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Snails, snails, escargots: the advance of gourmet shellfish – Italian Cuisine

In Abruzzo they are called ciamaiche and are consumed with the grandinjie's pizzas. Needless to say, they are as amazing as they are of humble origins, food of the "cafoni" that we find in Fontamara, poor like them and strongly anchored in the traditions. In Paris, ça va sans dire, they are called escargots and, nomen omen, are among the most refined foods ever. In reality they are always earth snails, refined for a long time and, where they weren't, considered gourmet food even thanks to the versatility and charm of vintage. Finally, in Borgo San Dalmazzo, near Cuneo, there is a fair dedicated to snails. It's called Fiera Fredda and its queen is in particular the Alpine helix pomatia, bred in the foothills area.

173773All declinations

The most prestigious recipe that concerns them is that of the noble ones escargots à la bourguignonne, but they are also sublime prepared with any type of sauce, from tomato to mushroom sauce, or served with polenta. With butter, parsley, garlic and various sauces, stewed, in tempura: long live the snail and all its variations.

How gourmet is …

Just think that the delicious and refined (in spite of the profession) Vivien / Julia Roberts in the famous Pretty Woman scene set in the gourmet restaurant is grappling with the escargots and the difficult cutlery. In fact, gourmets are more and more crazy about these shellfish that can also be enjoyed in a delicious setting caviar derived from their eggs, not to mention that from them precious burr you can make cosmetics and even, if you wish, a refined strawberry sorbet.


Two numbers

As one of our articles titled Slowly, the snails advance and they advance because they are good, but also because they are eco-friendly thanks to their very low emissions, they can be nourished with vegetable waste and therefore have a beneficial effect on the environment and have a high nutritional value. many high quality protein and minerals, massive doses of B12, low fat and many amino acids and vitamins. So much so that in just 10 years production has increased by 452 percent and Italy alone contributes 10 percent to all world consumption.

The most famous (and valuable) species

Helix aspersa Muller and Helix aspersa Maxima (larger) are the two species of snails typical of the Mediterranean area and, therefore, the most raised. In Sicily, a company biologically raises a new species, the Helix aspersa Muller Madonita, the blessed fruit of a daring cross between native Sicilian snails and French snails.

173767The rituality of cleaning

Behind their cleaning there is an art, also because it is obviously a delicate moment and a crucial passage, even if not exactly cruelty free.

There are those who leave them in cages for more than a week on an empty stomach, those who put them in a large wicker basket with salad and sawdust to let them out, those who still leave them alive among pieces of bread.

Surprising in all cases (or perhaps not surprising at all) that the snails have crossed centuries and centuries of gastronomic history, slow but inexorable to enrich aristocratic or humble tables.

Witness the great book of French cuisine by Auguste Escoffier, the Artusi, the Cucchiaio d’Argento and even Marco Gavio Apicius, at the turn of the birth of Christ, gastronomist, cook and writer who wrote the De re coquinaria.

Emanuela Di Pasqua,
April 2019


In Paris, gourmet lunch with La Grande Dame 2008 – Italian Cuisine

The Mediterranean cuisine of France's youngest starred chef perfectly accompanies Veuve Clicquot's special La Grande Dame 2008 champagne in Maison Baccarat's precious Parisian location. A lunch that is worth a journey through flavors, innovation and tradition

Put a spring day in Paris, the novelty of the collaboration between two iconic names in French history, Veuve Clicquot is Baccarat, and add to the launch of the special champagne La Grande Dame 2008 the kitchen of the youngest starred chef in France. Innovation, courage, daring, but also tradition and memory for a food and wine journey of a day that is worth telling to inspire new adventures, new tastings and – above all – new toasts.

La Grande Dame & the starred young chef

Spring has also arrived in Paris, the sun warms the characteristic roofs of the French capital, the Eiffel Tower greets from the Left Bank. We take avenue d’Ièna from the Arc de Triomphe to reach the historic palace that belonged to the Viscountess Marie-Laure de Noailles, which hosts since 2003 the Maison Baccarat. Just put your foot on the first flight of steps to feel the chills of time: get into this hotel particulier it's like stepping into the golden past of sumptuous festivals organized by the famous muse and patron of artists of the time; you feel like Jack Torrance in the Overlook Hotel ballroom, but without fear. The luxurious Parisian headquarters of Baccarat hosts the boutique on the ground floor; passing by the imposing escalier principal on which the imposing one soars chandelier you then reach the museum, the very essence of his works of art. There is also a luxurious restaurant here Cristal Room, of which we had already spoken for his Pink Room. But now it's champagne time La Grande Dame 2008 for the horizontal tasting first among bouteille, magnum is jeroboam, and the tasting lunch after.

To complement the boldness of the precious bubble signed Veuve Clicquot there is the kitchen of Julia Sedefdjian, the youngest French star chef. She is not even 25 years old, yet her apprenticeship made her immediately (17 years) and the hard work combined with the right creativity have earned her the position of chef at 20 years old Fables de la Fontaine of Paris, which thus obtains the Michelin star. In March 2018, chef Sedefdjian opens in Latin Quarter the restaurant Baieta, which means "small kiss" in the dialect of the southern French coast, an area to which it is linked because of its beginning in Nice alongside the cook David Faure at the Aphrodite restaurant. Only one year of activity was enough for the chef Julia to win the first Michelin star thanks to the gastronomic offer with Mediterranean flavors, just like we tasted at Maison Baccarat's Cristal Room.

To honor the great evolution dated 2008, there is the Master of Cellar Dominique Demarville in person to do the honors and to open the tasting lunch organized in the splendid room with brick walls embellished with mirrors, crystals and cameos. There Grande Dame Rosé 2008 accompanies very well mises en bouchand tantalizing, the Pissaladière with Caramelized Onions and theSmoked Oyster with Celery and Salicornia Emulsion. The white version of champagne, on the other hand, enhances the complex flavor of theentrée, Crispy Egg Yellow with Aquitaine Caviar, Porri and Haddock. Travel through time to the sound of bubbles for the following dishes: Cuvées La Grande Dame 2004 is La Grande Dame 1989 for the fish dish Scallops in Crust of Walnuts, Asparagus, Legumes and Reduction of Champagne and Lemon Confit, while for meat Cuvéés La Grande Dame Rosé 2008 is La Grande Dame Rosé 1989 together with Fillet of Beef and Lobster with Pumpkin, Horseradish, Homardine at Basilicor. The traditional French cheese dish is a must Vieux Comté enhanced by the champagne 1990. In closing, a delicate Demi-Sec Veuve Cliquot Campaigns wraps the cake Vacherin Lychee and Raspberries on Vanilla Cloud and Crystallized Rose Petals.

The result? A perfect journey made of flavors and bubbles between innovation and tradition, combining the young creative courage in the kitchen with the historic audacity of the only Champagne Lady.

The first time in La Grande Dame

If it had been born in our century, Madame Clicquot would certainly have been part of today's renewed feminist movement. Like a Martha Stewart of other times, in 1805 the new widow took over the reins of the Maison becoming one of the first business women of the modern era. Thanks to its innovative and well-chosen choices, you earn the name of Grande Dame of Champagne by his peers. His is a concrete success through courageous innovations never tried before in the sector: the first champagne to be sent around the world, the first known vintage champagne (1810), the first champagne to exploit the table by remuage (1816), the first assembled rosé champagne of which we have news (1818). Bottle after bottle, bubble after bubble, the Veuve Clicquot becomes synonymous with extraordinary champagne and on the occasion of its bicentennial, in 1972, the rare and extraordinary champagne is launched for the first time La Grande Dame, which is a tribute to Madame Clicquot. And the 2008 vintage has never been bolder …

Strong of the risky and successful successes of the "first times" wanted by the widow Clicquot, it chef de caves Dominique Demarville decides to move the quality bar once again. For its first creation of La Grande Dame 2008 reveals an assembly with the 92% of Pinot Noir, the highest percentage in Veuve Clicquot's history. The Mastro di Cantina explains: «My intent is to bring La Grande Dame towards the finesse and elegance that Pinot Noir offers us in these Grand Cru wines. In a sense, this is the Veuve Clicquot touch: combining depth and silkiness with lightness and elegance in this exceptional cuvée . A winning choice that has already earned La Grande Dame 2008 the second place in the Bettane Best Dine Guide + Desseauve 2019 and as many as 95 points from Wine Spectator.

Poured into the glass, La Grande Dame 2008 it descends shimmering with golden and brilliant reflections. At the first taste, the attack is initially strong and intense, then the mouth is conquered by notes of dried fruit (almonds, figs and apricots), ripe white fruits (pears) and, finally, tenuous toasted notes of hazelnut and pralines. The seductive pastry notes are well balanced with the freshness and clarity of the assembled, the texture is silky thanks to the young fruits, carried by notes of citrus and red fruits (cherries). It goes perfectly with oysters, royal orange, fish tartar, scallops, scampi, caviar or sesame chicken.

From the white lady to the one in pink: La Grande Dame Rosé 2008 it boasts a 14% Pinot Noir red wine from Clos Colin in Bouzy, one of the oldest plots of the Veuve Clicquot domaine. As its name suggests, this special champagne shows off a sumptuous rose gold with light coppery reflections. Soft and full-bodied on attack, it releases all its refinement on the palate starting from the powerful notes of red fruits (raspberry and strawberry) associated with more acid accents (red orange, grapefruit) up to the perfect balance between refinement and spicy fragrances of red berries , Rooibos tea and fine leather. Not for nothing has received 17.5 points out of 20 from Revue du Vin de France. Recommended pairings are beef, shrimp ravioli, lamb, stuffed tomatoes.

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Gourmet guide to San Salvario – Italian Cuisine

We inaugurate the greedy guides by dedicating the first to one of the most loved and visited districts of the city, San Salvario

In the coming months we will offer you special places to shop, to have lunch and eat the best agnolotti, vitello tonnato, the best Chinese ravioli and much more. Where is it? In Turin. Let's start from the San Salvario district.

Best veal with tuna sauce

Where to eat: Scannabue restaurant. Traditional and creative, served in a double version: sliced, in the most classic way with a soft sauce and a bundle / cannolo sauce with the traditional tuna sauce, the drier, without mayonnaise. All you have to do is taste them.
Where to buy it: Butcher Delicatessen Battaglia, via Berthollet 28. The secret of a good veal with tuna sauce is meat cutting and cooking. At Battaglia you will find the right balance. And if you are left with a little appetite, try the Milanese chicken marinated prêt-à-porter.

Best Agnolotto del plin

Where to eat it: Scannabue. There is nothing to do, Paolo Fantini does not miss a beat and in San Salvario he registers a delicious double goal! After the veal with tuna sauce also the plin ravioli are really perfect, balanced, tasty and delicate at the same time. The filling is obviously strictly secret.
Not bad also the classic agnolotto, the one with a square shape, proposed by La Bottega del Gusto, via Sant’Anselmo 4.
Where to buy it: Bertoli and Turco, via Madama Cristina 10, one of the historic Turin pasta factories.
Instead, for the creative recipes Savurè, via Madama Cristina at number 12.
Note of merit for Savurè: an hour before closing, fresh pasta and condiments cost half. Thus food waste is fought. Bravi!

Best Ice Cream

Cascina Roseleto ice cream parlor, in via Madama Cristina 121. From Roseleto also fresh cheese and milk, the same milk used to make ice cream. One of the best ice cream parlors in the city.

Best Chinese Raviolo / Baozi (steamed bun)

Where to eat them: Oh Crispa! Via Belfiore. Crystal ravioli, broth ravioli, the fabulous Baozi stuffed with super soft and tasty pork and not too spicy. To be able to go out happy and happy, we recommend a taste of all three specialties.
Where to buy them: Chinese food in via Madama Cristina 113E, a small shop that prepares braised ravioli and Baozi with different fillings, from pork to chicken to vegetarian one. To try.

Best Gianduiotto, this time in an ice cream version

The Marotto, 100% vegan, 100% good! You can find it at Mara dei Boschi, to keep company with excellent ice cream. Perfect for closing a dinner on the terrace, a cross between a delicious chocolate and a milk free ice cream. Via Berthollet 30H.

The best teas

Here's where to buy them. La Vie en Rose, corso Raffaello 18. A beautiful assortment of La via del Tè tea, fine pastry produced in its own laboratory. Do not miss the tasting of Pasticciotti Salentini filled with cream.

The best coffees

Here's where to buy them in San Salvario: Orso Laboratorio Caffè is indisputably the number one in the selection of specialty coffees and single origin from the world. A place with a vintage look, but one that will hold interesting surprises and the latest trend in terms of coffee.