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Guide to the most famous Indian sauces, chutney and raita – Italian Cuisine

Guide to the most famous Indian sauces, chutney and raita


Guide to the two most famous varieties of Indian sauces, chutney and raita, among more or less spicy, sour, spicy, fruity and refreshing recipes

In Indian cuisine, although characterized by a great variety of dishes that differ in geographical areas and local culinary traditions, one of the common and strongly rooted elements is the use of spices and condiments and the preference for the stratifications of different and often contrasting flavors . In fact, there is no regional Indian cuisine that does not have a wide choice of sauces, often used as an accompaniment to snacks and appetizers, as a condiment for first or second courses or as a dish in which to dip the delicious Indian leavened bread called naan. So let's find out the two main categories of Indian sauces, or the chutney and raita, and their most popular and most popular varieties.

Chutney, the exotic sweet and sour and spicy Indian sauce

The chutney it is a sauce spread in various parts of the world, but originally from India, mainly made with a combination of vinegar and sugar an addition of herbs, spices, fruit or vegetables. Depending on the ingredients used, this sweet and sour based sauce can be more or less sweet, sour or spicy and its density and creaminess also change from time to time. One of the most popular chutneys is the hari chutney, a fresh and intense green dressing prepared with mint and coriander and consumed mainly with chaat, or the typical mixed Indian appetizer that includes the famous samosas but also various types of snacks. A type of chutney with a decidedly more intense flavor isimli chutneyor rather a sweet and sour tamarind sauce with a reddish brown color, also perfect to combine with chaat. The sweetest and most delicate is the tomato chutney, called timander; the main ingredient is precisely tomatoes, of which only the pulp is sometimes used, to which are added sugar, onion, garlic, ginger, salt, vinegar and various spices. This cream with an intense red color can be eaten fresh or bottled and preserved and is a perfect match for vada, fried and salted Indian donuts made with potatoes or legumes, or for the local version of the crepes, called dosas. The particular is also much loved gole ki chutney, made from ground coconut pulp, green peppers and coriander and a delicate but slightly bitter taste. They also deserve to be mentioned other varieties of Indian chutney, less common but equally appetizing, including the garlic one made generally with fresh garlic, dry or fresh coconut, peanuts and green or red peppers, the sour and spicy one with unripe green mango and finally the more summery one prepared with raw limes, coriander, onion and mint.

Raita, the Indian version of the tzatziki

In India the raita it is commonly considered a sauce but given its creaminess and the ingredients used it can sometimes act as a real side dish, like a salad. The basic raita recipe consists of a mix of Indian yoghurt (dahi) and raw or cooked vegetables, to which they can be added various herbs and spices including toasted cumin seeds, coriander, mint, chaat masala and cayenne pepper. The resulting cream, with a light color and a pleasant and refreshing taste, is perfect for giving relief to the palate after eating spicy dishes. The most famous raita is the kheera raita, with cucumber, simple to prepare and perfect for summer, for which fresh cucumbers, yogurt, green chillies and coriander are sufficient. Much denser and richer in flavor is the aloo ka raita, or the variant with potatoes, cooked with boiled potatoes, chopped onions and tomatoes; it can still be eaten alone or mixed with other sauces. There palak raita, with spinach, is the one with the strongest, pungent and decisive flavor; to the cooked spinach is in fact added a mix of herbs and spices with a pungent flavor, prepared with mustard seeds, fried cumin seeds and asafetida, also known as fetid fennel, an herb with interesting beneficial properties but with an unpleasant smell.
For raita, as for chutney, there is a wide and appetizing choice of variants, including the one with carrots, bottle gourd, beetroot, aubergine, mint and peanuts and melon.

Photo: Indian sauces raita goblinbox.jpg

The definitive guide to the choice of panettone – Italian Cuisine

The definitive guide to the choice of panettone


The panettone is not all the same. Not even the craft one. Until a few years in addition to the industry, only a few did it, then the best could be counted on the fingers of one hand, now the competition has become ruthless

The disciplinary by decree (which applies to all)

Panettone is one of the few standards regulated by a ministerial decree, so you will never find hydrogenated vegetable fats, margarine, artificial flavors and other ingredients that are widely used by the confectionery industry in other products. Mother yeast and fresh eggs, as well as a two-leavening process, are part of the law and indispensable for affixing the Panettone label. Eggs and butter can be frozen, UHT milk, powdered yeast, candied fruit made with glucose syrup … The quality of raisins and flour can then be top, or just enough. The definable panettone, artisanal or industrial, are already good products, but it is on the raw material and the processing that the true difference is played.

Panettone artisan, what does it mean?

Panettone artisan means everything and nothing. Craftsman is literally the one who personally and professionally leads his own company by carrying out his own work, even manually, in the production process. It does not produce in series only in an automated way but with a manual processing and has a maximum number of 22 employees.

Panettone produced in hundreds or thousands of pieces are certainly handcrafted (not necessarily good). But when you exceed 10,000 pieces, 30 thousand? The Bauli to speak produces more than 8 million panettone, obviously there is no game, but the wording is still misleading. A 2003 ministerial circular reaffirms that wordings such as "artisan production" do not guarantee superior organoleptic, nutritional or health quality; also states that another analogous term, that is "hand-worked", does not increase the quality of the product and that it can be indicated as a guarantee on the method, only if it is possible to demonstrate the manual execution of all the phases of the production process.

As for ice cream, the definition of “artisan” leaves a little to the time it finds, since it only guarantees that the creaming has taken place on the spot, and not if it is made from fresh raw materials or semi-finished products to which to add just water or milk. Ditto for the panettone, it is artisanal if it is manipulated, but this does not necessarily form by form.

Emulsifiers, flavorings and semi-finished products

Emulsifiers or preservatives sorbic acid and potassium sorbate are allowed by the disciplinary and should not be demonized but mean that the deadline is being extended…. the emulsifiers guarantee a better conservation of the product in a natural way but an artisanal product without additions lasts a maximum of 40 days, within 30 it gives its maximum. If it lasts a couple of months or until March, a light bulb should light up. The aromas, natural of course, are used to give a nice scent even in the absence of long and wasteful processing such as candied fruit pastes, infusions of citrus peel, true vanilla berries (very expensive). Behind aromas and preservatives are often hidden the famous "semi-finished products", ie mixes of flour and dried yeast that make life easier for those with little experience or want to save time – they are widespread, often even sponsor of sector competitions.

The Milanese disciplinary

The Milan Chamber of Commerce registered a trademark in 2003 which certifies that the panettone is produced in a traditional way. The use of the trademark is regulated by a production regulation drawn up by the "Milanese Confectioners' Committee" consisting of representatives of sector trade associations and a consumer representative. The Panettone Tipico of the Milanese Artisan Tradition cannot be sold more than thirty days from the date of production, because it is free of preservatives, and it is not allowed to use any other ingredient, even if harmless, such as: brewer's yeast, starch, vegetable fats ( excluding cocoa butter), whey and derivatives, soy lecithin, emulsifiers, dyes, artificial flavors, preservatives (sorbic acid and potassium sorbate). Also excluded are mixes of flour, semi-finished products, mono and diglycerides and candied fruits with sulfur dioxide – which are instead granted, even in many competitions.

What are the best nougats in Italy? The answer in this brief guide – Italian Cuisine


Sugar, honey, egg whites and dried fruit: four ingredients (but not glucose syrup) and lots of love in the best nougats in Italy. From North to South, for a little more sweetness during the Holidays

How to get from four essential ingredients a sweet marble and a thousand facets that, over the centuries, has managed to enchant popes, kings and queens? Ask the producers of Nougat, which from north to south of the Peninsula, transform sugar, honey, egg whites and dried fruit into confectionery art. Lately less popular than panettone and pandoro, for a long time the torrone was the sweet protagonist of the Festivals. Her origins seem to date back to Roman times and there are several cities that claim the invention. From Piedmont to Campania, from Sardinia to the Marche, from Veneto to Lombardy, there are so many recipes: soft or crumbly, with hazelnuts or almonds, "baci", "torronfetta" or "gelati". Here an overview of the best nougats in Italy.

D. Barbero (Asti)

Davide Barbero has always been a craft company. Since 1838 it is a family business that produces nougat in the heart of Piemont, in Asti. Every single nougat is rigorously handmade, worked slowly, as it used to be. Davide Barbero uses only top quality raw materials! Hazelnuts from Piedmont I.G.P. caliber 15, Italian honey (which depending on the recipe may be orange or citrus) and natural vanilla from Madagascar. (Also try the breadsticks covered with chocolate, pure goodness). Classic or "Gran Cru" nougat tablets. www.torroneshop.it

Pasticceria Morlacchi (Bergamo)

Award-winning pastry shop in the province of Bergamo, one of its flagship products is precisely the soft nougat version. No secrets, but only excellent raw materials and a long bain-marie cooking. Almonds are 100% Italian, Sicilian or Apulian depending on the year, acacia honey is signed Thun, egg white is always fresh eggs. The extra touch is given by the pistachios, full-bodied and fragrant, even these Sicilians. To mix everything, a touch of vanilla in berries, in the Bourbon variety. (Via Serio 1, Zanica – Bergamo)

Gelateria Bandirali (Cream)

If the "Cremasco" has a place of honor in the large family of Italian nougats, Bandirali must be credited with bringing production back to its origins. The first distinctive feature of the dessert produced by Crema ice cream shop and the form, not the usual cue but a round and shiny rustic cake, which is somewhat reminiscent of the Venetian almond. The strengths of the production are quality raw materials and craftsmanship: varieties of different honeys from local sources, cane sugar, egg white of fresh hens raised on the ground and Toritto almonds from Puglia. This specialty was also joined by the soft almond nougat in the classic batten format, always handmade. (Via Piacenza, 93 Crema – Cremona)

Basano Coraglia (Asti)

Founded in the 1990s as an ice cream shop, since 2000 the work of Graziella Coraglia and her husband Gianluigi Basano has turned into a research and experimentation laboratory. Today, starting from local ingredients, such as Piedmont IGP Hazelnuts, roasted in the same processing place to ensure greater fragrance, and virgin honey from the apiaries of San Damiano d'Asti and Roero, the couple produces a nougat of very high quality and, above all, you can enjoy all year instead of only during the holidays. In addition to the classic soft hazelnut or almond, there are also the friable with almonds and pistachios, the soft with figs and walnuts, the soft chocolate with hazelnuts and theunpublished soft with lemon and ginger, with a fresh and surprising taste. (Via Asti 16, San Damiano d’Asti – Asti)

Barbero (Asti)

Barbero is a historic Asti-based chocolate and nougat brand. The production has been in the hands of the same family since 1838, today's recipe is the same as 180 years ago. The great classic is the crumbly with Piedmont IGP Hazelnuts, toasted on the spot. Over time other types have been added, such as the crumbly almond or pistachio and the soft pistachio or hazelnut, the "torronfetta", a small, very thin and crumbly rectangle and, finally, the "Tripolini" and the " Farcito ”, nougat covered with dark chocolate. All the products are bought online and, for some days, also in the temporary shop just opened in via Lagrange 3 a turin, where you can also taste the crepes made with nougat or gianduia cream. (Via Angelo Brofferio 84, Asti)

Canelin (Alessandria)

It is now almost 70 years that Giovanni Verdese produces, in his laboratory at Visone, the "Canelin" torrone (which was the nickname of the great-grandfather). He is 87 years old. He does it with a very high percentage of Piedmont IGP Hazelnuts (65-70%). The other ingredients are Piedmont millefiori honey, cane sugar, egg whites and vanilla pods. There size is contained, proportionate to what his two hands can do. Hard but rather brittle, it resists high temperatures well, so it is available all year round. To buy it the only way is to go to Visone or to a few other shops in northern Italy, including The Groceries of Paola and Simona in Genoa. (Via Acqui 123, Visone – Alessandria)

U Turun (La Spezia)

Yes, Liguria also has its nougat. Is called U Turun and was brought to light by the chef Cosimo Bunicelli which, after more than a year of research and a crowdfunding campaign, has realized the recipe that reproduces an ancient forgotten Ligurian tradition. U Turun is composed of about half of Piedmont IGP Hazelnuts, to which are added the Calice al Cornoviglio chestnut honey, egg white for outdoor farming and sugar. Production is very limited, because the chef himself personally takes care of the preparation. A part is sold toIntact Agriturismo managed by Bunicelli, the other in some local stores or inserted in Christmas baskets that pack with farm products. (Via Vichieda 1, Calice Al Cornoviglio – La Spezia)

Scaldaferro (Venice)

Abundance of almonds it's a greater friability. These are the characteristics that distinguish the nougat from the nougat. The tradition of dessert has its roots in Cologna Veneta, thanks to craftsmen like Garzotto. However, there is also another name to keep in mind, Scaldaferro. They too are longtime producers and are based in Dolo in the province of Venice. Slow cooking in a bain-marie and the hand laying bow for bow on a waffle bed are the secrets of friability. Sicilian almonds, Piedmontese hazelnuts, Bronte pistachios and Adria Lara walnuts in Polesine. Among the honeys used are the salted honey from Barena and the Sicilian orange one. In addition to classic almond and chocolate, Scaldaferro produces the classic nougat in a soft or fondant version and a limited edition in which a particular dried fruit is combined with each type of single-flower honey. (Via Ca ’Tron 31, Dolo – Venice)

Bedetti (Ancona)

Bedetti is an ancient torronificio of Falconara Marittima, in the province of Ancona, active since 1912. The production ranges from almond to soft or friable nougat, with almonds, pistachios or hazelnuts, smooth or covered in chocolate. Splints, squares, pralines. In all, the recipes, accumulated and perfected over the years, are a hundred. Size is important, but the scale is still that crafts. The honey and whipped egg whites are cooked slowly for several hours in a bain-marie in copper boilers, to which sugar and dried fruit are then added. Thus was born the most famous nougat from the Marche region. (Via del Consorzio 4, Falconara M.ma – Ancona) ì

Premiata Torroni Factory Cav. Innocenzo Borrillo (Benevento)

Benevento is another of the cities that together with Cremona are competing for the birth of nougat. And, in fact, even here we celebrate a great one festival, this year 8-9 and 15-16 December. When it comes to that of "Benevento", once beloved even by the Popes, today we refer to different varieties: white with almonds, soft or friable, the nougat cupedia white with hazelnuts and the Crisp covered with chocolate, typical of San Marco dei Cavoti. A historic producer is certainly the Premiata Fabbrica del Cav. Innocenzo Borrillo, active since the end of the 1800s, inventor of the famous "kisses", the croquettes covered with fine extra fine dark chocolate. (Via Roma 64, San Marco dei Cavoti – Benevento)

Francesco Taverna (Reggio Calabria)

"The Chicche" signed Francesco Taverna enclose the typical flavors of Calabria but also of nearby Sicily. Among the ingredients, all carefully selected, there are the Avola almonds, orange blossom honey (orange blossoms), pistachios, the finest Gran Cru chocolate for the coverings. The processing is the result of years of experience. The laboratory opened its doors in 1945. Today the owner's two sons carry on the business. In addition to traditional splints, the choice can range between unusual shapes and sizes and numerous varieties – crumbly and soft nougat, flavored with cinnamon, gianduia, vanilla, bergamot, licorice, to name a few. Try also the figs and dates stuffed with nougat and covered with chocolate and the "ice-cream nougat". (Piazza Italia 8, Taurianova – Reggio Calabria)

Geraci (Caltanissetta)

For those who do not know, even a Caltanissetta nougat has a place of honor among traditional desserts. So that from 14 to 16 December the historic center hosts the Turruni festival. A three-day celebration celebrating all the Italian expressions of the Christmas cake where you can buy and taste Sicilian, Calabrian, Lombard and Irpinia nougats. A reference point in the city is the Geraci torronificio, award-winning factory since 1870. The company is now in the fourth generation and is based in Caltanissetta with a pastry shop which is also a shop. Traditional hard nougat, also called "Bloc" it is prepared following the ancient recipe of the founder, with honey, egg white, sugar, vanillin to which are added the almonds of the Tuono variety and the Sicilian pistachios. (Via Canonico Francesco Pulci, 10/12/14, Caltanissetta)

Pruneddu (Nuoro)

In Sardinia the birthplace of torrone is Tonara. In the small town of Barbagia there are several producers, from Marotto, a family-run company, up to Pruneddu, which over time has become known even across the border. Production ranges from the most classic nougat with almonds, to the organic nougat, up to "Special", a line composed of ten types of nougat with Sardinian almonds that differ from one another in honey, always Sardinian, monoflorale used. You can choose between intense tastes like those with bitter honey from strawberry, chestnut, thistle, millefiori and eucalyptus; delicate as those with asphodel honey, orange, lavender and on the; or more aromatic flavors such as those with thyme honey and rosemary. The novelty of Christmas 2018 is i nougat with almonds and pure cocoa beans. (Via Porru 13, Tonara – Nuoro)

Raw Raw Chocolate

Raw chocolate, 100% plant-based and handmade nougats, one by one. In this case, the chocolate, in addition to being organic, is made from unroasted cocoa beans. Perfumes and flavors express all the authenticity of a handcrafted and cold processed chocolate. And the variants, all from 190g, are not lacking: they range from the sparkling Almonds, Raisins and Spices (e15.80), to the tasty Nougat with a creamy heart with pistachio (19.80), to the classic Nocciolato with whole hazelnuts (15.80 ) and finally a Double Chocolate Gianduia, hard off creamy inside, with no added sugar. (Store in Rome, Milan, Turin and on the Grezzo Raw Chocolate website).

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