Tag: trend

In South Korea, the viral trend of dalgona coffee explodes – Italian Cuisine


In South Korea, thanks to the lockdown period of Covid-19, the trend of dalgona coffee has spread, a delicious and homemade variant of cappuccino that is depopulating on Instagram and TikTok

In recent years, thanks to the growing use of Instagram and the proliferation of captivating images of food and drinks on social networks, we have witnessed a succession of food trends, some of which featured the coffee. These recipes, often real desserts by the glass, are as greedy as they are aesthetically appealing, and include a wide variety of cappuccinos, caffellatte and frappuccini, from the rainbow ones to the "unicorn", up to those that reproduce in the cup some famous dessert. The latest coffee-based trend, born during the Covid-19 health emergency period, comes from South Korea, is called coffee dalgona and is already depopulating on social networks. Let's find out what it is, how to prepare it and what impact it has had on a global level.

All about the new Korean coffee that is trendy on social networks

Since the health emergency began for Covid-19, South Korea, even before other countries in the world, has imposed a quarantine. Consequently, forced isolation, a pinch of creativity and the desire to give life to a new "comfort drink"To share on social networks and to sip remotely with friends, in South Korea is the great moment of the dalgona coffee. The secret of the rapid success of this drink undoubtedly lies in its goodness and its simplicity. First of all the ingredients of which it is composed and the kitchen tools to be used are already present in the common pantries, which in this period of lockdown makes the preparation accessible to everyone. In fact, simple whips, milk, sugar and instant coffee powder are sufficient to prepare it. Even the procedure to follow is very easy, just mount a mix composed of instant coffee powder, white or brown sugar (the same amount of coffee) and hot water until you get one frothy cream with a brownish color. At this point you can pour the cream as a topping of a glass of milk to taste full, and the dalgona is ready. The other factor that has certainly influenced your media success is undoubtedly its unusual aspect, a sort of inverted cappuccino that is beautiful to look at and photograph, as well as the softness and sweetness of the foam, a pleasant sin of gluttony that delights the palate and promotes good humor. It is therefore not surprising that in recent weeks thehashtag #dalgonacoffee has literally depopulated on three of the most popular social platforms in the world, that is Instagram, Facebook and, last but not least, TikTok. The bood of this food trend has made dizzying numbers, just think of the presence of over 500 thousand posts containing this hashtag and millions of views of the video tutorials on YouTube. Starting from South Korea, this fashion quickly convinced and conquered other Asian countries, including the Philippines and Singapore, and many western countries, including the United States.

Origin and variants of the "dalgona coffee"

This Korean drink is not actually the first to be characterized by a coffee cream as a decoration of a glass of milk, similar recipes are in fact also present in India, Pakistan, Macao and other countries. To distinguish the Korean version, however, are the color and flavor of the coffee cream, similar to those of one traditional Korean candy. This candy shaped like a lollipop and called "dalgona" is prepared with sugar and baking soda and is much loved by both local children and tourists. Just think that in the Korean food stores it is easy to find the kit for home production, especially designed so that children could do it alone after school.

But let's go back to the tasty dalgona coffee and its characteristics. Like many of the previous trend-based coffee drinks, too of the dalgona numerous variants already exist, that include tasty, light, low-calorie or vegetable-based recipes (replacing animal milk with coconut or almond milk), each of which can be prepared at home and served both hot and cold. Among the many varieties there are the one with the addition of cocoa powder to the whipping cream, the one with an alcoholic correction based on whiskey or rum, the one with a sprinkling of cinnamon and then, again, the one without sugar, the one with Nutella and the other matcha tea. In short, you can also try your hand in your own variant, you just need a whisk, a few ingredients, a little imagination and of course a social account on which to share the final shot!

Photo cover: dalgona coffee korea_ 한세 HANSE youtube.jpg
Photo: Dalgona coffee korea 700 biz.insight.co.kr

Baby vegetables: food trend that never goes out of style – Italian Cuisine

Baby vegetables: food trend that never goes out of style


The "baby vegetables", which arrived in Italy about twenty years ago, never seem to go out of style, but have you ever wondered what they are and why they have become so popular?

About twenty years have passed since the so-called "Baby vegetables" or microgreens they began to be marketed and cultivated in Europe, yet since then they have remained a constant presence on supermarket shelves and a niche product that is still very much in vogue. Of these miniature vegetables, appreciated as a healthy snack as a decorative element or a delicious ingredient for gourmet preparations and recipes, there are actually different types. So let's find out what these baby vegetables are and how they were born and what their popularity is due to.

History and characteristics of baby vegetables

Baby carrots, mini courgettes, baby spinach, artichokes, baby napkins are just some of the more than fifty types of varieties of baby vegetables grown or imported from many countries in the world, from Asia to North America. In Italy this delicious novelty arrived in 2001 and since then, although most of the products come from abroad, France, England and Northern Europe in the lead, local production and sales have grown more and more. The small size of these foods have indeed collected the consent of an ever wider consumer audience, from mothers, who have made it an ideal snack to entice their children to eat healthier, to the elderly and singles, who appreciate its practicality against waste, and finally all those who are looking for decorative finger food or food trends beautiful to photograph and share on social networks. Few know, however, that in the wide panorama of miniature vegetables are to be distinguished three varieties, grown with three different techniques.

The first is that of genetically dwarfor rather vegetables which, even if ripe, have a smaller size than the most famous large variety, and which can therefore be considered the most "natural"; for example, some types of tomatoes and green beans fall into this family.
Instead, they belong to the second, less natural, but still healthy variety, all those standard size vegetables that are harvested prematurely; these mini vegetables, often tender and with a more delicate flavor than the corresponding ripe variety, include mini corn on the cob (much used in Asian cuisine), mini lettuce, mini carrot and various vegetables including zucchini, aubergines and peppers.
The last category of baby vegetables includes instead those that are obtained with a high density production per square meter, which therefore blocks its correct and complete development; for example, baby onions can be grown with this technique, but also cauliflowers, broccoli and turnips.

In short, for each mini vegetable or mini vegetable there is a different family, which it can be interesting to discover also to better understand its history and peculiarities. However, it is good to know that none of these plants have been genetically modified and that they are normal healthy and nutritious vegetables with reduced dimensions, often grown in a greenhouse with few chemical treatments.

The case of baby carrots

The case of the famous ones is quite different "Baby carrots", a snack that Italy never seems to go out of style, but that has made a lot of talk in recent years. Not to be confused with the carrots of the Imperator variety that are harvested before their complete ripening, some of the mini carrots that are distributed all over the world they are nothing but adult carrots, often deformed, which are cut to a perfect miniature shape, about 5 centimeters long. This unique product was invented in the 1990s by a Californian grower named Mike Yurosek to cope with the daily loss of tons of carrots that did not meet the aesthetic standard desired by consumers. Yurosek then tried to peel and carve some of his carrots and proposed them to the distribution chain to which he addressed; unexpectedly the request was such that it then had to move on to an industrialized process that would allow the cutting, peeling, modeling and polishing of the "baby carrots". Soon these carrots spread throughout the country generating such a craze that the sale and intake of national carrots increased dramatically; in the 2000s baby carrots even dominated the fresh vegetable market in the United States. Both abroad and in Italy, this snack has sparked the interest of the press, in a succession of opinions and articles that criticized the deception that lies behind the product, but also the high price, the chemicals often used during the processing and the unsustainable aspect of the packaging process. However, there were also those who highlighted some positive aspects, including the anti-waste nature of production, as well as the positive result of the significant increase in sales of a product that is in any case healthy, rich in vitamins and nutrients.

Nowadays these "fake mini carrots" make up a small part of those present in our supermarkets, but as with all mini vegetables, it is always good not to take the history and provenance of the product for granted.

Photo: Baby carrots grown_Flickr_Steven Depolo.jpg

Hot pot trend: the fire pot from China to Milan – Italian Cuisine


The years pass and the trends change, from the boom bao to the ravioli jiao, now in Milan the Chinese hot pot arrives, the winter comfort food not to be missed

If in the West the hot pot is the new food trend, in China actually has very ancient origins. Since man has had a fire-resistant container in which to cook his food, through the simple and effective cooking technique of boiling, we can speak of hot pot, or rather huǒguō 火锅 , literally a pot of fire, where huǒ 火 is fire and guō 锅 pot. A traditionally copper pot, placed in the center of the table, to be shared with friends and relatives, in which to cook fish, meat or vegetables completely immersed in boiling and mumbling broths, fed by a continuous flame while supplies last.

This is the pot of fire, don't call it Chinese fondue

Having ascertained that in China thehot pot takes the name of fire potwhy cripple this symbolic and intuitive name in an appellation that has no sense of existing in this context? Do you want to confuse ideas? We try to clarify and give the right names to things. The word fondue it has French origins and the donkey already falls here, then if we really wanted to denaturalise the clarity that underlies the writing and the Chinese language, we might as well call it Chinese fondue and no Chinese fondue, so at least we don't snobbish and talk like we eat, Italian. It goes without saying that we should then analyze the word "fondue" (Piedmontese dish consisting of a thick cream obtained by melting fontina cheese in a bain-marie, mixed with cream and egg yolks) says the Treccani dictionary. And here comes another inconsistency since in the fire pot there is no presence of cheeseindeed it is known that in China cheese does not exist and is not consumed, they only eat tofu. And if they drink milk, it is soy or from other cereals or legumes, but it certainly does not contain lactose, a bomb of active ferments ready to explode in the stomachs of the Chinese, not used to it. If we want to make the picky ones the fondue involves the cooking technique in a bain marie, and only later, to keep the fondue constantly creamy, the cauqelon (the pot used for the fondue) is placed on a special iron structure with a candle lit at the bottom, but nothing to do with the living flame of the fire that burns under the copper pot and in the hearts of the Chinese when they think of the huǒguō 火锅.

The republic of the pot

«He is eighty-six years old, she eighty-five. He is her old husband, and she is his old wife. For a lifetime he has been behind her and her character, to her who takes care of the house and to her whims, who combines her clothes and on New Year's Eve she polishes the four valuables they have at home: a pair of bowls, two pairs of silver chopsticks and a copper fire pot …

They like the fire pot, which then brought them together. In the fifties of the last century, when they were young, they went to Donglaishun restaurant on weekends. At the time, there was the "republic of the pot", to the delight of young people of marriageable age, male and female. In practice, people shared the pot, including broth, without knowing each other. Inside it was divided into small sectors, a bit like today's offices. Each had his own, where he dipped the mutton and the ordered dishes. The cost of the broth and the table was divided according to the number of people. Practical and economic …

The "republic of the pot" created a festive atmosphere of harmony and conviviality …
(Adapted from Huoguo, Tie Ning – The fire pot, translation Silvia Pozzi).

My republic of the pot I lived it in the autumn-winter between 2016 and 2017, the semester in which I lived the most beautiful experience of my life, in China of course. In southern China, in Guìyáng 贵阳 (capital of the province of Guizhou), precisely in the district of Huāxī 花溪 区 , just outside the dormitory. Here I was able to experience the real China, the rural one, of the farmers with their panniers on their shoulders and the street vendors, with a cart to be rescued at the passage of bulky vehicles and to be towed home. China of small yuan restaurants and self-share fire pot. Self because everyone is given a tray on which to place the desired dishes, in this way quantity and quality are before your eyes, just like in a self service. But super share as the choice of broth is made in common agreement with the companions of the pot (usually two types, one of meat Ròu tāng 肉汤 and one of vegetables 蔬菜 汤 Shūcài tāng).

There is no limit to sharing, the friends around the huoguo can also be 5 or 6, but be careful not to overdo the invitations otherwise you may find yourself juggling with battles of chopsticks at the last trick.

A real treasure hunt, a bit like finding a needle in a haystack, or rather the Chinese "like fishing a needle in the sea" jiù xiàng zài hǎilǐ lāo zhēn yīyàng 就像 在 海里 捞 针 一样. So be careful not to dip all the spoils of your trays in one go and to cook the ingredients a few at a time to facilitate the operation catch the gruel. Certainly it is not a dish for those who are beginners with chopsticks, but you can always count on the shrewd friends who will be happy to recover some piece of meat, fish or vegetables, to accompany an inexpensive pebble of white rice bái mǐfàn白 米饭.

That's how I met some of the first Chinese friends on campus, sharing a traditional fire pot. I still remember my first huoguo, it was one evening in late October and it was still not too cold in Guiyang. So the restaurants just outside the dormitory still offered the dinner under the stars option, with colored plastic stools and tables equipped to host Spartan Hot Pots. From that evening onwards when the numbness of the cold crept into the bones, it was enough to take courage go down 7 floors of the dormitory and do not think about returning (another 7 flights of stairs without a lift to do), for a comfortable warm dinner this and more. The broth that bubbled, the smoke that rose and that like a fog bank did not allow you to see beyond the fumera the friend in front of you. The fogged glasses, and the tongue burnt with heat, this for me is the taste of China, this is the pot of fire.

Where to eat the fire pot in Milan

Starting from the beating heart of the Milanese chinatown, we populate two addresses in the Paolo Sarpi area:

Little Lamb (two rooms, one in Paolo Sarpi 8 and the other in via Bernina 43, Maciachini area) entirely dedicated to the traditional Chinese hot pot, with tables equipped to host steaming pots of fire. Disposable placemat menu on which to tick your choices, 10 different broths and a selection of meats, fish, vegetables, mushrooms, tofu, meatballs, skewers, rice, spaghetti and sauces.

168 Chinese Township (viale Jenner 29, Maciachini area) majestic restaurant structured in several rooms, one of which is entirely dedicated to the hot pot. Technological order with tablet, 8 broths on the list and a large variety of fish, meat, offal, tofu, vegetables, rice and pasta to accompany and dip in the broths.

Ba Hot Pot (viale Certosa 32) here the pot of fire is the protagonist of the scene, several broths to choose from and numerous alternatives of meat, fish and vegetables and some more risky proposals such as duck black pudding.

Carnivore Union (two rooms, one in via Padova 26 and the other in viale Nazario Sauro 5) perhaps one of the first restaurants to offer the hot pot in Milan, the first address in via Padova has tables set up for the fire pot, while the one in the Zara area has free tables on which to place spartan electric hotplates for the hot pot, a more practical but certainly less suggestive solution. As for the choice of delicious broths and many delicacies, in addition to the classic slices of meat, fish and vegetables, skewers, ravioli, pickled vegetables, udon, fried rice and for the most daring dishes such as lamb kidney and beef tendon.

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