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The ultimate cry in the kitchen? A flower on the plate – Italian Cuisine


With spring the desire for nature, color, light-heartedness and well-being blossoms. In the wake of this trend, floriculture and agriculture seem to have recently found a meeting point in conceiving flowers as a kind of new vegetable.
172273THE edible flowers they appear as a food novelty that satisfies new tastes, embellishes a dish and makes the taste buds dance.
This is how the flowers appear on the tables of starred chefs and not just in the middle of the table.
Salads decorated with edible flowers (more simply called edible) are also offered on supermarket shelves at introductory price. It cannot be taken for granted that the plants that produce these flowers must be organically grown, completely free of pesticides or chemical additives.

What are the flowers that can be eaten? And which is better to stay away from?
Some are suitable to enhance salads, others it is better to put them in soups, others are very sweet, some frizzantini, others are poisonous and therefore? … it is better to know how to recognize them !!!

172270For this reason it is important that the species used are certified by the producer or that one is fully aware of the flowers collected, we must know them perfectly and know how to classify them with certainty.
Antea is a community project that aims to support the expansion of the market for edible flowers through scientific knowledge and cataloging; on their website you will find the list of 40 flowers declared edible.

It must be said that decorating foods with colorful flowers and then eating them is not a modern-day invention, think that the ancient Romans went mad about roses and filled every banquet with these flowers to then peel off the petals, eat them or put them in wine; they believed that the consumption of flowers stimulated the imagination.

172264Among the edible species therefore we find the ROSE with a sweet and delicate taste, very fragrant species are often used such as Centifoglia, Bourbon, Damascena. You can make candies, jellies, the syrup jam perhaps to prepare unusual aperitifs.
The flowers of LAVENDER they are blue-violet and are on top of an ear-shaped inflorescence; the aroma is very intense and the flowers, if carefully dried, retain the same taste they had when they were fresh.
Even the VIOLE they are edible, also used above all for sweet preparations; the flowers can be white, pink, lilac or dark purple.
The are highly appreciated NASTURTIUM with its spicy taste reminiscent of the rapanello and the BEGONIA which can have a sweet or bitter taste depending on when it is harvested.

172261Where can edible flowers be found?
In some supermarkets, in the refrigerated counter of the fruit and vegetable department, there are salads with some edible flowers inside.
Online, the flowers are sold in transparent polyethylene trays, the storage temperature must remain around 2-5 degrees, for this we must turn to experienced producers who are able to market the flowers correctly.
(for edible flowers cut in the tub www.ifioridihortives.it)
in nurseries, petal-like trays of small plants with edible flowers are found more and more frequently.
Own production, the latest trend is to start from the seeds and produce the flowers in your own home for your own recipes, here are born lines of seeds dedicated to flowers for wellness, health and for the kitchen.
Smart garden, there are design appliances in which the seeds are contained in pods like those of the famous coffee and through a hydroponic cultivation, they succeed in accelerating the growth times even intensifying the organoleptic properties.

text and photos by
Raffaella Damonte *

March 2019

* The writer has become so passionate that a few months ago he opened a Floral cooking blog where flowers are the protagonists of the recipes.
The blog aims to true gourmands who want to discover the flavors that our land gives us every day, FIORDICUCINA.COM is made of perfumes, petals and seeds, a place to discover that flowers are not just a nice finishing touch but they can become, with their taste, protagonists of the dish.

The kitchen in the art of Stanley Kubrick – Italian Cuisine


Twenty years after his death, we want to remember Stanley Kubrick from a different perspective. Yes, because food often plays an important role in your films. In some cases it is even the key to being able to read and understand in depth what the director is telling us

We could describe Stanley Kubrick, who died March 7 twenty years ago, in three lines, we would probably say that he loved art and hated people; who preferred the set to worldly evenings; and that the kitchen represented for him a much stronger glue than certain topos dissected by critics with obsessive care. A peculiar feature of his visionary and avant-garde cinema, object of study in the most prestigious universities of America, is, in fact, his relationship with food.

Food as a metaphor

A detail that seems of little importance, but that is the common thread of many of his most famous works. In Stanley Kubrick, food becomes a metaphor for something else: a rich or miserable existence, a vital drive or a death wish. And it is curious how often a food is in antithesis with the character who consumes it. Exactly like Alex and his gang who, in Clockwork Orange (1971), they stage the worst atrocities while going crazy for milk more. A sweetish milkshake associated with the connotations of the innocence of little boys and certainly not to those who whistle at night with the truncheon tight to the belt.

In The Shining, masterpiece of 1980, the lecture notes of the Overlook Hotel, scene of the madness of Jack Torrance played by Jack Nicholson, overflow with provisions. As if in the vanishing sense corresponded a table overflowing with food.

American actor Jack Nicholson and director and producer Stanley Kubrick on the set of Kubrick's film, The Shining. (Photo by Murray Close / Sygma / Sygma via Getty Images)
Jack Nicholson and Stanley Kubrick on the set of The Shining (photo by Murray Close / Sygma / Sygma via Getty Images).

In Full Metal Jacket (1987) food is a disturbing element, full of easy jokes and very deep discomforts. To embody is the recruit who bears the name of Golmer Pyle, so bolso as to earn the nickname of Palla di Lardo, in fact. Epithet that will lead him to such discomfort as to lead him to madness.

Is in 2001: Space Odyssey (1968), however, that Stanley Kubrick puts food on a pedestal, as a perfect metaphor for the progress or degeneration of the human race. The film, one of the most appreciated and studied by the director, is striking for the rarefied, aseptic atmospheres, but also for the use of the raw material and its transformation. The transition from the Neolithic age to the contemporary age takes place, in fact, through the consumption of food by anthropoid monkeys that first feed on twigs and dry branches, and then, after the appearance of a giant monolith in their clearing, of fresh and red tapir meat. We therefore pass from a vegetarian diet, which for Stanley Kubrick represents hunger and malnutrition, to a meat-based diet, associated with prosperity and progress. After the appearance of the mysterious stone, in fact, the primates discover in the bone a defensive weapon suitable for hunting: a circumstance able to ensure its survival. The following passage, in which food begins to be charged with a new meaning, is this: if in the beginning it was the primates who sought it out and devoured it raw, without it being the object of the transformation of the fire, later it was no longer hunted, but served comfortably. On board the Orion, in fact, a stewardess hands Floyd a tray provided by the computer, while the Discovery astronauts consume ready-made chicken, ham and cheese sandwiches without effort. In the future, free from famine and free from the search for food, everything appears to be still, immobile and even uninviting. The food is incorporeal, taken through a straw to prevent it from dispersing in a gravity-free environment. Each color corresponds to a food: fish, corn, chips, carrots, coffee. It no longer has shape, consistency. Now it is shredded, chopped up and light years away from the bloody crudity that so aroused the anthropoids. It is technology that has the power to give it and take it off, just like a cybernetic Mother Nature. If you behave well and respect the rules, you will have it, otherwise you will die of hunger because progress has the last word. No longer the man. Later in the story there is a scene of Bowmann being conducted by aliens at dinner. In what looks like a hotel room, the man consumes his meal on an elegantly set table, with crystal glasses and fine crockery. It is the prelude to death, to a new existence and, even here, food is the protagonist. Between the cycle of hunger and satiety, the myth of rationality and the destructive relationship between man and machine, food is still there and this, perhaps, is the subliminal lesson that Stanley Kubrick tries to teach us: be it bloody or mush soft, the meal will always accompany humanity. Between space and time. Between the past and the future.

7 inventions of women who have changed our lives in the kitchen – Italian Cuisine


Let's give a shot to the clichés and remind ourselves that many inventions have been conceived by the intelligence of brilliant women … making life in the kitchen much simpler!

From the electric battery of Alessandro Volta on the radio of Guglielmo Marconi passing by the phone of Meucci It seems that revolutionary inventions have been created only by men … and women? We take advantage of March, the Women's Month, to give a touch more to the clichés and remind us that different scientific discoveries or technological innovations have been conceived by the intelligence of brilliant women. Scientists or scholars, but also housewives, who have positively changed our daily lives through their visionary approach. Women who have influenced progress thanks to great ideas are many, many, simply less known: like the windshield wipers Mary Anderson or the first computer software of Grace Murray Hopper. Girl power, wit and brain are the special ingredients that have allowed unique women to have the right intuition to make everyday life easier, especially in the kitchen.

Josephine Cochrane's dishwasher

Every night when we come back tired from work or after a happy convivial Sunday, the dishwasher is the small domestic miracle that saves us. We have to thank Josephine Garis Cochrane which in 1886 patented the first dishwasher consisting of a manually operated pump system. After about seven years of tests and improvements, the machine is exposed to the World's Columbian Exposition of Chicago achieving such a success as to induce the inventor to open his factory, the Garis-Cochran Dish-Washing Machine Company, then acquired by the Whirlpool Corporation. We do not think of her as one desperate housewife At the turn of the century, Josephine Cochrane was a rich one socialite American who liked to organize dinners and stove to see his precious dishes washed coarsely in large containers of water or break into the hands of clumsy domestic, he put to use his need. Santa right away.

Margaret Knight's paper bag

Sometimes there are everyday objects that we take for granted, just like paper bags. Then there is that fancy genius in more that sees beyond: just as he did Margaret Knight in 1860, designing a machine to produce flat-bottomed paper bags, very useful and timeless. A (pre) see the importance of the invention is Charles Annan, who runs to deposit the patent before the original inventor, who is forced to sue. The man, strong in the misogyny of time, supports his reason by stating that no woman could have conceived something so complex. Fortunately, Margaret Knight was able to prove that the prototype was her own by lawyers, tests and sketches. It certainly did not stop: in the American registers there are as many as 87 patents in its name and is part of the National Inventors Hall of Fame since 2006.

The pedal bin and the electric blender by Lillian Gilbreth

Let's start from the end: Lillian Gilbreth she is the first woman to enter the National Academy of Engineering, or the prestigious national engineering academy of the United States of America. Also called the Lady Of Engineering, employs psychology studies to improve management productivity, even at home. Mother of 12 children and brilliant mind, she studies the essential gestures of everyday life and then applies them to engineering and invent important tools such as the pedal bin and the electric blender. Every time we manage to throw something despite occupied hands or prepare one smoothie, it is she who we must thank!

The modern Florence Parpart refrigerator

The use of cold for food storage has been a well-established practice for centuries, but the transition from ice to refrigerator as we know it today is relatively recent. The first patent of the refrigerating machine dates back to 1851 and is registered by the US John Gorrie, then outclassed in the 10th century from the first domestic refrigerator built in 1915 by Alfred Mellowes. Even Albert Einstein, together with Leó Szilárd, he deals with it by inventing a refrigerator with no moving parts in 1930. Fortunately, from the census records and from the patent applications of the US government, a feminine name is given: Florence Parpart. It is his 1914 patent for the modern refrigerator, which makes the icebox obsolete for those who can use electricity. She seems to be engaged to a good electrician, who assists her in the design of the first prototype. Then it will be thanks to its pioneering marketing vision between advertising campaigns and participation in fairs, to realize the dream.

Nancy Johnson's ice cream maker

Imagine how hard and laborious it would be to work with the hand trowel in old ice-cold sorbets with the mixture of ice and salt. Just insert a crank over the container of the sorbettiera to turn the mixture and the fatigue disappears: this is the brilliant thought of Nancy Johnson, American of Philadelphia. The patent is filed September 9, 1843 and still absolutely current, even after the advent of electric ice cream makers.

The mop of Joy Mangano

Interpreted by Jennifer Lawrence in the film that they dedicated to her in 2015, Joy Mangano it is the perfect embodiment of the American dream. Born in 1956, New Yorker born of Italian-American parents, single mother with three children, now a successful entrepreneur. Thanks to his pragmatism (and his degree in business administration), in 1990 he invented the Miracle Mop, known in Italy as the floor mop with bucket that allows it to be squeezed without getting your hands wet. A brilliant intuition driven by enterprising activities such as teleshopping that made Joy Mangano a millionaire. "San inventor. When I'm designing a product, all I have in mind is, how can you simplify your life? I guess it's just the way I look at things", Simplify her.