Tag Archives: food

EATALY AND IL VOLO by Daniela

On Wednesday 10 April, Piero. Ignazio and Gianluca warned that they were going to Paris …… we are all wondering, to do what ????

Actually a small clue had already been given by this photo published a few days ago. 

The wording says, “with the great Oscar Farinetti of Eataly”.

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For those who don’t know, Oscar Farinetti is an Italian entrepreneur and business manager who founded the Eataly chain. Eataly is a chain of medium and large retail stores specializing in the sale and distribution of Italian food products.

The question could be …… and what does IL VOLO have to do with Eataly and with Paris?

The answer is that April 12 in Paris opens a new store of the Eataly chain, at the La Fayette Gallery.

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Wednesday was open by invitation, IL VOLO, delighted all guests with traditional Italian songs. 

We could not miss “GRANDE AMORE”.

 

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IL VOLO with Emanuele Rabotti, owner of an Italian winery based in Franciacorta.

What can I say, the Italian taste for the excellent food, combined with listening to “the beautiful song”, I would say a sublime union.

Even Farinetti seemed enthusiastic about the event.

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“LA TRAVIATA”

 

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And after a good music …… at the table …. Piero brought his little sister to Paris.

 

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Gianluca with the Italian soccer goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon.

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And Ignazio with Gianluigi Buffon.

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But perhaps not everyone remembers that IL VOLO has already participated in an opening of EATALY in Milan, in 2014.

Here they are in this short video singing “IL MONDO”.

Too cute, in 2014.

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Other photos from EATALY Paris:

Guys, you are always very active, one event after another. Run home, Saturday you have an appointment in Italy on Canale 5.

After all those food pictures, I got hungry!  

Daniela

Credit to owners of all photos and videos.

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~ 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~ Tribute to Ignazio via Cappiddruzzo di Ricotta!

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I am so happy to say, “We did it, we did it!!”   Penina and I made our first ever “Cappiddruzzo” di Ricotta…a Tortello in honor of Ignazio!

Jane says…

It was not hard.  The recipe is very easy. (See earlier post from 11/6/17 for recipe.)  I used the pre-made pizza dough you can buy in the refrigerator section at your grocery store.  I have to add a correction to the original recipe…roll the dough out to 1/4 inch thick, NOT 2-3 cm!    The ricotta-chocolate chip-vanilla-cinnamon combination is delicious.  I think they taste best just fresh out of the oven!   Besides sprinkling the finished top with sifted powdered sugar, I dressed it up a little more with a drizzle of melted Nutella…all the while listening to IL VOLO serenading me in the back ground!

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Penina says…

I found it very easy. The dough that I had came in a big thick rectangle. I was able to pull it apart into two thinner rectangles because the dough looked layered and I just turned up a corner and started pulling. It was a lot easier to roll it out that way as it was already a lot thinner. I started out doing what it said–folding it over twice.  Then I had a lot of filling left, so I went back and cut off the parts that were just empty dough and re-rolled them and made a couple more to use up the filling. I have plenty of ricotta left–I may try it again with the pizza dough in a few days (after we eat these up!).

If you have bought dough this is a no brainer.  How hard is it to stir up the ingredients? My grandkids could do it (okay, two of them couldn’t!).  The hardest part is rolling out the dough.

 

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Now we are ready to sit down with a cup of Lavazza coffee, and feast on our creations!  The only thing missing is YOU, our fellow Flight Crew members.  How we wish we could all sit together at the same table and share our friendship in person, while enjoying a special treat in tribute to Ignazio, (and of course we can’t forget his brothers, Piero and Gianluca!)

 

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ENJOY…Godere!

 

Credit to owner of Ignazio photo and to Nina, for the inspiration of the Tortello!

Truffles: Why You Love Them…or Despise Them

Today I would like to talk about truffles. No, not the chocolate kind . . . though they are ever so delicious and so-named because they do indeed resemble a real truffle.

Truffle

I am speaking of the diamond of the culinary world, a truffle, or tartufo in Italian . . . a rare, edible mushroom that is considered to be a delicacy due to its intense aroma and characteristic flavor. They have a firm texture and are most often shaven on top of food before serving, although they can also be used to infuse flavor into dishes. Though there are hundreds of different species, only some — mostly those found in the genus Tuber — are considered delicacies. Truffles grow underground in symbiotic relationships with trees and are difficult to find; as a result, they are usually harvested in the wild by hogs and trained dogs.

Among the most popular of the different types of mushrooms that are used in foods are white mushrooms, morels, truffles and portabella mushrooms. I personally LOVE morel mushrooms! I’d really like to try some truffles to see how they compare.

Types

Truffles are usually classified mainly based on their appearance, smell, and taste. Found in a variety of regions around the world, many are commonly known by their location rather than their technical name. Their value varies depending on their rarity and specific aromatic qualities; the rarest are the most expensive food in the world.

The French black or Périgord truffle, Tuber melanosporum, is prized for its aromatic and fruity qualities. When fresh, it has a brown-black exterior with white veins on the inside. It ranges in size from a pea to an orange, and weighs up to 2.2 pounds (1 kg). These truffles are found in the Périgord region of southwestern France.

The very rare Italian white or Piedmont truffle, Tuber magnatum, has the strongest smell of all truffles. At its freshest, it has a smooth, dirty beige surface that ages to a brown. It ranges from walnut-to apple-size, weighing up to 1 pound (0.45 kg). Found in primarily in the Piedmont region in north-west Italy, its aroma and flavor decrease approximately one to two weeks after harvest.

Other notable varieties include the Oregon White truffle, the Chinese truffle, and the Summer truffle. The two varieties of the Oregon White — Tuber oregonese and Tuber gibbosum — are white when immature and develop into an orange-brown and a pale olive-brown, respectively, at maturity. The brown Chinese varieties — Tuber sinense and Tuber indicum — are found in South China and are often harvested before they have fully matured, making them less expensive and more readily available. Found in France, Italy, and Spain, the summer truffle — Tuber aestivum — is the most common truffle, and exhibits a more delicate aroma.

Harvesting and Hunting

Found approximately one foot (30 cm) under the ground, the vegetative part of the fungi — the mycelia — forms a symbiotic relationship with the roots of a variety of species of trees. Since they grow underground, truffles rely on animals to eat them and scatter their spores in order to reproduce. The strong odor of the mature truffle is what allows animals to locate them.

Truffle hunting is a lucrative business when they are in season, from fall through spring. In North America, raking back the soil and searching by sight is the usual method for harvesting. In Europe, hunters use truffle hogs and specially-trained dogs to sniff them out. The female truffle hogs become alert to the scent of the mature truffle because it is similar to the pheromones of the male hog’s saliva. The sow is difficult to hold back, however, and will readily eat the expensive delicacy if allowed to do so. In Italy, the use of the pig to hunt truffles has been prohibited since 1985 because of damage caused by animals to truffle’s mycelia during the digging that dropped the production rate of the area for some years.

For this reason, many hunters have begun to use truffle dogs, with the Lagotto Romagnolo being the only breed specifically recognized for this trait as of 2009. If you’re thinking Italian sports car, think again. This curly-coated dog is an Italian truffle hunter who is generally smart, energetic and fun-loving. Though they lack the innate ability of the hog to detect the scent, dogs can be specially trained to do so. The advantage comes when the truffle is located, as the dog is much less likely to eat it.

Truffle Dogs
Lagotto-Romagnolo – Truffle Dogs

Click on the photo above to learn more about these amazing dogs!

Culinary Use

Truffles must be carefully handled to preserve their aroma and flavor. They should be cleaned of any dirt or debris, washed with water, and dried with a paper towel. To develop their aroma after being harvested, they should be placed in an airtight container lined with paper towels and stored in the refrigerator for approximately three days. They can be stored in a glass jar for several months, but should never be dried as this will cause them to lose their pungency.

As cooking dissipates their flavor, truffles are most often served raw. They can be sliced, scraped, or grated on top of ready-to-serve dishes, sauces, or soups. They also pair well with fattier foods, such as cheeses, butters, oils, and eggs.

Infusing flavor into foods creates another use for the truffle. Thin slices of the fungus inserted just under the skin allows meats to readily absorb the flavor. Only small amounts are needed to make truffle butter, as the aroma will flavor the entire batch. It should be noted that, while they can be added to olive oil to infuse their flavor, most “truffle oil” doesn’t actually contain any truffles.

If you’d like to read more about truffles check out this great website – L’Italo-Americano:

http://www.italoamericano.org/story/2017-7-27/tartufo

Grazie to Gina Hanna for this post idea and information!

Credit also to all owners of photos and websites.