Tag: sun

Pesto di Pra ': where the basil is kissed by the sun – Italian Cuisine


The narrow terraces between the mountains and the sea, an ancient recipe wisely measured and a cultivation close to production: these are the secrets of the Pra 'pesto, known throughout the world as the green gold of Liguria


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The Pra 'pesto: the sun and the wind are the raw materials of this ancient and irresistible recipe; from them the Genoese Basil takes shape, color and taste, which in Pra 'is cultivated according to the dictates of an ancient peasant tradition. "Pra 'is the area of ​​choice for the cultivation of basil", says Stefano Bruzzone, owner together with Alessandro Ferrari of the Serre sul Mare farm. "Land of farmers and fishermen, this suburb of the Genoese Ponente has always been known for its terraces and meadows (hence the truncation in Pra 'in fact), which have made basil the protagonist of local agriculture: today, thanks to organoleptic characteristics unique, it is renowned all over the world ".

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The basil grown in Pra 'therefore has an indissoluble bond with the territory and the secret of its goodness lies precisely in the place where it is born. "For almost two centuries our family has dedicated itself to the cultivation of basil in Genoa Pra 'and; more recently, we have added to this activity the production of traditional Genoese Pesto", continues Bruzzone. "In these hills nestled between the sky and the sea, these plants are born with a bright color and an intense aroma, which from our greenhouses enter directly into the jar as a very fresh and aromatic product". A symphony of flavors, a perfect balance of fragrances that also derives from the careful selection of ingredients and the skill in dosing them.

Green gold made in Genoa Pra '
If the basil grown in Pra 'is the great protagonist of the ancient Genoese recipe, it is the mix with excellent raw materials of the Italian agri-food tradition and give life to that explosion of taste that has earned it the reputation of green gold of Liguria, known and loved throughout Italy and the world: Italian pine nuts, Italian garlic, Pecorino Romano DOP, Italian coarse sea salt, extra virgin olive oil, Parmigiano Reggiano DOP, Grana Padano DOP are expertly mixed according to the rules of an alchemy refined in centuries.

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"To obtain a final product such as Pesto di Pra '", says Bruzzone, "the short supply chain and the choice of excellent raw materials are essential. Basil is processed just after harvesting: only in this way is the its perfume ". Just like it used to be. "Our commitment is to pass on this great heritage made of peasant values ​​and love for the territory to future generations", he says. "Innovation is a constant effort, but with full respect for tradition", he concludes.

September 2021

Posted on 09/20/2021


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from Oriental the best products of the Rising Sun. – Italian Cuisine

from Oriental the best products of the Rising Sun.

The Japan in Milan it is located in the Buenos Aires area, one of the first neighborhoods where "Milanese" has learned to live with and treasure other cultures. Among the streets sheltered from the chaos of the Corso is a succession of exotic aromas: Africa, India, Turkey. The presence of the East can be seen from some signs. And from a shop window that, at 25 Via San Gregorio, attracts by the warmth of light and refined furnishings. The shop is called Oriental, a small Asian market open for two years now. Once inside it is difficult not to get caught up in the desire to know everything, not only about cooking, but also about Japanese culture, habits and traditions. Those products are not only there to be sold: the plot of a story can be perceived in the exhibition. Reason for the visit, a selection of limited edition ingredients from the Hokkaido region: shitake mushrooms, indigenous rice, soy sauce, miso, hand-picked nori seaweed and a very special water.

What's so special about Hokkaido?

L'Hokkaido is thenorthernmost island of the Japanese archipelago. An incredibly intact ecosystem made up of volcanoes, lakes, mountains and thermal springs. Here time seems to flow at a different speed. People age more slowly and nature still retains much of its purity. It is considered by many Japanese a small earthly paradise. For gastronomes a sort of mecca, precisely because, being the uncontaminated environment, the raw materials are of an excellent quality.

Here's where to find the rice that Japanese star chefs use

Some of these are on Oriental shelves today. The rice it is placed in a box. Inside three packs of as many varieties: the Yumepirika, awarded as the best in Japan for three consecutive years. "There, prizes matter a lot and in every sector, not only in the food sector," explains Andrea Calvo, who now knows that country as his pockets. The other is the Oborodukithat comes "Cold cultivated". For this reason it contains less amylose and is indicated for those with high blood sugar problems. To complete the picture there is the Nanatsuboshi, ideal for making sushi, often used in starred restaurants in the Rising Sun.

Miso, seaweed, shitake mushrooms and pure water

Three types of miso: the Pirika, which contains more rice than normal and therefore triple the isoflavones, which have an antioxidant action. Then, there is Shiro, less fermented, therefore less savory. And the Dashi, perfect for fish soups. Another specialty is Eggplant moromas, a miso-based sauce to which fermentation has been blocked and barley added. The result is a taste between sweet and sour and pungent that goes perfectly with cucumber. If you want to taste real wild algae, there are the Nori snack which contain, in a few square centimeters, all the flavor of the crystalline waters where they are collected by hand. Last, but not least, the Gaivota, a water so pure that in Japan it is used only for making tea.

From Oriental a corner of Japan to Milan

If these products have reached Milan, the merit is of Andrea Calvo, the Oriental owner, who managed to sign an agreement with the prefecture of Hokkaido and Finnair, the Finnish carrier that took over the transport. Food technician and educator, Andrea is Italian, is married to a Chinese woman and has a daughter with a French sounding name. At home, if you open the cutlery drawer "you will find more chopsticks than forks". After having lived in China for a couple of years, returned to Italy for graduate in Gastronomic Sciences at the University of Pollenzo.

The quality of the raw material above all

There he met Carlo Petrini, founder of Slow Food, and it can be said that, since then, his life has never been the same. From him he learned the importance of the quality of the raw material. But instead of focusing on the local supply chain, he was led by the call of the East is since 2011 it has started to import Asian excellences (80% Japanese, then Chinese, Thai and Korean), selected outside the conventional markets.

Japanese ingredients, Italian cuisine

He is the first person to choose them, while the shop is thedirect emanation of his many travels and his passion for the Orient. If you are lucky enough to meet him, be guided to discover the products that neatly crowd the shelves. But above all let the secrets be revealed for decline the various ingredients in everyday recipes. For example, to add a little miso to Greek yoghurt so as to create an accompanying emulsion for grilled chicken that is not only tasty, but also rich in nutritional properties.

Japan-Milan twinning: a long-term project

The one with Hokkaido is alone the first in a long series – "hopefully" – of twinning with other regions of Japan that Calvo would like to activate in the coming months and that they would get there in Milan rare, excellent and unique products. Small treasure chests with which to create a bridge, «a meeting and an exchange between two apparently distant cultures: East and West. This philosophy wants to become a manifesto, a new way of experimenting, overcoming limits and conventions. Making innovation in sectors in constant movement is the biggest challenge , Andrea has no doubts.

Vitamin D: the sun inside! Here are 9 foods where to find it – Italian Cuisine

It's not the easiest to find, but it's not impossible. The tips to recover vitamin D in foods in the seasons when the deficiency is felt the most. There are at least 9 of them

Don't spend money on pills and supplements. The vitamins they are all in what we eat. Not that it's new, but often you don't know where to look for them. This applies in particular to the vitamin D, the sun's vitamin. According to what emerged from the XIV Congress of the Italian Society of Osteoporosis, Mineral Metabolism and Skeletal Diseases in Italy 80% of the population is deficient. The data are from 2014 and indicate that every autumn and winter, with the lowest contribution from the sun, the situation repeats itself: less hours of light and less vitamin D in the body, greater propensity to depression (just to give an example). To increase it, just eat the right things. Here are 9.

1. Fatty fish (fresh)

Salmon, trout, tuna, mackerel and eel are all excellent. It ranges from 400 to 580 units of vitamin D, the recommended ones are 600 per day, 800 if you are over 70 years old.

2. Canned fish

If you do not have the possibility of having fresh fish, the canned one that is tuna or sardines is also fine. It is an inexpensive option and ranges from 180 to 250 units of vitamin D.

3. Mushrooms

Champignons, but also morels, oyster mushrooms and chanterelles. They are an excellent vegan solution to vitamin D deficiency. They can be added to salads, soups and sandwiches. 375 units that carry a portion.

4. Milk

A glass of milk brings about 100 units. It is also partly valid for yogurt, not for ice cream and cheese.

Vitamin D: the sun inside! Here are 9 foods where to find it

5. Orange juice

There is not only vitamin C, but also D in the juice.

6. Egg yolk

Egg yolks are rich in minerals and vitamins, including D. A whole egg contains 40 units of vitamin D, but also potassium, proteins, vitamin A, B-12 and B-6, calcium and iron.

7. Cereals

Not in all, but if you look well on the packaging you get to the content and some have vitamin D.

8. Soy milk

It depends on the brands, but there are some with added vitamin D.

9. Tofu

It is not just for vegetarians. It is a great source of protein, calcium, iron and obviously vitamin D.

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