Tag: glass

Plastic or glass? What bottle do we choose? – Italian Cuisine

Plastic or glass? What bottle do we choose?

The water it is the most precious asset that man can have available. Without water there is no life. For this you must constantly take care of it. But what is the best path to take once you want to buy it?

Choose the one in the bottle? But plastic or glass? The water that flows directly from the tap at home? Or the one supplied by the "water boxes"? In short, the possibilities are there, just understand which is the best and be able to orient yourself.

But for this time let's focus on the often conflicting choice between plastic and glass bottles, a much discussed topic in everyday life, which emerges when we have to decide what to bring into our homes. Both glass and plastic bottles are suitable for maintaining the chemical-biological characteristics of the water while protecting taste and safety.

One ancient, the other modern

Glass is an ancient material: the origins of the bottle in this material dates back to 1500 BC, so much so that it seems that the most remote containers are attributed to the time of the pharaohs. However, it was from the mid-eighteenth century that bottles began to spread, with the increase in the production of quality wine or the invention of Champagne in France, which necessarily had to be stored in glass. Plastic, on the other hand, is a "modern" material: its century is certainly the 1900s, even more so the 60s, when it asserts itself in everyday life as well as in fashion, art and design. In this way, glass is overcome by this material, which is cheaper and easier to transport, and plastic bottles take over, making glass water almost a niche product, used above all in luxury catering. Contrary to what many think, plastic water is no less safe. PET bottles, if stored in the right way, do not in fact release harmful substances to the water.

pros and cons

Glass is a high quality packaging material, which manages to preserve the flavor and effervescence of a liquid, as well as being very safe from a health point of view. It can be disposed of through separate collection or, even better, the bottles can be returned to the seller and used again for the conservation and marketing of water. There in fact, a glass bottle can be reused even more than 30 times with the “returnable vacuum” system.

Plastic bottles, on the other hand, are much lighter as well as more manageable, moreover they are unbreakable and after use they can simply be crumpled and thrown away, without needing to be stored and returned to the store.

Today, attention to environmental sustainability and packaging and concerns about the use of plastic and the risks involved in using it are making a return to glass. In fact, plastic takes up to 1000 years to completely degrade, and if it is true that today we have increasingly effective recycling techniques (which however require an important investment in energy terms), we cannot forget that currently, in Italy, more than half of the plastic that is thrown away is not properly sorted, and then swells the mountains of waste that crowd our landfills. Seas and oceans are also invaded by single-use plastics, and this has serious repercussions on marine flora and fauna: all topics that cannot leave us indifferent.

The health risks

Unfortunately, the microplastics that pollute water have also entered food chains. We can't see them, but they show up invisible on our plates through both food and drink. If these are ingested by fish, molluscs and crustaceans, laboratory analyzes have also found them in mineral waters and soft drinks, honey and beer, all contaminated by the types of plastic most used in packaging. Using table salt alone, an adult risks ingesting about 2,000 pieces of microplastics in a year.
Reducing plastic is certainly possible, but to reduce the environmental impact it is also essential to reuse all that can be recovered by transforming PET, the polymer used for beverage bottles. It is a "noble" material which, if collected and treated properly, is infinitely recyclable.

Bicerin, Turin's coffee in a small glass. Recipe – Italian Cuisine

Bicerin, Turin's coffee in a small glass. Recipe

In Italy, coffee is an institution, espresso, long or narrow, hot or cold macchiato, if you go coffee you find and in Turin there is Bicerin

The bicerin is the greedy drink that gives more than 250 years unites the people of Turin in front of a glass. Yes that's right, this particular coffee is not served in a cup, but in a small transparent glass goblet, without a handle, which is then placed on the classic saucer. In fact, the name "bicerin" in Piedmontese dialect means small glass.

History has it that

Bicerin was invented in historic "Caffè Al Bicerin" (which acquired the same name only after the success of the drink). In 1763 Giuseppe Dentis opened his shop in front of the entrance to the Sanctuary of the Consolata, a strategic position that will bring great fortune to both the local and the bicerin, thus establishing an indissoluble bond with the "Consola". The new blend soon became the ideal support for the faithful, who, having come out of mass after fasting for communion, found a sweet and energetic comfort in the bicerin. The same was true in the period of Lent, since hot chocolate was not considered "food", it could be taken without delay even during the prescribed fast.

They left in 3 and returned in 1

In reality more than invention, the bicerin would be classified as evolution of the eighteenth-century Bavareisa, a drink in vogue at the time, consisting of coffee, chocolate, milk and syrup, served separately and it was then up to the customer to combine the ingredients, in a sweet ritual that ended in large glass glasses. Just look a century ahead and things change, already in the nineteenth century the three ingredients were served in a single glass and transformed into three variants: pur and fiur (similar to cappuccino), pur and beard (coffee and chocolate), 'N poc' d tut (or "a little bit of everything"), with all three ingredients and therefore today's bicerin. This last formula was the winning one that has come down to our days intact and intact. The drink then spread to other places in the city, even becoming one of the symbols of Turin and in 2001 it was recognized as a "traditional Piedmontese drink", entering the list of traditional Italian food products.

The bicerin recipe

We went back to the birth and development of this beloved drink, to be enjoyed hot, perhaps after a nice walk under the arcades. Now let's see how to best prepare it from the comfort of home.


4 cups of espresso, 30 ml of milk, 200 g of dark chocolate, 50 ml of fresh cream, 2 tablespoons of sugar

Mocha, saucepan, bicerin glass


Prepare the coffee with the mocha, in the meantime melt the dark chocolate in a saucepan with the milk and add the sugar. Mix until you get a smooth cream and pour it into the typical bicerin glass. Pour in the coffee and mix, stirring gently. Whip the fresh cream with a pinch of sugar and cover the coffee forming a delicious topping. The bicerin is ready to be enjoyed, I recommend hot, do not let it cool.

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When the garden goes under glass … is on sale in September – Italian Cuisine


There is ciambotta and there is donut. Do not confuse them, they are related, but not the same. The first is one of the best known dishes of the tradition of our South, a very tasty mix of vegetables that varies in composition, cutting and cooking from Abruzzo to Molise, from Campania to Calabria, to Basilicata.

182336The second is a preserve that prepare the women of Grottaminarda, a small town in the province of Avellino, alone and only there. They share the peasant origin and the vegetables from the garden.

Few ingredients are needed for the donut to acquire its exceptional flavor: tomatoes, preferably long type San Marzano, which were once collected and placed on the ground covered to ripen completely, basil, salt, chilli and above all a particular type of pepper that grows only on site and gives the preparation the quid which makes it unique. Small, spherical, 6-8 cm in diameter, dark green in color, it reaches the maximum fragrance and the right ripeness in this period.

Tradition has it that the night before i peppers are cut into not too small strips and left in a cool place. In the morning it's time for the tomatoes, cut into wedges and placed in the jar with the proportion of two wedges each piece of pepper and then a few leaves of basil, salt, chilli and so on up to the top. Once closed, the jar will follow the fate of the classic tomato paste, covered with water in a saucepan to boil over moderate heat for 60 minutes.

The beauty, or rather the good, comes later. Because his love marriage is with pasta (but nothing forbids new experiments with eggs and meat). The preserves poured into a pan with oil and garlic will be cooked for about half an hour and then will tastefully season the typical homemade Irpina pasta: cicatielli. That is i durum wheat semolina cavatelli that the tradition of "handmade" requires in several versions: one finger, two fingers, three fingers depending on the technique used for get out or cecare the various cylinders of fresh pasta. THE cecatielle with ciambuttèlla they were once served in the spasetta a large plate placed in the center of the table, often the only one in peasant families, from which everyone served. In the absence of the original cavatelli, industrial ones are also good, or other short pasta, including paccheri. As for cheese, it shouldn't be added, but who has tried a sprinkling of cacioricotta he has not repented.

The donut is now included in the list of traditional products of the gastronomy of the Campania Region, but it cannot be bought, it does not exist on the market even in Grottaminarda: it is made by private individuals and given to friends. So all that remains is to go there to make new friends … disinterested.

Laura Maragliano
on Sale & Pepe of September 2020

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