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CAPITAN FINDUS MAKES 50 YEARS (AND NOT ONLY HIM) – Italian Cuisine


Definitely in the world of products food time flows differently than that of us humans: the bearded Captain Findus she is the same age as the chubby blond child of sweets Kinder. But also of lactose-free products Zymil and of the popular Big Mac. All these brands, in fact, are sons of the 1968. And so they turn 50 roundish years round. In this medium century have accompanied the life and meals of millions of consumers, in Italy and in world. Adapting to the passage of the times, without ever getting old. How will they ever have done?

167385 Captain Findus: a Santa Claus in blue
For him time does not pass, or rather, turns to contrary: at the beginning, when he appeared at the British TV, in 1967, was a pacioso grandfather with the White beard and the mischievous look. Then, in these 50 years, spot after spot, is gradually rejuvenated, becoming first a handsome and charming big young man and then a reassuring one sea ​​dog shaving salt and pepper. What is not changed it's his adventurous world, made of do you travel on board a sailing ship with the hold full of unmistakable fish sticks Findus; the same ones they buy today 10 million of Italian families. A product invented in the middle of the years 50, in two versions: those based on herring immediately discarded and those of codthat, instead, so good and so practical, they were immediately a success. In Italy they arrived in the 1967 and were produced (then as today) in the factory of Cisterna di Latina, from which they come out every year 355 million of Findus fish sticks. To make them known to the Italian it was the reassuring face of Captain Findus (which, incidentally, in England is called Captain Bird Eyes, while in Germany and northern Europe it is Captain Iglo). In half a century of sea travel has become not only the guarantor of the genuineness and the quality of these products, but also the mentor for i "Captains of Tomorrow", the one who helps the children a to grow up and to know the stories of the sea, thanks to educational kits distributed in over 300 schools and arrived last year to 22,000 children throughout Italy.

167415 Zymil: from pharmacies to the home refrigerator
It was the first milk without lactose sold in Italy. At the time of the launch by Parmalat, in 1968, it was distributed only in the pharmacies, packaged in "pharmaceutical" cans, on which it was called a milk sterilized long-life "easier digestion and absorption ". It will take 12 years because Zymil also arrives in stores and supermarkets: a step necessary to respond to the growing demand for milk lactose. With the new millennium come the bottles colored and pop that we are used to. Surely the pack more suitable and more practical for packaging the delatosato milk microfiltered fresh, the product with which Zymil enters the refrigerator of Italian homes. From there on it's all one to flourish of new products, which also allow those who want remove lactose of to cook and eat well, without giving up dairy product. Thus, Zymil becomes a product line "Lactose free", with dozens of products: from cream the yogurt to the Greek, from the ice cream with organic milk mozzarella cheese. A path of innovation that has allowed Zymil to keep up with the evolution of needs food Italians and continue to enter their shopping cart. Did you know that the 1 liter bottle of milk Zymil it is the second best-selling reference in the big one distribution Italian?

167412 Kinder: German in the name, Italian in the heart
22 new products in 50 years: to scroll the timeline of Kinder we immediately realize how much creativity has put Michele Ferrero in this brand, born in the "boiling" 1968 with the aim of agreeing parents and children. Such as? Aiming on effective slogans "+ Milk – cocoa", reproduced on all single-portion packs (one Announcements absolute for the time) and accompanied by a white cast of milk on orange background. A formula lapidary and incisive, which on the one hand bonus the greediness of the little ones and on the other reassures the big ones on the value nutritional of bars and eggs, snacks and snacks fresh. The debut took place with Kinder Chocolate, which can be considered the "father" of all products arrived in decades subsequent, aimed at children before, and ad teenagers and young adults then: from the Kinder Cereals (1976) to the Kinder Pingui (which in 1992 invented the snacks fresh) to get to the last born, Kinder Cards (2017), with which Ferrero has landed in the world of cookies stuffed. Result: today Kinder is one of the brand names most widespread Italians in the world. It is present in 125 countries and is produced in 18 establishments in crazy volumes. The barrette of Chocolate Kinder produced in 4 days to cover the 9.289 kilometers of the Trans-Siberian. Among all the products-brand of the rangeprobably the most iconic remains Kinder Surprise (born in 1974), the little egg that made happy ranks of children. And not just for the chocolate milk but also for the surprises, always different and innovative: did you know that more than 100 are proposed per year?

167418Big Mac: a pop icon for half a century
In its 50 years of life it has become like this popular and widespread to even be used as index statistical from the economists: in fact the price of the Big Mac it is considered an important data to evaluate the cost of life in the past 100 countries where this super is sold sandwich. Which is due to the inventiveness of a Italian-American. It was, in fact, Jim Delligatti, which ran a fast food in Pennsylvania, to have had in the 1967 the intuition of double up the hamburger McDonald's, creating a recipe infallible in its formula as well as a perfect example of "Food design": two slices of meat enclosed in a bread covered with sesame and stuffed with onions, pickled gherkins, slices of cheese, lettuce and a special sauce. Seven centimeters of pure taste. A novelty immediately liked, so much to be insert a year later in all McDonald's of the United States for the price of 45 cents of dollar. Soon the Big Mac has become the most famous of McDonald's sandwiches, marking not just the history of the company, but also that of the consumption food of our planet. And in this capacity his inventor, ten years ago, he dedicated one to him museum in Pennsylvania. Today the Big Mac it is widespread on all continents. In Italy has arrived in the 1986, together with the first restaurant McDonald's, that of Piazza di Spagna, a Rome. Today it counts 20 million of consumers and became a sandwich "Glocal". There recipe that remains American, but i ingredients I'm locals. For example, in Italy meat is supplied by Inalca and it comes all from farms national.

Manuela Soressi
December 2018

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Seventy years later: the rice fields of Amaro rice, today – Italian Cuisine


We went to collect the rice in Vercelli and right in the rice fields where they shot Riso Amano. Here's how it works today, that the mondine are gone, between new and old varieties of rice

The origin of rice cultivation dates back to centuries ago in the Far East. It arrives in Italy, in particular in the triangle of the provinces of Vercelli, Novara and Pavia, Only during the Renaissance, but already in the fifties of the eighteenth century almost a quarter of the Piedmont territory cultivated with rice is located in Vercelli. But if Vercelli is the capital of rice, Cascina Venerìa in its district is the largest company single-body risicola in Europe, winner of an important gold medal. Set of film Bitter Rice and of the most recent documentary Bitter smile, this is a place of extreme charm, where you can learn all about the world of rice growing and where you can relive the atmosphere of the times of mondine that have inspired cinema and literature.

Risiculture: how rice cultivation works

The world of rice cultivation has changed radically in the fifties: with the mechanization, which has replaced human labor and the use of herbicides, which has greatly altered biodiversity in soils. In November the combine harvesters begin their rest period, until the spring, when towards March and April we will proceed with plowing and irrigation, because we remember that the rice needs a lot of water. Then, in May, it's time for sowing: usually 140 to 190 kilos of seed per hectare are distributed with direct sowing, which in Italy is the only method of rice cultivation. Once the rice is ready, it is fundamental to choose the right moment of the cut, given that depending on the variety ripen at different times. The period of collection, we move on to storage, or the conservation of rice in silos, where it can also be years, indeed; the more time passes, the more the rice will be cooked better. Also there processing rice is one of the most important steps to determine the quality of the product: after separating the beans from impurities, grass, soil and rocks, we proceed with the removal of the gem and the outer cell layers, first of the husk , ie the hard outer shell; then we move on to husking which happens by passing the rice between two abrasive rollers that peel it. After processing, the White rice it represents about 60% of the original paddy rice, while when it comes only brown, it is about brown rice, which preserves pericarp and gem and therefore has higher percentages of nutrients. Today, the machines, from the threshing to the dryer, greatly help each of these phases, while once a great part of the work was in the hands of the oilers.

The mondine
They are by now the last appendages of a vanished world, the mondine, seasonal workers often emigrated from elsewhere, like Angela Uaglivo di Caselle in Pittari, in Cilento: "I was born in 1932 and for years I was a mondina in Vercelli. I also made a small mess behind the trucks, just to keep my children, but two months a year I was staring at the rice paddies. It was a life like the military there, we slept all women together in a shed, on the rice straw. There was a common disease that came often, they called it the "rice sickness", that is, there were so many bubbles on the legs. Then there were so many mosquitoes. When I returned to Caselle because of my father's death, the pharmacist looked at my legs and told me: "My mother, how are you my children?" Then we always walked barefoot, working eight hours a day. If we sometimes asked for overtime to get a little extra money, we would also work in the evening, a couple of hours, often in the team. Then packages arrived with blankets and mats. I never inquired about who had been to send them, but thanks to those packages we were a bit 'better".

Variety of rice (not just Carnaroli)

Among the main varieties of rice, today the favorite is the Carnaroli, especially for risottos given the high starch content, the consistent grain and the excellent cooking resistance. But in the past it was not like that: the most widespread historical variety, for risottos, was precisely theNative to, as the name says, which during the fascist period was renamed table; then it was abandoned for small size and low cooking resistance so much so that today it is used more for arancini and timballi. It's theArborioinstead, the one with the biggest bean of all, born in Baraggia in 1946, in the namesake country. The added value of Arborio DOP Baraggia is the authenticity of the variety: about 95% of the rice grown and packaged as Arborio in Italy is actually Volano, a similar variety of the '70s; later, thanks to the PDO specification, the authentic Arborio cultivar is grown in Baraggia. Another highlight of the Baraggia is rice S. Andrea of Baraggia, which takes its name from the Abbey of Vercelli, whose masters are Emanuele and Pietro of the company Goio of Rovasenda, active and competent in the field for years (today even with a foodtruck around). S. Andrea is increasingly appreciated everywhere, particularly in the high catering sector because it cooks in less time and releases more starch than anyone else. For those who, instead, were looking for types with less starch we remember the Bold, ideal for soups, the Romethe Lotus which falls within the denomination Ribe and the Black Venus, increasingly widespread. For risottos, especially those with fish and vegetables, there is also the Vialone Nano but its area, more than the Vercelli area, is the Isola della Scala, the Veronese low up to Mantua. All these varieties are conserved in purity at Cascina Venerìa, which guarantees a precious protection of biodiversity.

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Cascina Venerìa

The Cascina Venerìa is different from the others for many reasons, among which being the only producer of rice a complete supply chain: Everything, in fact, happens in the 750 hectares surrounding, from the conservation and reproduction of the various seeds, up to processing, packaging and sale. In addition, it pays special attention to the selection and quality, with a virtually zero percentage of broken grains in the packages, which on the other hand also found by Eataly. It is a huge estate, with its own springs, which still preserves intact, albeit abandoned, the structure of the typical Vercelli farmhouse, with the ancient houses of mondine and laborers. In short, a very fascinating place, especially in the autumn fog when the spider webs fly like streamers on the rice fields, as a sign of a life that continues to live thanks to the rice fields. It may be for all these reasons that in 1949 was chosen by Giuseppe De Santis as setting for some sequences of that masterpiece of Bitter rice and in 2003 it was again the film location of the documentary Sorriso Amaro by the Vercelli director Matteo Bellizzi. In 2006, however, he won one gold medal in Spain, in Benicàssim, on the occasion of the first International Rice Olympics, organized by the Académie Internationale de la Gastronomie in Paris. Today, after endless changes of ownership, the farmhouse belongs to the Bertoldo family and, behind the church, there is also a sort of restaurant: open only by reservation for some special evenings, the Veneria Circolo Recreativo offers a menu based on Vercelli dishes, sometimes up to thirty courses, including, of course, panissa in a truly cinematic version.

10 years of "Twilight": the vampire-proof menu – Italian Cuisine


Exactly ten years after the release of the first film in the saga, many are wondering if the dishes offered in all five chapters of the franchise are (only) based on human blood. This is not so and here we explain why

Vampires love blood. They smell the smell, taste its essence and appreciate its acidity. In this the Cullen family is an exception, a unicum in all the species. In fact, at home, they drink only animal blood, convinced that a life far from homicide can assure him of salvation, happy and trouble-free cohabitation in a quiet town like Forks, between the cliffs and mountains of Washington State, where it rains almost all year. It is here that the vampire Edward and the human Bella meet for the first time, the intertwining looks and the cheeks approaching, but not too much, careful not to awaken in him the thirst for blood that throbs, hot and dense.
It happens exactly ten years ago, when the first chapter of Twilight arrives at the cinema, enjoying a global success. Hence the passion between the two protagonists, divided by that very thin line in which love could turn into tragedy, into an appetizing dish to be consumed immediately, before the liquid congeals. But are we really sure that the saga does not propose more "edible" alternatives for the public?

In reality it happens often, and in all five films. Like when Edward himself, unwillingly, agrees to taste a slice of pizza and a piece of his wedding cake in the fourth chapter of the epic. The sacrifice is not cheap: the Cullens, like all vampires, have no appetite and the only thing that can quench the hunger pangs is blood, in whatever form it is present. This is why he and Emmett often go hunting for grizzly and mountain lions, the animal species that they prefer to be able to refresh. Speech, however, that certainly does not apply to Bella, at least until (Spoiler!) do not turn into a vampire too. Before that, at the home of his father Charlie, the girl carries on absolutely common eating habits: the cereal soaked in milk in the morning for breakfast, the steak with the potatoes preparing for the first time in the new house and the blueberry muffins looking stupid during the first visit to the Lycanthropist headquarters, sworn enemies of the vampire race.

For the rest, on the first date with Edward, the girl is content with a glass of lemonade, without being able to consume anything else. A little 'for the shyness towards the rider who likes it a lot and a bit' for an appetite that will learn to appreciate only with time. Like when, during a romantic dinner in Port Angeles, he ordered a plate of ravioli with mushrooms just because they were the first thing he read on the menu. If there is someone who does not disdain the food is, instead, Jacob, the man-wolf in love with the girl and ready to do anything to conquer his place in the territory. Memorable scene in which, on the final of Eclipse, feeds on a whole cow to placate his throat. Of his own clan, also Seth does not go down light: the delicious omelette with cheese and cinnamon that devours in New Moon, just before Bella discovers the existence of the vampire killer wolves, it is the most vivid proof. For the rest it seems obvious that blood is the main ingredient of the characters' diet Twilight, even if something tells us that Edward himself would not disdain a good plate of steaming spaghetti. Always that to prepare them is his Bella and not Jacob.