Tag: South

Run The Mix, the best Italian bartender team comes from the South – Italian Cuisine

Here are the winners of the team competition promoted by Pernod Ricard to enhance Italian mixology

The gold medal for the best Italian bartender team flies to the South. It ended in fact with the victory of the Southern Runners led by Matteo Bonandrini and Alexander Frezza the first edition of Run The Mix, the competition for talent of the tricolor mixology proposed by Pernod Ricard. That yes, he wanted to evaluate creativity in creating new cocktails and the ability to prepare them, but also the ability to present everything in an appealing way, to respect service times and establish an immediate and effective relationship with the customer.

The rules

The spaces of IT, in that of Milan, hosted the three finalist teams, divided by geographical origin. Nordic Runners, Middle Runners Southern Runners, coming respectively from North, Central and South Italy, found themselves having to propose a sequence of cocktails designed ad hoc for the challenge, served in combination with special dishes that have highlighted the possibilities in terms of food pairing. Everything was then presented to a jury of experts, who assessed the teams' performance by adopting peculiar points of view: Francesco Cione Bar Manager of the Octavius ​​in Milan evaluated the technique; Marco Sacco, starred chef owner of the Piccolo Lago di Verbania, the ability to surprise, enhance and entertain through food pairing; Lucia Stragapede, founder of Pastichéri, the ability of to sell and customer loyalty; Nelum Francesca Caramini and Gabriele Litta, drink stylist owners of Fluffer Studio, the beauty of the presentation and the harmony between aesthetics and taste; Alberto Vaccaro, coach certified by the World Association of Business Coaches, empathy with the client and the ability to relate.

The Civetta cocktail.

The winners

The three drinks presented by the Southern Runners to the jury somehow wanted to retrace the phases of every man's life: youth, adolescence and maturity. hummingbird, the first of the proposed cocktails, played on the union of citrus, cocoa and vodka scents Absolut Elyx. On the other hand, the suggestions in the glass of Punk, where the banana met the notes of Tequila Altos. The drink christened Owland finally concluded the service with the complexity – and therefore maturity – of whiskey Jameson Black Barrel. Riccardo Russo and Ugo Acampora from Naples, Giuseppe Milillo from Giovinazzo and the two under 30s Luigi Rosario Grasso from Catania and Giovanni Maffeo from Lecce, together with captains Matteo Bonandrini and Alexander Frezza, have thus won the honor of winning this first edition of Run The Mix. For them also a trip to London to discover the Beefeater world and the most renowned places of British mixology. The perfection of the simplicity of food pairing, the elegance of the presentation and the balance in the garnish, the opening towards the customer and the strong cohesion of ideas, styles and knowledge have led the team of the South to triumph over those of the North and of the Center, second and third place respectively.

Summer trends

"I am convinced that what my team has been able to propose fully reflects the current trends in our sector", he underlines Matteo Bonandrini, captain of the Southern Runners and bartender of the Mak Mixology of Palermo. «The search for the best quality ingredients, of course, but also a substantial reduction in alcohol content, in favor of aromas and flavors that wink at distant lands. It is no coincidence that among the most popular distillates of the season there is undoubtedly tequila, a precious product ready to be finally valued properly, which inevitably brings with it a load of tropical scents perfect for the summer ".

South Tyrol to taste! – Salt and pepper – Italian Cuisine


Quality mark

South Tyrol? A wunderkammer natural unrollingto among the tumultuous courses of the Adige and the Isarco, between the Dolomites and the Natural Parks where nature has unleashed all its imagination to create an inimitable terroir. It is here that unique natural products are born, such as speck, apples, cheeses, marked "Alto Adige" and awarded from the European Union of the IGP mark (Protected Geographical Indication). Ready to become protagonists of robust snacks, tasty snacks, refined preparations.

176479A real specktacle!

That the speck has a glorious past is beyond doubt: along the Adige and Isarco's "he" valley, in fact, it has been spoken since 1200, when the Corporation of Butchers gave precise instructions on its preparation. Which included precise and unchanging operations of salting and smoking so that the speck is still produced according to the traditional rule "little salt, little smoke and lots of air". And so, if you really want to label it in a definition, Speck is a slightly smoked and seasoned raw ham. The choice of the raw material is obviously the basis of the quality of Speck Alto Adige PGI because only carefully selected pork thighs are used to produce it. The actual processing involves eight very precise steps: from boning to smoking (which is done by preparing a fire of wood that is not very resinous, so as not to give Speck a too strong flavor), to exposure to the brisk air of the South Tyrolean valleys to maturing that lasts on average 6/7 months. And the Bauernspeck? Is it peasant speck, as the literal translation wants, obtained from selected pigs and reared in small herds left in the semi-wild state in the masi of the innermost valleys. In addition to the thigh, in this case, other cuts (coppa, shoulder, carré, pancetta) are also used in order to exploit all the parts of the animal, as tradition dictates.


The bumps, the hills, the fields are an endless expanse of trees full of trees golden bright yellow, granny smith intense green and very red red delicious. We are just over 46 ° north latitude, on what can be called the "parallel of apples" and that of South Tyrol is the largest orchard in Europe, which extends over a hundred kilometers long the Adige, from the Val Venosta to the Bassa Atesina with an area of ​​about 18,500 hectares. 300 days of sunshine a year, abundant spring rains, a usually mild summer and autumn give the area the ideal conditions for growing apples up to 1,000 meters above sea level. The unique climate, combined with controlled agricultural practices, natural and ecological make grow thirteen varieties marked IGP mature: from the famous Fuji, Gala, Golden Delicious and Granny Smith to the most niche apples like the Braeburn, the Winesap and the Idared. Every year, according to data, about 1 million tons of apples are harvested, equal to 10% of the entire harvest in the European Union. And as far as organic food is concerned, South Tyrol is also one of the Union's largest suppliers: around a quarter of organic apples in Europe come from here.

Perfectly informs

It can be said that all the cheeses South Tyrolean quality standards are exceptionally high: artisanal production, non genetically modified and controlled feed and fodder, the natural breeding techniques and strict controls on milking and processing milk are the secrets of this success. Among the protagonists of the tableau de fromage South Tyrolean figure, no doubt, it Stelvio PDO, the only South Tyrolean cheese to have received the European Union Protected Designation of Origin. A historic product of the province (it has been talked about for at least a century), it is a cheese made from fresh cow's milk from 300 alpine farms, almost all located at over 1,000 meters above sea level. The maturing of the forms takes place on fir wood boards and lasts 62 days, during which the cheese is constantly massaged with salt water. To this brine are added autochthonous microorganisms that further strengthen the character of the cheese. Only in this way the Stelvio PDO can have its typical crust and its unique taste. That's not all, of course: the Stelvio is produced without the use of genetically modified organisms, a condition that also applies to the rennet needed for protein coagulation.

Enrico Saravalle
June 2019


Yacon, the South American superfood tuber that is conquering the world – Italian Cuisine

Yacon, the South American superfood tuber that is conquering the world

Yacon is the sweet yet low-calorie tuber from the Andes that is conquering the world because of its delicious taste and its beneficial properties that make it a superfood in effect.

The yacon, a low-calorie tuber, rich in nutrients, with a pleasant crunchy texture and a rather sweet taste, has all the credentials to become one of the next trends "superfood". Originally from South America, in recent years the yacon has been cultivated and marketed in everything and is particularly popular in the organic sector. More and more are the studies that ascertain its beneficial properties and more and more are also the products based on yacon, as well as the recipes in which it is used.

From the Andes to commercial success

This tuber grows spontaneously in the Cordillera of the Andes, in particular in Peru, Colombia and Ecuador, and for some years it has also been cultivated in the United States, in Brazil, in Argentina, in New Zealand, in Australia and in various parts of south-east Asia . Its marketing has recently increased significantly, just as small-scale production has increased. In supermarkets and grocery stores, mostly biological, yacón can be purchased in the form of syrup, powder, tea or dehydrated slices, but they are also increasingly common yacon based products including cereal or chocolate bars, cereals, vegetable-based protein supplements, superfood powders and capsules and even toothpaste.

What makes this tuber an exceptional superfood

The nutritional characteristics, and in particular its dietary potential, make it yacon a food of great interest, ideal for natural, low-calorie and vegetable-based diets. In particular, the yacon has prebiotic properties, is rich in natural fibers and iron, is able to dampen the sense of hunger and, above all, is a natural sweetener since it is rich in oligofructose, a low-calorie sugar that can fight blood sugar and regulate insulin in the blood.
In short, this good and superfood ingredient is particularly suitable for overweight people, for those suffering from high cholesterol and for those who suffer from digestive irregularities.

How to use the yacon in the kitchen

Beyond the health benefits and the possible intake of this tuber in the form of sweetener or natural supplements, the rediscovery of the yacon and its popularity also regards its versatile use in the kitchen.
The taste of this naturally sweet food it is delicate and juicy and recalls a cross between Asian pear (nashi), apple and a Mexican potato (jicama), while the consistency has been repeatedly associated with that of Chinese water chestnuts.
The yacon it tends to absorb sauces and condiments and can be eaten raw, simply washed and peeled, perhaps cut into thin slices or grated, to be added to fresh summer salads to give a pleasant, refreshing and fruity touch. In this case it is advisable to cover it with a little lemon juice first, to prevent it from blackening too much. For example, the tuber can be grated with carrots and seasoned with sunflower seeds or used instead of apples in the American Waldorf salad or in the traditional South American salpicón salad. The yacon can finally be cut into slices and fried or cooked and added to soups.
Its pleasant sweetness combined with the low calorie content make it finally ideal for tasty and light desserts, such as pancakes, puddings, desserts, or used instead of apples as the main ingredient of cakes and pies.

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