Tag: spices

Chocolate, exotic spices and miniaturist art – Italian Cuisine


These are the new Zaini Milano tablets, a riot of surprising sensations. To the eye and to the palate


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There is dark, milk or white chocolate. The bars of raw or fine chocolate, of pure cocoa or those embellished with orange peel, classic hazelnuts, crunchy wafers and so on … But what if the chocolate flavoring, giving more flavor to the bars were just spices rare? Berries, peppers, exotic aromas and flavors from afar. A mix of flavors, a unique experience from an organoleptic but also a cultural point of view, this is how the brand new tasting line was born "Tarot collection" from Milan backpacks. A range of 12 amazing bars of very fine dark chocolate paired with spices, berries, superfoods, roots and citrus peels. “Collezione Tarocchi” combines the strong taste of dark chocolates also single origin Madagascar, Peru And Mexico with saffron, Montana Maya coffee (originally from Central America with an intense and decisive taste), passion berries (not to be confused with the passion fruit. The berries are a real rarity that comes directly from Ethiopia, the peculiarity lies precisely in the olfactory and gustatory notes. The nose reminiscent of chamomile, in the mouth they release all the flavor of passion fruit, with sour and fresh notes), star anise, Timut Nepal pepper (Its shape is very reminiscent of pepper berries but on closer inspection it is the very fragrant peel of the Timut berry, a tree with leaves that recall the scents of lemon, basil and mint. The aroma of Timut Nepal pepper is fresh and citrusy , suggests notes of grapefruit, lime and passion fruit), Voatsiperifery pepper (originally from Madagascar, this precious and rare pepper smells of forest, citrus and mint), pink pepper and salt crystals, Goji berries, ginger, chili pepper And fought (or Kaffir Lime, is a very fragrant citrus similar to lime of Asian origin of which leaves and peel are used) to create tablets with unique and vibrant flavors.

Chocolate becomes a work of art
The Tarot Tablets Backpacks Milan they offer much more than an invigorating organoleptic and tasting experience, they are also a real cultural excursus into the history of the Italian Tarot. On each tablet, Zaini Milano has faithfully reproduced the miniatures that in the middle of Four hundred, Filippo Maria Visconti, Duke of Milan and his successor Francesco Sforza they commissioned several artists to make the first Tarot deck, 78 cards that inspired subsequent decks. Real works of art to taste.

The meticulous Research of Backpacks for the history of the Tarot of 1400 is also reflected in the choice of colors used for the reproduction of the images, in fact, for the first time gold paste was used to highlight the miniatures present on the packages. L'gold, an element dear to the Tarot, not for its preciousness but for its meaning. It has always been identified with the light, the deepest one that leads to knowledge and wisdom.

Not only that, Zaini Milano wanted to flavor its chocolates with spices, another element dear to the Visconti Sforza era. From the last years of the 15th century, supplies of spices arrived in Milan, rarities from far away. Presented by the apothecaries, merchants specialized in their marketing, they were highly appreciated in the Courts, especially in the rich Court of the Visconti Sforza, where the apothecaries were now at home.

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The 12 Tarot Tablets Backpacks Milan
Intense, aromatic and enveloping. Here are the tastes of the new collection Milan backpacks. The single origins of Madagascar are The magician flavored with Voatsiperifery pepper; The Dad with star anise; The world with the combava e Lovers with passion berries. The single origin of Mexico is The weather, a tablet flavored with Montana Maya Coffee. Finally, the single origin of Peru is dedicated to the carta de The crazy, with hints of Timut Nepal pepper. The collection continues with five dark chocolate bars with hints of pink pepper for Justice, of ginger for The cart, of jalapeño pepper for the paper de The devil, of goji berries for Luck and with notes of Persian blue salt crystals for The Hanged Man. The collection ends with the tablet dedicated to the paper de The Popess, very fine white chocolate flavored with saffron.

Each Tablet has a meaning
192567 "src =" https://www.salepepe.it/files/2021/11/zaini-milano-natale-@salepepe.jpg "width =" 210 "style =" float: left;Zaini Milano has left nothing to chance, with the purchase of the Tarot Tablets a small one is also provided little book which tells the story of Tarot the history of the spices of the time and the meanings of the 12 Tarot cards reproduced on the packs of the tablets and an in-depth explanation of tastes were inspired by the 1400s for the creation of this surprising collection.
An original gift idea, rich in history and meaning, perfect for Christmas.

Who is Zaini Milano
Master chocolatiers since 1913, when Luigi Zaini, founder of the homonymous line of chocolates, opened the first chocolate factory in Milan together with his wife, Olga. Today, as then, the local historian is in Via De Cristoforis in Milan, where art, knowledge and experimentation come together to create impeccable products.

November 2021
Giulia Ferrari

Posted on 07/11/2021


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Africa rice with chicken and spices – Italian Cuisine

Africa rice with chicken and spices


Preparation of Africa rice with chicken and spices

1) Start preparing the Africa rice with the vegetable broth. Bring 1 liter ofwater salted with the onion peeled, the carrot and the celery clean.

2) Meanwhile cut the chicken into chunks and lightly flour them. Then brown them in a pan 4 tablespoons ofoil.

3) Clean the sweet pepper, remove the white parts, wash it and cut it into pieces of 2/3 cm. Peel the onion and slice it. Check the courgette and cut it into pieces. Clean the carrot and grate it. When the chicken is browned, remove from the pan and set aside. Brown in the sauce onion and the sweet pepper prepared, blend with 3 ladles of broth and cook over low heat for about ten minutes. United i Cherry tomatoes cut into 4, la courgette and the carrot, then add the concentrate of tomato, the turmeric, the chili pepper chopped and lo ginger grated; adjust of salt, peppery, mix well, add the cinnamon and let it flavor.

5) When the vegetables are wilted, add the chicken and cook for 5 minutes.

6) Join the rice previously rinsed under thewater current and stir.

7) Finally, pay the broth until all the rice is covered by 4-5 cm. Cook for about 16 minutes until the rice has absorbed all the broth. Add some turmeric to give color andlaurel and serve.

Spices: Paolo Griffa's choices and good advice – Italian Cuisine

Spices: Paolo Griffa's choices and good advice

A fascinating world, with a growing availability of products of foreign origin: the chef of the Petit Royal explains how to enrich dishes and drinks. "The important thing is to use them in moderation and do lots of experiments"

There are many spices. Millions of millions, maybe not: but hundreds of them yes. And it is a fascinating world, full of flavors and nuances: especially as regards the spices that come from afar. Why some like sage, bay leaf, rosemary, parsley, basil, oregano, the precious saffron they are an ancient heritage of Italian cuisine. Whether for the availability in the area or because they have always been protagonists in regional dishes. From sage for the Brescia spit to basil for pesto, from saffron for yellow risotto to parsley for sauces. Or, again, the chili, who became the king of southern cuisine, as soon as he passed through Spain from Latin America. The real turning point dates back to the 16th century with the opening of the spice route – thanks to the Portuguese – who brought pepper, cloves, nutmeg and cinnamon to Europe from the Indies: an immense commercial value, since they were not only used to flavor the dishes, but also to make medicines.

The spice boom

Given the prices, they enter the kitchens of the rich – in Italy, the first to enjoy it are Venetians and Genoese because of their relations with the Portuguese – to give the extra touch and subsequently become more accessible. Even if they will be reserved for dishes that are not traditional, but imaginative. In recent years there has been a real boom in spices which in Italy is due to three reasons: the greater propensity to leave the Mediterranean to go to the East (from China to South-East Asia), discovering a different use, the increasingly presence wide of places that celebrate (well) the ethnic cuisine and the contamination thanks to the haute cuisine where ginger and its surroundings have entered into many recipes. The second case is the one that resulted Paolo Griffa – executive chef of the Petit Royal, the starred restaurant of the Grand Hotel Royal and Golf in Courmayeur – to become passionate about the theme.

Kimchi and Tajine

"My family has always loved authentic Chinese cuisine and since I was a kid it was a reward for me to go with them to taste it," says Griffa. «So I started to appreciate the flavors of their spices and in my career I have always tried to deepen my direct knowledge. Between trips to the East for work and pleasure, the 30 years old from Piedmont he tasted everything and even took a specialized course in kimchi, the foundation of Korean cuisine based on fermented vegetables and spices that is indigestible to many Italians. «I use it for some dishes of the Petit Royal, obviously balancing it with extreme care, as it is right to do with any food that does not belong to our classic repertoire, he explains. An example that explains more than many words is the Vegetable tajine, cumin and mint lassi sauce, lemon and cinnamon couscous, which opens our service. It is a beautiful mosaic of rolled and boxed vegetables that is part of a gastronomic journey that explicitly refers to the works of art mentioned, in this case the PaperArt by Russian illustrator Yulia Brodskaya. The secret? The sauces, where thirty spices have been used.

The 500 spices of Griffa

Griffa has an extraordinary passion: in his pantry there are almost 500 spices («In 50 gram bottles, while the original bags are in a wardrobe that I personally keep as if it were my treasure, he whispers) and uses them in many dishes. "I try to find the right nuance in those spices that are little used or underestimated in our cuisine, for example juniper or cumin, but the list is very long. The top remains the mixes: even the rarest ones can be found in specialized stores or in e-commerce. Just try one made with peppers on a meat dish, even if only grilled, to understand the difference compared to simple black or pink pepper. But it also applies to raw prawns: a touch of one spice or another totally changes their taste ", underlines the chef of the Petit Royal.

Also ideal for cocktails

Of course, there is no point in having hundreds of spices and herbs at home. Griffa, who has chosen the most interesting for us, considers fifty to be useful to cover all preparations: from a raw appetizer to dessert, without forgetting mixology which is enjoying more and more spicy influences. "Apart from those on which there are historical recipes or that an Italian knows how to dose by nature, you must always have a light hand: add a pinch of spice, taste it, maybe add a little and try again. A very fun exercise, in my opinion . Here are the choices of the Piedmontese chef for the readers of "La Cucina Italiana" and the tips for using them well in everyday cooking.


Fresh and with the peel, it is rich in enzymes used to make ginger bugs (a sort of "mother yeast" with which any other liquid can then be fermented) or to make herbal teas. If cut in half and toasted in a pan, it can be added to broths for a citrusy taste and oriental overtones. Dry it can be used in biscuits and cakes, aromatic and with digestive properties.


In Italian it is called sumac and has its chosen land in Sicily, where they have rediscovered it. It makes sense to use it for meat and fish marinades, because it gives a purplish pink color and releases fresh scents. The flavor is slightly astringent and sour.


Its more tender leaves can be used in moderation in salads, while the dried pods can be used to flavor roasts or to marinate meats, but also large fish. Interesting use in confectionery for sorbets or jams. However, use it sparingly.

Timut pepper

There are many peppers, each with particular characteristics and colors. That of Timut differs for two peculiarities: the hints of grapefruit and citrus, not very spicy, and the pink pigment it releases. If it is perfect for seasoning fish, it becomes very interesting when used in pastry to flavor cakes and creams.

Tonka beans

On the market there are seeds, dried. They have a very intense and characteristic scent, they can be a valid substitute for vanilla in creams and desserts. The intensity is accentuated when grated and added to a hot mixture.


It is a berry produced from the bushes of the same name. It can be harvested green with a slightly woody astringent fresh flavor or when ripe when the color becomes bluish purple. Perfect for flavoring meats, especially game, but also loved by the world of mixology.


Many consider it just a food supplement, but it is also very interesting as an aromatic ingredient. It can be used pure in salads or muesli, or dissolved in water for an herbal tea or, again, in milk to make a custard that lends itself to accompanying desserts.


There are different types based on the processes they undergo: the white one with an intense and citrus scent, the more floral and fragrant green one or the black one with more toasted and balsamic aromas. A few pods are enough to flavor the rice cooking water or perfume an herbal tea.

Ras el Hanout

This Middle Eastern mix of turmeric, cumin, coriander, cardamom, rose, ginger and nutmeg is increasingly loved. Very fragrant, it is often used to season lamb or vegetables. Particularly suitable for orange vegetables such as carrots and squash.

Curry mix

Curry leaves are a spice in their own right, particularly fragrant. But the mixes remain a balanced condiment for each food. In a yellow curry the dominant spice will be turmeric, in the red one the paprika and in the green one fresh herbs and green pepper. It's fun to experiment …

Dukkan mix

Based on dried fruit, peanuts, walnuts or coarsely chopped almonds; or berries such as coriander or cumin, sesame seeds, depending on the final result you want to obtain. Used to dress salads and vegetables, it is also perfect for sprinkling over meat to give it a particular fragrance.

Four spice mix

The best is obtained by mixing aromatic peppers with nutmeg, ginger powder and cloves. Care must be taken when using it, as it has a very intense flavor. It manages to give a special touch to Christmas sweets, as well as perfume the environment.

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