Tag: party

Even the supermarket wears the party dress – Italian Cuisine

Even the supermarket wears the party dress

At the end of the year, even the supermarkets wear the party dress. Not only do they become more sparkling and inviting, but they are also enriched with many gastronomic specialities which can only be purchased and tasted during this period of the year. Some chains have expanded their Christmas assortment to such an extent that they are dedicated to them temporary shop, that is "time shops" where they offer many delights to enrich the holiday menus, to make gourmet gifts and to indulge in a delicious sin of gluttony. Here's what's special for Christmas 2021.

Limited edition products
Is the menu changed to celebrate the end of the year holidays? Modern distribution knows this well and adapts by proposing exclusive products, which can only be purchased for a few weeks, from venison ham to Bresse chickens to feathered game (such as pheasant, mallard, goose and partridge) or lobster in plain sight. How does Despar which every year presents a Special Edition with a selection provided by small local producers, who through a craftsmanship, have created unique products, available in limited quantities and while stocks last. This year there are a dozen cheeses and cured meats, such as Lard from Mora Romagnola and Salame di Varzi Dop, Parmigiano Reggiano Dop aged 60 months and Schiena d’Asino aged in a cave.
Even the highest-end private labels are expanding their assortments ahead of the holidays, aiming to offer the best ratio between product quality and affordability. This year, for example, the range Deluxe by Lidl offers new specialties, such as cuttlefish ink lunettes with salmon filling or rum pralines with extra dark chocolate, while among the signature products Gourmet Aldi there are truffles stuffed with Marc de Champagne and Parmigiano Reggiano Dop aged 40 months.

"Turnkey" lunches
Some chains (such as Iper La grande i and long S) create real catalogs where they present all the proposals of the deli counter, with Christmas recipes and specialties, and a selection of fine meats and cheeses, giving the possibility to order an entire menu, from fresh pasta to roasts to desserts for the holidays, flawlessly crafted. "In recent years, our proposal has adapted to new trends, focusing on lighter dishes (for example by replacing the Russian salad of lobsters in plain sight with the Catalan of vegetables) and also offering vegetarian menus, such as lasagna with vegetable sauce" explains Francesca Scanarotti, coordinator of traditional fresh produce Iper La grande i.

Temporary shop
For distribution chains, and in particular for their high-end brands, the period from November to January represents the high season, as is August for the world of tourism. The offer becomes richer and more refined and the effort of the distribution chains is to make it known even outside their stores. Here, then, that the supermarket brand products explore new forms of sale. Like the temporary stores, "time" shops dedicated to parties, which are opened in the heart of the cities. As did, for the first time, Esselunga, which opened in Milan (via Spadari 4) a temporary store dedicated to Elisenda, his haute patisserie brand that offers the exclusive recipes created by the Cerea brothers in the starred restaurant Da Vittorio. At the "usual" range of products of cakes, mignon pastries, macarons, cream puff tartlets and cannoncini, filled at the moment, and the new line of spoon desserts, you can buy delicious panettone (the novelty is the marron glacé one) packaged in an elegant tin packaging. The temporary shop of Il Viaggiator Goloso, the top quality brand of Unes, returned to Milan this year too: in Vg Xmas Store of corso Venezia 6 you can choose from many gastronomic specialties and irresistible Christmas delicacies from the finest cured meats to the most sparkling bubbles. Do not miss the exclusive limited edition saffron panettone with which Il Viaggiator Goloso pays tribute to Milan and with which it contributes to the restoration work of the Duomo. And then many gastronomic baskets (also customizable and deliverable at home) with a wide selection of quality products, perfect for giving the authentic flavors of tradition.
In cagliari, the novelty of Christmas 2021 is the Christmas Store The Rose of tastes, in Piazza Yenne 6, the new private brand of food excellence developed by the Ibba Group (Crai brand). There you can find everything you need to make the holiday menus special: over 500 products, with a rich assortment of smoked salmon with beech wood and stuffed ravioli (among which those stuffed with Kobe beef and those with caviar stand out. and king crab) and a wide choice of wines, sparkling wines and champagnes. And, last but not least, the many panettone, including the one made by starred chef Gian Piero Vivalda, presented in an exclusive hatbox.

December 2021
Manuela Soressi

Modena in… party with Zampone and Cotechino Modena Igp – Italian Cuisine


A weekend, the one from 11 to 12 December 2021, with a very Christmas flavor – it should be said – Modena is celebrated as the capital of Zampone and Cotechino Modena Igp by hosting the tenth edition of the festival of the same name in Piazza Roma. The greedy anniversary is celebrated with two days full of … special ingredients: concerts, shows, special guests and, of course, the two absolute protagonists, Zampone and Cotechino Modena Igp.

Saturday 11 December / Special Edition 2021

The National Cooking Competition returns this year too "The Zampone and Cotechino Modena PGI of the chefs of tomorrow": A special edition that from 10.30 will see the students of the 6 winning institutes of past editions participate, with their recipes based on Zampone and Cotechino Modena Igp.

The showcooking will be accompanied by the live preparation of zamponi and cotechini, stuffed and tied by hand by expert butchers.

The young chefs will be judged once again, together with other experts and representatives of institutions, the three-starred chef Massimo Bottura which with its Osteria Francescana has won – the first Italian restaurant ever – the title of Number One in the world twice (2016 and 2018) in the illustrious list drawn up by 'The World's best 50 Restaurants Awards'.


The competition "The Zampone and Cotechino Modena PGI of the chefs of tomorrow"Aims to enhance and stimulate the creativity of young cooks: each class will participate with its own recipe, using the originality, competence and unscrupulousness with which, in previous editions, it deserved the victory. Creations that have amazed and enthralled such as the Zampastiera (or the typical Neapolitan sweet marries the fragrance of the Zampone), the Cous cous of Cotechino, the Tartare of Cotechino and scampi, the Zamburger, the Rizampbollita or the Cubo di Cotechino Modena Igp and heart of Chestnut.

New ways to enjoy these two excellence of the territory in an original, tasty and fun way.

“Every year the kids amaze us with their ingenuity and creativity and it is increasingly difficult to choose who to reward. This, for them, is an important stage, because it puts them in front of a competition with other schools and because Massimo Bottura is judging their performance. Their emotion in front of the great chef is palpable”- affirms the President of the Zampone and Cotechino Modena Igp Consortium, Paolo Ferrari.

Sunday 12 December / Excellent tastings

To end the weekend in beauty and taste, from 10 the Consorzio Zampone and Cotechino Modena Igp, in collaboration with Piacere Modena – GUSTI.A.MO la solidarity, will accompany visitors in a gastronomic journey to the roots of the Modenese PDO and PGI products, ambassadors of stories, people and the culture of the territory.


In compliance with the containment measures of the pandemic, it will be possible to access the tensile structure in Piazza Roma from 10.30, subject to availability and after checking the Green Pass and measuring the temperature.

Info and program: 059/208672 www.piaceremodena.it

The complete program is available on www.modenaigp.it

The event will be broadcast live on TRC TV (Emilia-Romagna digital terrestrial channel 11) and on ER 24 (Sky channel 518).

December 2021

Francesca Tagliabue

Christmas: how to organize a greeting party with friends – Italian Cuisine

Christmas: how to organize a greeting party with friends

More intimate than in a club, more informal than in a restaurant, the house party with friends to exchange greetings and gifts is the right solution for those who love to receive during the holidays. Whether it is an established habit of yours, or you are thinking about it this year for the first time, here is the handbook for an impeccable organization.

The right formula
Not an aperitif, not a dinner placé but a happy medium: the ideal formula for this type of invitation is the one that, in the seventies, was called cocktail party. In fact, the expression was born even earlier, at the beginning of the last century, with a rigid code of rules and labels which, fortunately, has been lost in favor of an easy and relaxed atmosphere, perfect for celebrating. The watchword is freedom: for the host, that of choosing and arranging the most disparate of foods and drinks; for those who participate, to use it at will, without the constraint of a seat at the table and with the possibility of wandering, chatting, toasting with whoever you want.

At what time?
The informality of the occasion is evident from the time of the day. For this type of reception, in fact, it is generally "open" from 18.30-19 until 21. This means that guests can arrive when they prefer, starting at the indicated time. Courtesy that will be appreciated by those who, like everyone, have to navigate through a thousand different commitments these days. It being understood that it is good manners, if invited, confirm with a rough timetable.

A warm atmosphere
Before even thinking about drink lists and menus, it is necessary set up the house. There are those who place a small Christmas decoration right on the intercom in the street, those who display a themed doormat outside the door, decorated with garlands and festoons. But of course the interiors are the ones on which to best apply your skills such as interior designer! Starting with the kitchen – who knows why! – at all parties it is intended to welcome numerous guests. A classic are the decorations hanging on the window frames: lights and sparkling balls to contrast with the darkness of the night, writings and drawings made with white sprays that simulate snow and candles placed in strategic corners will make this environment warm and welcoming. Greater care, of course, in the living room: if the tree and the crib are inevitable, there are many corners that can be decorated. The chairs can be embellished with ribbons and bows. The shelves of the bookcase, the television cabinet or the bar cabinet light up with the light of candles or LED "firefly" threads and can accommodate Santa Claus figurines, sparkling balls, pine branches, golden pine cones and so on. suggest your fantasy. It is forbidden to turn on powerful chandeliers, the ideal solution are wall lights and floor lamps (even "stolen" for the occasion from other rooms in the house!), Scattered here and there and oriented towards the walls and ceiling, to create a soft and suffused light. A low volume compilation of Christmas music will be the discreet soundtrack of the event.

What to cook?
The menu must take its cue from typical holiday preparations. Bet above all on appetizers: those cold, like salmon or pâté canapes, they can go out at the beginning of the party; of those hot, like vol au vent, provide two or three trays to be baked as guests arrive, to always serve them at the right temperature. Can't miss a nice selection of cured meats and cheeses, accompanied by fruit mustard and vegetables, even better if homemade. Always spot on savory pies which have the advantage of being good hot, lukewarm or at room temperature. They are inspired by Christmas chicken salads, hen or capon to be completed with pomegranate grains, raisins, pine nuts, walnuts and, why not, apple or orange wedges. Also plan one or two hot dishes, to be released around dinner time, when all the guests have arrived. Baked pasta o lasagna will have been prepared in advance and will only be heated at the last moment. Like meat, it is better to provide something that does not require the use of a knife. Always guess the fried meatballs (also good cold) or stewed, but also a goulash or a stew a morsels little ones, who will be able to stay warm on the stove at minimum until the moment of reaching the table, perhaps accompanied by a steaming (quick-cooking!) polenta. If you prefer to serve some fish, think of sautéed prawns or scampi (already shelled), or swordfish or tuna rolls, which are easily cut even with a fork. As a side dish, prepare a pan of carrots, fennel, pumpkin, celeriac, cabbage, all in pieces and wedges, brushed with oil, salted, peppered and baked for half an hour at 200 °.

For the recipes, of course you can browse our website among our selections of canapes, savory pies, baked pasta and stews.

And the desserts?
No, we haven't forgotten them. And they can't be missing. Starting with the traditional ones. Panettone and pandoro they are served on pre-cut trays, in slices divided in half to satisfy those who "I just a small piece"! They can be accompanied with sauces and creams, in large bowls with serving spoons. Already divided into flakes and slices they will offer themselves nougat, panforti and other unleavened sweets. Backsplashes and trays will be able to accommodate Marron glace, chocolates, ricciarelli and various pastries.

How to serve?
THE finger food they are the right solution if the number of guests is limited to 8-10 people, considering that they are in a single portion, it is also necessary to provide for some encores and each one needs its own container. There are many suitable containers on the market: if possible, choose them in recyclable materials such as paper or materials compostable (it is indicated on the packaging). But you can also use cocktail cups, shot glasses, coffee cups and saucers for personalized and creative arrangements. If the guests are numerous, the ideal is the classic buffet with the dishes arranged on trays and serving plates, each with its own serving cutlery. For hygienic reasons, it is better to say goodbye to various chips and pretzels arranged in bowls from which guests serve themselves. If you really want to offer them, you can arrange them in individual bowls or cellophane bags, even mixing the qualities. Flake cheeses and cured meats can be placed on large cutting boards, with serving tongs. One or more baskets will accommodate small sandwiches or rustic loaves cut into cubes, always with their tongs.

What crockery?
To arrange plates, cutlery, glasses and napkins, provide an area of ​​the buffet table or, better still, a separate support surface. If the tone of the reception is chic, you can take out the dishes from the "good" services. But also among the products disposable now there are many very nice and elegant Christmas-themed proposals, to be chosen always with a keen eye on theeco-sustainability and of course dispose of properly!

What to drink?
We leave this chapter for last even if a glass is the first thing to offer to every guest, as soon as he crosses the threshold of the house. You are never wrong with the bubbles: whether they are Prosecco, Franciacorta, Trentodoc or another of the excellent classic method sparkling wines produced throughout Italy. If the start of the party coincides with aperitif time, you can serve classic cocktails such as Negroni and Spritz, also prepared in large jugs, so as not to have to dose the different drinks from time to time. Don't forget a non-alcoholic drink. Very Christmas are the pomegranate, cranberry, grape and apple juices, always served in jugs, which you can flavor by leaving them for a few hours to infuse with cloves, cinnamon, citrus peel and star anise. THE white and red wines they will agree to the different dishes. And at the time of the desserts, sweet it will also be the sparkling wine: from the classic Asti Docg to the Extra Dry and Dry bubbles, despite the name the most sugary ones, which perfectly marry the fragrance of Christmas leavened products.

December 2021

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