Tag: time

The time of the sardines (lake) – Italian Cuisine

The time of the sardines (lake)

It is the 'queen' of the Lombard lakes in the winter season: intense, refined, dried according to ancient rules. Soul of traditional recipes, especially on the Iseo, but also used for creative dishes. It does not fear the comparison with the sea sardine …

It's time for sardines: even in the square (if desired) but for Lombard gourmets they certainly have more value those that are fished in Iseo and in Garda. Because from November to March, the agone – as it is called in Italian – reaches its peak, exactly as it happens for many species in salt water: contrary to what many think, it is in the coldest months of the year that much of the fish raw material reaches the top and therefore deserves more than ever to end up on the table. «We started well, thanks to a clean lake due to the abundant autumn rains – he says Andrea Soardi, fourth generation of the most famous family of Ionian fishermen – perch is good, but this is the period where sardine reigns. Ours is different from the Garda one, more lean and small, which is certainly better to eat fresh and not dried .

Secular rules

The size of the product begins here, recognized by Slow Food as a Montisola-based Presidium, and which follows ancient rules: after being caught by the typical 'sardener', the fish are left in salt for at least 48 hours and then placed in the sun and in the lake air for 30-40 days. In the past, ash or hornbeam branches were used to dry them, arched and held in position by taut threads tied at the ends: the suggestive 'archèc', visible in the winter, to avoid the heat that would have deteriorated the fish, and also to prevent the attack of insects, especially of flies. The drying structures today have evolved: larger, placed on special terraces and sometimes replaced by modernity. «We try to respect the canons, but quality is even more important – continues Soardi, who with the family also takes care of the historian Locanda al Lago in Carzano – so if the conditions are not perfect, we use dryers set to recreate the natural ones. If there is too much wind or too much humidity, it does not make sense to keep the fish always open as before. They would be ruined .

Clusane, the temple

After drying, the sardines are arranged concentrically in steel containers – or in wood as it was in the past – and pressed with a weight, or twisted, to release the fat, which is immediately eliminated. Then they are covered with plenty of olive oil and stored for a few months, but they can last up to two years, provided that the extra virgin olive oil is changed after 9-10 months. Curiosity: they should not be confused with missoltini, the dried agoni of Lake Como because in the preparation they do not require oil and therefore take on a stronger taste, not far from that of herring. «If dried well, our sardines are formidable: just cook them for a few minutes on the burning embers and season them with oil, parsley and garlic. We serve them with polenta and it is the most traditional dish of the lake, with an intense and particular flavor. But they are also very good with bigoli or in other recipes explains Mauro Begni who manages the note Trattoria del Muliner in Clusane, location on the Iseo of Brescia which, in addition to being the 'capital' of baked tench, is full of places that devote attention to the Sardinian. His partner is Andrea Martinelli, Giovanni's grandson, nicknamed 'El Muliner' because he was transporting flour, frying for the fishermen of the town and he opened the restaurant in 1963, now well renovated.

Fantasy in power

Sardines the same tradition (and the price is not indifferent, the tin ones cost on average 40 euros per kg but fresh just under 10 euros) but also a stimulus for the great chefs of the area. It started Vittorio Fusari – Iseo's favorite son – proposing a salad of onions, dried sardines and cuttlefish ink or Bocconcini of lake sardine, onion salad and basil granita at 'his' Pantry & Wines. Complex, in apparent simplicity, and tasty as one of the 'cult' of the starry Lido 84 in Gardone Riviera: Rice, stracchino and sardines from the lake on a spit. "It is the union of a popular product such as the stracchino from our valleys with a fish from the Garda on which I reasoned, inspired by the meat dish symbol of Brescia: a dish always loved by customers came out. But now we have another, equally interesting, on the menu: Smoked and fried sardines, honey, rosemary, citrus fruits says the chef Riccardo Camanini. Other creative dishes that have entered the memory of those who love the product: Organic chicken salad, dried sardines, chicken popcorn, green sauce jellies signed by Stefano Cerveni from Due Colombe di Borgonato and Sarda di lago, humus, crispy celery, lovage, pink grapefruit sorbet, reduction to Surlo that Saulo Della Valle prepares at H2O in Moniga.

The Sardinian BBQ of Acquaroli

The most interesting dish of the new 'vision' on the Sardinian is that – visible at the opening – of Marco Acquaroli, executive chef of Natura di Adro, fast growing restaurant. Enfant du pays – is from Palazzolo sull'Oglio – like the patron Daniele Merola, he decided to review the beloved fish in a BBQ version where (very fresh) they are prepared in a pan with butter, sage and rosemary, cooked at 120 ° for 4 hours and smoked, after removing excess fat. But the extra touch is the carpione gel. "Bring white wine, vinegar, sugar to the boil with the agar agar. I cool it and once it solidifies, I work it with an immersion blender up to the consistency of gel. Then I cook the onion clean and cut in two in the oven at 250 ° until completely carbonized. With the blender I make a powder and reserve the onion ash for the dishing, "explains Acquaroli. The sardine is finally heated on the grill, sprinkled with gel and slightly 'covered' with herbs. «Chervil, lemon balm, mint, thyme, lemon, verbena come from our garden – continues the chef from Brescia – and recreate that exchange at the base of the culinary history of the Iseo when fishermen and farmers exchanged products, creating delicious, simple and tasty dishes .

The super digestible 2A milk arrives (and this time the lactose has nothing to do with it) – Italian Cuisine


No, it is not a macroscopic spelling mistake: the latest innovation launched by Central of Turin's milk is called its own Laatte Tapporosso. A curious name, chosen because it refers to the unique characteristic of this product: the best digestibility obtained "Rethinking" the production chain starting from stable, that is without resorting to any treatment at the plant. The milk thus obtained it contains only the beta-Casein more digestible, which is called A2. And to which the name of this product is inspired, innovative for Italy because it was born from a project research conducted in collaboration with CNR-ISPA and CREA. In the rest of the world this special milk is a case of success, in particular for a New Zealand company, the A2 Milk, which is selling it with excellent results in half the world. But what's so special about it to please you so much?

When it is hard to digest e "handle" milk and look for a culprit you immediately think of lactose, the milk sugar. But proteins also play their part. That typical of milk, casein, is made up of five fractions protein, including beta-casein which represents approximately 36% of the total and of which 13 genetic variants are known, born as a result of mutations in the DNA of cows occurred over time. The variant genetics more widespread, because it is more present in the breeds most used for milk production (such as the Frisona), is the A1 but the original one seems to be the A2. The fact that it is better tolerated by the system would also confirm this gastrointestinal. In fact, during digestion, the A1 variant can form a fragment of protein (la beta-casomorphine 7) which, according to some studies, has a pro-inflammatory effect on the intestine, even causing intolerances and eczema. Consider these discoveries, research has begun to understand how "Packaged" a milk that contained only A2 and was therefore, naturally, beneficial for the functionality of the digestive system. This type of milk is produced in New Zeland, United States and Great Britain e it is sold in China, Europe and America. But so far in Italy there was not.

It took about two years to get to the Laatte Tapporosso, produced by the Centrale del Latte of turin in two versions and distributed (for the moment) throughout the Piedmont area. To naturally obtain a milk that contains only the betacasein A2 you have to start from the stables. Indeed the processes of selection of the dairy cows have originated, over time, cattle breeds and populations that differ in the genetic heritage responsible for production of beta-casein A1 and A2. So it was necessary to "map" the farms present in Piedmont to select only those where the cows have the genetics specific for the production of milk with beta-casein A2. Once identified the farms, which must also comply with the requirement animal welfare, we have moved on to designing the milk processing and packaging cycle, which is separate from that of ordinary milk and which is equipped with a certification of process that guarantees the traceability of production chain.

Milk A2 fits into the vein of development of the highest added-value milks in terms of characteristics nutritional, of sustainability or relationship with the territory from which they come. An example of this is the Hay Milk which has obtained recognition from the EU STG (Traditional specialty guaranteed). You only get it from cows fed in the traditional way, that is with at least the 75% of fresh grass, hay and cereals, and without the use of fermented fodder (salads). Thus a more fragrant milk is obtained e tasty, but also with a better nutritional profile, because, given the same fat, increases the share of healthy ones. Research conducted by the University of Vienna revealed that, compared to standard milk, the Hay milk contains twice as much Omega 3 and acid linoleic conjugate (CLA), which helps reduce fat deposits in thebody and to improve the immune system. The most of Hay Milk STG produced in Italy comes from Alto Adige (the rest from Veneto, Trentino and Friuli) and is also found in the supermarket, both under form fresh milk and as an ingredient in yogurt, skyr and cheeses.

Manuela Soressi
November 2019

The time has come to prepare the goulash (and eat it slowly) – Italian Cuisine

All the secrets of the traditional Hungarian dish and the recipe to prepare a state-of-the-art goulash and fall in love with it

A good plate of steaming meat is what it takes to restore us from the first colds of autumn that, even from a climatic point of view, will arrive sooner or later. With a wise touch of paprika, then, the situation becomes more intriguing: to taste to believe.
The dish that is making our hearts beat is the traditional Hungarian goulash which in the original language would be called gulyás. The name comes from gulya which means cattle herd. The meat usually used to prepare it is in fact the beef, preferably with the part of the anterior front, neck or shoulder.

In all Central and Eastern Europe, however, one can find interesting variations based on fish, white meat and sheep. The classic recipe was born from the Hungarian herdsmen who they cooked the meat in a big pot put on the fire, flavoring it with lard, onions and paprika. Potatoes cut into wedges or coarse nuts and shredded carrots are also often used at home. The recipe, born in the Middle Ages and consumed until the XVIII century only by the farmers of the prairies, spread also in the bourgeois houses and beyond the borders of the nation. Among all Hungarian meat stews, including the pörkölt and paprikás (which also contains sour cream), the gulasch has emerged, becoming a symbol of Hungarian gastronomic culture. But it is not a case. During the political conflict with Austria in the late 1700s, Hungary had a need to prove itself culturally independent and to differentiate itself from Austrian customs. The goulash was chosen as one of the symbols of Hungary and soon became famous throughout Europe and the world.

In the gallery below you will find a more contemporary version of the traditional Hungarian dish where the butter has been replaced with lard. The addition of tomato, not present in the traditional recipe, will make it possible to "lighten" the seasonings necessary to prevent the meat from drying out.

Browse the gallery

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