Tag: heat

5 spices for summer, against the heat and beyond – Italian Cuisine

coriandolo e finocchietto


In the heat there are spices in the kitchen that there are friends instead, as they help keep the harmful effects of the summer heat at bay. Conosciamole.

Perhaps the best known to all is the mint, a herb we all know for its refreshing notes. In southern Mediterranean cuisine, from Cyprus to Morocco, it is in fact very popular and omnipresent: we can use it, fresh or dry, in many recipes instead, or together with basil, for example. The refreshing property is one of the many of this plant that assists the digestive process and helps to disperse excess heat thanks to the activation and opening of the skin pores. Its main active ingredient is menthol, which according to an Italian research a couple of years ago, is also a powerful one fat burning. Nothing better to combat the heat than a hot tea with mint, as the Maghreb teaches.

The fennel seeds, used in cooking and in herbal medicine since ancient times, they are a boon for those suffering from digestive and intestinal disorders. They also calm the inflammation generated by the heat and, like mint, they are excellent for freshening breath. Finally, always in view of the summer, they are perfect for the flat stomach: excellent carminative functions. A herbal tea a day takes the swelling away. Not only that: soak the seeds overnight. In the morning add a pinch of sugar, black salt, lemon to the water: it is an excellent summer energizer!

It is very refreshing for the liver, and cleanses the skin: turmeric with a thousand properties it helps us even in summer. It helps to feel lighter and is a friend of the line, because it activates digestion. Like all spices, to take advantage of its health benefits, as well as taste, avoid prolonged cooking. In addition to the powder, used above all when we want to try our hand at oriental recipes, or give a touch of yellow to our dishes, not to be missed is the rhizome, to also prepare fantastic refreshing drinks: mix it perhaps with a little lemon or lime, and a sprinkle of white pepper.

Cardamom, with such a pleasant aroma, it is one soothing and refreshing spice. Combats acid in the mouth and stomach, inhibiting gastric reflux. For its beneficial properties on the intestines and stomach, the ideal is to drink a warm infusion after meals. While chewing the green capsule fruits, it is a safe remedy for halitosis. In the kitchen it is used a lot in oriental recipes, but in pastry it is also very popular in the Nordic countries.

Usually, either you love it, or you hate it: it is coriander, that herb that looks like parsley but whose flavor doesn't look like it at all. Turns off the "fire" in our body caused by heat. Its fresh leaves are very rich in nutrients, and like cardamam the appetite rather tends to stimulate it, but the weight does not increase, on the contrary: cardamom helps metabolism and digestion. Its fruits are also consumed, similar to peppercorns. Coriander + water it is a very healthy combination: in herbal tea, for digestion; in grains, added to the foot bath to combat swelling of the feet and ankles; in the bath, in the form of essential oil, to refresh the whole body.

According to the Indian tradition of Ayurvedic medicinea, our body is governed by three types of "doshas", or energies: the heat intensifies that call "Pitta", which governs metabolism and digestion, and the excess of which can lead to inflammation and other ailments. The know of the spices we talked about helps balance these energies.

While food and especially drinks very cold, not to mention those iced, they do the opposite effect when cooling down – the thermal shock inside the body is so strong that it reacts by producing more heat to compensate – these spices beat the heat by hitting it from the inside.

Carola Traverso Saibante
Photo: Flickr / jacqueline

Escape to Malaga: in search of heat even in autumn – Italian Cuisine


A gastronomic itinerary to discover the Andalusian city. Here's what to see and where to eat in Malaga for an autumn short-break

Direct flights and a perfect temperature until mid-November. rum raisin it has finally been freed from the city landing label at Costa del Sol, to become a real Andalusian jewel.

The sixth Spanish city by number of inhabitants, second in Andalusia, the center of Malaga is not large and one of the main junctions in which one often finds oneself is La Manquita, A nickname that the inhabitants of the city gave, and that means "the little horse", to the Cathedral of the Incarnation. The building, which stands on an old mosque of which only the orange trees of the garden remain, is so called because of its complex construction, but above all because the southern tower has remained unfinished: a writing at the base of the tower states that the funds raised from the parish to finish it they were used instead to help the English colonies and that is the future United States, to obtain their independence from Great Britain. The completed north tower is 84 meters high and dominates the city, transforming the church into the second highest building in Andalusia; above it stands proudAlcazaba, the main monument of the city along with the Plaza de Toros. The Arab fortress will conquer you thanks to the spectacular view it has over the city and the tranquility of its Arabic interior, able to make you forget the typically Spanish chaos of the city.

If its cultural soul has remained for so long shy and little emphasized by travelers, its gastronomic qualities have always been known: a traditional culinary scene that does not know how to give up the best jamon Serrano and that manages to use very fresh fish raw materials given the proximity of the sea, but above all the homeland of the churros: for breakfast, lunch, snack and dinner.

Breakfast in Malaga

At breakfast, don't waste your time and immediately dive into a churreria to bite the fragrant churros and dip them in hot chocolate. Casa Aranda it is absolutely one of the most famous churreries in the city, it has 3 offices, but the historical one is in calle Herrerìa del Rey, 2: € 6.50 for 6 churros and two cups of chocolate, a value for money that will make you understand from the early hours of the morning how Malaga is cheap, but exquisite. If the dessert for breakfast is not for you, obviously you will find the excellent from Casa Aranda tomato tostada.


Churros can also be enjoyed on the main square of Malaga, Plaza de la Constitución, al Café Central, an institution that has also recently dedicated itself to the take away part, carving out a more modern space without colored tiles dedicated to the coffee to take away. Here the churros are less good than from Aranda, but the chocolate is much denser and Italian and manages to balance very well the sweetness of sweetened and fried dough; the salty alternative here are i bocadillos de jamon, or the soft breads filled with excellent Iberian ham.

Where to have lunch in Malaga

The streets of Malaga will make you fall in love, even though the center is not huge and just outside the skyscrapers of the Costa del Sol and the large modern buildings really do a lot with the soul of the city and ruin the harmony a bit. The birthplace of Picasso (whose museum was opened in 2003) is really meant to be enjoyed. For theappetizer before lunch (or directly for lunch given the important portions), go on the safe side and head to Calle Duque de la Victoria, 3 from Catedral del Pescaìto. Here take a look at the beautiful fish counter and choose so you prefer to order, the blackboard hanging on the wall will help you, but if you are numerous try to taste as many things as possible, you won't regret it: the quality is excellent and the razor clams are the ace in the sleeve together with fresh and generous clams. The local walls are full of Spanish pop culture (Antonio Banderas, the actor born here in Malaga, is omnipresent), and malagueña: singers, actors, comic book miniatures and a Grease..bathroom poster, but the charm of the place also lies in this, as well as in the kindness of the staff that is very helpful in explanations.

The towers of the Manquita ring the lunch hour and a little walk towards Muelle Uno, the marina of Malaga grown to become the second cruise port of Spain, will give you the opportunity to discover a less traditional, but very modern and busy area of ​​the city. On the pier you will find a starred restaurant (José Carlo Garcias) and plenty of opportunities to eat well tapas at reasonable prices, such as Cervecería La Sureña, where to find the inevitable Cruzcampo, the most famous beer, served in ice-filled buckets: the best remedy against high temperatures in Malaga, even in unsuspected periods (in November on the asphalt of the pier it reaches even 23 degrees). To accompany the cerveza this brewery offers excellent patatas bravas and tapas, as well as several tostadas similar to pizza. Also try the tortillas of potatoes and squid and le croquetas de Chipiròn, or cuttlefish. Not far from Muelle Uno, which also hosts a noteworthy Center Pompidou since 2015, you will find the Palmeral de las Sorpresas promenade, which leads you to the Muelle Dos, ideal for families with children who can, thanks to this pedestrian and shaded area, have fun in adjacent parks. Going beyond this last part of the port you will also find the Mirador Princess, the Ferris wheel that will allow you to see the city from above and admire the sea.

Afternoon snack

After the lunch break, given the always abundant portions of the Malagueñi clubs, it is necessary to stretch your legs: head towards La Malagueta (cultural heritage of Spain), where bullfights are at home and explore the new area and the beaches, after which go up to the Alcazaba and enjoy the unparalleled view. The Arab style of the historic site will make you want to Arab sweets and in Malaga you will find several bakeries and pastry shops ready to satisfy you. In calle San Agustìn, 7 you can pretend to be in Morocco: you have arrived at Teteria Palacio Nazari where you will have a wide choice of teas, sweets and tajines. Without hesitating try the excellent ones baklava and the interesting ones dedos de chocolate.

A visit to Mercado Central de Atarazanas, in calle Atarazanas, 10, will take you to the next enjoyable stop, perhaps one of the places where the genuine love of the malagueñi for food is most appreciated: Martina Gastrotienda, in Plaza Arriola, 10. The market is a riot of colors and discoveries, fresh fruit and vegetables and schools of meat and fish that deserve a ride. Dairy products are also very interesting and all stalls are equipped so that you can bring a piece of vacuum-packed Spain with you.
In front of a side entrance of the market is precisely Martina Gastrotienda, a food that also allows you to taste the products. In addition to the breathtaking selection of jamon is queso, you will find the delicious ones here hongos stuffed: Portobello mushrooms stuffed with stringy cheese. Yours appetizer it is served: indicate directly from the counter what you want to consume on the spot and accompany everything with excellent red wine or draft beer and sit at the barrels at the entrance. Although the restaurant closes at 6 pm, the staff is not strict and you are often accepted until 7 pm: this is really an essential stop for lovers of typical products that reflect the soul of a nation. The Gastrotienda specializes in cheese and cold cuts, but you will immediately understand that the staff will make you discover a world.

Where to dine in Malaga

There is always time to dine in Spain, which is why despite the aperitif can end at 7pm, you are not late and you can still take a stroll downtown before deciding which restaurant to aim for. Among the options with a good value for money the Taberna Cantarrana (Calle Sanchez Pastor, 10), which offers tender cuts of meat and good catch at a reasonable price, in an informal but elegant and traditional atmosphere. Another option for dinner could be the Restaurante El Chinitas (calle Moreno Monroy, 4-6), where you can find an excellent one Paella, of the typical mixed appetizers that are difficult to find in tourist restaurants and you can, if brave enough, taste a caloric bomb like the huevos rotos chistorra: eggs with chips and small slightly spicy sausages, an inviting dish, but quite heavy.
If you want to give your comida a little twist for dinner, go to Calle Fresca, 10 to discover Wendy Gamba, a small place, but really cozy and curious. From Wendy a pint of beer costs only 2.90 euros and the alley on which it overlooks is delicious. You will find cheap food here, but good and very simple. No frills, just the quality and frankness of the croquetas or of the patatas bravas submerged in their sauces, try also the prawns cooked in different ways.

For the after dinner in Malaga there is the embarrassment of the choice, the prices will remain cheap and the people welcoming and nice, as in the best cities that have been able to rediscover themselves and make their identity an important tourist flywheel.

Buffalo ricotta, an ally against the heat – Italian Cuisine

Buffalo ricotta, an ally against the heat


Contains many whey proteins, which are among the main ingredients of supplements for the recovery of energy balance and for the restoration of mineral salts

Among African anticyclones and sultry stars this year too, summer is a red stamp: the heat makes us feel tired and weak. And the cool brought by the storms of these last few days will not last. So? The best thing is to try to recover the energy even by doing attention to what we bring to the table. There are always valid rules: abstaining from alcohol and sugary drinks in favor of water; do not overdo the portions, but eat little and often; favor fruit and vegetables.

Buffalo ricotta

But what we may not know (or even imagine) is that, among the anti-heat foods, a privileged role belongs to the buffalo ricotta, better if bell Dop. As Professor Germano Mucchetti, professor of dairy technologies at the University of Parma, explains, «the buffalo ricotta from Campania with a protected designation of origin is a food of high digestibility, rich in calcium and phosphorus, with a high content of whey protein of milk in their natural state ".

The whey milk proteins are among the main ingredients of supplements food presented in the form of energy bars or colloidal dispersions or gels, which are used both by athletes and by the rest of the population for the recovery of energy balance and for the restoration of mineral salts that are lost during normal activities of daily life.

Ricotta is also suitable for children and the elderly and, as stated by the president of the Consorzio di Tutela, Benito La Vecchia, «represents a food that expresses, above all in the summer season, a fair balance between nutritional intake and pleasure of taste . How to eat it this hot summer? Ricotta is natural but also good accompanied with fruit Seasonal. It can be spread on croutons or, as is done with mozzarella, combine with cherry tomatoes or other vegetables.

In the warmer season we must also pay close attention to the correct preparation and storage of food, because high temperatures favor the food contamination and increase the risk of gastroenteritis and food poisoning, especially in children. For this, as recommended by the Ministry of Health, it is necessary to strictly respect the expiry date of the product and to avoid leaving perishable foods, including buffalo ricotta, at room temperature, but store them always in the refrigerator as soon as possible.

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