Tag: excellence

Etna, a volcano of excellence – Italian Cuisine


A ’muntagna, Mongibello, Etna. Call it what you want, but "she" (in Catania and surroundings, has tranchant about the genre, strictly feminine, of the volcano) remains unforgettable (unforgettable) as the New York Times called it.

But if volcano tourism has broken out in the USA, the phenomenon does not stop in the New World: Etna has ranks of admirers and aficionados also here, ready to climb the road that leads to its craters, to go trekking on the paths cut between the lava flows, skiing (skiing !!!) on the thirty kilometers of slopes of Linguaglossa and Nicolosi. But what goes up to the summit of Etna is also a way of the senses, which makes its way through solidified rivers of black lava and offers incredible views of the volcano and the sea, on very deep crops and valleys, on pastel-colored villages and villages built with lava stone boulders, on the farms and on the endless rows of dry stone walls also black with lava.

And if the eyes want their part, on the roads of Etna there is also room for taste. Travelers by gorge, at the foot of the volcano, find a small paradise dotted with delicacies, gastronomic excellence, unique products.

Which? It starts from Blood orange of Sicily to move on to green pistachio from Bronte, atMonte Etna extra virgin olive oil et al prickly pear from Etna, to the pecorino cheese Sicilian, alla cherry et al honey chestnut. Not to mention the wine. Easy, therefore, to come across the countries touched
from the over one hundred year old CircumEtnea railway (the one that runs at the foot of the mountain) in companies, wineries, distilleries, oil mills that work and transform raw materials.

Here, for example, in Aci Sant’Antonio (Ct) 3330: hand made in Sicily, says the company logo. Jams, jams and jellies of bitter oranges and bergamots, figs and tangerines, zibibbo grapes and pears are made from the Etna fruits. All rigorously prepared under the volcano.

In Randazzo there is Merlin houseo: from the olive groves as far as the eye of the property comes an EVO blend of the best local cultivars (Nocellara dell'Etna and Randazzese) but in the small company shop, in addition to home extra virgin olive oil, there is also a small but exhaustive selection of local products from honey (chestnut, sulla, orange blossom) to durum wheat pasta with pistachios.

181382Unmissable, then, Indigenous, amber, aromatic, alcoholic. A bitter (but perhaps it is an understatement to call it this) that has the intense soul of the island with its pomegranate notes that are enhanced by the hints of carob and sweet orange peel.

Last but not least, the green gold of Etna arrives, the pistachio, which in Bronte in Bio Sfera finds its reign: the cooperative of organic pistachio producers today offers in addition to nougat, crunchy fruits and pistachio chocolate also the products of Etna bio-farmers: oil, almonds and ancient wheat pasta.

Enrico Saravalle
January 2020

Pirlo, the brescian aperitif par excellence (don't call it spritz) – Italian Cuisine

Pirlo, the brescian aperitif par excellence (don't call it spritz)

If you are in Brescia and you feel like having a drink, the watchword is Pirlo. Do not be afraid: it is not a dirty word, but the symbolic drink of the city of the Lioness

For me Pirlo equivalent to vagabond evenings with high school friends, in the center of Brescia running from Carmine neighborhood to Piazza Duomo, up to generous evenings with pocket money in the pocket, the rich area of ​​Piazzale Arnaldo.

The best Pirli in my life

The appetizers the most enjoyable were not the evening ones, but those sipped during strategic school burnings, and in those moments we felt we were the champions of the world, free and carefree. Not to mention strikes and demonstrations, which turned into happy hours justified and of duty as well as of law.

And if you have said "gnari * at least once in your life, do we have a Pirlo?" Otherwise rejected or at most sent back to the next trip to Brescia, when you have learned this refrain:

If you are from Brescia and you know it, pass a pirlo
If you are from Brescia and you know it go to pirlone
If you are from Brescia and you know how to prove it you will know
If you are from Brescia and you know it you can * vecio * another pirlo

* For those who have stumbled upon reading in unfamiliar words, here is a brief guide to basic Brescia dialect, which could be useful for a pleasant and highly recommended visit to the city, in order of appearance we find:
Bruciate (voice of the verb burn school) = bigiare, jump, jump, marinate lessons;
Gnari = boys in jargon;
Pota = typical intercalary from Brescia that doesn't mean anything but that goes well with everything;
Vecio = boys in a rough way;

In short, I have had a few aperitif evenings and my faithful fellow drinkers know that I was not doing too badly, once … but now if I decide to take a Pirlone I risk a few slips. However returning to us on Pirlone is nothing more than the jig format of the classic Pirlo, designed for those clever and aware that they already know that a Pirlo alone will never be enough, and so it might as well optimize orders and enjoy aperitif snacks with a nice Pirlone.

Origin of the name

But now let's talk about him, the Pirlo, which has nothing to do either with the footballer (to underline Brescia) or with ugly bad words. The nice name of the Brescia cocktail has its origins in dialect, the term "pirlo" comes from verb pirlare which in Brescia means fall, overturn. In this case it is the sweet fall of Campari (or Aperol) in white wine, although, according to tradition, a local bitter similar to Vermouth was used in the past, to be added to white wine, not always of great quality, which is so it turned into a pleasant drink.

Pirlo Brescian recipe

1 part of Campari, 2 or 3 of still white wine, sparkling mineral water, 1 lemon or orange rind

In a glass (baloon, tulip or bar tumbler) pour a part of Campari (for those who wanted it lighter, Aperol is allowed, although the classic recipe requires Campari) and two or three parts of still white wine, usually the Lugana, typical of Lake Garda, precisely in the area between Lombardy and Veneto, between the countries of Desenzano and Peschiera. Add a splash of carbonated water or soda water, a lemon or orange peel and drink in company.

Pirlo VS Spritz

The difference is not immediate, in fact the two cocktails are very similar, very close relatives to whom it is not easy to attribute the degree of kinship. There dispute between Brescia and Venice about who invented it first is a bit like asking, "was the chicken or the egg born first?" But fortunately the international classification of Iba cocktails came to our rescue by closing the diatribe and declaring the Pirlo father of the Veneto spritz, the Venetian spritz, from which it stands out only for the use of wine, in the Brescia version use the still wine and in that one Venetian the prosecco.

In 2017 it was even declared drink of the year by the New York Times and the unknown Pirlo from Brescia managed to become famous in the big apple, almost more than in Italy.

For this time I will not give you any recommended address, I prefer you live in Brescia as you please, each bar is good for taking a Pirlo stop and teasing two chips and more (rich buffet aperitifs and aperitifs in effect). You will hardly be disappointed by the barman or preparation because the cocktail is really very simple. But if you really need two tips to go without fail, you can't miss the Carmine district, which from an infamous place to avoid on foot has in recent years turned into an area of ​​Brescia's nightlife, where you can spend epic evenings with friends, going from one place to another with ease and between a chat and a pirlo, a pirlo and a chat to make late night arrive.

L'Italie à table, the Italian gastronomic excellence show in Nice – Italian Cuisine

L'Italie à table, the Italian gastronomic excellence show in Nice

Truffles, oil, wine, pasta, desserts and much more along the Promenade des Anglais in Nice where the Italian food and wine excellences conquer the French.

Cured meats, cheeses, desserts, pasta and even wine: the list of quality products is long, the result of Italian gastronomic excellence, which could be tasted in Nice from last June 7th until 11th along the beautiful Promenades Des Anglais, scope of the Salone L''Italie à Table, an appointment under the European program Sistina, now in its 15th edition, in which small artisans have made tourists, passing customers and French catering professionals taste their products. A way to promote across the border niche productions of the highest level that could intercept the demand not only of tourists but above all of those who work with food every day, as chefs, owners of premises, wholesalers. "The idea came about 16 years ago," he explains Michele Palmieri, a young person in charge of the Italian Chamber of Commerce in Nice – when they were looking for a way to introduce some typical excellences of Piedmont and Liguria, the two regions closest to France, to the French market. It began with only references from the provinces of Cuneo, Imperia, Veneto and Emilia, to arrive at today where there are over forty exhibitors, they come from all over Italy and most of them have confirmed their participation for years ". A won bet therefore.

Cheeses, honey, oil and biscuits. All the Made in Italy excellences

Walking through the stands is like finding corners of Italy where accents mix with local products. Among the many exhibitors, the company Bonifazi, was one of the first to believe in the project of L''Italie à Table. It produces extra virgin olive oil from the early 1900s in the Umbrian countryside. The olives are the local ones, leccino, moraiolo and frantoio, the production remained artisanal, although over the years the numbers of the bottles produced have grown. Giuseppe Veglio produces his own Tuma d 'Fe on the hills of the high Langa, with milk produced by its 120 sheep that graze freely in the meadows. He has been coming to Nice for years. The cheese is made only from April to November, when the milk is rich in all the aromas and aromas of the field herbs. Once heated to 37 ° the sheep's rennet is added and then the toma remains to rest for two days. It is "caressed" with a pinch of light blue Sicilian salt, left to rest for another week and then it is ready to be tasted. At their first salon they are the owners of the Perfumed Experience Laboratory by Riolo Terme, a shop where ancient grains mix with seeds and spices to create recipes that have been handed down from generation to generation biscuits that smell of lavender, turmeric and hazelnuts, in which every bite is like a return to childhood.

Meeting with French cuisine

These benches at the L’Italie à Table salon are an opportunity to get to know those who really are behind the products they often use, without knowing their history. This is why Sebastien Perinetti, manager of the restaurant "Canon" in the center of Nice every year this fair is not lost for anything in the world. “I have always used many Italian, Ligurian and Piedmontese specialties above all – he tells us when we meet him – starting with oil, cheeses, polenta, which in the restaurant I propose combined with lamb and white beans from Pigna, another Italian specialty , a Slow Food presidium cultivated in the province of Imperia ”. And then the natural wines of Fornovo and the trombetta courgettes, typical Ligurian. In his restaurant the menu changes twice a day, "because – he explains – it depends on what the suppliers bring me: the fisherman, for example, arrives at 13. I know what I can offer my guests at that time". Attention to the highest quality products also for the restaurant L'atelier, by Stephane Chenneveau, who specialized in porridge, which in France they call Socca. He proposes it as a base on which he then serves fish, meat, vegetables and cheeses, and accompanies it with a good glass of wine (he has over 600 references between biodynamic and natural), often Italian. He also does not miss the L’Italie à Table show because, as he tells us, “we French are like you Italians, attentive to detail, always discovering new excellence to offer to our guests. And this is the right place to stay ”.

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