Tag: Luigi

The story of Luigi Fassio and Amaro Mentha – Italian Cuisine

The story of Luigi Fassio and Amaro Mentha

Can a liqueur born in the early twentieth century rise again and have a whole new life in 2020? The answer is yes. Thanks to the brilliant idea of ​​Monica Buzio, great-granddaughter of a liquorist and bar manager in Turin in the years from 1910 to 1957

The liquorist in question is Luigi Fassio, passionate about herbs and macerations.
Among the great-grandfather's old memorabilia, Monica also found some notebooks, two old notebooks from 1911 full of original liqueur recipes he created.
From one of these recipes was bornBitter Mentha.

The notebooks

The great-grandfather of Monica Buzio he was a very active person: in 1905 he opened his first bar in San Salvario and after some time he graduated as a liquorist. In 1910 he inaugurated his second bar in Corso Vittorio Emanuele II, next to Palazzo Rossi di Montelera. Lover of billiards, under the bar he creates a large billiard room which, apparently, was the largest billiard room in Italy.
With the liquorist diploma, Fassio could finally produce his liqueurs to be offered to the Turin clientele and every idea and thought was noted in those two famous recipe books.

This is how Monica found herself studying and getting passionate about those notebooks, the 110 recipes including liqueurs, vermouth, rosoli, creams, elixirs of long life. There is even a very rare Coca Elixir, which for 50 liters of product included 500 coca leaves in maceration. An unthinkable recipe for our times.
The alcohol level of the liqueurs, the doses and the percentages of product were very high and it is surprising how they survived by drinking these preparations.

The great grandfather continued to open premises and then sell them when they started to perform well. His fun, his passion, was to design, build, start the business and then sell it once it became profitable. In all the premises he opened in Turin, Luigi Fassio had a personal distillery at his disposal, where he prepared the liqueurs and created recipes.

Monica's story

Two years ago, after studying her great-grandfather's notebooks and recipes for some time, Monica feels that she must follow up on that precious work. So, after careful research, he decides to contact Fulvio Piccinino, one of the top vermouth and liqueur experts in Italy.
Piccinino directs her to Chieri, to the Vermouth Il Reale factory, which still works in an artisanal way. The Aromiere del Reale guarantees that the original recipe and its quality will be maintained during the production of the amaro.

The Amaro Mentha

After some tests and tests to calibrate the product, in 2019 it was born Bitter Mentha.
The high quality of the product, its craftsmanship, prompted Monica not to entrust the sale of the Amaro Mentha to a distributor, but to deal with it personally.
Momentarily abandoning the shoes of the translator, her main activity, Monica Buzio dresses those of the commercial manager of the Amaro Mentha and begins to propose it in the most famous clubs in Turin. And so, not without some difficulty and distrust, Amaro Mentha is now on the menu at the Ristorante del Cambio, in some historic Turin shops such as Latteria Bera and Damarco wine shop and grocery store, in three starred restaurants in Liguria.
At the moment 1000 bottles are produced, but the goal is to reach at least double this year.
A beautiful and positive story of female entrepreneurship, a story that deserves to be told. Monica has revealed to us that there are other fabulous recipes in her thoughts, her homage to a brilliant and unique man who was her great grandfather.

Amaro Mentha 1911 is obtained from alcohol of agricultural origin with the addition of caramel, natural flavors and infusion of different botanicals. In addition to the mint of Piedmontese origin, it is infused with other spices and aromatic herbs, such as, among the most important, aloe, angostura, bitter orange, sweet orange, cinchona, coriander quass, mace and gentian.

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Spaghetti with pesto (and green apple) by Luigi Taglienti – Italian Cuisine

Spaghetti with pesto (and green apple) by Luigi Taglienti

A classic of Ligurian cuisine, with the touch of an author. The starred chef of the Milanese Lume adds some blades of the fruit in the finish. «A touch of freshness and acidity to enhance a dish that we all have in our hearts, he explains

Luigi Taglienti, chef of the starry Lume in Milan, is the best interpreter of contemporary Ligurian cuisine, because thanks to his great technique and innate elegance, he is revisiting and enriching many emblematic dishes of the region where he was born, in particular the Ponente. In the refined tasting 'Taglienti tells Taglienti' there are Fried morone fish with salmoriglio and the Quintessence of a Genoese touch. As in the paper they sprout dishes that smell like Liguria (sea and land) which Scampi, Albenga artichokes, lemon and Italian perfumes; his' Pansotto or herb salad, boiled whitebait and walnut sauce; the refined Gray rabbit, purple prawns, borage, Taggia olives, Ligurian sauce.

But we at Taglienti asked for something more simple, greedy. A dish that all Italians know and represents a symbol of Liguria. In the original recipe of the Spaghetti with pesto sauce, evidently the ingredients have a very strong territorial connotation: the basil is from Prà, the pine nuts from Pisa, the Nostrale d'Alpe (typical cheese of the Cuneo Alps) takes the place of the classic pecorino, the garlic is that of Vessalico, grown in eleven municipalities in the Arroscia Valley (Imperia) and Slow Food Presidium. But following the preparation of the Savonese cook, they will be equally good and if you have trofie better still. The author's touch? "The green apple slices give freshness and an acidity that makes the dish lighter and more pleasant. And be careful to create a real smooth cream, neither too liquid nor too compact: it must wrap spaghetti "advises the chef.

Spaghetti with pesto: recipe

Ingredients for 4 people

300 g spaghetti
00 g basil leaves
30 g of pine nuts
20 g of hazelnuts
20 g of pecorino
20 g of Parmigiano Reggiano
½ clove of garlic
1 green apple
extra virgin olive oil


With the aid of a blender, cold-emulsify the dried fruit with the oil by adding Parmesan and pecorino. Add the basil leaves and emulsify until a green flag creamy pesto is obtained. Keep in the cold. Cook the spaghetti in a medium-sized saucepan with salted boiling water. taking care to keep cooking al dente, drain and season in a bowl with pesto. Place the spaghetti inside a deep plate and finish with some green apple slices.

The wine of the week: Dogliani 2018 Poderi Luigi Einaudi – Italian Cuisine

The company founded by the President of the Republic, and today carried out by the fourth generation of the family, signs a versatile red on the table and with an exceptional value for money

Luigi Einaudi did not come from a rich family; he made sacrifices and in 1909 he bought the San Giacomo estate in Dogliani, his mother's birthplace. Over the years, he managed to purchase other plots in the most suitable areas for the production of Dolcetto and then also of the Barolo. He managed his land in a modern way and with a great ethical sense he always thought of the well-being of the people who worked for him. The attachment to his peasant origins never failed, not even when he sat at the Quirinale as President of the Italian Republic, and succeeded in conveying his values ​​to the following generations as well: just think of the Einaudi family as one of the greatest Italian publishers, his son Giulio and a famous musician and composer, his nephew Ludovico.

Even when the numerous institutional commitments kept him away from his lands, a harvest never failed and he was the first to bottle the Dolcetto and make it known beyond the local borders; so it is not surprising that Poderi Luigi Einaudi was among the promoters of the long journey that in 2006 led to the birth of Docg Dogliani, to protect red wines produced in these areas with dolcetto grapes.

Today it is managed by Matteo Sardagna, the fourth generation of the family, and production has reached about 320,000 bottles a year. The most representative wine of home style remains the vintage Dogliani, a territorial red, very friendly to the table and offered with a quality-price ratio that has few rivals. Ruby red in color, it has aromas of red fruits and a cool, cool sip with an almond finish. It is so smooth and well done that it has conquered even the Americans: with the 2015 vintage it ranked 38th in the ranking of the 100 best wines in the world of the prestigious magazine Wine Spectator.

A visit to the winery is highly recommended not only to find the places that were dear to Luigi Einaudi and Cesare Pavese and to taste the Dogliani directly between the hills where it was born, but also because in the old family summer residence a relay which is a real haven of peace (and breakfast is unforgettable!).

Why now: it is a very friendly wine of the table and you will be able to combine it with seafood and mountain dishes.

As did: the grapes come from the vineyards of Madonna delle Grazie, San Luigi and San Giacomo. Ferments and refines in steel and cement.

To combine with: first courses with meat and cheese sauces; white meat and vitello tonnato; to try with the beccafico sardines.

Serve it at: 14-16 ° C

Price: 9 euros

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