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Yacon, the South American superfood tuber that is conquering the world – Italian Cuisine

Yacon, the South American superfood tuber that is conquering the world


Yacon is the sweet yet low-calorie tuber from the Andes that is conquering the world because of its delicious taste and its beneficial properties that make it a superfood in effect.

The yacon, a low-calorie tuber, rich in nutrients, with a pleasant crunchy texture and a rather sweet taste, has all the credentials to become one of the next trends "superfood". Originally from South America, in recent years the yacon has been cultivated and marketed in everything and is particularly popular in the organic sector. More and more are the studies that ascertain its beneficial properties and more and more are also the products based on yacon, as well as the recipes in which it is used.

From the Andes to commercial success

This tuber grows spontaneously in the Cordillera of the Andes, in particular in Peru, Colombia and Ecuador, and for some years it has also been cultivated in the United States, in Brazil, in Argentina, in New Zealand, in Australia and in various parts of south-east Asia . Its marketing has recently increased significantly, just as small-scale production has increased. In supermarkets and grocery stores, mostly biological, yacón can be purchased in the form of syrup, powder, tea or dehydrated slices, but they are also increasingly common yacon based products including cereal or chocolate bars, cereals, vegetable-based protein supplements, superfood powders and capsules and even toothpaste.

What makes this tuber an exceptional superfood

The nutritional characteristics, and in particular its dietary potential, make it yacon a food of great interest, ideal for natural, low-calorie and vegetable-based diets. In particular, the yacon has prebiotic properties, is rich in natural fibers and iron, is able to dampen the sense of hunger and, above all, is a natural sweetener since it is rich in oligofructose, a low-calorie sugar that can fight blood sugar and regulate insulin in the blood.
In short, this good and superfood ingredient is particularly suitable for overweight people, for those suffering from high cholesterol and for those who suffer from digestive irregularities.

How to use the yacon in the kitchen

Beyond the health benefits and the possible intake of this tuber in the form of sweetener or natural supplements, the rediscovery of the yacon and its popularity also regards its versatile use in the kitchen.
The taste of this naturally sweet food it is delicate and juicy and recalls a cross between Asian pear (nashi), apple and a Mexican potato (jicama), while the consistency has been repeatedly associated with that of Chinese water chestnuts.
The yacon it tends to absorb sauces and condiments and can be eaten raw, simply washed and peeled, perhaps cut into thin slices or grated, to be added to fresh summer salads to give a pleasant, refreshing and fruity touch. In this case it is advisable to cover it with a little lemon juice first, to prevent it from blackening too much. For example, the tuber can be grated with carrots and seasoned with sunflower seeds or used instead of apples in the American Waldorf salad or in the traditional South American salpicón salad. The yacon can finally be cut into slices and fried or cooked and added to soups.
Its pleasant sweetness combined with the low calorie content make it finally ideal for tasty and light desserts, such as pancakes, puddings, desserts, or used instead of apples as the main ingredient of cakes and pies.

The mothers of the world are all beautiful when a chef takes their heart – Italian Cuisine

The mothers of the world are all beautiful when a chef takes their heart


The sweetest words dedicated by the chefs to their mothers and the photos that portray them together. Look at our cute album!

Severe, professional, brilliant. To look at them so austere in their white jackets, chefs and cooks seem born great. Without fears, ice cream melted in your hands and knees peeled. But the approaching Mother's Day is the right occasion to remember that they too were little ones, just like us. That they, too, took refuge in the arms of their beautiful mothers, made whims and some tears to grow and become who they are today.

Bruno Barbieri

Very close to her mother Ornella, interviewed by TV Sorrisi e Canzoni, the chef dedicated these words to her:
"Mum is always mum. I have a wonderful relationship with her, made up of complicity, affection and deep love. Since I was a child I used to call her Ma and I never stopped calling her that. My sisters my grandchildren tease us by calling me "her baby" because for her they still are: in winter I still put on my health shirt because she wants it that way! Her real job was the seamstress. I still remember the magnificent clothes he was wearing at carnival, I always won the first prize (bullfighter, marhaja, astronaut). And for my first communion he made me a wonderful black suit, jacket and short pants but I wanted them long and with the scissors I made a great cut. It took him a week to mend them, but she did not give me even a slap with her sweetness: she understood that I was growing up. Now he is retired and is dedicated, despite some ailments, to the kitchen. I forgot, she is the real home chef .

Alessandro Borghese

Barbara Bouchet is the famous mother of Alessandro, who talking about her to Oggi, made many readers smile.
«Barbara was not the typical Italian mother, the one who prepares you the basket with the brioche or you roll up the covers. She gave it to me with a wooden spoon, pulled my pants down and spanked me. In this she was very strict, very German … If I took something from her it was the attitude to want to be at the center of attention ".

Antonino Cannavacciuolo

Also Anna, the mother of Antonino Cannavacciuolo, told Corriere: "At home I was in charge, because a parent gives you food to give you education. (…) Mine was a child of the heart. Once at Christmas the teacher had done some chores in the class and everyone had a candle. One broke down and Tonino offered to take that one. Another time he was at the soccer field, he was eating the sandwich with salami and he noticed that an older friend was looking at him: he wasn't content to give him a piece, he came home to prepare another for him. And another time he bought charcoal from an old woman he didn't even know. It has always been good … (…) The day the military party started, the roller shutters of the house remained mourned. How I cried. And how much it cost me! He came back from Orvieto every Friday and left on Sunday, with the bag full of provisions and some money I gave him to eat pizza with his friends .

Joe Bastianich

Here the real star in the kitchen is mother Lidia who says: «Women are the best, they don't cook for need of approval, they put passion and love into it. Like my mom. " She, instead, interviewed by Gente, reminded us of our mothers when they talk about our favorite dish (obviously cooked by them): "Joe's favorite dish? Lobster risotto: the sauce is made with the shells, spicy, very tasty, tail and paws only at the end .

Davide Oldani

Even Luigia, the mother of chef Davide Oldani had a fundamental role in her career: «For years I have heard myself say that I have a female palate. I have always taken it as a compliment and I must admit that I recognize it, because it is an expression that is used to define a soft, delicate, refined palate: a mother's palate. And that my mother's was really soft, delicate and refined, I can't say it, but I remember perfectly when she, sitting next to or in front of me, tasted the first spoonful of soup or the first forkful of pasta: that morsel established if the dish was hot but not hot, if the taste was good and not salty or tasteless, if the consistency was the right one. For me, of course: the palate of the mother chose the right balance for me. And if that balance was there, the second bite was mine. This is why it pleases me when they tell me that I have a female palate, because in a certain sense, since then, my mother has unknowingly suggested to me how I should have been a cook: by feeding .

And then, let's look at these and other beautiful family portraits (in the gallery above). Long live mum!

Work in the food & wine world: more technology and tailor-made services – Italian Cuisine

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The passion for food and wine has been transforming the professions linked to this world for some time. Some are still little known or widespread, but they represent new opportunities. We are not talking about cooks and pastry chefs, but of lesser known activities that arise from the great passion for the food & wine and everything related to cooking, ingredients, healthy eating, but also innovation and technology. Accomplices a certain resourcefulness, a pinch of creativity and also the desire to contribute to the fight against food waste.

The food coach
173650Myriam Sabolla, The food Sister, he has worked in communication for many years and today he is food coach and trainer, after graduating as a cook at the Joia Academy, the vegetarian cooking school of chef Pietro Leeman. What exactly does the food coach do? It helps you to cook good things that are good, colorful and cheerful, for everyday life, without having to spend hours in the kitchen and rediscovering the happiness of feeding yourself and others. A personalized and tailor-made service.

"My job – says Myriam – it combines organization and cuisine, this is because my desire is to help people with simple planning tools, such as the weekly menu. I also like to tell how physical spaces in the kitchen and beyond, influence our attitudes, so the kitchen and pantry reorganization phase is so important". But who are the people who turn to the food coach? "They are mostly women, mothers and freelancers – the food coach explains – precisely the people who find it most difficult to organize their days between unexpected family and work. Working with flexible hours and at home is often not an advantage, indeed! So it's nice to work with them because I feel very empathic, we have the same difficulties and problems, in short".

Sommelier at home with an App
173653Marco Mauri, Luca Intelligente and Maria Grazia Salatino are three young Brianza people, wine enthusiasts and experts who started the start up Unpack your personal sommelier. The sommelier at home, which arrives home to embellish an important dinner or an anniversary or on the farm for an event or a presentation. Stappo selects the best bottles of wine, also agrees with the customer based on the dishes that will be served and then through the story and the history of a label explains the aromas and flavors of the chosen wine.

A different and more intimate way of promoting wine culture, which also sees the organization of wine tours and events, such as the Tram Wine during the Fuorisalone 2019, in partnership with the ATM transport company and the Milan guides Con Voi. The city tour by tram while tasting excellent wines, given the many requests, will also be replicated in June. The profession of sommelier marries creativity and seeks more original opportunities to promote the culture of wine, the traditions and the charm of the world of viticulture and winemaking, always starting from the tasting.

The anti-waste apps
173656Against waste comes technology. Ecofood Prime is the App designed by two young Sicilians that connects consumers, merchants and solidarity associations with the aim of limiting food waste starting from simple daily choices. Martina Emanuele and Giuseppe Blanca, founders of Olivia Srls have developed this system of commercial offers, donations and activities to save and reduce food waste. "Faced with a problem of planetary proportions such as food waste – say Giuseppe and Martina – we believe that change can come from the simple gestures we make every day. It's enough to be aware of it.

This is why Ecofood Prime aims to educate people on more sustainable consumption, but also on a lifestyle that respects our environment and allows resources to be better distributed.". The mechanism of the platform is very simple, thanks to the ecoshop on the smartphone, the user receives the offers of the nearest stores that use the system to offer food and food products that are likely to remain unsold, because they have a tight deadline, are in surplus or with aesthetic defects, but still perfect to be consumed. These products can be purchased at advantageous prices and in the meantime the consumer saves on the purchase while the operator recovers part of the costs. The App also contains a list of associations and volunteers to whom to donate the products purchased. Ecofood Prime, part from the city of Palermo experimentally where it is expanding its network of operators.

173659A contribution to improving their behavior, to achieve greater awareness and reduce consumption also comes from another App, born in 2015 in Denmark, present in 10 European countries and recently landed in Italy. Is called To Good To Go, that is, too good to be thrown away. The application collects food offers in perfect condition, but close to the deadline and therefore ready to be thrown away, directly from bakeries, supermarkets, restaurants, pastry shops.

The operator put on sale the Magic Box, of the bag with fresh products and dishes left unsold at the end of the day and the buyer, in the role of waste warrior, to avoid that good food ends up in the trash, buy it from the App and then go directly to the point of sale for collection, buying up the products at an extremely affordable price. The research allows you to find a specific dish or the activities that adhere to the initiative. To Good To Go is an application that has managed to find a balance between the basic idea that is to contribute to the solution of the problem related to food waste and the economic sustainability of the platform itself. In Italy, we start from Milan where, after the launch in late March, numerous bars, pastry shops and restaurants are joining daily. All that remains is to download the App, geolocate and find the nearest Magic Box, which will also allow a reduction of 2 kilos of Co2.

Mariacristina Coppeto
April 2019

DISCOVER THE COOKING COURSES OF SALT & PEPE

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