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The Negroni in a Sicilian key. Here is the recipe – Italian Cuisine


The Negroni D'Altavilla designed by the bartender Gianluca Amoni brings the famous cocktail invented 100 years ago directly on the slopes of Etna

Florence, 1919. The count Camillo Negroni, with the complicity of Angelo Tesauro, barman of the elegant Caffè Casoni in Via de 'Tornabuoni, invented his own personal version of the Americano, a particularly popular cocktail in those years. And he did it by saving the Campari and also the red vermouth, but replacing the soda with something a little bit stronger. The gin, to be precise. Thus was born a drink destined to become a legend and to reach 100 years of life brilliantly, without ever losing its charm: the Negroni, in fact. But what would have happened if the dear count had decided to leave Tuscany and leave for the Sicily, maybe to put yourself on the trail of another high-ranking family like the Altavilla family? It is from this imaginary cross between houses, historical periods, territories and suggestions that the Negroni D’Altavilla, an alternative – and very Mediterranean – version of the iconic drink developed by the bartender of Mixology Bar from Milan Gianluca Amoni.

The Sicilian alternative

"This cocktail is the fruit of work that has been going on for years, but has its roots in my personal experience", Amoni tells us. «My mother is originally from Ragusa, and I still remember when I was a child I spent summers at my grandparents' house. Those fragrances, those flavors, those products that still come to my mind today were the basis for creating this recipe . Here then is preserved the "1/3 + 1/3 + 1/3" rule, which wants the three main ingredients used in the same proportion. But the protagonists change in the glass: Campari remains, as a bitter, enhanced by a teaspoon of china Clementi, to push on the bitter notes; gin is flavored with carob, left to infuse for about a week; and instead of vermouth theEtnabitter, with its notes of orange, almond and honey.

A bitter that smells of Etna

Defining the etnabitter is not easy. A little vermouth, a little bitter, a little aperitif in the broadest sense: this product, which takes its name from the famous Sicilian volcano, presents itself in all respects as a wide-spectrum liqueur, to be tasted with some ice cubes to savor all the Mediterranean nuances – ranging from citrus fruits to aromatic herbs, starting from a base of Sicilian wine -, or to be used as a new, original ingredient in mixing. Bitter, yes, but with an abundance of sweet notesin short, that make it particularly soft on the palate. Like a Sicilian pastry, but with 18% alcohol. Not bad.

The recipe of the Negroni D’Altavilla

"Compared to the traditional Negroni, in this variant the initial note changes, which inevitably becomes more fresh and Mediterranean, while the bitter remains as background", explains Gianluca Amoni, whose cocktail was recently selected and applauded by the Negroni Club of Pisa. Here is his recipe for a special tribute to 100 years of the Negroni, to prepare and taste imagining the good Count Camillo lying in the sun of Noto and surroundings. With glass on hand, of course.

Negroni D'Altavilla

Negroni D’Altavilla: the recipe

5 cl of gin flavored with carobs
5 cl of Etnabitter
5 cl of Campari
A teaspoon of China Clementi
Lemon peel, sage and rosemary to complete the cocktail.

Changing food order to lower blood sugar: this is the key – Italian Cuisine


"Know your body. Choose your food ": this is the title of the latest book by Pier Luigi Rossi, a specialist in Nutrition Science, which suggests something simple, even easy, to keep blood sugar and insulin under control, and consequently weight, that is to change food order and focus on hormones. In short, knowing and being aware of the properties of food, overcoming once and for all the concept of low-calorie diet.

Bye bye calories
Once upon a time there was the low-calorie diet and the almost obsessive calorie count. It was thought to be able to manage your body and excess pounds simply by strokes of calories, or better by reducing the latter. And the efforts were added a sense of asthenia often a harbinger of malaise. Today, however, we are facing a new paradigm that talks about molecular diet and focuses not so much on calories, but on metabolism and calls into question concepts such as insulin and glycemia that we are accustomed to hear talking about pathological pictures (see diabetes) , but which in reality also regulate the appetite and the way we metabolize foods in healthy people.

Matter of metabolism (and not of calories)
The difference between a greater or lesser propensity to obesity in fact changes from person to person and depends on the way in which the ingested molecules react with the cells and the DNA of those who eat. The person responsible for blood sugar levels (and therefore insulin) is in fact the blood and the composition that he takes in contact with food. The goal, therefore, in this new vision must be to maintain post-lunch blood sugar at low levels, starting from vegetables instead of pasta. High blood sugar also means a high level of insulin, responsible for managing and regulating the sense of appetite. By exchanging the order of dishes, on the other hand, it is easier to keep glucose low

Example of a meal
In short, it is all about food and the right balance between meals based on carbohydrates and protein-based meals. Breakfast rich, but not traditional: better eliminate the excess of carbohydrates and enhance the protein, with some ham or fresh soft cheese. Soo welcome, just like in the old scheme of low-calorie diet, fruit-based snacks or centrifuged and during main meals just exchange the pasta with vegetables (fresh and finely chopped, to ensure that they do not stay too much in the intestine ); then a flow based on proteins and fibers (legumes, eggs, ham, meat, fish) is recommended and, finally, a liquid meal like a minestrone or a soup.

Molecular diet
In many places it is consumed as an entry, while in Italy it is the classic contour. Behold: others are right. The salad or vegetables in general should be eaten as an appetizer, at the beginning of everything. The ongoing obesity epidemic depends on poor body knowledge and measuring blood sugar and insulin is a priority for those who are overweight and it comes before any calorie counting. This is one of the pillars of the molecular diet, ie based not on calorie counting, but on the knowledge of the molecules that are ingested and of themselves. The goal then becomes to contain the daily dose of glucose and intervene on the liver, true director of metabolism.

From calories to molecules
Never focus on foods, eliminating important nutrients, but pay attention to how food molecules interact with our DNA. The book From calories to molecules, published by Aboca and written by Pier Luigi Rossi (who was among the experts of the High Council of Health and who is now a contract professor at the University of Bologna) explains this innovative concept well. First thing to know (and to remember) to move from the calories to the molecules is that all the foods we take in a day can be classified into two types of dish: vegetable dish, made with food from the earth, and animal dish, composed of foods derived from the animal world. Then you have to limit the carbohydrates but do not eliminate them, eat 5 times a day, possibly concentrating the foods in the first part of the day, and always combine fish or meat with a dose of bread (which has a lower carbohydrate content than pasta). The molecular relationship between glycemic carbohydrates and proteins in fact conditions insulin secretion.

Emanuela Di Pasqua,
January 24th 2017

edited
21 January 2019

Photo credits: Wikipedia