Tag: Kitchen

Ginkgo Biloba: how to use the elixir of eternal youth in the kitchen – Italian Cuisine


Is called Ginkgo biloba and it's likely you have it heard of how Anti-aging, elixir of eternal youth, infallible remedy for cognitive decline. Indeed this millenary plant of oriental origin, considered a true treasure of botany, boasts powerful and transversal benefits, but normally nand the western countries, the ginko is marketed in the form of extracts standardized in the form of drops, capsules or tablets. THE its use However it can also happen in the kitchen: the essential is to make moderate use of his seed that, if consumed in high quantitiesto, can be very toxic.

Foglie, fruits and seeds
The origins of Ginkgo date back to 250 million years ago. The active ingredients are found in leaves, from the typical fan shape, while the fruit pulp it is irritating and toxic (and it also gives off a nauseating smell), unlike inside of the seed that it is edible after roasting. Ginkgo must all to flavonoids is terpenes (or ginkgolides), which protect heart, vessels and nervous system.

180377For a healthy mind, in a healthy body
Flavonoids increase indeed there resistance of blood capillaries, while I terpenes exert a nourishing and protective action on the neurons of the cerebral cortex, increase the levels of antidepressant and psychostimulant substances and contrast the decline cognitive and mnemonic.

The etymology
Darwin called it a living fossil and some fossil remains of gingko leaves date back even to the Jurassic and to the Cretaceous. The word "ginkgo" comes from the Japanese Yin-kuo, what does it mean "silver apricot" since its seeds reached maturity they look like floured apricots. While the word "biloba" refers instead to the leaf shape which consists of two lobes placed together to form a fan. The internal part of the seed, despite the unpleasant smell, is edible after roasting and in the east has the reputation of being a delicious ingredient and therefore courted by the traditional chinese cuisine and Japanese.

CChinese kitchen
In China ginkgo is used to make the congee, un porridge prepared by putting the rice to boil until the grain is saturated with water to the point that it begins to break, reaching a viscous consistency.

Japanese food
NJapanese cuisine instead it is consumed as a side dish, or it is used for the preparation of chawanmushi, a kind of salty pudding that is used as an appetizer, made with milk and eggs, with addition of mushrooms, boiled shrimp, kamaboko, enriched with soy sauce, dashi (fish broth) and mirin (sweet sake from the kitchen).

And then the herbal teas
In herbal medicine it is used for the preparation of herbal teas, infusions, juices and decoctions. Just boil a cup of water and add 1 heaped teaspoon of gingko, let it steep for 10 minutes. And then filter and drink, toasting to youth.

Emanuela Di Pasqua,
December 2019


Photo credits: Pixabay

Myrtle, scent of Mediterranean scrub in the kitchen – Italian Cuisine

Myrtle, scent of Mediterranean scrub in the kitchen

Landings on the island. And it arrives: that perfume unmistakable Mediterranean maquis, engraved for millennia under the skin of ours nostrils.

Rosemary (also exquisite for hair health!) Cistus, broom, mastic, euphorbia and thyme (powerful antiseptic). And then he, the myrtle, an aromatic plant sacred to the gods or better to goddesses. Because if Eve covered herself with a fig leaf, Aphrodite emerged naked from the foam of the sea and went straight to a bush of myrtle to seize the branches e conceal at the sight of the Earth the its set off more in time. Fecundity, life, joy and love: what symbol can be more beautiful?!?

It's a shrub evergreen of height that oscillates between the half a meter e the three meters. TObelongs to the Myrtaceee family (syoussa dei cloves). THEis its buds appear to be micro-pearls that bloom in wonderful flowers white with long stamens to fair ray. The berries they are his children ovoid fruits, of violet-blue-black color.

THE its essential oils have various officinal properties, especially anti-inflammatory and astringents and then digestive and various others.

Although this plant is linked in our imagination to the Sardinia in particular – and with reason! – myrtle grows everywhere in the coastal regions of our peninsula and is also used in some southern recipes, in particular pugliesi and bells. A Typical Agri-food Product of the Cilento and the mozzarella cheese in the mortella, that is wrapped in myrtle leaves . And even Rome was in antiquity considered the "City of myrtle". Before the arrival of pepper removed it from his main role in Italian gastronomy.

The famous liquor "Mfraught " you can easily do it at home like a limoncello or any other liqueur obtained by alcoholic maceration. What part to use of the plant? The ripe berries, that you collect between late November and late January for the classic red version (or 'black' myrtle, of very dark berries, che begin to announce their next wither with the first wrinkles. And the white myrtle? It is commonly understood that obtained from the maceration of leaves and buds, that are harvested in spring, with a less sweet taste and an aroma more delicate and vaguely sharp. But be careful! There is also the white myrtle obtained from a "albino" variety of berries.

In the kitchen myrtle is traditionally used to flavor meat dishes. Pork first and then poultry: (hen in particular) e cacciagione, for example pheasant and quail. There are also recipes with rabbit and lamb. Typical cooking is roast but also lto lessatura: often, once boiled together with myrtle branches, the meats they are left to rest at least one day wrapped in leaves and berries.

The truth is that this aromatic plant is revealed amazing even with some seafood dishes. Unmatched i prawns with myrtle! In the Algherese recipe, which also includes other ingredients, the base is to heat the coarse salt with the myrtle leaves in a pan (at least 5 minutes) and then place the cleaned prawns on top (quickly, two minutes!). But the myrtle it can also flavor a slice of tuna rather that of another fish.

Then there are others creative recipes which provide for it. In the first courses, try the risotto and then advise you to try your hand at a pesto, made with its leaves beaten together with almonds, garlic, oil and pecorino.

There marmalade (loud!) and the honey of myrtle are delicious combined with cheeses, starting from pecorino, but also used in confectionery, for example with the shortcrust. And then: for years we hear again talk about the flowers on the plate. And why not those of myrtle, laid to embellish one fruit salad?

Carola Traverso Saibante
December 2019


Stay in! Cooks from all over the world return to the kitchen (for a day) – Italian Cuisine

Gelinaz, the global gastronomic event that for years has made the kitchens of chefs from all over the world exchange, this year says enough. Leave 148 chefs at home, cooking the recipes of others. To break down the boundaries and travel with the mind

38 countries, 138 restaurants, 148 chefs, 2200 recipes exchanged, 700 hours of preparation, 17 hours of time zone. From Ghana to the Philippines, from Camanini on Lake Garda to Rodolfo Guzman in Chile, for one night, all over the world, a menu will be prepared without borders, without borders, unique and unrepeatable.

Thirty years ago the walls were demolished, explains the presentation video of Gelinaz, showing images of Berlin 1989. Today we are reconstructing them, and the proclamations of Donald Trump, photos of clashes with the police and of violence in the squares. But sometimes, things change when you are still. So this year the event that for years has led chefs around the world to cook in other people's kitchens, launches a new provocation: stay in. No one will move, no flight, no hosted by an official visiting ambassador. The party will take place at home. The cooks will not travel anywhere but their recipes, yes.

On November 1st, each chef received 8 new random recipes from another of the participants, without knowing which restaurant and which chef. The "matrix" recipes were reinterpreted in a month by the resident chef, who became a remix, unique and unrepeatable. A Situationist tasting menu, cooked only for one evening and simultaneously all over the world, on December 3rd, for the coolest event in the world gastronomy.

We eat what's there, we don't ask for changes, additions, ingredients to remove or add. Tickets have been sold on the web. Virtually all sold out within a few days. We sit and share a world experiment with thousands of others. A closed box, improvising, exactly like the chef in the kitchen. GELINAZ is a performance, it does not aim to put dinner on the table. "GELINAZ! is a collective of chefs, created by chef, for chef ”, an experimental playground always looking for new languages ​​and unexplored collective expressions in search of the food of the future.

Everything was born in November 2005, by four chefs (Andoni Luis Aduriz, Massimo Bottura, Petter Nilsson, Fulvio Pierangelini) and over the years it has expanded to today, to 148 chefs involved and to four continents. GELINAZ has exchanged kitchens for dozens of chefs, incognito, making them cook for an audience unaware of who and what they would find in front of them. Rock’n’roll, irreverent, absolutely unpredictable, GELINAZ was the complete opposite of “four-handed dinners” and nonsense hosted, and now in fact doing vanguard once again, he said enough, and made the cooks return to their kitchens. Against the idea of ​​copyright, of borders, of walls, of travel by train, car, plane, against pollution and fatigue, one travels with the mind, without leaving home. To break down the borders.

Here is who participates in Italy. For tickets, here

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