Tag: plant

Caper plant: to show off on the balcony – Italian Cuisine

Caper plant: to show off on the balcony

Generally the desire comes on vacation. You look up at the beach or you take a sunny path, and you see it. Here it is, anchored to rocks or a Wall of stones, one caper plant two meters long, with fleshy leaves that move in the wind and that explosion of pinkish white flowers, with a tuft of violet peduncles inside. She's gorgeous. Capers we know how to buy them, but are we aware that we can also cultivate them? like this: it is grown on the balcony. Converting the terrace into a vegetable garden is increasingly common. With capers we transform it into a magical, fruity and semi-wild landscape spot. And then the home made capers are a satisfaction on the table, to put on under salt or pickle to flavor the food summer, but it is useless to deny that at a domestic level true virtue is Decorative.

There flowering it is very long, from June to September, and throughout this period a choice must be made: whether to opt for flowers or for the kitchen. Yes, because capers are nothing but i buds still closed. If the flowering is generous, you can move on by half and half: that is, leaving a few flowers on the plant and picking up some buds for tuna veal, pizza bruschette, sweet pepper pans, rabbit and more. Then, later in the season, i also arrive fruits, sayings cucunci, large and fleshy, summer protagonists in aperitif bars. And those can be seized at will, they are there on purpose.

But back to our plant. When you see it in nature, the first instinct is delinquent, yes, you want to climb and take it away. Absolutely not to do. You want to disfigure the landscape because it's uncivilized, you want it because it's probably illegal, you want it because then the plant dies.[IconfessIamwritingthatIdiditItookasmalloneafteradangerousclimbonarockyridgeinSardiniaandinreturnIhaveonlyscratchescutsandbruisesleftWellheisrightwithmyrenownedgreenthumbBeyondthefeelingsofguiltIunderstoodonething:sorobustinitsnaturalenvironmentregardlessofthesunandthedrynessoftheearththecaperplant[ConfessoiochestoscrivendodiaverlofattoNehopresaunapiccoladopounapericolosascalatasuuncostonerocciosoinSardegnaeincambiomisonorimastisolograffitaglielividiBenmistaconbuonapacedelmiorinomatopolliceverdeAldilàdeisensidicolpahocapitounacosa:cosìrobustanelsuoambientenaturaleincurantedelsoleedell’ariditàdellaterralapiantadelcapperowild it is very fragile].

To be able to grow it on the balcony you need to buy one of it greenhouse, or already used to living in jar and to feed on adequate fertilizers. It can be found in nurseries specialized in vegetables, in agricultural consortia, in those small local shops that sell hoes, seeds and salads, in the markets in the square.

Once the plan has been purchased (do not leave from seed, is a botanical undertaking almost impossible), here is how to proceed.

1) Put the jar in one sunny position or semi-up and leave it there for a few days (irrigating as in step 3).

2) Transfer the plant with its undamaged ground bread into crock pot larger and deeper, which can last a few years: the roots are delicate and it is good not to disturb them often. Put a layer of expanded clay on the bottom and fill with soft soil mixed with 30% of sand (sell them ready-made).

3) The caper does not like moisture: moisten little and often, avoiding that the earth is soaked or dry.

4) If possible, avoid the the saucer and surely remove it throughout the autumn and winter: stagnant water is lethal.

5) For a more abundant flowering you can ask in a greenhouse fertilizer adequate.

6) At the beginning of winter, when the leaves have fallen, pruned the branches by cutting them to a length of 8-10 cm.

7) In winter, those who live in a harsh climate zone (below 8 °) will have to to protect the plant: place straw on the ground and wrap the stems with non-woven fabric, or move the vase into the stairwell or into an attic.

8) In the period of rest, little irrigated, only when the earth dries up, because the roots absorb little water; an excess would make them rot.

9) From the point of view of the illnesses, the plant fears above all the snails, to be removed by hand if possible, also to avoid poisoning with pesticides if you want to eat the buds. It is known that the caper attracts ants, which do not damage it, but could be a problem in the home. Especially in this case, do not use insecticides. On the market (supermarkets and greenhouses) there are cans that contain bollards that can remove them.

10) Capers cannot be tasted as they are, just picked from the plant: they have a slightly intense and too herbaceous taste. You will have to treat them by putting them in salt or vinegar. The best technique is that of under salt, it preserves the taste better and is more practical: just put the buds in a bowl with plenty of coarse salt and stir occasionally for 3 days. Then pour it all into an airtight jar and keep it in the fridge.

Cristiana Cassé
21 July 2016
updated July 2019
by Carola Traverso Saibante


Vegan revolution in Brazil with the first plant eggs – Italian Cuisine

Vegan breakthrough in Brazil: one of the largest egg producers, by consumer demand, launches 100% vegetable eggs

Brazil, one of the largest egg producers in the world, seems to have reached a significant vegan turnaround. Recently, in fact, the leading company in the egg market, not only in Brazil but throughout South America, has recently launched a new product in all respects similar to the eggs, packaging included, but 100% vegan. What is the beginning of a change of food route, of a country increasingly oriented towards the reduction of animal proteins?

Vegan revolution in Brazil?

The growing worldwide attention to environmental and animal rights issues is gradually conditioning not only the mentality and eating habits of consumers, but also the trend of the food market. While increases the production and sale of vegetable and vegan alternatives, including the well-known Impossible Burger or the first plant-based can of tuna that has been on sale this year, even big brands and leading companies in the meat and dairy market are adapting to this new trend. It is the case, rather sensational, of the Grupo Mantiqueira, the first egg producer in Brazil, which has decided to adapt to the new needs of the market and to work on an alternative vegan food. For some time, in fact, even in what is the sixth largest egg producing country in the world with 2.2 billion eggs only in 2016, there is an air of change. A few months ago, following the Animal Equality survey on the dramatic conditions of caged chicken farms in Brazil, a survey was conducted that highlighted the growing demand from consumers for plant-based foods. In particular, 29% of the more than 9,000 Brazilian citizens interviewed stated that they would significantly reduce the consumption of meat, eggs and dairy products.

  n-ovo egg

The non-egg egg that the Brazilians expected

Grupo Mantiqueira, in order to face this social change and the growing demand for vegan food, has collaborated with the Good Food Institute (GFI) Brazil, a non-profit organization that promotes plant food through scientific and political initiatives. The end result was N.Ovo, or a 100% vegetable and vegan egg, made with pea starch and vegetable protein. This food, sold in the usual cardboard egg boxes, is their perfect substitute, ideal for example for preparations such as bread and cakes. The company said it was proud to be part of this national vegan turnaround and to have understood that there are much more sustainable ways to feed the world.

Photo: n-ovo_uovo vegan brasile_grupo mantiqueira_EmbalagemMarca.jpg

Temporary store at the Milan plant, Pasta Armando in a suitcase – Italian Cuisine


In Milan there is the yellow risotto that goes by tram and now there is also a temporary store just off the rails of the Central Station: is signed by Pasta Armando, an Irpinia company of excellence Italian food industry. The famous pasta in a suitcase, must-haves of Italian travelers, I fancy and spoil everything Italian, it's easier and more gourmet than ever! The store will remain open until June 14th.

"Irpinia, where I was born, is a beautiful and genuine land but far from the international tourist and business-travel routes – said Maria Gabriella De Matteis, of De Matteis Agroalimentare, which produces Pasta Armando – we then decided to bring some Irpinia to an important crossroads of these routes, or the Milano Centrale station ”.

174640And so from the lands that are now the province of Avellino, in Campania, arrives the pasta to pack in your suitcase, wheat of the Filiera Armando, conceived in practical travel packs and 2 kg boxes in the most popular formats semolina line and the whole organic line with oats, all produced by this company which is the result of an integrated production system between industry and agriculture, the so-called "Armando ecosystem": it is a sort of pact between the producer, the farmers and the agronomists, for a supply chain and a product of genuine quality.

The grain 100% Italian has a contents minimum protein content of 14.5% and from the fields go directly to the Mill: less than 10% of Italian pasta factories have their own mill and that of De Matteis Agroalimentare is among those. After the mill comes the pasta factory; the wheat is turned into pasta by mixing it with the pure water of the Irpinia springs. And there is aattention to the environment because thanks to the cogeneration plant that feeds the plant it is possible to produce in a manner sustainable. Finally, the integrated production process is fully traceable.

174643In addition to pasta, in the temporary store you can buy the Armando Beer, produced with the same durum wheat as the supply chain. And various tasty gadgets. Travelers will also find the personalized briefcase, limited edition, containing among other things a copy of the last successful book "Cacio & Pepe" by chef Alessandro Borghese, who attended the opening of the store on April 24th and whose recipes made with Pasta Armando are the protagonists of the TV program Alessandro Borghese Kitchen Sound, broadcast from Monday to Saturday on SkyUnoHD and SkyUno + 1.

IS174646d is really in the Borghese restaurant, "The Luxury of Simplicity", located in the heart of the Milan City Life, which the store's customers will be able to win a dinner for two participating in the “scratch and win” competition combined with this temporary shop initiative (there are also many beautiful pasta packages up for grabs!).

In the shop there is also an easier access to theArmando e-shop: isn't the space in your suitcase enough to take away an adequate number of packets of pasta and other Armando products? You can make orders directly from there for any quantity, type and format of product.

Aurora Quinto
May 2019


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