Tag: Food

Do you know how to best enjoy food? – Italian Cuisine

Do you know how to best enjoy food?


Foods are often like humans: it is only when you put them at ease that give the best of themselves. Served at the right temperature, cooked in the best way, cut comme-il-faut, food products are able to release all their aroma, intensify their flavor and (also) release their beneficial properties. Yeah, but what are these ideal conditions? Here are the ones that chefs and experts have revealed to us.

Spices
They wouldn't go never cooked but added at the end of cooking or directly into dishes, grinding them only just before consuming them so that fully maintain aromas and flavors. The exception is cumin, the cardamom and it ginger, which become more fragrant if they are fried in a little oil before being added to recipes. The chili: the fresh one must be added to dishes at the last moment, crumbled or pounded. On the other hand, the powder one expresses all its power after it has been dissolved and diluted in water: and therefore better to use it already at the beginning of the preparations.

Cured meat
They should never be cut and served cold but at room temperature, so as not to lose part of the taste. Then they must be taken out of the fridge at least an hour before. The thinner the slice, the more the fragrance and delicacy are enhanced. If you cut them on a cutting board, the best ones are those in maple or beech wood which can be flavored by rubbing the surface with oil, herbs, garlic or other ingredients to enhance the aromas of the salami. If you use the slicer, you should wait a few seconds between one slice and the next so that the heat of the blade does not oxidize the fat.
The only exception: the salami, Which is cut into thick slices and without the casing (if it is properly seasoned it must peel itself), otherwise the mold present will be partly transferred by the knife onto the pasta, contaminating its taste.
If cold cuts are used to fill a dish, such as pizza for example, they must always be added at the end of cooking: thus consistency, flavor and aroma remain at the top.

Cheeses
If you bring them to the table as soon as they are removed from the refrigerator, you lose much of the pleasure, because the cold does not allow dairy products to express their aromas and their flavors. Therefore, it is best to keep them at room temperature for some time before enjoying them. For example, cheeses with a flowery rind (such as Brie and Camembert) should be left for a couple of hours at room temperature, still closed in their packaging, so that they regain their aroma and softness. And they are cut into wedges only when it is time to bring them to the table. Also there mozzarella cheese it should be left at temperature environment for at least 30 minutes before eating it. The buffalo milk can be immersed, still packaged, in a bain-marie in hot water. Thus the fatty components will have time to regain their softness and release all the typical fragrance of buffalo milk.

Extra virgin olive oil
Have you bought a quality extra virgin olive oil and want to enhance its aromatic bouquet? Then just pour a teaspoon into a small glass, preferably a tulip shape, and that it warm in your hands for a couple of minutes: the heat releases and enhances the components that give aroma to the oil, and which are enhanced when used raw, on bruschetta or salads. In this way you will discover that Campania oil has a hint of grass, that the Ligurian one reminds of fresh almonds, that in the Umbrian one you can hear the artichoke and in the Sicilian one the fresh grass or tomato.

Garlic and onion
They are authentic superfood, with proven anticancer and antiviral properties. As long as you don't "cook them", that is, you consume them a raw, because cooking (especially if prolonged) significantly reduces the available quantity of beneficial compounds. If you really have to cook them, better do it for short time: onions should be removed from the heat as soon as they are golden and when they are still "al dente", that is still firm and fragrant, and retain all their wealth of inulin, a fiber known for its prebiotic and mildly laxative action. Does raw garlic not go down well? Try to rub a clove on the sides of the salad bowl, to soften the aroma, or to add a little fresh ginger, which helps digestion.

Potatoes
The chef's trick for perfect fried or roasted potatoes is there bleaching, which allows you to seal the surface and make them crunchy on the outside and soft on the inside. It's done like this: the potatoes are peeled, cut and then sboil for a minute about in salted boiling water. Then they must be drained and cooled in water and ice. So, if they are fried, they must be dried well and then thrown in boiling oil. If, on the other hand, you have to use potatoes for fillings, mashed potatoes or gnocchi better to cook them in the oven because they will remain tastier and drier. The important thing is that, once cooked, you cut them in half and put them in the peeler. So the peel is removed and only the pulp remains.


January 2022
Manuela Soressi

Solidarity Christmas: Food For Soul, restaurants and chefs together with the Antoniano – Italian Cuisine

Solidarity Christmas: Food For Soul, restaurants and chefs together with the Antoniano


Five famous chefs on the set of the Zecchino d'Oro, in Bologna, to lend a hand to the most fragile families with the support of the non-profit association of Massimo Bottura and Lara Gilmore. The solidarity initiative "Restaurants for Operation Bread" is also underway

Finally, after the sad break due to the pandemic, we have been able to return to a special event to give relief to those who need it most. On the set of the Zecchino d'Oro, last Monday, December 6, the solidarity Christmas dinner was held in favor of the Franciscan canteen "Father Ernesto" in Bologna and families in difficulty supported every day byAntoniano. And that's not all: the Operation Bread campaign is also open.

The Zecchino d'Oro dinner

Created in collaboration with Food for Soul, the non-profit association of Massimo Bottura and Lara Gilmore, the fundraising dinner ofAntoniano was able to offer the dishes of the famous chefs Aurora Mazzucchelli (Mazzucchelli House), Lorenzo Vecchia (Alas), Jacopo Ticchi (From Lucio Trattoria), Gianluca Degani (Gelateria Bloom) e Luca Cappelletti, master pastry chef.

here is the Dinner menu in Zecchino, whose names of the dishes are inspired by the iconic songs that we still have in our heads today, and especially in our hearts:

Disco Pizza DJ / chef Aurora Mazzucchelli
Wholemeal leavened with type 2 flour, capon terrine, green sauce and purple cabbage

Nonna Pina's Cannelloni / chef Jacopo Ticchi
Meat cannelloni au gratin with Rimini oyster sauce and monkfish liver

The Braised Waltz / chef Lorenzo Vecchia
Braised vegetables with toasted vegetable sauce and wild herbs

Dolce Nunù / chef Gianluca Degani
Artisan panettone and donkey milk ice cream

The proceeds from the dinner thanks to the generosity of the chefs and the numerous companies that have made themselves available for the free supply of raw materials, is entirely donated to the support of families in difficulty welcomed and helped every day by the Antoniano.

On the occasion of the event, the fragile families of Bologna also received a basket with many food products to be used in the festive weeks. Among the companies that support the initiative: Forno Brisa, FIVI Romagna delegation, Wilden Herbals, Orme Valori Agricoli Ritrovati, Macè and Fuori Rosa catering with the contribution of the students of the IIS L. Spallanzani of Castelfranco Emilia.

To help the families of the Antoniano, in addition to participating in the solidarity dinner, the residents of Bologna were also able to book a solidarity aperitif box on the evenings of 3-4-5 December to watch the Zecchino d'Oro while enjoying many special products. The box was delivered by Antoniano's volunteers directly to the houses he booked. The initiative is supported by NaturaSì, Berlucchi, Macè, Parmigiano Reggiano, Villani.

“We are really happy to return to host the Christmas dinner in the presence to help support the families followed by Antoniano – explains the director Br. Giampaolo Cavalli – This evening guarantees concrete help to people in difficulty: in fact, more and more families are unable to make it to the end of the month and children who are denied the opportunity to live a peaceful everyday life like that of their peers ".

Restaurants for Operation Pane

The Christmas dinner is part of the many activities promoted by the Antoniano in favor of the poor. The national solidarity campaign "Operation Pane" will also be active until 19 December, aimed at offering concrete help to people living in conditions of great poverty. In particular, the joint initiative is aimed at support a network of 18 Franciscan canteens throughout the country and in Syria, offering support for the daily provision of meals and subsequent social and work reintegration activities for the people helped. Any help, even small, is essential and everyone can lend a hand: to offer a contribution, just a text message or a phone call from the landline to the solidarity number 45588.

The solidarity campaign is also supported by the numerous restaurants that this year have decided to join the "Restaurants for Operation Bread" project And to donate part of the proceeds from November 14 to December 31 to Antoniano's activities in favor of the most vulnerable. The "Restaurants for Operation" initiative is sponsored by the Municipality of Bologna and organized in collaboration with the Bolognese Chefs Association and the Sanmarinesi Chefs Union. It is possible to consult the list of participating restaurants on the “Operation Pane” website.

"Thanks to the generosity of the restaurateurs who join the initiative every year – adds Br. Giampaolo – we can help donate a hot meal to those who cannot afford it. Last year this project allowed us to guarantee over 800 meals, the equivalent of a week of meals distributed from Father Ernesto's canteen ".

How to participate in the "Operation Bread" campaign

Active until December 19th
Solidarity number: 45588
Donations:
– 2 euro for each SMS sent from Wind Tre, TIM, Vodafone, Iliad, PosteMobile, Coop Voce and Tiscali mobile phones;
– 5 or 10 euros from a fixed network TIM, Vodafone, Wind Tre, Fastweb and Tiscali.
– 5 euros for calls from the TWT, Convergenze and PosteMobile fixed network;

It is also possible to donate on the project website www.operapane.it

Who is afraid of food? Food phobias – Italian Cuisine


From the fear of cheese to that of wine, food phobias are many, widespread and still quite unknown. We asked an expert for clarification, so that we can start talking about it

The unknown world of food phobias

Massimo, forty years old from Bergamo, at the age of eight experiences a trauma that partially compromises his future relationship with food. He remembers every detail of this moment: he was at a dinner full of relatives in his grandparents' large kitchen in the countryside. There were aunts, uncles and cousins; the adults talked animatedly and the children played around the table. At one point, Massimo accidentally gets stuck between an aunt and a very smelly local plateau de fromages: fresh taleggio, gorgonzola and mountain cheeses. For some time he could not bear the sight or smell of it and it was like locking a claustrophobic in a coffin. So he begins to sweat cold, with palpitations and an uncomfortable sense of nausea, until his uncle removes him from the cheese table, and takes him to get some fresh air in the garden. From that moment until late adolescence, the boy was unable to eat any type of cheese, then slowly reintroduced. To date, Massimo's relationship with cheeses is very peculiar: the idea of ​​thinking them stored in some fridge without the necessary, perhaps obsessive precautions, or in packages that aesthetically disturb him (for example, the black trays of the supermarket) repel him. The emotion is that of disgust, an urgent need to get away from it. That of Massimo and many others who have told me about their experience has the characteristics of a real one phobia directed towards food, instead of a snake, so to speak. In its specific case, the fear of cheese also has a name, it is commonly called turophobia. It can be of different types: there are those who cannot eat it, touch it or even see it.

He is part of a huge family of food phobias, which seem so bizarre and rare due to the stigma we still associate with emotions and behaviors that are socially seen as bizarre. After all, how can we fear something that is essential to both our existence and our sanity? Believe it or not, there is a good chunk of
people out there who are actually terrified of certain foods or scared of the sensations associated with them. Massimo's condition that we have just seen, like many other people, has never been diagnosed – we are therefore talking about hypotheses, based on the presence of a trauma and on the existence of certain symptoms. Living without a certain type of food is possible; but the associated discomfort is never negligible for anyone affected by it.

Giacomo and Ludovico are brothers, sons of my cousin. The former loved everything that was pumpkin based, practically from weaning. At 11, however, one day he can't finish his portion of pumpkin in the oven, so his mother – which is normal for every mother – pushes him to finish it. It happens that a gastrointestinal virus was around in his body: Giacomo vomits his dinner and feels terrible for a few days. Since then, the smell of pumpkin alone has made him feel anxious and upset. Something similar happened to his brother Ludovico, he hasn't been able to eat fruit since one afternoon he struggled to finish a smoothie made by his mother and that he didn't feel like finishing. Even in his case, bad luck would have it that he contracted a virus and the mix of this imposition and the abundant vomiting that followed traumatized him. At the age of 14, Ludovico still cannot touch, chew or swallow any type of fruit. He recently tried with watermelon, but in these cases it was his body that told him not to eat it, somatizing the anxiety.

Filippo, on the other hand, is a taxi driver from Modena, he is 38 years old and has always had an atavistic aversion to olives: "they make me so disgusting that I almost fear them. It is really disgusting, my stomach turns upside down. Then the smell is terrible. " The quality of the olive does not make the difference, even if the more gourmet ones seem to give him more stomach upset, such as kalamata or taggiasca olives. And what about olive oil? "It doesn't bother me, because in the oil the olives are destroyed, annihilated." Filippo does not remember the trauma, because he has never talked about this malaise to a professional, however the castle of meanings and emotions that he associates with this food can give reason to a diagnostic hypothesis of phobia.

The first contact I had with such stories was perhaps with Rosanna, the mother of a friend from Cervia. Rosanna is not a teetotaler, she loves to dine at a restaurant and knows how to recognize a well done dish, yet she lives with a fear that is defined oenophobia: fears wine as many of you fear crowded places. Especially the red one, its smell and color are unbearable for her. The alleged cause? As a child, while keeping her father company in bottling a few bottles of red wine, she got drunk from the alcoholic gases released into the room.

The interview with the expert

In a Western context where food scarcity is no longer an issue, many people reject it. According to nutrition biologist Daniele Segnini, food phobias are becoming more and more widespread, probably due to the many meanings that our species attributes to food. So widespread that when I launched a survey on the topic on my social networks, I thought I would attract the attention of a small niche of people, and instead the response was surprisingly warm. There are those who speak of terror, while others speak of disgust; there are those who have tried over the years to undertake a self-taught path of reintegration of the feared food, there are also those who have succumbed to the dysfunctional behavior of avoidance. In wanting to sort out all these psychological conditions regarding food, I asked for some clarification to Dr. Annalisa Signorelli, psychologist and expert in mindful eating and food sexology.

When it comes to food phobias, which macro-category of disorders are we talking about?

From the DSM-5 diagnostic manual, it appears that all phobias are grouped under anxiety disorders, because anxiety is the emotion that is activated when coming into contact with a specific food or a family of foods. As a result, those affected may have somatic and physical symptoms, such as increased heart and respiratory rates, headache, dizziness, nausea, stomach pain, muscle tension, sweating or feeling cold hands and feet, up to real panic attacks. For these reasons, the person tends to implement dysfunctional behavioral solutions such as avoidance, or, in this specific case, avoiding a meal or not ingesting selected categories of foods. It is easy to imagine that this can have serious consequences on physical health.

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What are the causes of food phobias?

The causes can be both obvious and easily traceable, such as a negative experience during a meal lived in person – direct – or witnessed – indirect – or have a deeper, unconscious and rooted origin in the person. In addition, other comorbid disorders such as generalized anxiety disorder, panic disorder and / or eating disorders may be present.

Lacanophobia (= fear of vegetables), Xocolatophobia (= fear of chocolate), Arachibutirofobia (= fear of peanut butter), Mycophobia (= fear of mushrooms), Alliumphobia (= fear of garlic). The web is full of names of specific food phobias. Do they really exist, or is it pseudo-scientific language?

With respect to food phobias, as you said by doing a little research, you will find a host of different and certainly little known names. But from a diagnostic manual, they are all names that refer to "specific phobias", the diagnostic criteria are marked fear or anxiety towards foods or family of foods, which act as a stimulus. By coming into contact, even if only with sight, those who are victims of these phobias immediately feel fear and anxiety, activating avoidance. In short, there are many specific names, but the core is always the same: the phobia. The difficulty of living with these phobias is further uncomfortable because food is in itself essential for survival, therefore the disorder can trigger other pathologies such as malnutrition, as a result of generalization.

How to distinguish a real phobia from simple disgust?

Disgust is a feeling of aversion or repugnance that may be accompanied by physical sensations (for example, nausea). The phobia instead is characterized by the presence of fear and anxiety, anguish with avoidance of the phobic stimulus. Another difference is that disgust is a single emotion (which can be "also" present in a phobia), instead the phobia is essentially characterized by a series of negative emotions, with precise reactions concerning thoughts, emotions and behaviors.

On TikTok I have found a number of users who cannot emotionally manage the fact that different foods come into contact in the same dish, I have seen that it is called Brumotactillofobia. Is this a phobia too?

Beyond the name, it could be a phobic trait, as well as it could be connected to forms of autism or obsessive compulsive characteristics; if there is no intense fear and adverse reactions to anxiety, it is difficult to trace it back to a real food phobia. In any case, without having more detailed information, a diagnosis or diagnostic framework would be risky.

Of one thing I am sure: the topic of food phobias is highly unexplored and confused and those who suffer from it think they can live with this condition and do nothing to solve it with the help of a therapist. But mental health is no joke, because what may seem like an insignificant phobia, if neglected, can become severe and have even worse side consequences. Especially after the pandemic lockdowns, which put a large part of the mental population to the test, the discourse on mental health has begun to be less and less a taboo and more and more a theme present in social networks, especially among the young people of Generation Z. It is not It is possible to love all foods, disgust is an acceptable emotion, but fear is limiting in itself: let's take advantage of it and talk more about it, ask a professional to help us identify causes and remedies, to live peacefully our relationship with food.

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