The island of Arturo today is also a literary winery – Italian Cuisine

The island of Arturo today is also a literary winery

Procida: wine literature and good food. In every season!

Elsa Morante, in her book The island of Arturo, has managed to describe Procida so well that once you arrive on the island you have the feeling of waiting for someone. Just like Arturo, who every day awaited the arrival of his father at the port, perhaps because someone is always expected on an island. And yet, over the years Procida has become known more for The postman by Massimo Troisi, perhaps also because most of the Procidan locals and restaurants have continuous references to the film. There was, therefore, for a long time a great need to dedicate something to Elsa Morante, who more than thirty years before, already in 1957 with the Strega Prize and then in 1962 with the homonymous film by Damiano Damiani, had introduced Procida in the world. Tarcisio Ambrosino, uncle of the famous chef Marco Ambrosino, has thought of this.

The birth of the winery

There is no need for presentations for Marco Ambrosino, a native of Procida, who opened his restaurant in Milan in 2014 28posti, unquestionably among the best in the city. His uncle Tarcisio, on the other hand, for years dealt with something completely different, turning to showrooms from Naples to Milan. Until, as often happens, the strong appeal of the island did not bring him home, to Procida, where he felt that the time had come to listen and shape his two great passions: "books and wine, is there a better union?"Together with his nephew Antonio, they decided to open a literary winery, then non-existent on the island, and do it on the marina of Marina di Corricella, where cars do not circulate and can only be reached on foot or by sea, in one of the most symbolic and historic places in all of Procida. In fact, La Corricella has existed since the Bourbon era; here the king had his summer residence and always here is the former prison, another symbol of the island. In this way Elsa Morante's great masterpiece is no longer just a book to read, a wonderful story of waiting and an initiation into life, but it is also a place, increasingly appreciated and frequented, with a découpage counter all done with the pages of the text in the various languages ​​in which it was translated and with the posters of the film of the countries in which it came out.

Wine and food

To promote and make the most of its territory, Tarcisio has decided to include almost only wines from Campania, the result of in-depth research that he personally carries out. It can be seen from the paper, which goes from great known local labels, to other smaller and lesser-known ones, such as Ettore Sammarco from Ravello. Accompanying the wines, there are a series of tastes both of sea and of land, because even though Procida is very close to the sea, too often we forget how much the islands are also and above all land. Thus, we find bruschetta with crab meat, tuna and anchovies, one of the symbolic products of the island, also worked with walnuts and pistachio, along with alpine cheeses, including the smoked little devils of the Buongusto di Arola Dairy, above the mountains of Vico Equense. And then to follow, for dinner, there is only the embarrassment of the choice, even if the historical restaurant From Girone it remains an institution: from raw antipasti to paccheri with fresh fish up to spaghetti with lemon pesto, now legendary. In this regard, we recall that Procida is also theisland of lemons, which differ from all others to be giants, with a huge albedo.

Six authors looking for a character

Needless to say, to continuously honor your land, within the winery there are a series of texts that tell the island or the Campania region. Therefore, this could only be the place chosen by Nutrimenti to open the famous literary event in June Procida Tells, during which six writers arrive on the island to identify six interesting stories to tell. From Luigi Lo Cascio to Gad Lerner, up to Gramellini, Daria Bignardi, Franco Arminio and so on with a series of illustrious authors in search of stories. This shows us how the island of culture continues to attract great characters, just as in the period in which Elsa Morante lived, in her small pension El Dorado.

The liquors of the Armed Forces of yesterday and today – Italian Cuisine

The liquors of the Armed Forces of yesterday and today

From trench distillates to modern camouflage bottles, passing through the inevitable Alpine grappa: what to choose for a toast by soldiers on the occasion of Republic Day

On Via dei Fori Imperiali the stands have already appeared, the Frecce Tricolori have started the tests: all the signs that June 2, the Italian Republic Day, is approaching. For Rome it is the day of the parade of the Armed Forces, which culminates precisely with the spectacular passage of the acrobratic patrol of the Frecce Tricolori on the Vittoriano. Together with the parade of the Alpine troops that recently flooded the streets of Milan, June 2 is the occasion to tickle a curiosity: do the liquors of the armed forces still exist? From the stainless grappa of the Alpine to the ever-present cordial, the answer is yes, but many things have evidently changed also in the tastes of the soldiers, with more petty and less trench proposals.

From Cordiale to Cordialcioc

The official reference of the Armed Forces is the Florence Military Pharmaceutical Chemical Establishment, born in 1832. If its main activity is in the production of drugs, however it has always been engaged in the distillation of soldiers' liquors, starting from the mythical cordial. The Enocordial is its flagship product, or a brandy aged at least three years in oak barrels. Then there are the grappa, the Amaro delle Alpi and the Aninolo, or an aniseed distillate. The Elixir of China is particularly interesting, obtained through the cold extraction of cinchona bark and bitter orange peel, then aged for at least one year in oak barrels according to the historical recipe found in the Military Pharmacopoeia of 1877. And, again, the more ruffian versions of the cordial wine mentioned, from Cordialcioc, with pure extra-dark chocolate, to Cherry Cordial, flavored with cherries.

The camouflage bottles

A cordial, or rather another brandy aged three years, softened with DOP buffalo milk, is instead the proposal of the ancient Petrone distillery, complete with a mimetic bottle and a name that cannot be more evocative: the name “Esercito” appears on the label 1659 ", where 1659 stands for the year in which the regiment" of the guards "was born, or the date of birth of the Army, which granted the mark to the bell distillery. In the presentation we read that the original distillate, Cordiale 15 18 (where obviously the numbers stand for the beginning and end of the Great War) was "a must in the history of the Armed Forces of Italy, was a loving companion of the soldiers in the long winter nights .

The Alpine grappa

That the Alpini are big drinkers and that their parties are very alcoholic is not a mystery, although still very civilized (see the images of the post-parade Milan, cleaner than before the event). That said, there are several distilleries that compete for the reference grappa palm, even though only one can boast the official brand: it is the South Tyrolean distillery Psenner which produces the Grappa of the Alpino, complete with a soldier on the label. It is a grappa barricaded at 40 °, obtained by distillation with continuous and discontinuous method in bain-marie stills using exclusively pomace from South Tyrol. For those who prefer white grappa, there is the Grappa Trentina of the Cappelletti Distillery, which also bears the characteristic hat with the pen on the label. On the Lombard side, instead, in Mapello, in the province of Bergamo, there is the Locatelli Distillery, with its "free-range distillate, strong, consumed for more than a hundred years in the whole of Bergamo".

13 dishes that today we would not do again – Italian Cuisine

13 dishes that today we would not do again

With more than 25,000 recipes, our archive goes through different and contradictory gastronomic eras. Many things have changed since 1929: the taste and the esthetic sense have evolved and continue to to change constantly.

As happens to each of us, concern old photographs it makes us nostalgic, but it also makes us smile when we run into a style choice that we find objectionable today or unfashionable. If we do it personally with our photos, why not do the same with our recipes?

Our photo albums they are numerous and, leafing through them, offer many surprises. So we started looking at the recipes of a period that we considered interesting: the fabulous 90's. In particular, it is the first years of the decade that have struck us, thanks to some models that are repeated, but which we will no longer repeat.

The most common theme seems to be the search for symmetry, with decorations that abound, especially in the middle of aspics and donuts. Chefs today prefer to stay tidier, but more so natural is minimal, also in the choice of the dish. Another habit identified during our research and which today is practiced more rarely is to serve the whole fish: today we certainly prefer to find a fish on the plate already comfortably filleted. In the gallery, you can see all the dishes indicted.

4 rules to present a dish well

Attention, the 90s dishes we have selected they are not to be removed from the recipe book, but perhaps from review in the presentation. Then we challenge you: why not try cooking these recipes and a install them in a modern way? Follow these simple advice and give space to your creativity even at home.


Insert one or two contrast elements to break the monochrome.


Play with few elements: cleanliness and harmony of shapes are the key words.


Don't overdo the quantities. If you are still hungry, do not worry, the encore does not require sophisticated presentations!


Never forget: all the decorative elements must be edible.

Like fashions, even the style on the table continues to transform itself more and more quickly: who knows if in a few years we will find it already vintage the 2019 photographs?

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