Tag: taste

Santa Teresa, the Venezuelan rum #To taste! – Italian Cuisine

There are bottles and bottles. In this rum we found an incredible story to drink with lots of ice (and a desire to change the world)

Rum Santa Teresa: amber color and tending to red, aroma fruity with wood notes, resulting from long aging in oak barrels. Taste complex, toasted and smoked, with hints of bitter chocolate, honey, plum, walnuts, cinnamon, vanilla, tobacco, leather and pepper.

Why: it is soft, dry and well balanced. It can be enjoyed alone, but only after having heard the story.

What makes it unique: its unmistakable taste, of course. But also the crazy story contained in each bottle. Alberto Vollmer Herrera, CEO of Santa Teresa, changed the fortunes of the company one night in 2003, when three guys attacked a company security man to steal his gun. The young criminals were given the risky proposal to avoid prison if they had agreed to work for Alberto Vollmer Herrera, in the same place they had attacked. From this was born the Alcatraz Project, today one of the most rigorous and demanding national and international social reintegration programs. But also among the most effective. Since the start of the project, over 200 young people have been recovered, who have contributed to triggering an unprecedented virtuous circle. Thanks to their commitment in hacienda, the crime rate has been reduced by 90% in Revenga (city of Santa Teresa). At the base of the success of the project a unique combination of education, work and sport, rugby in particular. The success of the formula led to the birth of the Invictus project which allows more than 300 prisoners in 8 different penitentiary centers to practice rugby and hope for social reintegration.

Photo: Alejandro van Schermbeek

On the rocks: we tasted this rum in the most classic cocktails, but it was the pure tasting on a large ice cube that convinced us even more. A meditative glass, intense and positive, to drink by giving great speeches and thinking about tomorrow. Even on days when everything seems black and the story of Alberto Vollmer Herrera urges us to turn difficulties into possibilities.

where to find peace and taste (even in August) – Italian Cuisine

where to find peace and taste (even in August)

Take refuge in the places of good food and good drink, to escape mass tourism and gastronomic gathering rituals. Ten oases not easy to reach, but worth the trip. Also for the nature that surrounds them

For us it is going beyond the concept of agritourism, which especially in the summer often loses a bit of culinary efficacy. And they are not the classic hinterland places, respectable for charity, where in some cases you can eat well too, but often they lack the extra touch. And it is also to avoid the tavern, a timeless place of food and soul, which gives Italians total security, overshadowing the real quality of the raw materials and dishes because the "portions are abundant and you spend little" . But it is not always so, indeed. Our selection of premises starts from other peculiarities: first of all a good distance from the tourist destinations. In return, there is that tranquility that only trend seekers can constantly avoid. Every once in a while, getting out of the crazy crowd is good. Especially sitting at the table.

Tradition and territory

The other concept of our premises is represented by the quality of the offer, almost always in the hands of historical families or people who have gathered the honor and the burden of continuing the previous activity. No modernism, but attention to the contemporary, essential for those who make cooking. They are places where you can taste dishes obviously related to the territory and tradition, certainly with respect for the km, zero but without obsessions. Surprising dishes, between the ancient and the current, as the world has changed and the same soup can be just as good if cooked with one hand light and precise. They are places in fascinating areas, especially out of season, which make simplicity and hospitality a strong point. They do not ask for a salty ticket, precisely because they are not part of show food. It is fine, in short. We guarantee ourselves.

The name suggests that it is not the usual Valle d'Aosta mountain. The sign is written! Mountaineering and a place of memory, but the small bed & breakfast that hosts the restaurant is built in total sustainability. The cuisine is typical of Valle d'Aosta, but proposed with class: the Seupette alla Valpelinentze is a must. And in the cellar triumph the best wine and liqueur productions of the Valley. A la carte 30 euros, tasting at 25.

Reis – Frassino (CN)

He was a star at the age of 24, a pupil of Cracco and Niederkofler: Juri Chiotti returned home and opened a unique restaurant in Val Varaita with his family in 2017. A big table on the ground floor and on the first floor twenty covered in a mountain room where to consume the dishes of a cook who has not lost his skill and is now dedicated to free mountain food. We eat very well: potato dumplings with bear garlic pesto, char eggs and toasted almonds; lamb diaphragm with pea cream, capers and coffee powder; panna cotta with mountain hay, pine cone syrup. On paper 30 euros, same amount for tasting.

Twenty minutes from Chiavari, climbing inland until you reach this village with a splendid view of the Levant. The Circella family runs one of the best inns in Liguria, for guides and enthusiasts. Excellent cuisine, from appetizers to desserts, daughter of a research on ancient Genoese recipes, but also of modern techniques, using the best of the territory. Winery with a thousand labels. On paper 25 euros.

You arrive climbing from the Gardesana Occidentale, one of the most beautiful roads in Italy: at 500 meters above the lake there is a surprising inn in the silence of the small town. Rustic, welcoming and well cared for, as well as the cuisine offered by the owners: Silvia in the dining room, Sergio in the kitchen. Eclectic menu: local cured meats and cheeses, home made pasta and gnocchi, grilled meat, lake fish prepared in various recipes. Great attention to oils and wines. On paper 25 euros.

Gasthof or inn. There are so many in South Tyrol, this is one of the best. Immersed in the green of the Val Fiscalina mountains: well-kept environment, in typical mountain style that is found in the rooms. Regional menu, with great materials: canederli, pappardelle with porcini mushrooms or venison ragout, beef goulash or venison fillet. To close the desserts and the homemade honey grappa. On paper 30 euros.

Ideal to escape the crowding of the Adriatic Riviera: an abundant hour from Cesenatico and the balance is found in a former sixteenth-century rectory transformed into a pleasant tavern, thanks to a cheerful couple formed by Alessandra and Roberto. You can taste Tuscan-Romagna specialties, with great attention to the raw material poor of the area. In the next house there is the inn with six beautiful rooms, a couple even with a Turkish bath. On paper 25 euros.

In winter a small room, in summer the pergola. A large tavern, inside the homonymous farm – of oil and wine, primarily – which is located twenty minutes from the Valdarno exit on the A1. Super-seasonal, few-course menu: potatoes in various recipes, meats and cheeses, vegetable and soup creams, hand-made pasta, zolfini beans, game, baked meats and pan… Simplicity, but enjoyment. On paper 25 euros.

In the hamlet of Serenella and Livia di Battista one of the best cuisine of Abruzzo is served: 90% of the raw materials – including meat – comes from the family farm, which has also recovered ancient crops. Careful, tasty dishes: parmigianina, sagnette with chickpeas and saffron, lamb with breadcrumbs and aromatic herbs. In the summer, prepare yourself in the beautiful courtyard, immersed in the quiet of the countryside. Ofena is located in the Gran Sasso National Park, 40 minutes from Chieti. You spend 25 euros.

At an altitude of 1539 meters: pure air, uncontaminated landscape, sincere welcome. In the heart of the Sila, in a small quiet village, there is this delicious landing, with some rooms. Simple dishes, hand-drawn pasta, mountain flavors, cold cuts and cheeses from the valley. Female hand in the kitchen, with mushrooms in season and the pork shank with beer as a dish of the house. Some labels of good Calabrian wine in the cellar. On paper 25 euros.

Su recreu in Sardinian means the refreshment. And in fact it is an oasis of total peace, half an hour from Alghero, created by Piera Pisanu and Gavino Demontis which also includes a vegetable garden and a farm. The kitchen proposals are typical: cold cuts, cheeses, roast suckling pig, zichi with artichokes and kid stewed with olives. Homemade dessert with a secret recipe. It is eaten with the red wine produced in the company that hosts the restaurant. Only tasting at 27, 33 and 38 euros.

Speck: the smoky taste of South Tyrol – Italian Cuisine


There are products intimately linked to the territory and to the population that inhabits it, born of ancient traditions that still survive today, almost unchanged. The South Tyrolean speck is one of these products. It is easy to define it: speck is a boneless, spicy, smoked and seasoned pork leg. However, each of these steps must be performed in a workmanlike manner so that the mark of the sausage can be stamped on the meat Protection Consortium which, for over twenty years, identifies it as Speck dell'Alto Adige Igp.

An ancient history
Like many typical products, speck comes from the need to be able to consume a food, in this case pork, even months after slaughtering the animal. The technique originates in the farms of Dolomiti: small self-sufficient microcosms where the farmers cultivated and raised all that was necessary for their livelihood. Next to cows and chickens, pigs were never missing, animals that were not expensive to maintain and of which, as is well known, every part can be exploited. Salting, spicing and smoking were the easiest way to keep the cuts for a long time, especially the prized part of the leg. Thus, each family had its own recipe and its secret ingredients. The extra touch was given by the surrounding environment, the fresh alpine air, the microclimate that was created in the cellars and, not least, the woods collected in the woods, in particular those of Beech tree, little resinous and ideal for obtaining a delicate smoke, but effective for conservation.

A modern product
Even today, the inhabitants of the valleys often slaughter their animals and produce their meats in a traditional way (not only bacon, but also other cuts, such as belly and back). They are joined by the industrial sausage factories that still maintain i traditional procedures, only updated with the help of modern technologies. Faithful to the dictates of the Consortium, they produce for local and national markets, but also for foreign ones (especially Austria and Germany). A visit to one of these establishments, such as the one in Soprabolzano (BZ) which is part of the group Citterio (here we work the classic Tagliofresco and the Speck Bio), confirms that the production process does not differ much from what the farmers of these areas did 100 or more years ago.

177315The basic rules
The selection of the raw material is fundamental. To respect the criteria of the Consortium, open and boneless pork legs, which are called "baffe", must respect precise values ​​concerning thepig breeding, the ratio between fat and lean, even the pH of the meat (which, if too high, would compromise drying). Once trimmed according to a traditional technique, the thighs come salted and corned using a "tanning" that can vary from one producer to another but generally includes pepper, laurel, juniper, coriander, rosemary, garlic and other aromas such as pimento (also called peppercorn or Jamaica pepper) and marjoram.

After a first rest (it takes even 3 weeks for the tanning to penetrate well into the meat), and a second passage of a few weeks in special refrigerated rooms, it is time forcold smoking, 5 days during which the smoke of beech wood, which never exceeds 20 °, aromatizes and contributes to the preservation process. Finally, it's time for seasoning which, according to the initial weight of the baffe, can last from 18-20 weeks up to over 30. In this phase, a natural layer of mold is formed on the outside of the speck that rounds off the taste and is removed at the end of the seasoning.

On the table and in the kitchen
The cycle is complete: the speck is ready to be sold whole, in slices or in slices. In the case of slices, the typical cut is the counter-fiber one that allows to obtain slices with a right amount of fat, which is essential to balance and sweeten the flavor of the salami. Thus presented, it is the protagonist of the typical South Tyrolean snack with Schuttelbrot (low and crunchy rye bread) and red wine, while the classic slices, cut in the sense of the fiber, make up cutting boards with valerian, pickles, black bread and horseradish sauce.

The cubes are inevitable in the dough of the dumplings, the large spherical bread dumplings with chives and parsley that can be enjoyed in broth or simply seasoned with butter and sage. Lastly, strips and matches are perfect in barley soups and risottos: whether combined with the sautéed or added at the end of cooking, cut very finely, so that the fat melts in contact with the heat of the dish and the speck releases all its scents, remaining soft. As tradition wants.

Francesca Romana Mezzadri
July 2019


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