Tag: excellence

Select, the Venetian aperitif par excellence turns 100 – Italian Cuisine

The iconic bitter by the Pilla brothers, an integral part of the original Venetian Spritz, celebrates its first centenary, paying homage to its beloved lagoon city as always. And the original Spritz recipe

It was 1920. In one Venice animated by the excitement of the first post-war period, two young Bolognese entrepreneurs, Mario and Vittorio Pilla, officially registered the brand of a new product, destined to become a true icon of the lagoon city: Select, an aperitif with a lively red color. A name of great impact, solemn and modern at the same time, which according to some would have been coined by Gabriele D'Annunzio himself using a contraction of the Latin word Selectus, or "chosen", "selected". In fact, as evidenced by some documents of the time, Select would be more simply the acronym of «Liqueurs And Tartar Cream Wine Plant, the San Donà di Piave factory where the bitter in question was initially produced. Beyond the baptismal disputes, in any case, this glorious aperitif blows out its first 100 candles in these months: an important birthday, celebrated with the certainty of having been able to preserve not only the rigor of its original recipe, but also everything the charm of those roots so blatantly lagoon.

The secrets of an iconic aperitif

What we drink & co. we can find inside the iconic bottle of Select is the result of a production process that lasts a total of 9 months. In fact, it starts with a slow maceration of botanicals in a very fine mixture of water and alcohol, we proceed with hot boiling to obtain the extract of the aromatic herbs and finally we move on to distillation in purity to extract the most aromatic part of the herbs. From these three steps, 8 extracts are obtained which, mixed according to the secret recipe, make up the Select formula, whose heart contains the complexity and the many facets of the bitter. The juniper berries, with their fresh and resinous notes, and the rhizome of rhubarb, the part of the plant richest in aromatic components, complete the whole, making Select particularly suitable for mixing.

The Venetian Spritz recipe

The origin of Spritz is lost in the twists and turns of the nineteenth century, when the Austro-Hungarian soldiers on duty in Veneto used to lengthen their glass of wine with a pinch of sparkling water, to make everything slightly lighter. The spread of this habit, however, has led the various Venetian provinces to gradually develop their own personal version of the Spritz, complete with various additions and coded recipes in the following: and yes, as regards the authentic Venetian Spritz we find Select among the official ingredients. Here's what the recipe says.

Venetian Spritz

7.5 cl of Prosecco
5 cl of Select
2,5 cl of Soda / Seltz
1 Green Olive

Fill a wine glass with ice, pour in the Prosecco and add Select. Fill with soda or soda water and garnish with a large green olive.

Between glass art and architecture

The link between Select and the city of Venice, however, goes far beyond the simple toast of 6pm. Marco Ferrari, CEO of Montenegro Group of which Select is an integral part. Thus on the one hand we find the collaboration with the historian Salviati glassworks, who created a collection of 100 limited edition glasses, sold exclusively at the Fondaco dei Tedeschi. On the other hand, however, the decision was announced to want to bring at least a part of Select's production back to the center of Venice itself, within a new experiential space that will be named precisely Ca 'Select. The headquarters will be in a former industrial laboratory in the Cannaregio district, and will extend over an area of ​​650 square meters: the project, signed by the Marcante-Testa studio, provides for the recovery of an industrial building that will reflect – both in architecture and in setting – the unmistakable style of the Venetian aperitif par excellence.

Gambero Rosso restaurants: no marks but excellence does not change – Italian Cuisine

Gambero Rosso restaurants: no marks but excellence does not change

The guide (rightly) suspends scores in cents for the 2021 edition, but continues to report excellence in each category. Four new Three Forks and particular attention to the premises engaged in delivery and take away

It is a particular year, unfortunately. Very hard for the entire restaurant. Exactly as Slow Food decided for its guide to taverns (with the abolition of snails), also the Red shrimp has seen fit to review the rating system of The Restaurants of Italy, presented in Rome in live streaming. No scores but bands. It is a vision that is as constructive and non-punitive as possible. «We tried as much as possible to limit the failures, but with equal attention a beacon was lit on who managed to reinvent himself, who put new formulas into play. And for this reason the votes were put aside for a year, keeping the forks, globes, bottles, casseroles – one, two or three depending on the degree of excellence -, but we did not want to play on the extra penny or in less than in the past ", explains the director Laura Mantovano. A sensible choice: the spring lockdown and in some cases the summer break prevented an assessment similar to what normally happened. On the other hand, in the more than 2,500 cards appear – where there were and still are – the new take-away and delivery services, indicated with special symbols. Mirror of very, very complicated times.

The four climbed to the top

That said, the 2021 edition is not free from changes within the individual categories, starting with Three Forks. Faced with the impossibility of judging it, Idylio by Francesco Apreda – The Pantheon Iconic Rome Hotel comes out (but we are sure that for the Neapolitan chef it is only a break) and four places enter. Two in the capital: Glass Hostaria by Cristina Bowermann and theImago of the Hotel Hassler where until spring 2019 there was Apreda, replaced by Andrea Antonini. Andrea Aprea, "director" since 2011, finally conquers the Three Forks Vun which is the restaurant inside the Hotel Park Hyatt Milan, with two Michelin stars. The fourth new entry is represented by The little Prince of the Gran Hotel Principe di Piemonte in Viareggio with executive chef Giuseppe Mancino, also two-star. In the other categories, the changes from the previous guide are minimal.

The East is the protagonist

The special prizes are interesting. The one for the emerging chef in memory of Alessandro Narducci went to Emanuele Lecce della Tavernetta in Spezzano della Sila (CS) while the novelty of the year is (rightly, for us) Peter Brunel in Arco (TN) which has created an evocative restaurant with great cuisine. Not surprisingly, it is an important signal on the path to contamination the award for the restaurateur of the year, assigned to Liu family: Claudio, Marco and Giulia (Italian by birth, but Chinese by origin) are increasingly expanding the perimeter of their network in Milan where they are well known. From the first Iyo – the only ethnic one with the Michelin Star – they reached six places. In this sense, the award for the best proposal by the glass that went to is even more sensational Mu Dim Sum, one of the best Chinese cuisine restaurants, also in Milan, and whose sommelier is Egidio Giovannini. Unthinkable until a few years ago.

Romito and Bottura ex aequo

Two other highly coveted awards are those as pastry chef of the year (Fabrizio Fiorani of Il Duomo in Ragusa) and for the best room service that ended in Calabria – another not secondary signal – al Qafiz of Santa Cristina di Aspromonte(RC). The tasting of the year? The 2020 del Reale in Castel di Sangro (AQ) e With a little help from my friends of the Osteria Francescana in Modena. The menus respectively of Niko Romito and Massimo Bottura in fact are both formidable.

The ciauredda, the dish par excellence of the summer in Cilento – Italian Cuisine

The ciauredda, the dish par excellence of the summer in Cilento

A dish with vegetables from the garden, which has all the flavors and aromas of a summer in Cilento. Tasty, quick and easy to prepare

There is a dish that more than any other contains the essence of a summer in Cilento: the ciauredda. Finding it the same from one house or country to another is practically impossible, since everyone has their own way of preparing it (and calling it). Basically, however, it is a dish always based on seasonal summer vegetables, usually from one's own garden, now in their full flavor.

The origin according to Renato De Falco

Renato De Falco has reconstructed the origin and history of ciauredda in an exemplary way, as well as many other culinary traditions from Campania. Great Neapolitan writer and philologist, he is the author of numerous texts, including Cu ’Na Bona Salute. 10 curious names of Neapolitan dishes, in which he talks about this dish. There cianfotta, he writes, is a delicious rural dish, very rooted in the south, based on peppers, aubergines, potatoes and tomatoes (and, ad libitum, also carrots and zucchini), flavored with garlic, onion, oregano, basil, parsley, salt and pepper. There is a cianfotta from Faicchio and Morcone, in the Benventano area; one in Procida, where it is called bobba; and then the Cilento one. However, it should not be forgotten, he continues, that the home of cianfotta is southern France, in particular Provence, where it takes the name of ratatouille, or potage aux légumes. Today it is also called ciambotta, confirming that its exact étimo is that of champ potage, as endorsed by the Modern Etymological neapolitan Vocabulary, compiled in 2009 by Dale Erwin and Pierino Bello. Furthermore, adds De Falco, it is unfortunate that none of the last thirty-five compilers of Neapolitan dictionaries have reported this word. Only eleven southern gastronomic manuals, out of about 200 written by qualified professionals from 1976 to 2003, speak of cianfotta, ciambotta or ciauredda.

So what is ciauredda?

Ciauredda is a dish based on vegetables, especially the summer ones found in the garden. Let's not forget that in Cilento a subsistence economy still reigns, where much of what is consumed at the table comes from their land or from the animals that are raised during the year. This is precisely what makes it the undisputed homeland of the Mediterranean diet. And in the summer, when the garden is luxuriant with all its seasonal fruits, such as tomatoes, peppers or aubergines, the ciauredda is prepared. It can be done in many different ways, so much so that it is difficult to eat exactly the same identical dish in two houses, even in the same country. But even the name changes after a few kilometers: at the gates of Cilento between Eboli and Battaglia, for example, it is called ciauliello, while from Agropoli to Casalvelino and Ascea we talk about ciambotta. Further east, in towns like Sapri or Vibonati, we will find ourselves facing the ciaurella, while going inland, to Torre Orsaia, it will be the turn of the donut. In the hinterland further north, between Campora, Felitto, Roscigno and Bellosguardo, ciambotta returns, while in Caselle in Pittari, where our recipe comes from, it is called ciauredda. What never changes is the way we eat traditionally: between two slices of bread, in the country side.

The recipe of Filomena Marcieddu di Caselle in Pittari

As you may have understood by now, there are countless versions of this dish, also depending on the vegetables available. Basically there are almost always aubergines, peppers and tomatoes, but then there are those who also add potatoes, green beans, courgettes, friggitelli, as well as garlic or onion. The one that the lady prepares Filomena Marcieddu of Caselle in Pittari remains one of the best ever tried, which is why we asked her for her precious recipe.


2 eggplants
5 peppers
500 g tomatoes
to taste basil and salt
to taste extra virgin olive oil


Cut aubergines, peppers and tomatoes into the desired shape, whether it is into cubes, slices or strips.
Heat a little oil in a pan (in Cilento there is plenty, you can opt for a lighter version) and start cooking the vegetables, preferably separately. Alternatively, better in order of cooking: first the aubergines, then the peppers and finally the tomatoes. Then add them together and sauté everything in the pan for a few minutes.
Add a few basil leaves for an extra summer touch, mix and serve warm or even cold.
Alternatively, place the ciauredda between two slices of bread: the longer you wait, the better it will be because it will have absorbed all the flavor of the vegetables. Ask a few farmers in Cilento for a bit comi sapi u pani 'ciauredda wave!

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