Sal De Riso: 5 rules for choosing panettone – Italian Cuisine

Sal De Riso: 5 rules for choosing panettone

We interviewed the pastry chef from Campania who won the Panettone World Championship 2021 to get his personal advice on choosing and matching the classic leavened product for the holidays.

From his laboratory in Minori, in the heart of the Amalfi Coast, the pastry chef Sal De Riso has now literally conquered the world: in fact, he is the best second panettone of the Panettone World Championship 2021, Second edition of the biennial competition dedicated to the famous Lombard leavened cake. On the podium, two other masters from Campania: Aniello Di Caprio of the Pasticceria Lombardi of Maddaloni (Caserta), second, and Giuseppe Mascolo by El Sombrero di Visciano (Naples), third. A victory that confirms the trend: panettone is increasingly a national and international heritage. Not by chance the three winning panettone will be presented in November at Hong Kong's Central Market. The occasion will be an event that will intersect the culture and history of Italy with that of Asia, organized by the company La Vin Investment Group Limited.

A golden year, on the other hand, for Italian pastry after the victory at the World Cup. Moreover, Sal De Riso is one of the founders of the Academy of Master Yeast and Italian Panettone and president of AMPI.

We reached him to ask him how with some tricks (as an expert) you can choose an artisan panettone really worthy of the name. And what, of course, does yours have in store for Christmas.

Sal, how do you feel after this umpteenth victory?
«I confess that it has been a great satisfaction for me who for years have been producing artisan panettone. However, I always remember that I learned the technique in Lombardy. Then I tried to work with it by developing a mixture and a technique of my own .

«With a much slower leavening than what the Lombard masters taught me. I focused a lot on the aromatic part: having wonderful citrus fruits at our disposal, then I added the vanilla beans from Haiti and the result was an aromatic bouquet that distinguishes me .

Other secrets?
«The leavening. The real artisanal panettone is made with live mother yeast refreshed 3 times a day and certainly not the powder one. The yeast processing goes from 5 in the morning to 17, its Ph must be close to 4 / 4.5 of acidity. Then the first evening dough is made based on water, sugar, a little malt, a whole flour rich in wheat germ, rich in fiber since, for years, I have also been working on the nutritional part of my desserts. We combine fresh butter and egg yolk. Once the dough is made, we put it to rise until the following morning at about 28 ° C: the dough triples, then at 5 in the morning we start with the second dough. Add sugar, other flour, Italian acacia honey, other yolk and reset. Then we decline the various tastes. Finally we put the dough in the appropriate pirouettes and let it rise 24 hours instead of the standard 8 at about 18-28 degrees. If we want, the secret is (also) slowness .

What's new this year?
«My new panettone is called Chocolaty: in the dough there is already 70% dark chocolate and then vanilla candied apricot wedges from Vesuvius ".

Any idea to serve it?
«Try it with a vanilla sauce, a scoop of Moscato ice cream for example and some berries.

What will your Christmas menu be like?
«I will stay on the Amalfi Coast because I work until the 24th: then I'll treat myself to a big family lunch. Our Christmas menu never misses the escarole stuffed with anchovies, capers and olives: it's a spectacular thing! And then the fried cod paired with salty panettone .

Salted Panettone?
«Oh yes, a delight: I never put it into production and at the moment I make a few limited pieces of it. The idea came to me from a collaboration with quality vegetable producers on the Sele plain. Everyone asks me: next year you will find it! Inside there are candied and semi-candied vegetables which I combine with papacelle (small, red and fleshy local peppers usually preserved in vinegar), anchovies from Cetera, capers and olives: it's a wonderful idea for Christmas. Given the farmers' love for their work, I renamed this creation The peasant in love".

What's new for 2022?
«I will open my bracioleria, again in Minori, by Easter: it will be the first restaurant of this type on the Amalfi Coast. The works, due to Covid, have been postponed a bit; but there we are .

Do you open a restaurant?
«It is actually a comeback: as a young man I worked for 8 years in the kitchens of a restaurant. First as an apprentice and then as a match chef. Finally I opened my own patisserie. An experience that, I must say, helped me a lot to better understand the combinations, to form my personal thoughts on food. In fact, over the years I have always made savory pastries. Then in 2016, in Minori, I expanded to a bistro with a small selection of typical traditional dishes: eggplant parmigiana, rice sartù, potato gattò and Ndunderi, typical of Minori .

What is it about?
«Of delicious gnocchi prepared with 70% ricotta and 30% flour, grated cheese and basil, which is usually served with a sausage sauce, but which we change according to the season. Porcini mushrooms and chestnuts, for example, in this period. During the summer, however, we dress them with vegetables from the garden ".

Artisan Panettone: how to choose it (and recognize it)

Yes, but how do you choose, in general, a good artisan panettone? And how does it distinguish itself from the industrial ones? This is how the master answered us

The proof of the cut
«When it is good, the panettone has a dough with an elongated and oval alveolation. This is also an index of digestibility .

"You must immediately smell a celestial and citrus scent, but also of vanilla: in the artisan one, berries are used, certainly not the aroma. Find out if there are small black dots in the dough. If there are quality candied fruit they will be soft and shiny, sweet and aromatic on the palate. In my classic panettone I put 30 kilos of candied fruit per 100 of dough .

Softness equal to freshness
«A good panettone must be moist and soft at the right point. This is an indication of freshness, but also of correct leavening. For my panettone it takes a total of 4 days of processing .

"It must have a beautiful straw yellow color: it is the index of the presence of fresh egg yolk, a truly fundamental ingredient. Also for eggs I rely on biological suppliers in the area: the richness of the simplest raw materials makes a great product .

The "virtuous" label and the shelf life of the product
«The first thing to do is to read the ingredients that must speak clearly and be noble, as well as not too numerous: from flour to butter, from sugar to vanilla. Avoid products where you find mono and diglycerides associated with industrial products. Finally, in the artisan panettone it is essential to understand the duration: it usually expires after 60-70 days. If it lasts 8 months or more, it is not artisanal .

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Can we go to a restaurant at Christmas? Here are the rules of the Dpcm – Italian Cuisine

Can we go to a restaurant at Christmas? Here are the rules of the Dpcm

Transfers, lunches with relatives, lunches at the restaurant: what can be done and what not on the holidays that await us

Rules, doubts, questions, protests: more than the previous ones, the Decree of the President of the Council of Ministers of 3 December, nicknamed Dpcm Christmas, has raised quite a few discussions. In fact, there is the Christmas: the opportunity or not of shops to stay open to sell some gifts, the possibility of restaurants to welcome guests or not during holidays, the desire, feasible or not, to celebrate this anniversary with our loved ones. According to the content of the Dpcm, so what can we do and what not? We are all trying to understand better and, especially with regard to the highlight days of the holidays, Christmas, Boxing Day and New Year, we are waiting to see if, between now and 25 December, something can change.

Travel prohibited

Regarding travel, the Dpcm, valid from 4 December 2020 to 15 January 2021, says that throughout the national territory I'm travel prohibited (except for those for proven work needs, situations of need or for health reasons) from 10pm to 5am the next day. For New Year the curfew time widens from 10pm on December 31st 2020 to 7am on January 1st 2021.

The 25, 26 December 2020 and 1 January 2021, throughout the country, in addition to the time limit, there will also be the territorial one (as already happens in the red and orange areas): in these days it is any movement between municipalities is prohibited, except those motivated by proven work needs or situations of necessity or for health reasons.

Can we celebrate at home with relatives?

The ban on moving between municipalities is intended above all to avoid reunions between relatives and friends who do not live in the same house on holidays. In fact, the Dpcm reads: «… with regard to private homes, it is strongly recommended to not to receive people other than cohabitants, except for work needs or situations of necessity and urgency ".

Can I go to a restaurant at Christmas?

The rules for the restaurants provide that in the yellow zone activities can stay open from 5 to 18, while after 6 pm the consumption of food and drinks in public places and open to the public is prohibited. The consumption at the table, it is specified, is allowed for a maximum of four people per table, unless they are all cohabitants.

So if I live in one yellow zone I can go for lunch at the restaurant, also to Christmas, Boxing Day and New Year, but only with my cohabitants or at most three other non cohabitants.

In orange and red zoneinstead, the restaurants will continue to be closed, even on holidays, but you can order take-away or at home. In fact, catering with home delivery is always permitted in compliance with the hygiene and health regulations for both packaging and transport activities, as well as catering with take-away up to 10 pm, with a ban on consumption on site or nearby.

New Year's Eve at the hotel? Dinner in the room

As for the catering in hotels it is always allowed for guests without time limits, with one exception: from 6 pm on 31 December 2020 until 7 am on 1 January 2021 is only allowed with room service. So if I stay in a hotel on New Year's Eve, I can have dinner, but I can enjoy it exclusively in my room and not in the hotel restaurant.

Sustainable tourism: the 10 rules of the ideal hotel – Italian Cuisine

Sustainable tourism: here are the 10 rules that the ideal eco-sustainable hotel should follow. From organic and 0 km cooking, to recycling to energy saving

Thanks to the growing attention in recent years towards ecology and environmental sustainability, tourism is also making great strides in this sense. In fact, it has been recorded that, both in Italy and in the rest of the world, the sustainable tourism sector is gradually growing and more and more hotels are embracing this new trend. There is still a long way to go but, between real renovations, progressive changes and small adjustments regarding consumption and services offered, it is expected that theecotourism become an increasingly consolidated reality in the future. It is also hoped that more and more accommodation facilities will be built following eco-sustainable criteria and measures and that the incentives concerning this sector will also increase, as well as the demand from travelers. But which ones requirements must own a hotel to be considered ecofriendly?

1) Sustainable structure and use of energy from renewable sources

Let's start with some indications regarding the building, which ideally should have been built according to the criteria of the green building and of bioarchitecture. In practice, the structure to be "green" should have been built with non-polluting and easy to dispose of materials. In terms of electricity savings, it should have both integrated natural thermal insulators and 100% renewable sources of energy (such as photovoltaic panels) and thermal energy (such as solar panels). There are also many small additional precautions that the hotelier can put into practice: from the use of lighting systems to low consumption light bulbs to the presence detectors in the rooms to regulate and minimize the consumption of electricity.

2) Water saving

Fighting water waste is one of the key commitments in the management of an eco hotel. For example, customers can be informed and made responsible with notices regarding, for example, the change of linen and sheets; doing so not only significantly reduces water consumption, but also that of detergents and electricity. For the water saving It is also possible to install mixers on taps and showers to reduce the flow of water, as well as purchase models of dishwashers and washing machines capable of regulating the amount of water required.

3) Eco-friendly and low environmental impact furniture

L'eco-furniture consists in the use of furniture and furnishings made with natural materials, such as untreated wood and pressed cardboard, which are not only recycled, but also recyclable. For extra safety, you can buy FSC (Forest Stewardship Council) certified furniture, furnishings and even floors.

4) Reduction of waste and pollutants

To be 100% eco-sustainable, a hotel must first of all be plastic-free; this means, for example, replacing single-dose containers of soaps with dispensers or using food dispensers for juices and breakfast cereals. It is also important to buy only ecological cleaning products and use recycled paper (from toilet paper to informative paper material).

5) Separate collection

There waste separation it must not only be present in areas of the hotel reserved for staff or common areas such as halls and gardens, but also inside the rooms, with special bins. In addition to separate collection, the environmental impact can be reduced by choosing non-polluting and "disposable" materials.

6) Fight against food waste

Even the catering within the hotel must comply with rules for the protection of the environment. For example, it is important that the portions are not too large, so da do not produce too many food scraps. You can also consider collaborating with associations and initiatives that deal with food donations. Finally, you can select vegetarian or vegan ingredients that have a lower environmental impact than others.

7) Organic menu and possibly zero km

The choice of fresh, natural, seasonal, organic and zero km food is critical. Preferring this type of food is an ecological choice, but also a way to enhance and make the territory known and to promote the well-being of customers.

8) Presence of plants and gardens

There presence of trees and plants inside not only the hotel purifies the air and absorbs CO2, but transmits ecological values ​​to guests and makes them feel in close contact with nature. Whenever possible, it is also possible to make available to customers external usable spaces such as thematic or tropical gardens, nature trails, natural relaxation areas with swings and hammocks or even tree houses.

9) Promote and favor sustainable mobility

THE means of transport to reach the hotel can have a significant impact on the environmental impact. It is therefore the responsibility of the hotel to indicate to visitors which public transport is available, any taxi and car sharing services in the area and, if necessary, offer a free transfer service. Once at their destination, guests can make their stay as pleasant and ecological as possible by offering a bicycle rental service.

10) Excursions and ecological recreational activities

The latter, more than a rule, is a recommendation. Being a sustainable hotel also means having theopportunity to raise awareness and entertain guests at the same time with activities that have to do with nature and the environment. Local ecotourism excursions could therefore be organized or advertised, but also courses, initiatives and events that have to do with the environment, such as creative recycling or natural cuisine, could be proposed.

Let us remember that, in addition to the eco-friendly offer of hotels, travelers must also have an active role of participation and responsibility, thus making a significant contribution to the sustainable tourism sector.

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