Tag: Italy

expanding the borders is good for Made in Italy – Italian Cuisine

The Mediterranean Sea is not a border, it has been a bridge between cultures for millennia, and everyone knows it abroad. At the event ‘nnumari in Sicilia we talk about Terre united by the sea and we cook using the same ingredients

Before the beginning of modern history, the Mediterranean Sea has been the center of the world, the cradle of civilization and agriculture for 6 thousand years before Christ. A sea "in the middle" of the lands that embrace it, and define it more than water itself. The Mediterranean Sea has been a source of wealth for all the peoples that face it, a bridge between cultures and trade, a resource pool. Today the Mediterranean is a danger, a border to defend, the border against those who for thousands of years have been part of the same story. But to deny what we have in common is impossible, just sit at the table.

Defend traditions by looking at the differences

Historical site of contrasts and cultural exchanges, the Mediterranean has been for centuries the Mare Nostrum, a kaleidoscopic cultural unit and of identity that today clash in the incessant search for a legitimacy, which is at the same time safeguarding specific individuality and respect for that sense of belonging wider than the Mediterranean evokes.
While globalization shuffles and uniforms, here where "globalization" has always been today there is an emphasis on the traditions, the differences, the rights of every single nation. "We are all part of the Mediterranean, we all have problems in common and we have a duty to find solutions together", however, and so the Manifesto of "numbers, guided project by chef Pino Cuttaia, 2 Michelin stars stationed in Licata, deep Sicily, with the aim of studying sustainable economic, social and environmental development models, common to all the peoples of the Mediterranean. «During the course of my career I understood how Sicily, my territory, is the fruit of the contaminations of the peoples who lived in this land. The culinary art of my territory is nothing but the fruit of these different experiences. Domination of the Greeks, Romans, Normans, Arabs, Phoenicians, up to the French and the Spanish: today, I am the legacy of all these cultures, "explains Pino. "Those similar territories, those same gestures, make me think that all those countries are not divided by the Mediterranean, they are lands united by the sea".

Mediterranean cuisine

The "Mediterranean Cuisine" includes the kitchens of the different countries bordering the same sea, therefore Spain, France, Italy, Greece, Croatia and then down into Turkey, Syria, Israel and the Maghreb area of ​​Egypt, Tunisia, Algeria and Morocco. French and Italian cuisine have assumed an identity of their own in the world and for years – but above all by their own inhabitants – they are considered cases in themselves. But the whole Mediterranean cuisine is that of the healthy Mediterranean diet, and it has much more in common than you think. When in American films we hear someone say that he goes on vacation "in Europe", it makes us smile. Yet that's exactly what we say when we leave to go "to the United States". From a distance, the distances seem inferior and the similarities are seen rather than focusing on the differences.
From abroad, with an external eye, it is much easier to see the things we have in common than the differences, and therefore olive oil, grapes, citrus fruits, use of fresh herbs, legumes and wheat, mainly of meat and fish . Cous cous and fregola, paella and risotto, macco di fave and chickpea hummus are sons of the same basic ingredients, of the same climate and of millennia of trade, migration, domination. The first time the idea appeared in a book was 1950: A Book of Mediterranean Food, written by Elizabeth David; and today recipes and lifestyles expressed by the Mediterranean have once again become a trend between cookbooks and international articles. But we do not see it, because by observing this small region of the world with the microscope, we see only the differences.

The event "numbers 2019

From 2 to 4 October 2019, on the southern coasts of Sicily, in the province of Agrigento, Mediterranean cooks, journalists, economists, fishermen, breeders, farmers, producers, artisans, fishermen, entrepreneurs and artists were summoned to the idea. that cooking and food have the ability to connect people, favoring the comparison between traditions, gestures, cultures. An annual meeting, which alongside issues such as the recovery of traditional professions as a resource for the future and the promotion of ethical behavior, has focused attention on the enhancement of the Mediterranean tradition, not as opposed to made in Italy, but as a reality of which we are a part.

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30 years of Joia with Pietro Leemann, the first starred vegetarian in Italy – Italian Cuisine


Turns 30 years old Joia, the vegetarian restaurant of Pietro Leemann, the first vegetarian chef in the world to receive the Michelin star in 1996 and, still today, the only one of its kind to show off the coveted recognition in our country.

Three decades have passed since Leemann, already established after working in some of the most important kitchens in Italy, decided to embark on his journey back from a trip to the East.
"It was the beginning of a great adventure," recalls the chef. But also a big bet in the Milan of the eighties: "Back then, there were almost only Tuscan restaurants in the city. There was only one Japanese in my street (Panfilo Castaldi, behind Porta Venezia, ed) just a couple of places: today, at least 30 ".

In these years the Milanese gastronomic panorama has definitely changed, as has the sensitivity of customers. "Once upon a time, traditional vegetarian dishes were for those who could not afford meat. Today they become a choice. If at the beginning the public approached the green world in search of healthier food, now conscious choices are dominating made of environment and sustainability. And ordinary people are revealed later than restaurateurs, still slow to incorporate this philosophy, with the fine exception of gourmet venues ".

From these considerations was born one of the many projects that sees Pietro Leemann at the forefront in spreading what is a real philosophy of life: it is his "Decalogue for a healthy and sustainable cuisine" which, together with two young athletes, Oliviero Alotto and Alessandro Ippolito, is taking around the great restaurants in Italy.
First, Pietro (in an electric car), Oliviero and Alessandro reached Enrico Crippa at the Piazza Duomo in Alba, Norbert Niederkofler at the Rosa Alpina of San Cassiano, in Alta Badia, e Massimiliano Alajmo in Le Calandre di Rubano (PD): "traditional" restaurateurs but among the most attentive to the plant world.

With them, they shared the set of rules that goes from having always on the menu at least four vegetarian and / or vegetable proposals, with attention to seasonality and territory, to favoring the organic (all the ingredients in Joia's kitchen are organic) and small producers, from respecting animals and fish, opposing the logic of intensive farming, reducing plastic and energy consumption: a set of good practices that everyone should follow.

"It is important that change also takes place in the restaurant world: the kitchen is a formidable tool". This is demonstrated by the many young chefs who came out of his brigade to open new realities in very obvious contexts. The last two examples, which Leemann likes to remember, are Fabrizio Marino of the Maggese restaurant in San Miniato, in the heart of the most "carnivorous" Tuscany, e Rie Otsuka of Orterie, tavern in the small town of Stazzona, in the province of Sondrio.

178438What comes out of the Joia is an articulated system that makes the training one of his hinges. With this spirit the was born Joia Academy in via Felice Casati, an institute for the dissemination of vegetarian culture open to professionals and amateurs alike.
And, above all, his most ambitious project, the "Code of vegetarian cuisine" (Giunti, 90 euro), a volume of almost 700 pages which is much more than a recipe book: an essential tool to create a "green" cuisine of the highest quality, respectful of living beings and the planet, which addresses every aspect: from techniques to equipment, from ingredients to scientific and philosophical insights, with 40 dishes signed by the chef and an appendix that brings together traditional Italian and oriental recipes.
"Because the kitchen can be theorized, but then it is also necessary to know how to put it into practice", says Leemann. "To make it become a source of happiness".

Francesca Romana Mezzadri
Photo Lucio Elio
October 2019

Made in Italy to discover: buffalo meat is trendy – Italian Cuisine


A yellow casket of stone-ground flour encloses a filling of buffalo meat, aglianico grape chutney and orange peel and provolone del Monaco. It is the exquisite sandwich, made by Chef Cristiano De Rinaldi (under the recipe), winner of the contest dedicated to the Italian panino in the context of Bufala Fest 2019, an event that celebrates the wisdom of the products that originate from the Neapolitan territory local buffaloes. Not just mozzarella, but meat in the first place and other delicacies. Italy is increasingly a country of buffaloes and this unique food and wine festival in its kind confirms the tricolor taste for this animal bred in the Bel Paese, whose breed is called indeed Italian buffalo.

Of course, we are all admirers of cheeses and in particular of mozzarella cheese which is produced thanks to the milk of these animals (by the way, do you know how to recognize the true buffalo mozzarella?).

But what about the meat? It is a meat lean and very rich in protein, really special as a taste (similar to bovine but slightly sweeter) and as a nutrient supply. In fact, meat proteins are not all the same: vary according to breed, cutting and cooking. For example, raw beef has a protein content that ranges from 15 to 20 grams. The buffalo has it 20 gr, and only 99 kcal per 100 gr!

178426Not for nothing during the days of the Bufala Fest, which took place at the beginning of September, thousands of people have discovered and appreciated the burger and buffalo meat sausages, asking for information from the chefs – many, even starred! – on the best way to prepare them. "We value this as a success – he explains Antonio Rea, organizer of the event – precisely because the payoff 'not just mozzarella' intends to enhance the entire buffalo supply chain and also push less well-known but high-quality products ". People in fact inquired about the sales points of this meat, which was less and less difficult to find on the market. Most homegrown buffaloes are bred in Campania (80%) especially for the production of milk for the production of mozzarella; other buffalo farms are present in Sicily, Lombardy and Lazio. [Nella foto: da sinistra Francesco Sorrentino (Organizzatore), Domenico Raimondo (Presidentre Consorzio Mozzarella DOP) e Antonio Rea (Organizzatore)]

"Of course only dairy products are needed for the production of dairy products female buffaloes, – explains Vincenzo Marotta, coordinator of the Workshops – therefore the males would be destined to the consumption of meat and a development of the market in this sense would allow a virtuous process in breeding of these animals, where otherwise the annutoli, the small male specimens, end up sacrifice uselessly. Try the buffalo meat and choose that one nostrana! Really, it is absurd to buy meat that comes from the other side of the world when in Italy we have of it excellent".

178303Mozzarella was obviously the protagonist of the Bufala Fest, an event realized in collaboration with the Consortium for the Protection of Mozzarella di Bufala Campana Dop, but this year named precisely "Bufala Fest – not just mozzarella", promoted by the creative posters that decorated Naples, created by the art director Marco Marotta. And many workshops and contests have been dedicated to meat … Seventeen events on the bill, between music (Sal Da Vinci, Anna Tatangelo, Mario Venuti, Maria Nazionale, Neri per Caso, Nicola Siciliano, VMonster, Francesco Da Vinci), workshop, comedy, art. The Pulcinella trophy, dedicated to the piazzaioli (and during the event was presented Go 'Schietta, the first, revolutionary pizza container completely biodegradable) and showcooking with star chefs of the caliber of Tano Simionato, Paolo Gramaglia and Paolo Barrale. To lead the work of the contest area and on many occasions also dinners & c., Il very good Chef Antonio Arfè.

Bufala Fest, sponsored by the Campania Region and the Municipality of Naples, then gave space to tbefore beautiful reality that a Naples and surroundings revolve around the buffalo supply chain. Such as Biancamore, a company of Paestum that pampers the skin with buffalo milk and sends its own cosmetics in all of Italy and the Nino Cannavale pastry chef, who actually works stolen from the Camorra.

Let's go back to our contest sandwiches stuffed with buffalo meat made in Italy.

Here are the winners with the recipes written by them!

178291 Sandwich no. 1 – Cristiano De Rinaldi

For the bread: stone-ground flour type 1 fermentation with yeast. For the filling: 200 g of Campania buffalo meat, (real cut – this is what I use to make hamburgers and is recommended); 100 grams of provolone del Monaco made in flakes and put on the meat after cooking (preferable to medium cooking for the buffalo) as if it were raining! On the two sides of the bread spread the Aglianico grape chutney with orange peel (75% grapes, 25% cane sugar, 5% orange peel).

178288 Sandwich no. 2– Antonio Ranieri

The sandwich is called "drunk chub". The ingredients are Bourbon bread, misticanza, buffalo burgers, buffalo shredded caramelized peaches and ginger, reduction of Primitivo di Manduria with buffalo butter, toasted hazelnuts. To start, prepare the caramelized peaches: peel the peaches and cut them into cubes, brown them with extra virgin olive oil already warm in the pan and add brown sugar and ginger. Add water flush and when cooked, blend half the mixture and add them again. Reduction of the Primitivo di Manduria: bring a glass of Primitivo di Manduria to a boil in a saucepan; over low heat add buffalo butter and stir until creamy.

Toast the hazelnuts in a pan. Proceed to cook the Campania buffalo burgers. Toast the Bourbon sandwich and compose it in the following way: base, mixed salad, burgers, stracciata of buffalo, a spoonful of caramelized peaches, 5/6 drops of reduction of Primitivo di Manduria with buffalo butter and toasted hazelnuts.

178297 Sandwich no. 3 – Davide Di Meo

The sandwich is called Phlegraios. From the Greek phlegraios = ardent, it is an explicit reference to the territory of the Campi Flegrei. Only five simple ingredients: eggplant parmigiana with cannellino tomato, stracciata of buffalo, chopped Neapolitan curly basil, Cistecca Montese and its classic baguette. Generally of beef, I proposed the Cistecca in the buffalo variant. The meat is processed on Fry Top stone. With quick movements of spatulas, I cooked the meat, being careful not to lose the juices. Before finishing cooking, I added the parmigiana and let it blend. I stuff the baguette, cooked on the grill, and I go to lay the stracciata of buffalo and the chopped basil.

Jonas Fiore
September 2019


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