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Sea in winter: the best fish is eaten now – Italian Cuisine


Winter is the best time to enjoy sea fish. Far from biological stops and cold waters, it is with the cold that reaches the best shape. As the experts explain, they advise not to neglect anything, from molluscs to "poor" fish

"The winter sea. It is a concept that thought does not consider. It is not very modern. It's something that nobody ever wants. " We do not doubt the abstract concept of Enrico Ruggeri – author of a memorable song – but we are in total disagreement regarding the raw fish. Even if the mixed grill and the monumental frying evoke the summer tables or the matched oysters-Champagne (wrong, however, to focus on a Chablis or a very Italian Lugana) remembers the Ferragostan dinner in the moonlight. Because beyond the biological stops – which vary from region to region – it is in the coldest months of the year that fish, crustaceans and molluscs reach the top of the form. Above all in our seas and therefore it is the advisable period to taste many species, with the certainty that they are not imported or of inferior quality. It comes from this and not from other reasons, the advice to eat i seafood and oysters first in the months with the 'r', then from September to February. Even if climate change risks limiting the period to the strictly winter one.

The best, and not touristic, Adriatic

Important detail: the greater availability calls for consumption not only of the immortal fish élite (crustaceans, oysters, branzinor …) but of what is defined "Poor fish". Fresh and treated as it should be pure enjoyment. The Bartolini family – a reference for those who love Adriatic fish and not only – for example, is working very well on the theme and offers in its Osterie (in Bologna, Cesenatico and Milano Marittima) a series of exemplary dishes on the theme that do not jar near their mythical Great Fried: The Sea in a sandwich with the fifth quarter of amberjack; Piadina with smoked mackerel; Lumachini with potato cream; Poor Clams in Casentino bean soup; Tagliatelle with cuttlefish. «Since we have a very fresh product, thanks to the fishermen friends who work exclusively for us, it becomes easy to serve unimaginable proposals in the summer – explains Andrea Bartolini, patron together with his father Stefano – and for us there is also the pride of showing how much our Adriatic offers, especially far from the tourist season

The best of Sicily

Naturally, it takes the sensibility of the patron and chef to choose the catch and interpret it to the fullest. Ciccio Sultano, bistellato with the Cathedral in Ragusa, is one of these and starts from a principle. «80% of my menu needs fish, in all species, and therefore it is suitable according to what the Sicilian sea offers in every season – he explains – I always say that the best month for fish is when you find it fresh. It seems obvious but you have to study more and educate customers not to ask for 'out of season' dishes. In the winter, Sultan prefers the sword, the amberjack, the sorrel, the alalunga, the calamari and the totanetti. And he has a weakness for the dolphinfish, fish not very well known but of great versatility, which approaches the coasts of the island and the Tyrrhenian in general at the end of autumn to lay their eggs. "We must not lose this season: it has a white, refined meat. The raw servant on spaghetti and in an antipasto with orange salad and pistachio sauce. But it is also good breaded or scalded with a sauce of black olives he says.

Scallops, mussels and oysters

Always a total supporter of seasonality is Enrico Buonocore, owner of the Langosteria Group, that to the three rooms in Milan – where the 'pantry' must still ensure the classics of the menu – flanks two temporary restaurants in Courmayeur and Paraggi. Each with a justly different vision, linked precisely to the periods. "We continue to underestimate the importance of one correct storage temperature for fish, to guarantee first of the health and then of the quality – says Buonocore – in this sense, I adore the cold months because they make the thing less complicated even in the passage from the boat to the restaurant. But what counts is the respect of the customer: in Paraggi, since we are practically on a beach and in the hot months, we avoid serving certain products while in Courmayeur we are in a natural refrigerator ideal for our counter of only raw . More and more oriented towards a limited number of suppliers and the direct management of fish, the owner of Langosteria shows us the three 'must' for the season. "The mussels are exceptional: fresh and beautiful full. Then the scallops: if they are of quality, they forget those 'rubbery' that often end up on the table. Finally, the oysters: in this period we realize that the rule of the 'r' has not flown in the air and even if the French have made canalization systems to keep the temperature where they are always low, the winter ones remain of another planet

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What to eat in winter (to feel good) – Italian Cuisine


Rich in vitamins, antioxidants, minerals, they invigorate the body, give energy and help fight tiredness and bad mood. Here are the best to bring to the table

Winter is the time of year when you are more exposed to ailments and ailments. Passages from indoor environments that are overheated and dry at cold and humid outside temperatures make the body more vulnerable to disturbances of various kinds. In this period, then, the days the lower exposure to sunlight promotes mood swings. To counter the negative effects of winter in aid are vitamins, minerals and antioxidants that are particularly rich in some seasonal foods. Let's see with the help of Dr. Valentina Schirò, nutritionist biologist specializing in nutrition science, what to bring to the table at this time to reinvigorate the body and have more energy.

What to eat in the winter to strengthen the defenses

"Seasonal vegetables and fruits like kiwis and citrus fruits are excellent sources of vitamin C, which favors the assimilation of iron, whose deficiency causes weakness and strengthens the immune system's defenses. Then they bring fibers, which in addition to favoring satiety and keeping hunger attacks away, favor the elimination of excess toxins that strain the body, "explains the expert.

To raise the mood

"Many seasonal vegetables, especially those with green leaves like chicory, spinach and chard are particularly rich in B vitamins and minerals like potassium and magnesium, which support the nervous system and help to counteract irritability," explains nutritionist Valentina Schirò.

Here is the super food to bring to the table in winter.

Chicory
Chicory ensures a great variety of antioxidants, fibers, minerals, in particular potassium and magnesium, which counteract the frequent swelling in this period due to the more sedentary life.

Fennel
They have the advantage of being diuretics and satiating. They bring a lot of water and fibers that favor the elimination of excess toxins. They are also excellent sources of antioxidants, including precious flavonoids and vitamin C.

Red oranges
They provide vitamin C and B vitamins to help boost the body's defenses. Moreover, they contain many minerals like magnesium and potassium, which are precious to support the organism. They are also an excellent source of antioxidants, including anthocyanins.

Beetroot
Deflates and purifies. Ensures so many minerals, especially potassium that helps drain and eliminate excess fluids. In addition, it is rich in water and fiber, facilitating intestinal transit and toxin disposal.

apples
Contain inulin and pectin, prebiotic substances useful to strengthen the "good" bacteria of the intestine, which mitigate the inflammation, responsible for the swelling.

broccoli
They supply many fibers and vitamins of the B group, in particular vitamin B2, B5, B9, B12. In addition, they are excellent allies of the line: they have fewer calories and lots of water, about 92 percent.

Cabbage
Raw, it provides so much vitamin C, which enhances the immune system. It then provides many prebiotic fibers, useful for nourishing "good" bacteria.

Artichokes
They have a good purifying and draining action. They contain many antioxidants, including anthocyanins and phenolic compounds. Furthermore, it is a source of inulin, a soluble fiber that performs a prebiotic activity: it nourishes the "good" bacteria that populate the intestine. Then bring a variety of B vitamins, including vitamin B2, B3 and B5.

spinach
They are an excellent source of B vitamins, useful for extracting energy and combating stress and fatigue.

Kiwi
They are an excellent source of vitamin C. They contain more than oranges. Then they bring a great variety of minerals including potassium and magnesium, which help to counteract the feeling of tiredness.

On a diet in winter: tips for not giving up – Italian Cuisine


The end of the year old revelries seem now far away, but summer is not so close: i first months of the year I am a limbo, which lends itself perfectly to make a commitment and lose the extra pounds. From the Tao diet that comes from the East to that of supermetabolism, suitable for the cold season because it allows to eat in quantity, there is certainly no lack of proposals and alternatives to try to dispose of excess weight.

The problem is another. For those who choose to wear on a diet in the middle of winter there is no good news: the "good intentions" diet at the beginning of the year risks skyrocketing. The results of some research are far from encouraging: only 8% of those who start a diet in winter successfully completes it, and even those who laboriously will get some results will quickly recover the few pounds lost.

As often happens, science comes to the aid to explain the reasons of the failure of "winter" diets, breaking a spear in favor of those who, armed with the best intentions, always see their efforts frustrated: the guilt would be of an "ancestral" instinct, the same that pushed our ancestors to eat more in the cold months, the period when food was harder to find, and that still today makes us feel a greater desire for food during the winter, pushing us to accumulate weight.

Many nutritionists argue that during winter should increase calories introduced to better withstand lowering temperatures. But then how to set up if you want to start a diet in winter and you intend to bring it to a successful conclusion?

Here are some tips from dott.ssa Carla Lertola, nutritionist: "If it is true that during the winter we are led to eat more calories, it is equally true that now we live in preheated environments and we move little, and therefore we risk not being able to dispose of them. To achieve a diet is fundamental the mental approach. Starting a weight loss diet in January or February can offer the double advantage of having a long period of time during which you gradually reduce the caloric quota, without upsetting our habits ".

To sum up, apart from good will, here are some tips to get fit in the winter months:

Start the diet on time, in order to have a right amount of time to get used to the new diet, which must however be well balanced and varied

Learn to shop, avoiding buying temptations and choosing instead the ingredianti with which we can prepare some flight comfort food healthy

Buy seasonal products and learn how to cook them in the most correct way to preserve their nutritive principles

Enrich the raw materials with the spices reducing the amount of salt and fat

Finally, let us not forget – we add – that in order to stand firm we can offer ourselves a non-food prize: it has been demonstrated that the "Happy Meal effect" helps us to eat less.

article of Silvia Tatozzi
3 February 2016
updated by Stella Rita
January 2019

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