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In addition to the scent of bergamot – Italian Cuisine

"I represent the third generation of a family of farmers since 1951. My parents had a plot of four hectares with plants of orange tarot but, given the economic trend, in 2015 we have grubbed up citrus fruits and planted a thousand bergamots for most of the fantastic cultivar quality ": this is Mario Menniti, twenty-eight of Monasterace who, with a degree in Natural Sciences, took over the reins of the family business, giving life to Bergamore to build a future by enhancing its territory.

Bergamot, not only for essences

Just in the area governed by the law for the protected designation of origin "Bergamotto di Reggio Calabria – essential oil" PDO, an area that has always had an agricultural vocation, operating in the production, processing and marketing of bergamot, the young Calabrese decided to place attention to respect for nature with its wonderful colors and fragrances, always seeking the authenticity of ancient flavors. “When we talk about bergamot we immediately think of essential oils used, as a fixative, by the best perfumers around the world. But, as has been discovered in recent times, the juice of the fruit has natural healing properties, for this reason it has begun to take into consideration also the pulp and not just the peel. With this awareness, in March of this year, I started to realize the idea of ​​marketing the fresh fruit "continues Menniti stressing that the natural cure-all the green gold of Calabria is defined precisely because of its uniqueness, as it is cultivated only in the province of Reggio Calabria, on the coast that goes from Scilla to Monasterace, by virtue of the quality of the alluvial and clay soils.
Bergamore was established recently but Menniti already has clear ideas: he has collaborated with the Calabrian Nutritionist Biology Association to plan together activities that promote bergamot throughout the entire national territory; on July 29, presented the project as part of an event organized by Coldiretti Giovani Impresa in Catanzaro Lido; aims to provide restaurateurs, confectioners but also many private consumers, convinced that bergamot should be increasingly present in the shopping list of Italians.

How to adopt a bergamot tree

"Our first activity, launched on 1 July, is Adopt a bergamot tree: we offer the adoption of a bergamot tree, guaranteeing the customer to receive the precious and protected fruit. Paying an annual fee, including any shipping and tree maintenance costs, you can order a 7 or 10 kg bergamot box, choosing to personify the tree with a name but also if you pick the fruit in December, January and February or directly receive the fresh product ”explains the Calabrian entrepreneur showing the handcrafted poplar plywood box from the“ Menniti and Mercuri ”carpentry, among other things presented to the Catanzaro Design Week for its innovativeness and sustainability as it , during disposal, it can be used as a planter or object holder.
The adoption can take place directly on the site, where it is possible to find the nutraceutical section with information on the properties and benefits of bergamot as an essential ingredient in the pharmaceutical, food and cosmetic sectors, but also a blog with sweet and savory recipes bergamot base, curated by chef Valentina Amato, founder of the Il Piatto Giusto cooking school.
"We are ready to expand and discover other worlds like that of cosmetics but we also aim at foreign marketing, especially in Asian markets that are attentive to the use of bergamot in aromatherapy and in the prevention of depression and Alzheimer's disease", concludes Menniti, declaring himself satisfied with the success achieved so far: 250 bergamot trees adopted from various parts of Italy, in just two months.

by Gabriella Cantafio

how to bring the scent of memories to the table – Italian Cuisine

A great classic of Christmas cuisine is fresh pasta. Do not be scared, the recipe is simple and can be prepared without too much difficulty (even for those who are vegan or allergic to gluten)

3, 2, 1 … is Christmas. Even this year it arrived without us noticing it, this year catches us unprepared, despite the good intentions and agendas full of lists of things to do and dates in which (we should have) to do them. Gifts, small or large, greeting cards, phone calls, menus. Difficult to put a green tick on everything, every year we tell ourselves that the next we will make it, and instead …

Surprise with tradition

Instead, even this year we were able to test ourselves with that tutorial to make a wreath of Finnish pine branches to hang at the entrance door, or to write the menu by hand to impress our guests after following the whole autumn a calligraphy course. But this does not mean we will not astonish them. Why amazement at Christmas lives in perfumes, memories and traditions. Even the eye wants its part, of course, but an egg drowned in a fountain of flour sprinkled with new oil … this is the scent of tradition, this is the best gift to do, to make and do.

Fresh Christmas pasta.

Christmas pasta: it takes fresh!

You can improvise the appetizers. But pasta, at Christmas, it's fresh! More difficult to say than done, it takes some 'time available, but the Christmas holidays exist on purpose to give us the magic of that time that at another time of the year seems impossible to find, and that when there' it is, it leaves indelible memories. Perhaps that of fresh pasta is the oldest recipe in the world, but on its side also has the fact of being back of great fashion, and – do not say no, without having tried – even one of the easiest in the world.

10 first courses based on fresh pasta for Christmas lunch

How to prepare fresh pasta for Christmas

Let's start from the beginning: an egg for every ounce of flour, in a fountain, add oil and salt and start to incorporate the flour with the wet ingredients using a fork and then finish the process by hand until you get a compact dough that will rest an hour in the refrigerator before you can be re-worked. At this point roll it out with a rolling pin on a wooden surface – in jargon, pastry – which is generally handed down from generation to generation and which must always be floured before use. The pasta is ready to be machine-driven and thus obtain the preferred thickness and format, which can be thrown into boiling salted water and brought to the table after a few minutes.

How to store it

If you prefer to prepare a little bit stocks, or organize yourself in advance for Christmas, you can follow this process until the last step and, instead of cooking it, put the pasta in freezer on a paper tray covered with flour. After one hour the pasta will be ready to be transferred from the tray to a bag for food to be stored in the freezer for up to a few months, without taking up too much space. If instead it is a matter of a few hours between preparation and cooking, for example, if you wake up at dawn on Christmas morning to be able to prepare everything in time, it will be enough to pay attention to keep the pasta in a quite dry environment to prevent the paste from getting wet, breaking or sticking.

Fresh alternative pastas

As traditions must make everyone happy, here are also recipes and tutorials to prepare fresh pasta in a vegan and gluten-free variant.