Category Archives: COLORS AND FLAVORS

COLORS AND FLAVORS

The history of coffee…

We do not know exactly when the coffee was discovered for the first time , but archaeologists have found descriptions of the use of coffee as a medicine in the Arab world in writings dating back to 900 AD

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A legend attributes to the discovery of coffee to an Ethiopian goat herder named Kaldi (around 300 BC).
He observed that his flock was very active when the animals ate certain red berries ;
so decided to try them and discovered the energetic effect of the coffee berries . Gradually the  use of the coffee berries as food energy spread over the world and people learned that they could prepare a tasty drink by first boiling and then fermenting the berries .

From Ethiopia the use of coffee spread to neighboring areas , when the first coffee plantation was built in Yemen. The cultivation then spread to Arabia and Egypt, where coffee drinking (called ” Kahweh ” ) soon became a daily habit .

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The coffee became popular in Europe in the 17th century and its popularity grew very quickly. At the beginning of 1600 ” coffee houses ” began to rise a little everywhere, especially in Italy, France, Britain , Holland and Germany .
Earlier – in 1570 – the coffee was introduced to Europe by a Venetian doctor , Prospero Alpini . Venice was the first Italian city to enjoy the coffee and to have public spaces where it can be enjoyed. The oldest, the Cafe Florian,  continues to offer the precious drink  under the arcades of Piazza San Marco. In Italy , among the aristocrats , coffee soon became a precious gift to offer as a symbol of friendship or love. The coffee culture soon spread throughout the peninsula and also other cities had their ” coffee houses ” : the Greek Cafe in Rome , Caffè Pedrocchi in Padua , Caffè San Carlo in Turin.

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The first machine to make coffee at home was invented in Naples in 1691 by the famous Neapolitan coffee maker . People would use that tool metal , clean water , and 4-5 grams of finely roasted coffee to prepare three or four cups of coffee at once and drink it at home .It soon became a ritual in Italy to conclude the meal with a cup of aromatic coffee .
The coffee was freed early with a reputation of ” aristocratic drink ” and spread to all social classes. Then it became a daily habit to enjoy the pleasure of an invigorating drink . The Espresso was combined with other ingredients , and the most famous coffee-based beverages have Italian names : Espresso, Cappuccino, Macchiato . Over the years Italy has become the official ambassador of the philosophy of Espresso .

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Olive oil is as good as breast milk

The extra virgin olive oil is as healthy as breast milk .It Contains fats such as PCBs, which give our  health a lot of benefits . The condiment is mostly loved by Italians . The experts have indicated that it is suitable to combat diabetes and to protect the liver , as well as being able to increase the sense of satiety .

You can not tell by appearance , but olive oil and breast milk containsnutrients alike.

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Why is olive oil so important ? Extra virgin olive oil contains amounts of omega 3 and omega 6 fat , which makes it more similar to breast milk . Both compounds are present in the symbol of the Mediterranean diet which , in the opinion of the experts , would be acceptable even to people who probably have never tasted it before, like the Inuit .
The olive oil keeps its content of essential fatty acids only if it is properly prepared in the mill . In the opinion of the experts , the daily intake of high-quality oil is particularly beneficial for both the intake of omega 3 and omega 6.Oleuropein is a substance that lowers blood pressure and makes the arteries more elastic as well as reducing the process ateriosclerotico .
The oleuropein gives the oil its characteristic of bitter aftertaste. Then there is another component that is  important. It is dell’oleocantale , hence the spicy taste . This substance has an anti-inflammatory power and reproduces in a natural way the effects of ibuprofen , the active ingredient which is widely used in the production of pain medication.

The history of ice cream…

 Around the homemade ice cream were born many stories , some true and others of fantasy , which narrate the birth of this food so special and loved by all. The pleasure of enjoying a delicious ice cream is of least three thousand years old , and his birth is uncertain.

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One of the earliest historical documents that speak of ” ice cream ” comes to us from a greek poet who lived in 500 BC Athens. The Greeks loved to prepare their soft drinks with a little lemon , honey and pomegranate juice with a lot of snow or ice.

If we move to Saudi , we find that each was already frozen drink called ” sherbet ” , from which the word Italian sorbet.

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The Arabs in Sicily were the usual mix of Etna snow fruit juices , creating what may be considered the ancestor of our homemade ice cream.

 The birth of the ice cream made ​​from milk or cream is fairly recent. He was born around the year 1565 at the court of Catherine de ‘ Medici in Florence, thanks to the architect Bernardo Buontalenti , said Master Bernardo pinwheels that achieves an almost sherbet ice cream using snow , salt ( for a law of physics latter lowers temperature) , lemons , sugar, egg white and milk.

 Subsequently, in 1686 , the enterprising Sicilian Francesco Procopio, who moved to Paris, inaugurated the ” Café Procope ” , which still exists today , where he created a new recipe for making ice cream – sorbet using fruit, honey, sugar and ice.

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Another important step for the production and dissemination of the ice cream comes from the United States, where Nancy Johnson, of New Jersey, in 1846 he perfected the first ice cream maker : a tub filled with ice and salt where Nancy has inserted a metal cylinder with l ‘ dough to freeze that goes with a crank. Two years after William Young cares to apply a motor to the tub , allowing a more uniform cooling of the compound . The real revolution , however, you have the beginning of 900 , with the introduction of the ice cream maker motor.

Equally important is the revolutionary invention by Fabbri (producer of syrups alcoholic and non ) of the first products for the preparation of sweet most loved in the world. It is composed of ingredients for homemade ice cream including fruit pastes and creams that the craftsman uses in his recipes by adding milk , cream or water to make its ice cream .

The ice cream has become certainly one of the most common and popular dessert in the world thanks to his kindness and genuineness of the ingredients used . The homemade ice cream always brings traditional Italian food in the world .

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The History of Pizza

The further back we look in time, the more interesting details we can find about that surrounds pizza.

Today this dish is one of the most popular foods on the entire Earth, but that fame and recognition came from the decades of work of many international pizza restaurant franchises which spread this dish to the all four corners of the world. Before these pizza chains were formed, this dish slowly rose in popularity in the United Stated, brought from the Europe by the Italian settlers which did not wanted to be parted from one of the most iconic meals of their country. And there, in the Mediterranean coastal city of Naples, the modern Pizza was created.

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Although 19th century Italy is regarded as a home of modern pizza, it roots go all the way back to the ancient Roman, Greek and Persian empires. The records from those times depict various types of bread in round and flat shapes, with various toppings on top. Although many European civilizations continued to use meals created in this fashion even up to today(coca from Catalonia and Valencia, Greek Pita, Turkish Pide,Lepinja or Solmun in Balkans), the cooks from Italy became most interested in pizza. They produced various pizza products from the ancient times to the middle ages. In the preserved ruins of the Italian city of Pompei, archeologist found unmistakable signs of the network that supported pizza production – from the street stands to the restaurant kitchens were pizzas were made.

Most important ingredient that elevated local Italian dish to the worldwide famous pizza was arrival of the tomato from the New World in 16th century. Although Italian nobility regarded tomato as a poor man’s food, the inventive recipes and designs of Italian pizza cooks from Naples soon managed to change their minds. As the popularity of the pizza grew, pizza makers started to expand their business.

The first restaurant dedicated only for selling pizza was opened in Naples in 1830, and after that many more appeared across all Italy. The pizza from witch almost all designs are based was created in the 1889 by the hands of the famous Naples chef Raffaele Esposito who made three pizzas for the King and Queen of Italy. His design of pizza Margherita became gold standard for all future pizzas.

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8 Surprising Health Facts About Spinach

Full of nutrients and delicious taste, spinach is a winter superfood. But what’s the best way to eat it? Read the following surprising facts about this leafy green:

It’s wiser to choose tender baby spinach leaves. The larger the leaves, the more mature they are and more likely to be tough or stringy. Also, spinach leaves that are placed under direct light in the stores have been found to contain more nutrients than those stored in darkness.
Cooking spinach actually increases its health benefits! Just half a cup of cooked spinach will give you thrice as much nutrition as one cup of raw spinach. That’s because the body cannot completely break down the nutrients in raw spinach for its use.
As an exception to the advice above, research studies show that taking spinach in juice form is actually the healthiest way to consume it. Blend spinach with other vegetables or fruits to create a delicious glass of juice, or try a green smoothie.
There’s a compound in spinach called oxalic acid, which blocks the absorption of calcium and iron. An easy way to solve this problem is to pair spinach with a food high in vitamin C. Mandarin oranges and cantaloupes spring to mind here. Another way to reduce the power of oxalic acid is to boil the spinach leaves for at least two minutes.
Freezing spinach diminishes its health benefits. The way to get the best from the leaf is to buy it fresh and eat it the same day.
Do place spinach on your ‘organic shopping’ list, because the leaf tends to be sprayed heavily with pesticides that don’t come off with normal washing.
Everyone talks about the benefits of spinach in nourishing the eyes and building bones. What few know is that it also very good for digestion. Spinach eases constipation and protects the mucus lining of the stomach, so that you stay free of ulcers.  It also flushes out toxins from the colon.
Another lesser known benefit of spinach is its role in skin care. The bounty of vitamins and minerals in spinach can bring you quick relief from dry, itchy skin and lavish you with a radiant complexion. Regular consumption of fresh, organic spinach juice has been shown to improve skin health dramatically.

The mostaccioli calabresi

Soriano Calabro is a little town of Calabria, a region of South Italy. This little town is renowned for its hard biscuits known as Mostaccioli,also called mastazzola”, “mustazzoli” o “’nzudde“,of various shapes, decorated with coloured tin foil. The most common traditional shapes are fifty,known as “a parma“, “u panaru“, “a grasta“, “u cori“,”u pisci spada“,”a sirena“; that is to say: the palm,the basket,the plant, the heart, the swordfish and the siren. Reading Luigi Accattatis’ in Calabrian Dialect Vocabulary(1977); he writes: “Mustazzuòlo or mostacciolo” is a sweet brought by Arabs and it’s made with wheat flour melt into honey or “done must”; then, seasoned with spices and baked. People eat this kind of titbit during wedding ceremonies especially”. Giovan Battista Marzano’s definition-in his Etymologic Dictionary(1928) is more detailed:”mostaccioli are homemade sweets with flour,honey,done must,seasoned with spices and rhombus-,puppet-,basket- shaped,ecc. The name comes from the Latin word mustaceus or mustaceum, from mustacea, an ancient flat cake for wedding ceremonies, made by a mixture of flour, done must, fat seasoning,cacio cheese,aniseed and cooked on bay leaves”. Anyway, mostaccioli origin is still uncertain-maybe, Arabian, a legend tells about a mysterious monk, suddenly appeared and then soon vanished,who generously offered mostaccioli to Soriano poor rural people.
S.Domenico,whose sanctuary was a pilgrimage and worship destination, watched over these animated sweets and later,he became the patron saint of mastazzolari and the craftsman is called “u monacu”(the monk).
According to history, the introduction of mostaccioli is due to Dominicans monks of S.Domenico monastery(1510). They tought,upheld and improved among craftsmen the local confectionery art,which was flourishing between ‘600 and ‘700 and involving monasteries,first of all.

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Limoncello

The history of limoncello bends through a series of anecdotes and legends. Its paternity is competed by sorrentini, amalfitani and capresi. In small plots of kilometres, three populations boast of a production of limoncello passed on by various generations. In Capri, someone says that its origins are linked to the events of the family of the businessman Massimo Canale who, in 1988, registered the first trademark “Limoncello”.

The liquor was born at the beginning of 1900, in a small boarding house of the island Azzurra, where the lady Maria Antonia Farace took care of a rigorous garden of lemons and oranges. The nephew, during the post-war period, opened a bar near Alex Munte’s villa. The speciality of that bar was the lemon liquor made with nonna’s old recipe. In 1988, the son Massimo Canale started a small handmade production of limoncello, registering the trademark. But really, Sorrento and Amalfi have some legends and stories on the production of the traditional yellow liquor. On the coastal, for example, the story narrates that the big families of Sorrento, at the beginning of 1900, would always ensure that their illustrious guests would get a taste of limoncello, made according to the traditional recipe. In Amalfi, there’s even who believes that the liquor has older origins, almost linked to the lemon cultivation. However, as it frequently happens in these circumstances, the truth is vague and the hypothesis are many and interesting. Someone believes that limoncello was used in the morning by fishermen and countrymen to fight the cold, since the invasion periods. Others, instead, believe that the recipe was born inside a monastic convent to delight the monks from prayer to prayer. Maybe, we’ll never know the truth, except for the fact that the traditional yellow liquor has crossed the borders from decades, conquering the markets of half world. Bottles of limoncello are present on the shelves of overseas’ markets, and new important commercial sceneries are developing on the Asian markets.

So, limoncello, could really become a worldwide product like Bitter or Amaretto. And in order to defend itself from the imitations, it is run also to the shelters, reserving to the production of the characteristic “oval” sorrentino the denomination of geographic Indication protect (IGP).
The original lemon of Sorrento has to be produced in one of the town council of the territory that goes from Vico Equense to Massa Lubrense and the island of Capri.

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Tartufo di Pizzo

The Tartufo di Pizzo ice cream was invented in 1952 when a relative of king Victor Emannuel II came to Pizzo in honour of the celebration of an aristocratic marriage. For this occasion many guests were invited for an elaborate dinner. Unfortunately the hosts did not have enough cups to serve the guests the ice cream dessert but a clever pastry maker named Don Pippo de Maria came up with a creative solution. He invented an ice cream that did not need a cup but instead could be served on a plate. He put a small portion of hazel and a small amount of chocolate ice cream in the palm of his hand, he poured over some melted chocolate and then wrapped everything up in special paper to mould it. Wrapped up like little presents, he put the ice cream parcels back in the freezer before serving it to his guests.

Don Pippo’s invention earned him immediate fame. After the aristocratic wedding Don Pippo went back to his ice cream parlour which exists to this day. A former waiter of Don Pippo named Giorgio di Iorgi took over Bar Dante in 1964. It is still there on the central piazza in Pizzo and serves the famous Tartufo ice cream according to the secret recipe of Don Pippo.

Since then Tartufo di Pizzo ice cream has become legendary. The original recipe is kept under strict guard by the De Maria descendants.

Amaretto Disaronno

Amaretto Disaronno!!!!
Come molte ricette a base di mandorle, è di antichissima tradizione e affonda le sue origini nel 1500. Nella città di Saronno (Milano) venne commissionato al pittore Bernardino Luini un affresco che ritrae la Madonna e l’Adorazione dei magi. L’affresco è tutt’oggi visibile nel Santuario della Beata Vergine dei Miracoli. La leggenda narra che nel periodo in cui il pittore soggiornò a Saronno alloggiasse presso una locandiera di particolare bellezza, di cui si innamorò al punto da usarla come modella per la sua Madonna. Per ringraziarlo, lei gli offrì un elisir di erbe, zucchero tostato, mandorle amare e brandy che venne immediatamente apprezzato e si diffuse in pochissimo tempo. Il liquore mantenne quindi un significato di affezione e amicizia ed è oggi uno dei prodotti italiani più diffusi all’estero. Non viene tradotto e il nome resta invariato in tutte le lingue. Nella città di Saronno ha sede lo storico stabilimento dell’azienda Illva Saronno S.p.a., produttrice del liquore con il marchio “Disaronno”.