for months, often at the expense of work, but in case of victory or podium, the return on advertising and job opportunities is worth the candle. Cases like that of Luigi Biasetto is an example: on the crest of the wave since the 1997 world pastry championship.

Italy wins the ice cream world cup

Ice sculptures, sugar decorations, savory single portions and decorated ice cream tubs were some of the tests that 11 teams from 11 nations had to overcome to win the 2020 Gelato World Cup. France, Spain and Germany, but also Poland, Argentina and to the East with Japan, Malaysia, Singapore, Mexico. And Italy, of course: ice cream likes it and even if we Italians boast of having invented it, we are not the only ones today to do it and eat it. But obviously we are the best. In front of a jury of experts and critics, each national team made up of an ice cream maker, a pastry chef, a cook and an ice sculptor competed on 8 nerve-wracking tests in 3 days (decorated ice cream tray, glass portion, mystery box, cake artistic ice cream, haute cuisine entrée, ice and crunchy sculpture, ice cream snacks and large final buffet, or the presentation of all the designs). For each team a general theme to direct creativity: from the "Pirates of the Caribbean" for Argentina to "The secrets of the forest" for our compatriots, themes chosen to best represent the national identity and to be able to show off their talents techniques from an aesthetic and gustatory point of view. The result, a riot of virtuosity and scenographic presentations, so extreme that they want to demonstrate that they are the best in the world. To overcome Japan and Argentina, the team composed of Marco Martinelli, gourmet ice cream guru, Eugenio Morrone, from Calabria and soul of the Roman ice cream shop Cannolo Siciliano, Massimo Carnio of the Villa dei Cedri pastry shop in Valdobbiadene and expert chocolatier and Ciro Chiummo, ice sculptor.

The best ice cream maker of the year: in Catanzaro
The competition to win the best ice cream maker of the year award is assigned every year to Sigep by the Aig (Italian Gelato Makers Association). It is chosen among the winners of other industry awards such as the one for the best ice cream cake, sorbet or the creation of a new taste, by a jury of experts. To win the 2020 edition the master ice cream maker Fabio Mellace, from Pastry / Ice cream shop in Catanzaro, Marrons Glaces, contest veterans and award-winners in several similar situations.

All the best ice cream parlors in Italy: the guide

Something different for the prizes and judgments expressed by the sector guides, who look at the daily work and the service done to customers. Presented the Gambero Rosso 2020 Italian Ice Cream Guide; the most reliable in Italy for ice cream lovers. One, two, three cones for the best ice cream parlors, scattered throughout the country with a higher concentration between Piedmont, Lombardy, Veneto and Emilia Romagna.

PIEDMONT
Canelin – Acqui Terme [Al]
Marco Serra Gelatiere – Carignano [To]
Alberto Marchetti – Turin
Mara dei Boschi – Turin
Great! Good is not enough – Turin
Soban – Valencia [Al]

LIGURIA
Cremeria Spinola – Chiavari [Ge]
Perfume – Genoa

LOMBARDY
La Pasqualina – Almenno San Bartolomeo [Bg]
The Sweet Dream – Busto Arsizio (Va)
American Bar Oasis – Fara Gerra D’Adda (Bg)
Arctic – Milan
Ciacco – Milan
The Gnome Gelato – Milan
Paganelli – Milan
Pavé – Ice cream & granita – Milan
Chantilly – Moglia (Mn)
The Tree of Ice Cream – Monza
VeroLatte – Vigevano (Pv)

VENETO
Natural ice cream shop Scaldaferro – Dolo (Ve) ù
Greedy of Nature – Gazzo [Pd]
Chocolat – Mestre [Ve]
Ice cream shop Marisa – San Giorgio delle Pertiche (Pd)
Dassie – Real Artisan Gelato – Treviso
Zeno Ice Cream and Chocolate – Verona

FRIULI VENEZIA GIULIA
Scian L’Insolito Gelato – Cordenons [Pn]
Fiordilatte – Udine

EMILIA ROMAGNA
Cremeria Santo Stefano – Bologna
Cremeria Scirocco – Bologna
Stefino – Bologna
Bloom – Modena
Ciacco – Parma
Cremeria Capolinea – Reggio Emilia
Sanelli – Salsomaggiore Terme [Pr]
The Gelato Theater – Sant'Agostino [Fe]

TUSCANY
Carapina – Florence
Gelato della Passera – Florence
Chiccheria – Grosseto
De ’Coltelli – Pisa
Swings – San Gimignano [Si]

MARCHE
Paolo Brunelli – Senigallia [An]

LAZIO
Gretel Factory – Formia [Lt]
Greed Greedy for Ice Cream – Frascati (Rm)
La Gourmandise – Rome
Otaleg! – Rome
Penguin Artisan Gelato – Rome
Torcè – Rome

ABRUZZO
Bar Gelateria Duomo – L'Aquila

CAMPANIA
Di Matteo – Torchiara [Sa]
Cremeria Gabriele – Vico Equense (Na)

PUGLIA
G & Co – Tricase – (Le)

BASILICATA
Emilio – Maratea [Pz]

SICILY
Cappadonia Gelati – Palermo

SARDINIA
I Fenu Gelateria e Pasticceria- Cagliari
Sweet Treats – Macomer (Nu)

The 19 cities in the world where you can eat better – Italian Cuisine

The 19 cities in the world where you can eat better


The list was compiled by the American magazine "Eaters", with the help of its culinary experts. Because, now, before planning a trip, tourists evaluate the quality of the food they can taste at their destination

Many recent investigations demonstrate this: before planning a trip, tourists evaluate the quality of the food that they can taste once they arrive at their destination. Local cuisine seems to count even more than the place to stay. And, if you consider the fact that people travel more than ever (the record 1.4 billion international trips last year), it's easy to guess how hungry for new culinary experiences is growing. That's why the authoritative American magazine "Eaters", which intercepts the most significant food trends, has compiled, with the help of its network of culinary experts, a list of the 19 cities where you can eat better. Spoiler: there is no Italian. Strange, isn't it?

George Town, Malaysia

It is a crossroads of culinary diversity, thanks to Chinese, Indonesian, Indian and British influences. A typical day here could start with a Malaysian-style breakfast based on nasi lemak, rice cooked in coconut milk and served with sambal, a spicy sauce. For lunch a thali, Indian single dish with rice, vegetables and bread, and for dinner the Chinese style fried noodles or some small street food specialties.

Marrakech, Morocco

If you ask a Moroccan, he will tell you that the best traditional food is what you eat in the local houses. But as there are more and more foreigners coming to Marrakech as culinary tourists, new truly excellent restaurants have been opened offering high quality Moroccan cuisine. It is still not easy to find places that serve tagine and couscous for dinner, but the possibilities for tourists to taste the traditional foods of the city have grown.

Malmö, Sweden

In Malmö many talented young people want to work with natural and healthy products, grown thanks to the mild climate and organic farms of the Skåne region. To be a city of 300 thousand inhabitants, Malmö offers a wide range of bars and restaurants. All delightfully unconventional.

Richmond, Canada

It is without doubt the best place to eat Chinese food in North America. Richmond's culinary landscape is a journey through the traditional foods of its residents (many of whom have roots in Hong Kong, Taiwan and mainland China) and the creations of young Asian-Canadian chefs who, starting from traditional dishes, they are building others who are truly their own.

Gyeongju, South Korea

Eating in Gyeongju is a journey through time: you can dine like a royal Silla, with recipes handed down over the centuries and cooked by specially trained chefs, or eat like a monk, based on clean, vegetable food, prepared and served by Buddhist clergy.

Milwaukee, Wisconsin, United States of America

About a dozen breweries have opened in the area in the past three years. In the city of cheese and beer there is a lot to eat and in 2020 there will be even more to see. According to "Eaters", it is because of the Democratic National Convention to be held in July, where party delegates will select the Democratic presidential candidate.

Akko, Isreale

Here the different origins and faiths intertwined peacefully, and food benefited from all these convergences. In the city there are coffee enriched with cardamom and Yemeni hawaij, as well as the infinite international variations of hummus and seafood. Olives, dates, tahini, za'atar, fresh fish and rare herbs come together in this city where the past meets the present and the sea meets the land.

Marseille, France

During the nineteenth century, immigrants from Italy, Spain, Greece and other countries arrived in Marseille to work on its docks, mills and factories. This first influx of cultures helps explain how an extraordinarily cosmopolitan gastronomic scene evolved, which became even richer with the arrival of North African returnees from the French colonies after independence in the 1950s and 1960s. Talented young chefs from all over France have started to open small restaurants serving a cuisine that has never existed before, a contemporary bistro cuisine from southern France at moderate prices, fresh and creative.

Lagos, Nigeria

A flood of street food and restaurants that serve the food of immigrant populations from all over West Africa, rich in spices and oil. Do not miss the specialties such as jollof rice, white rice with tomato sauce, a stew of peppers and palm oil.

Nagoya, Japan

While Tokyo is stormed by visitors for the 2020 Olympics, Nagoya is in a perfect position for a collateral journey focused on food. Although it is true that there is not much to do, there is plenty to eat (as "Michelin" noted in 2018 when he added Nagoya to his list). Nagoya-meshi, the Japanese term used to describe the cuisine of the region, includes kishimen (spaghetti dishes), hitsumabushi (crispy eel in sauce), miso katsu (pork fried in miso sauce) and much more. Nagoya is a place where food is as generous and cheerful as its inhabitants.

Monterrey, Mexico

This is where the arrachera steak (a fibrous cut of beef that comes from the animal's abdominal muscles) was born and the largest barbecue competition in Latin America. Beef barbacoa, grilled cabrito and ribeye and soft flour tortillas would be enough reason to visit this city, but there are also many other lesser known regional goodies waiting to become the new international food trends.

The East Village, New York City, United States of America

It is the neighborhood of Manhattan with the smallest spaces, the most affordable prices and perhaps the widest variety of innovative restaurants than any other. There are many cuisines: Japanese, Chinese, Korean, Ukrainian, Jewish, Indian, Vietnamese, Filipino and more.

Pristina, Kosovo

It is part of the youngest nation in Europe, which declared independence only 11 years ago, and which has since expressed itself through art, nightlife and, of course, food. The cuisine of Pristina has historically been influenced by the flavors of the Ottoman Empire, the former Yugoslavia and its Mediterranean neighbors, with particular attention to grilled meats, peppers, cheeses, desserts and pickles. But with a new identity.

Porto, Portugal

Portuguese food is increasingly popular all over the world, and Portugal has never had so many tourists (especially Americans) willing to devour everything that this small country has to offer. But most of them start and end the Portuguese adventure in Lisbon, returning home without tasting the Nordic cuisine of Porto. Here, local chefs cook traditional foods with a newfound refinement, giving a new shape to rich recipes that for decades have been considered too heavy.

Cartagena, Colombia

It is a fusion of indigenous cultures with the influences of African, Arab and Spanish populations, which have left their mark throughout history. The culinary tradition includes hearty stews, cheese empanadas, stuffed arepas, grilled meats and tropical fruits. Chefs from all over the country arrived in Cartagena, attracted by the abundant fresh fish and tropical biodiversity.

Hobart, Australia

The artistic and musical scenes, here, have exploded, and the kitchen has matured with them. Tourism has also grown and chefs have started arriving in Hobart, attracted by the slower pace of life, the close-knit community and the impeccable farmland. An increasing number of new restaurants are showing that the city can offer much more than just a fish and chip.

Oakland, California, United States of America

One of the gastronomically most dynamic cities in the United States, and not because of James Beard or the Michelin stars, but its chefs, who through food tell their complicated stories and the fight for fairness.

Cork, Ireland

If the city center might still look like a sleepy Irish postcard, Cork is far from snobbish, with its music and art festivals, and the locals who, together with the students on its university campus, fill the locals. What has grown around the old English market, the traditional heart of the city, is a diversified space, where there is a small Ayurvedic coffee from southern India, naturally leavened pizza, Japanese food, Middle Eastern coffee, the impeccable fish and chips and craft beer.

Santiago, Chile

It is the favorite tourist destination in South America for wine lovers. The chefs of Santiago, inspired by the culinary revolutions that are taking place throughout South America, are overturning the old belief that traditional Chilean food was not suitable for refined cuisine.

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