Tag: January

Croissant day: January 30th is celebrated, here’s the news – Italian cuisine reinvented by Gordon Ramsay

On January 30th the world celebrates the croissant: it is the Croissant Day. A world day entirely dedicated to the sweet symbol of breakfast in the world. In fact it was born in the United States, in 2006. How to celebrate Croissant Day? Eating it in a classic and innovative version: it has come a long way since its birth. Now it also has new shapes and new flavors.

The «cube croissant

The latest sweet novelty is the «cube croissant: yes, the Croissant cube, so widespread now that it could replace the classic one. No longer in the shape of a croissant, as the Austrians thought of it in 1683 to commemorate the victory against the Ottoman Empire (recalling the crescent shape of the Turkish flag), and as the French did it again on the occasion of the wedding between Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette of Austria, adding more butter and renaming it «croissant (from «crescent, i.e. growing). Now the brioche (to call it Milanese style) has exactly that captivating and stylish shape of a parallelepiped, and this made it the perfect dessert for social media too. If it is so famous it is precisely because it has gone viral: on TikTok there are millions of videos with the hashtag #cubecroissant, including posts by tasters and passionate pastry chefs who try to try their hand at the new catchphrase.

Who invented the cube croissant

It all started on social media, after all. In 2018, with a post by the Swede Bedros Kabranian, world bakery champion. It was his idea, and he called it Le crube (a portmanteau of “croissant” and “cube”). He got there after several trials. Since the dough of a cube croissant grows much less than the traditional shape, Bedros Kabranian had to do a series of calculations to understand how much the mold needed to be filled. After he succeeded, no one stopped him, and he proposed it in many different versions: empty, filled with creams, glazed, sweetened. Because, apart from the shape, the rest of the cube croissant is the same as the original.

Where to taste the cube croissant in Italy

In Italy we know him thanks to the famous Turin Cambio Pharmacy which, in 2019, launched its Crubik, «characterized by a crunchy shell and a very soft heart (so he writes on his website). A brioche filled with custard or chocolate cream which immediately became a craze, and still is: it is not uncommon, four years after the “invention”, to come across local news articles that tell of the line of customers in Piazza Carignano to taste the specialty of Matteo Baronetto and Maicol Vitellozzi . Turin residents and tourists, all there. Maybe even to take a photo and post it.

World Pizza Day: why is it celebrated on January 17th? – Italian cuisine reinvented by Gordon Ramsay

La Cucina Italiana

Some days are not celebrated by chance: if on January 17th the whole world celebrates World Pizza Day it’s because it’s the day of Saint Anthony the Abbot, the third-century hermit who gave up his wealth to dedicate his life to others. He is considered the founder of Christian monasticism, the protector of animals, butchers, but not only.

Who is the patron saint of pizza chefs?

The saint that medieval iconography has always made us imagine holding a bell in his hand, a stick with a Tau-shaped cross and a faithful pig next to him, is the one who, according to legend he also gave fire to men to keep them warm by stealing it from hell. For this reason Sant’Antonio Abate is also the patron of fires and all those professions which are closely linked to fire, and therefore also i pizza chefi (in addition to bakers and firefighters).

Because pizza day is celebrated on January 17th

Hence the idea of ​​making the two things coincide: celebrate the patron saint of pizza chefs and World Pizza Day on the same day, which in turn is also the formalization of a very ancient custom in Naples and beyond. On January 17, while the farmers – and many simple owners of dogs and cats – bring the animals into the squares to have them blessed by the parish priests, in various regions of the South there are also the fires in honor of Sant’Antonio Abate: in Salento they call them “focare” for example, while in Naples they are the “fucarazzi”. To gather around these bonfires that are set up in the courtyards and squares, thank the saint, pray that he brings good luck for the new year started – and last but not least celebrate (as we still do, eating pork and dancing) – since ancient times Neapolitan pizza chefs take half a day off on January 17th.

Who created World Pizza Day

The idea of ​​celebrating January 17, the day of Sant’Antonio Abate, also as World Pizza Day was born from Neapolitan pizza chefs. To be precise, it wasVerace Neapolitan Pizza Association (AVPN) and its president Antonio Pace who, immediately after the recognition by UNESCO which consecrated the art of Neapolitan pizza chefs as an intangible heritage of humanity, saw fit to rediscover an ancient tradition by launching, in 2018, this world day which every year is celebrated with great celebrations.

How to celebrate World Pizza Day

This year, which also marks the fortieth anniversary of the Verace Pizza Napoletana Association, the World Pizza Day program (which you can find complete on Facebook) is very rich, including street meetings and live streaming that will involve experts and pizza chefs from all over the world who have joined the association by committing themselves to respect the strict regulations for the preparation of pizza. 16 countries, 22 masterclasses in 11 languages, from Australia to the United States via Italy, the Association organized a 24-hour non-stop event entirely dedicated to pizza.

The new pizza dedicated to Saint Anthony

And he also created a new one, dedicated to the protector: it’s the “pizza Sant’Antonio”with tomato and chilli pepper to symbolize the fire that protects, the sausage that recalls his inseparable pig, and the provolone del monaco, a famous specialty of the Sorrento Peninsula, which recalls among other things that this saint so venerated in the south was also the first monk in history.

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Dry January, what it is and soft drinks to try – Italian cuisine reinvented by Gordon Ramsay

La Cucina Italiana

Here we are in full Dry January, and if we talk about it this year it is also thanks to the French president Emmanuel Macron, who has just said he is against the idea of ​​institutionalizing the initiative: an invitation not to drink alcohol for an entire month, January in fact. For him, a well-known lover of good drinking, it is not necessary to officially promote abstinence from alcohol, but his stance has sparked a controversy of international dimensions which has involved enthusiasts and expert commentators.

What is Dry January

What is certain is that the position of the French president goes against the trend: now almost all over the world there is a race to prove the benefits of Dry Januaryan initiative born in England in 2013 thanks to the athlete Emily Robinson and the association Alcohol Change UK, British body that raises awareness of the effects of alcohol. One way to promote the conscious use of alcohol, to remind everyone of the risks of use and abuse, and to invite even moderate drinkers to experience what it is like to do without it for a symbolic period, giving their liver a break. In fact, many studies have demonstrated the advantages of alcohol abstinence are many, even in the short term as well as in the long term, and which reflect on everyone’s physical and mental well-being.

The new trend of non-alcoholic drinks

So, password: lighten. How many years have we heard it? Many. Yet she never goes out of fashion, on the contrary (rightly) she renews herself by adapting to the evolution of the times. For this reason, even the world of mixing has now been involved in the process and it is difficult to imagine a cocktail bar that is not able to offer low-alcohol drinks and mocktails (a neologism that derives from the portmanteau of two words mock = fake + cocktail).

What are the new alcohol-free drinks like?

The good news is that the era of syrupy long drinks based on fruit juices and smoothies has been replaced, or enriched, by that of fermented products such as kombucha (sparkling teas that could replace bubbles) and switchel (an invigorating mix based of apple cider vinegar, ginger, honey and lemon), from fruit and vegetable extracts, from sodas offered in every imaginable flavor and above all from non-alcoholic spirits.

The new alcohol-free products

In Italy and around the world this trend is naturally reflected on the market and on the choice of large groups (and small producers) to have one or more alcohol-free products in their catalogue. From 2015, the year of debut of Seedlip (the line of non-alcoholic spirits, distributed by Diageo, which is by far the best known and served in cocktail bars), to today the panorama has rapidly enriched itself, so much so that forecasts speak of a growth of 400% for the next few years.

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