Personally Speaking~Me oh my, which one do I want?

Do you ever stand there staring like a deer in headlights when looking at the vast displays of olive oil to choose from?  I know how to tell if it’s from Italy, but beyond that I am clueless.   Well, I admit I was until I came across this great article that explains what to look for!  Felice per la cottura!  (Happy cooking!)

 

When it comes to quality olive oil, Italy certainly holds the world’s first place. Yet, do we really know how to recognize a truly good olive oil from a mediocre one?

 

Here are some simple rules to recognize a quality extra virgin olive oil.

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First of allalways go for dark bottles that protect their content from light and avoid its oxidation

 

Labels should give us basic information:

The olives’ geographical origin

Their type

Where they have been pressed

Where the oil has been bottled.

 

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Checkmate to bad olive oil: here are some simple rules to recognize a quality extra virgin oil.

 

Acidity should always be lower than 3%.

Olives should always be cold pressed, which means the process should take place at less than 27 degree Celsius to keep flavors intact.

Color and clearness are important parameters to recognize a quality extra virgin oil.

It shouldn’t be too liquid, as it would mean it contains high quantities of  polyunsaturated fats.

It should smell fresh, with hints of freshly cut grass, tomato peels, almonds, and artichoke leaves.

It should taste bitter and tangy, that is, rich in polyphenols!

  

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 Make sure its expiration date isn’t over 18 months from production and that price isn’t lower than 18 USD per litre (15 Euro). 

If all these parameters are met, than you got yourself a great bottle of extra virgin olive oil! Try it also to fry: it’ll surprise you. 

And of course, always check the label says 100% Italian. 

 

Article credit to L’Italio Americano,  and Varinia Cappelletti.

~Personally Speaking~ Il Sasso School of Italian Language ~

One is never too old to learn.  How did I miss this amazing looking school along my life’s journey?  I want to become a student once again and study at this incredible looking place!  My dream/wish is that  a group of Flight Crew people would all go over together and immerse ourselves in this beautiful culture,  language, and people.  To sit at tables on a beautiful patio, surrounded by flowers and country side where you view rolling hills and cypress trees as far as the eye can see, while sharing wine and our life stories with each other.  To go to the market together and choose fresh ingredients,  then  gather around a small table in a warm Italian kitchen and learn the art of making true Italian pasta.  To study and  have fun learning as a group their beautiful romantic language.    I may be a dreamer, but it’s a beautiful thought.

 Chianti near Florence

FOR OVER 30 YEARS, Il SASSO ITALIAN LANGUAGE SCHOOL …

has been running courses in Montepulciano, in the heart of Tuscany. The school offers Italian courses for speakers of other languages studying in small groups and individually. There are six different levels, corresponding to the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages. Il Sasso also runs art history, wine, cookery, literature and current affairs mini-courses, as well as courses to prepare students for the CELI and CILS exams. The school is recognised by the Italian Education Ministry and certified to ISO 9001:2008 standards. It is a medium sized school with a reputation for excellence, and is open all year round. Students of all ages come to study here from all over the world.

 

Enjoy this fun video.  

 

 

Article excerpt and video credits to L’Italo-Americano Newspaper

Photo of Tuscany countryside from Tuscanyphotos.com

Personally Speaking~ Ignazio the Cook ~

 

First of all I must tell you that Ignatius here does not provide a real recipe but it is as if he were making an imitation of some Italian chef because he uses a deeply accented language in southern Italian.

Translation: 

So all right,

We roast the zucchini already sprinkle with the red wine.  Spadelliamo ( = stir -fry) for good as Cannavacciuolo ( famoso cuoco italiano del momento) teaches.

All right, take paper towel and clean everything.   Ciao. (kiss)

 

It is better understood that they are zucchini cut into cubes and fry with a little oil, sprinkle the courgettes with red wine and sauté them (stir-fry), mixing the zucchini well with the wine.

 

Note the sharp chef’s jacket.  This guy is serious about his skills!  

Ignazio has always had a flair for cooking.  Here he is way back in 2013, making Scaloppine alla Marsala!

This is a sweet short interview from 2013 where Ignazio talks about his favorite food and his Mammas cooking.  Marie and I were lucky enough to actually go to Nina’s Pizzeria.  It is a cozy little place with three smiling young women who make GREAT pizza!

Nina and her staff

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Marie…Nina…Jane

to Jane 10

 

So who would like this dashing chef to come and cook for them?  I think we will all have to get in line BEHIND Marie and Loretta! 🙂

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Translation of video by our very own Daniela!

Credit to all owners of videos.

~Personally Speaking ~ A Tortello…In Honor Of Ignazio

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Ignazio’s sister, Nina, has posted this delicious looking creation on her pizzeria social media!  She says it was made “in honor of Ignazio.”  I’m not sure exactly what is inside of it.  Ricotta?  Nutella?  Pistachio?   I am going to try and get her recipe for all of us IL VOLO…IGNAZIO fans here to make at home!

 

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What could be “sweeter” than these photos?  

Eating one of these Ignazio Tortello’s  while looking at his photos??

 

 

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Look for future post with the recipe included!  Wish me luck!!

 

 

Credit to all owners of photos.

 

 

 

Personally Speaking ~ “I Have Fallen In Love” ~

I recently came across a lovely poem that speaks to the heart.  For those who have been to Italy, live there, or who travel there in their dreams, I hope this will resonate in your heart as well.

 

ITALY

I have fallen in love
With the air, the trees
The thinly paved and often cracked roads
And even more so with those covered in cobblestone.
I have fallen in love with the tanned locals
Old shopkeepers with hats and bifocals
Their calling voices
The natural movement of their hands
The cool sea water
And hot white sands.

 

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is

 

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I have fallen in love with espresso
And how it feels in my throat
The smell of leather
Taste of gelato
Harbours full of fishing boats
The sound of a vintage vespa
Weaving its way through a crowd
And this is a country of which to be proud.

 

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I have fallen in love with the architecture
The vast and complex history
The more I learn the more I admit is a mystery.
I have fallen in love with the way the sun shines brighter
The air is fresher
And the fruit is sweeter
The men are bolder
And the books are cheaper.
I have fallen in love with the words they say
And how those words effortlessly roll off their tongues

 

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I breathe in their culture
And try to hold it in my lungs.
Pizza, pesto, cute cafes
Absence of anxiety, holidays
The tourists who view it all through a camera lens
Adventure begins and tension ends.
I have fallen in love with it all
Every flower
Every hue
All those pairs of Italian sunglasses
I love them too.

 

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Every cloud
Every ray of sunshine
Every painted line
Every brick
Of every church
On all those hills
In all those tiny towns
That populate the green countryside
And every visionary who in them has lived and died
I love
But most of all
I have fallen in love with the version of me
That comes out when I am in Italy.

 

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~~Written by Ariel Baptista~~

 

~~Credit to all owners of photos.~~

Personally Speaking~What’s Next??~ by Mary Bohling

The boys have been teasing us a bit about what is next on their recording agenda.  It seems that it will have a Latin flavor since they are working with their friend, Emilio Estefan.  And remembering how we, the fans, love the  tantalizing Latin beat of “Volare,” it would seem that we would embrace that style.  But, just for fun, let’s consider some other styles of past musical icons that they might choose to emulate.

Since our boys have such a propensity for the beach, maybe they would like to try the Beach Boys’ style, one that has stood the test of time with its’ catchy tunes, captivating rhythm, and great harmony.  The guys would really get into spirit of fun following in the Beach Boys footsteps.

 

Corvette

 

Wouldn’t it be great to hear Igna  taking the falsetto part of the Jersey Boys’ repertoire?  He would be so good at it.  He did some improvisations with the high notes of “Somebody to Love” that blew our socks off, plus he has the added asset  of his adorably endearing facial expressions (those eyes!!) to go along with the voice.

 

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Remember the Ink Spots?  Most of you probably don’t.  You might  want to look them up.  Their harmony and rhythm were so contagious they always left you wanting more.  Remind you of Il Volo?  Gianluca might have to dig down a bit to match the low notes, but hey, that guy can do anything he sets his mind to, right?  They recorded some beautiful songs that would be great for our guys.

 

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Speaking of great trios, let us not forget the Nat King Cole trio.  Talk about sweet and mellow–just the style for Il Volo.  Is anyone more sweet and mellow than our boys?  Gianluca could easily handle Nat’s romantic solos with his own brand of style and panache.

 

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And “sweet and mellow” brings to mind the Williams brothers, mainly Andy.  Imagine Gian doing “Moon River”  what a treat that would be.  Piero, being the more dramatic sort, doesn’t often show us the softer side of his vocal technique, but he sings with such passion and expression that we know he would be breathtakingly spectacular doing some of Andy’s romantic songs.

 

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Well, we will have to wait and see what the finished product of the most recent endeavor will be, but  we know that it will be all in true ILVOLO STYLE.  You can’t improve on perfection, and perfection is what they are.

So stay calm and get out your dancing shoes…..Tango, anyone??

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Credit to all owners of photos.
 
~Mary Bohling~
~~Jane~~

 

Personally Speaking~Having Fun Il Volo Style

I Want To Go Home

Penina sent me a video clip from way back in 2012, during a concert, when the guys would stay on stage and entertain the audience while the band members took a break.  They used to do that during concerts in their early years.  It was always quite humorous.  Piero and Ignazio would be the notorious instigators with Gianluca being the straight guy.   They would just let loose and be themselves.  Some of you may remember this one.

 

 

Heavy Metal  Rockers?

So, then I decided to hunt on youtube for more of their fun antics and stumbled across this one.  I’ve never even thought of our three darling boys as heavy metal rockers, but they pulled it off!  Or should I say, Ignazio and Gianluca morphed into rock stars as Piero continues in his own eloquent  voice during a performance on House Party.  Not that I even like heavy metal (which I don’t) but I’d watch these guys do just about anything!  Ignazio fits the roll perfectly while we rarely see Gianluca let loose like he does here.  Pure entertainment.

 

 

Suit and Tie

I love this one of Gianluca singing while Piero dances to Suit and Tie.  Piero had the dance moves way back then as he does now.  I absolutely love the way Gianluca glides from low to high notes with such ease.  

 

Love, love, love Il Volo!!

 

Credit to all owners of videos.

~~Jane~~