Tag: King

Cocoa, the king of pastry (and more) – Italian Cuisine

Cocoa, the king of pastry (and more)

Sugar to sweeten it, spices to flavor it and draw ever more precious notes from its enveloping delicacy. Since the beginning of the triumphal coming of cocoa in Europe from the New World, vanilla, pepper, chilli, cinnamon were the exotic companies of the exciting drink, which was prepared by reducing the seeds contained in the fruits of the tropical tree to powder, after the necessary roasting.

Cocoa or chocolate

Said chocolate from the Aztec "cacahuatl", then scientifically baptized Theobroma or food of the gods, thatelixir it unleashed a kind of sensory fury, a rapture never achieved by any other food ever in history. At the Florentine court of the Medici, in an environment of "super-enthusiasts" of botany and naturalistic experiments, local fruits and flowers, such as jasmine, citrus fruits, orange juice and peel, were combined with the precious powder of cocoa seeds.

The versatility of cocoa in the kitchen

Its irresistible rise has since continued into one infinite range of uses and products. Starting with the well-known unions with the liqueurs. Cocoa, king of a thousand sweets and desserts, has also entered a series of savory preparations. Where, however, being bitter by nature, it should be used with caution. In the nineteenth century it began to be combined with birds, for example pheasants, partridges, quail, and game, such as wild boar and hare "in dolceforte". Roe deer was often cooked with cocoa or served with a chocolate sauce. Catalan cooks of the past bravely used it, along with cinnamon, to cook lobster. It goes well with turkey, beef and pork. In Italy, noodles and some ravioli stuffed with meat, but also with aubergines and cheese are added to the flour. Excellent and unusual, first of all for the color, are also the potato gnocchi with cocoa: as well as with the usual melted butter and flaked cheese, you can dress them with broad beans and speck or with ricotta and raisins, which with the sweet taste will contrast well with the bitterness of cocoa. The union of ricotta and cocoa it is a classic, but generally all dairy products lend themselves to the encounter. For the aperitif, prepare one cream of mixed cheeses sprinkled with cocoa: served with salt-free breadsticks or mini-plates.

Octopus, king of the summer table! – Italian Cuisine

Octopus, king of the summer table!

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Alfonso Pepe, king of the panettone, has died – Italian Cuisine

Alfonso Pepe, king of the panettone, has died

He was 54 and had long been struggling with the disease. His artisan panettone has been repeatedly recognized among the best in Italy

He had worked until Christmas to prepare those excellent panettone that had made him famous throughout Italy. The teacher Alfonso Pepe, the king of patisserie, died at 54, after an illness he fought for two. It was from Sant’Egidio del Monte Albino, in the province of Salerno, and there he had opened his laboratory.
His passion began in the eighties, when he started training in the most important Italian pastry shops and followed prestigious courses, such as Etoile Academy and Cast Alimenti (founded by Iginio Massari) and Ecol, in France. From 1995 he had become a member of the Accademia Maestri Pasticcieri Italiani, and his artisan panettone has been repeatedly recognized among the best in Italy. He was in love with the sourdough, who defined "an extraordinary element, which allows great things".

Last May he also deserved the World Pastry Stars, the highest worldwide recognition in the sector. Together with Sal De Riso, he made an epoch-making change to Southern patisserie. He deserves credit for it the panettone is seasonally adjusted and innovated of the South. «We pastry chefs can call ourselves ambassadors of taste and flavors traditions of our territory: this is the only way we can create real added value that cascades to create positive effects along the entire production chain ", he said.

"This is what I thought when, on one of the most fascinating and rich in history volcanoes, Vesuvius, I wondered how to use the most characteristic of the 100 indigenous varieties of Vesuvian apricots grown within the Vesuvius National Park in my creations: , the so-called Pellecchiella variety, known for its incredible sweetness. Or when going to Agropoli, in Cilento, I discovered a fig plantation located on the end of a hill, where you can breathe a pleasant sea breeze. And, again, when going around with my Fiat 500 around the historic center of Sant'Egidio, I discovered that just behind the thousand-year-old Abbey, at the foot of the Lattari Mountains, there was a garden full of tangerines, oranges and spectacular lemons .

Among the many awards that Pepe had collected, we remember the 1st place as Best Panettone in Italy for Gazza Golosa (2016), 1st place at Il Re Panettone in Naples (2015), 1st place at Una mole di panettoni, Turin (2015), the Slow Food Medal for the best artisan panettone and selection in the best 10 Panettoni and handmade Pandori of Italy for the Gambero Rosso.

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