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In recent years, a growing number of Hollywood stars have approached Italian cuisine, entering in a prestigious way on the world of restaurants.

Sting: winemaker and Italian cuisine lover

The list includes top names such as Francis Ford Coppola, Sting, Lady Gaga, Robert De Niro, Danny De Vito, Sylvester Stallone, Charlie Sheen, Michael Douglas, Catherine Zeta-Jones and others that would be too long to list: other than and exotic food, ethnic restaurants or fast food, Hollywood, at least in the kitchen, rewards the Made in Italy.

But if in Italy cuisine is so important, the undisputed queen on the table of every Italian, the first dish par excellence and cult approvated unanimously by kids and adults, is without a doubt the pasta that, in all its countless formats and condiments , has for the Caesar’s descendants an incomparable appeal than any other dish.

The Italians are known as “mangia spaghetti” and, in fact, pasta is one of the most widespread Italian gastronomic symbols in the world and the fresh one is the flagship of numerous national dishes.

The many sizes and innumerable stuffings give life to a multitude of different pastas spread in each region.
Tagliatelle, tonnarelli, cavatelli, lasagne, orecchiette, paccheri, fusilli, gnocchi, cannelloni etc but also stuffed pasta such as ravioli, culurgiones, agnolotti, tortellini, cappellacci etc.

Wheat field

The common denominator in all types of fresh or dried pasta is given by the wide spectrum of flours that can be used for the doughs, ranging from soft wheat flour (from which milling is obtained integral flour, flour type 2, 1, 0 and 00 – usually used for home-made pasta -) to the flour of durum wheat from which milling are obtained whole wheat flour, semolina flour and semolina flour remilled) passing from the chestnut flour, spelt flour, buckwheat flour, burnt wheat, etc, while the variables are water or eggs as well as dyes such as spinach, cuttlefish ink, tomato paste, carrot concentrate, etc.

The stuffings, instead, are related to the territory and seasonality, but can also be the result of imagination or personal taste.

Pasta is not just a dish for gourmets or to eat for goodies (of course that helps), but if consumed within certain quantities and with the right seasonings, becomes an absolutely balanced and complete dish, a healthy feeding included in the Mediterranean diet.

The success of a good pasta is not simple, has some unmissable passages, skipping one makes the difference between a quality pasta and a crap.
The good pasta must be rigidly composed by a wheat of excellent quality, in defect, even the best pasta maker, has no hope of a positive results.
That said, the the task of pasta maker is creating the dough, giving it the appropriate shapes and sizes and properly dried it.
Do all above seems easy, but for those who propose themselves in the pasta’s market with excellences products, it is extremely complicate.

Bronze estruders

Take for example Gragnano, the place par excellence of dry pasta obtained EXCLUSIVELY with bronze extruder.
To achieve those results is necessary to know perfectly the products, use, I repeat,  bronze extruders, that are the only ones able to guarantee the porosity of the extruded pastas that become perfect, once cooked, to collect the seasoning sauces, but it is also (and especially) in the duration of the drying times and the controlled temperature values ??that the goodness of the pastas is decided: by varying them, the obtain products are completely different for consistency, flavor and the ability to keep the texture in cooking.
Slow drying at a moderate temperature enhances the goodness of the product to the detriment of the ability to keep the texture in cooking which, instead, is obtained by fast drying at high temperatures.
Most of the crap pastas are “cooked” twice: the first time from 90 to 115 ° C in the pasta factory during the drying phase and then around 100 ° C in the pot at home.
Incredibly, the drying temperature is greater than that of the cooking water.
The drying systems called HTSt (High Temperature-Short Time, VHTs (Very High Temperature-Short Time), or even AT and AAT (with or without steam injection), allow to reach very high temperatures, thus reducing the processing time thus saving noticeably on costs, but in the other way it changes nutritional value and arouses some perplexities among nutritionists.

What is the difference between bronze and teflon estruders?
The drawing process is the same, however the quality and the goodness of the product derive from the choice of the material.
The bronze estruders exert a traction on the mixture that produces on the surface micro lesions which, as a result of the drying process, give the pasta that typical rough and porous character, while the teflon estruders , common used for the fast production of cheap pastas, makes the surface of the dough smooth with the consequence that the condiments are not retained as the dough is “slippery”.

This explains the difference between two kind of pasta: those of Gragnano are a bit more expensive not because of the brand but for the highest quality of traceable products in the doughs, the use of bronze extruders and a meticulous care in the phase of drying; the cheaper pastas, probably well presented and sold at popular prices, are composed with untraceable products, processing and drying in the fastest and most profitable way for the producer.

Cheaper or expensive? This is a personal decision, I prefeir to eat pasta one time per week… but a highest quality pastas.

Cooking pasta

This is theChef time who must know both the product purchased from pasta makers and its origin.
In Naples (but almost everywhere in the world except for some countries allergic to good cuisine 🙂 ) it is used to cook the pasta in boiling salted water, in the proportion of 1/10(100 g of pasta 1 litre of water).
To understand if pasta is “al dente” there is a universal method: drain, for example, one macaron, open it with a fork and, if in the section there is a very thin white line, is cooked “al dente”; of course, following the personal taste, can be decided a shorter cooking, but if pasta is cooked more long the recommended time, can not talk about pasta al dente and in Naples it would directly thrown into the garbage bin.

Thickened pasta

Seasoned or creamed

If we were to season the “Mandilli de saea” (literally silk handkerchiefs), sheets of lasagna seasoned with Genoa pesto sauce should be seasoned away from the fire, it is unthinkable to cook parmesan and pecorino cheeses (contained in the pesto) to avoid an indigestible sauce.
But if we want to season the same pasta with a meat sauce? I would say that it is advisable creaming it. During cooking, the pasta yields its starch, seasoning it in a pan with the sauce allows the pasta to yield part of its starch which being a natural thickener, goes to make the sauce more dense which, added to a little cooking water makes it creamy and goes perfectly seasoning all the pasta. Obviously the pasta must be drained 3-4 minutes before that one indicated in the package since the creamy will start in the pan where the pasta, with little cooking water (just the one necessary to not stick to the bottom) will its starch, after which it will be added to the selected sauce to arrive at the end of creamy when it is still al dente and not over.

What kind of pasta?

For the Neapolitans, great pasta masters and more, connections like “candele spezzate” (translated means broken candles) and Genoese sauce (its the famous ragu of Naples), are absolute and indissoluble, but I think about the choice, unlike other factors come into play, first of all is the taste for one format instead of another: for example, I do not like the pasta called butterflies (its shape is similar to the famous lepidopter), a very popular format in a lot of other italian restaurants.
I like all the kinds of pasta, first of all the one coming from the pasta factories of Gragnano, for which I have an indescribable passion, but not even the butterflies of Gragnano could change my mind.

La scarpetta

The “scarpetta”

Along with the pasta is accompanied by “la scarpetta“, a typically Italian gesture with which the goodness of a course is honored by collecting liquids from the dishes with a nugget of bread.
Loved by many and detested by the maniacs of the “Galateo” (etiquette) that absolutely does not prohibit it, but relegates it only to informal occasions “and using the fork, “la scarpetta” has now clearly regained dignity, so feel free to try it: you will like it and no one will be amazed.

What do we mean with “la scarpetta“? Translated mean “the tiny shoe”, but the etymology of the term is still uncertain.

Obviously speaking only about pasta is reductive, moreover we will talk about it in the next articles

Enjoy your meal

“If it is true, as Alexander Dumas (father) says, that the English live only by roast beef and pudding; the Dutch by baked meat, potatoes and cheese; the German by sauer-kraut and smoked lardon; the Spanish by chickpeas, chocolate and rancid lardon; the Italians by macaroni, there will be no wonder if I return often and gladly by them, also because I have always liked them; indeed i was very close to gain the title of Mangia maccheroni.”
(Pellegrino Artusi)

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Abroad (but in many cases also in Italy), many restaurants denominated “Italian” are fake as a three euro coin, id est they have a cook who is not Italian and, when he is italian, comes from a completely different profession.

It is estimated that in about 60% of the cases in these fake Italian restaurants, staff of low manpower depicted as “Chef” is not able to transform Italian raw materials into traditional dishes to which they should be inspired.

All this creates a certain confusion in the customers who, convinced of spending an evening in the name of Italianity, receives dishes that have nothing to do with Italian cuisine.

One of the master characteristics of this type of restaurant is the falsely nostalgic appearance, usually the one that includes checkered tablecloths, classic (and uncomfortable) wooden chairs , in short, a way to give the impression of entering a postcard of the past as in a dream.

You will wake up from this “nightmare” in the moment you go to the tasting: too often the dishes are cooked too long, dry, little seasoned and with absolutely alien ingredients of the Italian cuisine.

It is also true that, on some occasions, we let ourselves be guided by prices, but if a very high price of a dish does not guarantee its goodness, certainly a price too low is synonymous with rip-off: below a determined prices you can not have a good product neither a good Chef nor a good service becuse from the compendium of these three items you obtain the price of the dish ordered.

A very high quality of beef tenderloin tartare can not cost 3 euros even if can get a discount from the friend host, unless you do not accept to eat a a cut of meat of inferior quality, hard and nervous, in short disgusting.

The same judgment is good for any dish you order, you need to learn to distinguish the term “expensive” from the term “value”: we are in an era in which we know the price of everything but not its value.
For example, the weigh of meat multiplied the cost per kilo give back what everyone pays from the butcher, but for eat the mentioned tartare in the restaurant must be added the work of the Chef and the Kitchen staff who transform in tartare a piece of meat, the products to seasoning, plateings, decorations, service, tax ecc… in short, a long chain of costs that can not and must not be left to the restaurateur but charged from the customer.

One of the most popular cuisines in the world risk to be questioned by these pseudo-restaurateurs who take advantage of the fame that derives from the italian food and open fake Italian restaurants offering dishes that make you shudder.

For example, on the beautiful Langkawi island in Malaysia, and I speak for cuisine experience and knowledge of the place, spread everywhere around you can find countless fake Italian restaurants.
In fact not one and I repeat no one is Italian, all are managed by Indians who open these places with the names of popular italian restaurants.
But starting from the manager to the scullion, passing for the kitchen staff, all are Indians.
Would be nothing wrong if they cook real italian dishes instead disgusting concoctions that have nothing to share with the italian dishes.

It is commonplace that when during the travel it is a must to eat local food and I would personally agree with this thesis, provided that who agree have to taste everything and not just the three dishes “eatable”, this is anything but not an immersion in the local culture, it is enough to see in Thailand the disgusted faces of foreigners who see the sale of insects and more.
In any case we feign to believe the story of the cultural immersion , sometimes can be difficult to conciliate the food products offered abroad with our eating habits (especially those of Italians who are very demanding and with all the reasons for it) too different, too “audacious”, too spicy, but also far from the idea of hygiene in western countries restaurants .
However, after a few days of “full immersion” (you can believe me, I have customers who testify what I write), foreigners and especially Italians, enter the phase that I define: “I want to eat something good!”
With all the respect the local cuisine (which has delicious dishes), it’s time to smile in front of a plate of pasta or a pizza, something that is cooked without too much garlic, without soya sauce, fish sauce, oyster sauce, coriander, curry ecc…, in short, something that has a natural flavor and if it happen in the right restaurant the good mood appear.

But what happen if we go in the fake italian restaurant?
I think that would be not necessaryd even to mention them, unworthy places to define Italians, traditional dishes emptied of anything original and revisited in the worst ways, prepared with products that in Italy are not only unused but even unknown, crap that give body to the “false italian recipes” for which, when those who come for the first time in a “real Italian restaurant” are amazed at the difference, sometimes they can not even understand what there is in the plate.
Certainly having eaten a “carbonara” with bacon, egg, parmesan, mushrooms, onions and parsley as well as havy cream that goes to season a poor quality of overcooked pasta will be unprepared when he will receive a plate of pasta cooked “al dente” seasoned with a eggnog with pecorino cheese and crispy guanciale.
No Bacon, no mushrooms, no onions, no parsley, no havy cream!

TripAdvisor and various social media are useful as long as you do not accept reviews of travelers for two reasons: the first is that, unfortunately, not all reviews are authentic travel experiences but packages purchased in order to increase rank, cheating customers and compete unfairly; the second is given by the fact that in Italy we still rely on the dear “tam-tam” that usually works while the use of social networks has not had the same fortune that abroad, its why the reviews are often made by foreigners who in reality do not know authentic Italian cuisine.
The reviews on social networks should be interpreted: a restaurant with 1000 positive reviews without any complaint is not credible; if the reviews are all made by foreigners, the opportunity to enter a restaurant should be attentively considered: I am Italian and I tend to trust the opinions of others Italians.

Horrible spaghetti with meatballs

Here are some tips, a sort of manual to try to avoid restaurant’s scammers.
Obvious that there is no a perfect formula, it is clues, but as Agatha Christie teached “a clue is a clue, two clues are a coincidence, but three clues are an evidence!”

And exactly as Agatha Christie would have done, we start from outside of the restaurant ad if stands too much Italian colors, it could be a deceptive way to attract customers.

Nobody speaks Italian in the restaurant.
If it is an Italian restaurant, an Italian must be there, as long as it is not temporarily absent for various reasons.
To avoid risks, just ask if there is an Italian, could be it the owner, the Chef, the manager, don’t exist Italian restaurant without Italian management.
If the answer is positive well, otherwise the only acceptable answer is that the Italian will arrive within a certain time: go back to the restaurant at the hour that the staff said, you will have to find him, otherway is a scam risk.

We browse the menu but there is something strange: in Italy no one dreams of proposing spaghetti with meatball (absolutely not an Italian dish, where meat and pasta are served with different courses except for Neapolitan and Genoese ragù).
But the mistakes do not stop, we begin to read that they serve pasta marinara souce, which actually exists in Italy but it is different from that proposed by the fake italian restaurant, it is just tomato sauce, a wrong way as foreigners call pepperoni the salami.

The courses are listed or described in a different order from the standard Italian cuisine and among the appetizers is included garlic bread: in Italy the slices of bread grilled and rubbed with garlic (eventually added of tomato sauce or pesto saue) is called bruschetta, just the foreigner call “garlic bread” but not the italian in the menus.

If you are in an Italian restaurant it is obvious that all the ingredients are local.
When the adjective “Italian” is used next to the name of a dish and an ingredient as corroborating, an attempt to condition the customer’s perception is often underway.
Italian pasta, Italian dressing, for example, are very precise signals to pay attention.

Worst carbonara with cream and poached egg

Carbonara with cream: I mentioned it before, no thank you, this is a huge scam.
Those who followed Chef Jamie Oliver make the same mistake.
In his website describes carbonara as a classic delicious condiment made with cream, bacon and parmesan.
Sorry Jamie but the carbonara is completely differe!.

The dressing set is another important clue.
The vinaigrette obtained by mixing an unknown oil and vinegar, is not typically Italian.
But even the mania of dusting any dish with fresh pepper, including salads, is not a typical Italian culinary habit.

Fortunately abroad, there is not lack of Italian restaurants and pizzerias where is possible eat well.
Sometimes it may be difficult to find them, as mentioned there are too many restaurants that have only the Italian name in a special way where it is more widespread trade in Italian food imitations, products similar by shape and very close by name to authentic Italian products.

To help you avoid rip-offs in Italian restaurants abroad you can download the Authentico app, enter the city where you are and discover the list of real Italian restaurants and authentic pizzerias. Just one click!

And now a bit of joy with Italian grandma who taste strange dishes abroad.

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The goodness of the innumerable typical Italian products, most of the dishes and the Mediterranean diet itself has gone beyond the national borders obtaining many awards and continuing to gather followers.

Italy is a country that can boast a thousand culinary excellence, a compendium of the ancient rural wisdom that has been able to evolve and pass on to the centuries old traditions that stand the test of time, but some legends that accompany them are inventions that took shape during the industrial crisis of the 70s.

It was then that Italian farmers and entrepreneurs decided to combine their efforts and start to completely invent a false but credible millennial tradition of our food and the subsequent storytelling to support it.

So we find out that the word “Italian cuisine” is just a semantic matter, as digging in a very recent past we discover how much marketing has been used and still strives to maintain the amazing status quo of the Italian gastronomic industry.

To confirm this, a very authoritative and uncomfortable investigation conducted by Alberto Grandi, Professor of Business History in Parma, in his book “Denominazione d’origine inventata” (Invented denomination of origin) points the finger on the untouchable myth of Italian food and wine and unveils many of the countless tales about the so-called typical products; it is an absolutely authoritative publication that will make people angry – but perhaps also to think – all those who are fideistically in love with the great myth of Italian typicality, going to reconstruct the events that have led some of the most famous and titled products typical Italians to become a symbol of our cuisine and our country in the world, highlighting paradoxes and distortions of a system in which the denominations of origin multiply at a fast pace and where the protection consortia are struggling to date the history of the product at the dawn of time.

But why use these unworthy means?
Well, probably because most of the people do not love or have studied the history little except if do not talk about a so snobbish story as that of cooking and the idea of having at table, for example, a vegetable whose seeds come from prehistory and to be able to boast, is a bit as having an antique furniture: even if it is full of woodworm and is inconvenient to use, will always be able to find accommodation and use to demonstrate their cultural wealth, asserting that it is , in any case, it is an indispensable furnishing component.

The dishes we are fond of would have been randomly put together by Pellegrino Artusi, “without paying too much attention to their authenticity”. Moreover, it would not have been possible to do otherwise, because, Alberto Grandi re-proposes: “until the second post-war period we were a starvation country”.

But let’s go into the matter and start with a question: where was Italian cuisine born?
Obviously in Italy, it seems the logical answer suggested, but would be better “depends”.

Until March 17th 1861, Italy was only a geographical expression, only later it will become a nation as we know it today.

So the second question is: is Italian cuisine born that day?
For this question the answer is an absolute “no!”

Even if the inhabitants of the country known today as Italy had been eating for a long time before that date, it is also certain that what is today called “Italian cuisine“, even though with all the approximations of the case, was born about a century after.

And now let’s move on to some striking examples: the wine with a Controlled Denomination of Origin (CDO) Marsala produced in Sicily, mainly Marsala from which it takes its name, was invented, marketed and produced on a large scale by a British merchant who added alcohol to wine for the sole purpose of keeping it better during transport to the motherland.

Panettone never really existed, it is a well-thinked invention of 1919 by Angelo Motta, today taken by pastry Chefs: different than “pan de Toni”.
In 1937 Alemagna inaugurated its industrial line in a former spinning mill: the artisanal production began in the 80s, with the decline of major industry.

Parma ham seasoning

Italy has 10 protected ham.
Modena’s people sustain that it was invented by the Celts, the Parmesans from the Romans and over more.
In reality, from Friuli to Sicily, as in Europe, the pork leg has always been processed, salted and seasoned.
However, the travel guides of the beginning of 900 tells of Tuscan ham and not that of Parma, whose fame dates back to the second half of the century.
The Consortium was founded in 1963, two years after that of San Daniele, but has the market record with 40%.

The pasta made with Canadian wheat, the one that has a firm texture, until to 1945 was consumed mostly in Naples where it was produced.
Senatore Cappelli’s pasta is the result of crosses of many varieties of different grains, in particular one coming from Tunisia.
Italian pasta has long been more African than Italian, and even today most of the grains come from abroad.

Modica chocolate was born in the early 90s from an invention of pastry chef Franco Ruta: do not separate the cocoa butter from the seeds and work at low temperature to leave the sugar granules intact.
The Protection Consortium instead is from 2003.

Seasoning of the real “Traditional” Balsamic Vinegar made in Modena

Without the balsamic vinegar made with caramel, no one would know the precious one, to which only afterwards was added the appellation “traditional”.

Olive oil has always been an industrial product, then the denomination came and today in Italy there are 52 PDOs and 10 new candidates.

Pachino’s tomatoes are a hybrid patented in 1989 in Israel.
In the absence of seeds that guarantee the same characteristics continuously, growers buy new plants every year.

Parmigiano has a thousand years of history, but the one mentioned by Boccaccio does not look anything like the current product: it was much smaller and in Parma it was not even of great quality.
Parmigiano more similar to the one created centuries ago by the wisdom of the Emilian monks is the one produced in Wisconsin, USA.

The “lardo di Colonnata” (Colonnata’s lard) did not exist, at least not until the 80s. It was lard as it is everywhere.
The denomination is dated 2003, the interest for the pork fat matured in the marble basins begins in the 90s.
There are no explicit references to the product as we know it in the historical documents.

Parmigiano reggiano

And all that trouble to define the CDO, PDO or PGI wine on the basis of alleged and ancient traditions of the vineyards?
A noble intent but it is forgotten that in the second half of the 1800s a parasite destroyed all the vineyards in the Italy and European territory.
Having to start from scratch, our winemakers necessarily used non-native grapes and various grafts.

Spaghetti Bolognese originally did not exist, but now they are on the menu even in Bologna.
They are a typical product, just like Nutella.

The master question is: why  today we still need to bother the Celts to say that a cheese or ham is good?
Is it perhaps not time to stop believing this new gastronomic religion that admits such amount of heresies?
The valid products exist, it is up to the Chef to make these excellences art…  but on this we will reason in another article.

Alberto Grandi (Mantova, 1967) is an associate professor at the University of Parma.
He teaches History of Businesses, History of European Integration and has taught Economic History and History of Food.
He is the author of about forty essays and monographs in Italy and abroad.

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Which is the place of origin?

Before the 19th century there were many who hypothesized the origins of coffee, among which Pellegrino Artusi speaks in his famous manual “Science in the kitchen and the art of eating well”, arguing that the place to start discovering the origin of the drink should have been Yemen,because the coffee of Mokha  (city of Yemen) was the best coffee he had ever tasted.
Just in 19th century it was concluded that the plant had Ethiopian origins, namely the region of Kaffa, from which the drink took its name: “coffee”.


Coffee bush

The mystery of the origin of coffee is surrounding by numerous anecdotes and legends, one of those tells that Kaldi, a 6th century shepherd, left his sheep free to graze in search of bushes and grasses. One night the sheep, however, did not return to the sheepfold and were found by the shepherd the next morning near the bushes of red berries, particularly lively and awake.
Kaldi decided to collect some berries and take them to a nearby monastery where the frightened monks decided to throw them into the fire. The aroma that was released convinced the religious to pick the fruit and prepare an invigorating infusion that helped them stay awake during the long prayer vigils.

Another legend speaks of a meeting between the Archangel Gabriel and Muhammad in which the latter was helped during a moment of exhaustion by a drink black as the Holy Stone of Mecca that allowed him to disarm in battle 40 riders and satisfy no less than 40 women (sic!)

Surely between the 12th and 14th century, coffee began to spread in the Yemen thanks to the Ethiopian invasions of the area and the Arabian peninsula through the coasts of the Red Sea until arriving in the first half of 15th century in Instambul.


The first to import coffee beans into Europe were the Venetian merchants who in 1605 bought from Muslim merchants a load of coffee with tea, cocoa and tobacco and maintained the monopoly of the coffee trade in Europe for about a century, until also other European powers began to treat coffee directly with the Arabs who very jealously guarded the plants and traded only seeds that could not sprout.

In 1616, however, the Dutch managed to steal some seedlings in Yemen and then import them into their own colonies of Java and Sumatra. The coffee was planted by the French in their colonies in Martinique, Santo Domingo and in Guyana and in 1727 Brazil, Portuguese colony, will become the largest coffee producer. In 1730 the english began the coltivation in Jamaica and in 1750, thanks to the Spanish Jesuits, coffee arrived in Cuba and then in Colombia and Mexico and then returned to the African continent, in Tanzania in 1877 and Kenya in 1892.

In the first half of 15th century in Instambul was open the first “coffeehouse “(Kahwe Khaneh) and the coffee was called” Wine of Islam “being a valid substitute of alcohol banned by the Koran but will have to wait for about a century when around 1650 in London opened the first caffeehouse, a sort of club where was possible taste the drink; in 1663 they became 88 throughout England and about sixty years later there were already more than 3000.
As in Istanbul also in England they spread as meeting places especially for writers, politicians and philosophers.
Shortly thereafter, this dark drink spread throughout Europe: in 1670 the first coffeehouse was opened in Berlin; the opening of the first coffeehouse” in Austria is linked to the siege of Vienna in 1683 when the Ottomans withdrew leaving on the edge of the city the sacks with their supply of coffee.
These bags were given to the Polish military Georg Kolschitzky who opened the first European coffeehouse called “the Blue flask” where they were also served small crescent shaped sweets symbol of defeated Turkey, the ancestors of today’s Croissants.
The last place reached by coffee was Paris in 1686.

Caffe Florian Venice

The city of Venice, where coffee arrived in 1570, was the first to make use of this drink in Italy; the first shops, however, were opened only in 1645 by the doctor and writer Francesco Redi while the first coffeehouse was inaugurated in 1720 on San Marco Square and named “Florian coffee”.

It was only few years after the first coffeehouse was opened in the United States, precisely in the city of Boston called “London coffee house”, eight years later, in 1696, in New York it opened “The King’s Arms”.

Around 1700 in Europe every city had at least one caffee house, but we must wait until the beginning of this century to talk about espresso thanks to the invention of the espresso coffee machine, wrongly attributed to Luigi Bezzera, a mechanic (not an engineer) Milanese who patented the first steam coffee machine, modifying the project already patented by Angelo Moriondo, an industrialist in Turin.
Not everyone knows it, but Turin has also been and still is the Italian capital of coffee, leading the art of roasting, and boasts an absolute supremacy that nobody can ever take away from, because – just in Turin – in 1884 it was prepared and served the first espresso coffee in the world that made its official debut at the Torino General Expo.

First coffee machine Angelo Moriondo

Angelo Moriondo

Gazzetta Piemonte 1884

Scheme of first coffee machine Moriondo

Bezzera had probably seen, and reasoned above, the machine of Moriondo, so that the patent granted to him titled: “The innovations in the machinery to prepare and serve immediately drink of coffee” (Patent No. 153/94, 61707, granted 5 June 1902).

Bezzera probably guessed the potential of the machine, so much so as to be able to sell the patent to Desiderio Pavoni who, with his company “La Pavoni”, started producing the machine.

Pavoni 1910

The espresso machine in itself, was a large vertical cylinder, containing a brass boiler kept under pressure by a gas burner; on the side of the boiler were installed the groups containing ground coffee (absolutely similar to those of modern machines).
Opening the tap, the boiling water passed through the coffee at a pressure of about 1.5 atmospheres obtained from the steam produced by the boiler and in a minute (well away from the handful of seconds of today) the coffee was made.
These steam coffee machines was used until 1945, when Angelo Gaggia invented and patent the lever system in 1938 but like Moriondo he used the machine for his own bar and only in 1948 the production began in an industrial way.
Since then, the evolution of the cafeteria has been continuous, passing from the machine to levers (or pistons) invented and patented by Angelo Gaggia but exploited industrially only since 1945 (first in its coffehouse) and from 1948 commercialized on an industrial level to the machines automatic household items, now common anywhere with costs ranging from one hundred to one thousand euro, with the possibility of using ground coffee, pods and plastic casule very practical that, alas, on the contrary have an absurd increase of plastic in the environment.

Gaggia Lever

The piston machine had absolute innovations: the possibility of preparing coffee with water at a temperature of 90° C instead of 120° C of steam coffee machines, and a water pressure of about 9 bar (instead 1,5 bar) due to the pistons that the compressed in 20-25 seconds (against the minute).
These innovations produced, in turn, two positive results: first the coffee lost that bitter taste due to exposure to high temperature for a long time, in practice it did not burn, but the real treat was the formation of the cream on the coffee, the hallmark of the best known Italian drink and copied such as the pizza.
From the levers machine they switch to that one where the water was put under pressure by means of a pump (making the work much less laborious) and with the pre-infusion leaving the water go in contact with the coffee powder for a few moments before the pump exerted pressure on the coffee, favoring a better extraction of the black beverage, to those with heat exchanger to obtain a great stability of temperature to pass to the double boiler machines, which allowed to prepare hundreds of coffees every day with the same high quality up to automatic machines with which you just press a button and the same grind the coffee, create the milk foam without any other intervention by the operator who just give the cup to the customer.


Moka Bialetti

Moka Bialetti

The first small, very famous “moka” coffee makers for home-made coffee, were designed in 1933 by another Piedmontese, Alfonso Bialetti in Crusinallo of Omegna, founder of the homonymous Bialetti firm.

We have a coffee maker which is a hymn to Italian creativity.
She” was designed by the entrepreneur Alfonso Bialetti in 1933 and is still on sale.
Very elegant, futurist, famous all over the world, “she” stands there, standing, in the permanent collection of the Triennale of Milan, in that of the MoMA in New York and in my kitchen.
She” is democratic, humble and functional: as the dogma of rationalist design wanted, it costs very little.
No planned obsolescence, lasts for decades.
With that familiar whistle and that scent of coffee that envelops you every morning making you mysteriously happy, “she” belongs to that class of objects that only a fool could believe inanimate.

There is joy inside the alembic…


Napoli caffè Gambrinus

The tradition of “caffè sospeso” (suspended coffee) in Naples

It is well known that coffee, along with pizza, is one of the most well-known things of the Neapolitan tradition, although not many know a little legend known as “caffè sospeso”.

Between history and legend

There are many legends that tie Naples to coffee, but the only ones to be taken into consideration are those that arose after the beginning of the nineteenth century, that is, those that appear to be the first peddlers.
They wandered around Naples with two containers, one for coffee and the other for milk, advertising their products aloud in the crowd. These figures, now extinct, have played a very important role in the Neapolitan culture.
The custom of “caffè sospeso” is dated towards the beginning of the Second World War when, in difficult times and extreme poverty, people began with the custom of drinking a coffee and paying two, a cup for those who do not they could afford it and people used to make this meaningful gesture with joy.

Caffè sospeso today

Despite the falsehoods told about Naples that describe the inhabitants as scammers, profiteers if not worse, something absolutely insulting and devoid of any foundation, both the peddlers (before) and the bars (today) do not hold that money but, really, they serve many free coffee how many “caffè sospesi” are paid for them.

Il caffè sospeso by Luciano De Crescenzo

It is for this reason that today this tradition has spread in Italy and abroad.
In 2010, in fact, Caffè Gambrinus, on the occasion of the celebrations for 150 years of activity, wanted to take up this act of kindness, in order to bring to light one of the most important traditions of the Neapolitan culture.
Also the writer and philosopher Luciano De Crescenzo, in the book entitled, in fact, “The suspended coffee” wrote: “A Once in Naples, in the Sanità district when one was happy, because something went well, instead of paying a coffee he paid two and left the second coffee, the one already paid, for the next customer. This act was called “il caffè sospeso”. Then, occasionally, a poor man appeared to ask if there was a “hanging”. It was a way like any other to offer a coffee to humanity“.

The tradition of “caffè sospeso”, therefore, represents humanity, the incredible feeling of love, compassion, understanding and all the other positive feelings that are part of this city and that we must never forget.

When I die, you bring me a coffee and I’ll resurrect as Lazarus.

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In the age of the Internet and social media, people increasingly tend to want to show instead of being. If they watch a football game everyone suddenly becomes coaches, if you talk about politics all have the solutions of the ills of the world, but recently they have also become all Sommelier as well as judges of Master Chef. In the rampant obsession with food, understanding of wine seems to have become a fundamental requirement of belonging to civilization, flaunted with superiority even by people who, outside the comfort zone of tannins, find it hard to master the difference between grape and grappa.
Ordering a bottle of wine can therefore become a very demanding experience for those among us who do not understand it. Having the wine list in your hand while the rest of the table is waiting for you, and in some cases of trite fun while reading the names of wines that tell you little or nothing, not being protected by the monitor and armed with the keyboard, completely without virtual ammunition, having to admit their ignorance. But you do not need to be an expert to order a great wine and impress your diners. I will explain to you how things are, so you will know exactly how to orient yourself with wine cards and Sommelier, then I will give you an infallible script to order wine. When you have finished reading this article, you will aim straight at the center of the target and you will always know how to hit it.

  1. A minimum of preparation in advance: you know very well that the Internet is full of simple and accessible information on everything, including wine and now many restaurants have menus and wine lists online. From wherever you are, thanks to smartphones, you are able to gather information so you do not get to the restaurant unprepared
  2. the choice of wines should be combined with the food you want to order in order to properly match it, unless you want a wine in particular that you like and do not care if it is matched correctly
  3. do not forget, if you are in the company, that you are not the center of the universe. After sitting at the table and after everyone has had time to consult the menu, ask the guests if they want to drink wine and, if so, if they wish by the glass or in the bottle, if they have particular preferences or idiosyncrasies. Personally when I dine with my daughter, since I like Prosecco and my daughter abhors bubbles in favor of Arneis White Wine, in order to not deny the pleasure for both of the two wines, we order a bottle by type and rest takes home: there is no shame in asking, probably this is a “shame” all Italian, abroad is also commonly done with advanced foods, the famous “doggy bag”
  4. house wine by the glass or a bottle? The typical volume of wine by the glass in restaurants is around a fifth of the bottle and generally has a higher price mark than a single bottle. So if you know that at your table you will consume at least four glasses of the same wine, take the bottle. Sometimes, however, it is worth paying extra for the individual glasses. You will have a greater variety of wines to try during dinner, as well as the versatility of perfectly matching each course to a different wine. But getting out of math to get back to the subject, is obviously that a good wine of the house can overcome, without difficulty, a poor wine in the bottle, can be fantastic; long ago in a small restaurant in the center of Genoa I got as a house wine a Pinot Noir vinified in white (sparkling wine): fortunately I was not a driver and I could get more, only a long time later I would have been able to drink the delight of God after rummaging for an hour in a winery. But I think, it is my opinion, that starting with the idea of a wine and give up because of a few euros of difference by settling for anything else, is at least absurd: at that point I prefeire to drink a good beer instead a bad wine. Eat well and drink better!
  5. mentally fix a price limit of your wine: the restaurants ingeniously use psychology to push you to order expensive bottles. For example, the so-called “anchor effect”: several studies show that the consumer’s brain tends to attach great importance to the first price that reads on a list, and to use it as a benchmark for all subsequent ones: so if the first price that read it is 90, a bottle of 70 could end up looking like a relatively cheap, even if initially you were prefixed not to spend more than 50. For this you should first decide your limit, and strictly adhere to it
  6. despite appearances, the Sommelier or the Waiter is not there to judge but to help you. So that you can do your best, though, you’ll have to give him some starting information: do you want white or red? A full-bodied or light wine? By making food orders first, it will become easier for him to suggest a good match. Finally, to make him understand your budget with discretion, you can use a formula like: “I was thinking of a bottle like this”, indicating a wine that costs what you want to spend or even a little less
  7. if the manager of a restaurant puts on paper a particularly unusual or exotic wine with the difficulties of research and supply that this may entail for him, it probably means that the wine is really suitable to be combined with the dishes proposed in that restaurant. Moreover, the fact that the wine is unusual and not very well known allows you to make all the questions you want the waiter without appearing incompetent (without being pedantic, I recommend)
  8. the restaurants generally sell the bottles two-three times as much as they pay although, of course, the price varies a lot depending on the price range and type of restaurant. The reload is usually inversely proportional to the price, so on the cheaper bottles is charged more, in percentage, than on the most expensive ones. This is a reason to be wary of the “house wine”, which is chosen to be sold in quantity and therefore with a good profit margin: for a little you pay it, it is usually much more than it is worth
  9. none of us wants to look too stingy when ordering wine at the restaurant, and so we often do not feel good to order the cheapest bottle on the list. The second cheapest is a good compromise between the need not to spend a fortune and to save face. Small problem: restaurateurs are perfectly aware of this mechanism, and therefore tend to attribute the second lowest price to a bottle on which the reload is very high. In contrast, the cheaper bottle is often a good deal, so you should not be afraid to order it
  10. taste the wine: here the risk is to be overwhelmed by the solemnity of the ceremony. The things to remember are actually few. First of all, look at the bottle immediately: it often happens that the vintage of the wine served does not correspond to that indicated on the list. At the time of the tasting all you have to do is look at the wine, smell it and drink a little sip, reminding you that the purpose of the tasting is not to determine if you like wine (you have already ordered it) but to understand if there is something wrong, for example, if it taste of cork. So do not overbalance with value judgments above “all right”. But if you feel an unpleasant taste or smell, do not be ashamed to tell the waiter, who will take the bottle back and serve you another one.  After confirming that the wine is free from defects, it is time to relax and enjoy the fruits of so much effort! I recommend, enjoy the wine without any haste. Some waiters will be hyperactive in filling your glass continuously, because they want you to finish the first bottle as quickly as possible in the hope that you will order another one. On the other hand, if they are too slow to fill your glass, do not hesitate to take the bottle and do it all yourself.

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After years and years of fashion of food increasingly invasive, we tend to exalt every party that has to do with food: every restaurant where we eat decently becomes in conversation with friends a place of the heart, all cooks become Chefs and even the sandwic at the Seven Eleven deserves to be photographed and shared on Instagram.

Nevertheless the restoration world is full of fool fashions, locals who make wrong proposals and customers who make requests simply absurd. Who more than a great Chef can have direct experience of this dark side? Here are some tips you should always keep in mind from Anthony Bourdain, former Head Chef at Manhattan’s Brasserie Les Halles, former Top Chef judge and author of one of the cult books as Kitchen Confidential and, recently, the Appetites Cookbook, reveals the “rip-offs” in which you could incur ordering food in a restaurant. The Daily Mail reports its valuable advice:

  1. Never order fish on Mondays: most restaurants buy the fish on Thursdays, to arrive to the weekend with the fresh, so on Monday you can get what’s left on your plate
  2. well cooked meat? Better not. The experts and every steak lover knows that the taste feels best as it is slightly rare, when instead asking it well cooked can also make the cook come up with the temptation to use a non-fresh cut
  3. benedict eggs it is a dish that is typical of restaurants with international cuisine and that is catching on even in Italy. The eggs are seasoned with a hollandaise sauce made from butter and eggs, two ingredients easily perishable if not stored at the correct temperature and for an excessive time, so if you are not sure about the restaurant better avoid unpleasant surprises
  4. if in the menu the offer includes a burger of prized wagyu meat, but the price seems low, doubt it. This type of delicious meat is among the most expensive in the world
  5. it is never good to ask for changes the dishes or, even worse, ask for new dishes to the Chefs. The reasons are mainly two. The first is that a modified dish can never be as good as in its origina recipe. The second is that the “out of menu” often irritates the Chef and an angry Chef will certainly not succeed in a good kitchen
  6. avoid Sunday brunch: the restaurants are used to dispose of the leftovers of the weekend, recycling them in a captivating way
  7. oysters: order them only in specialized areas and not in those that offer them as a dish. The same applies to seafood, which should be eaten only in restaurants near the coast


Cuochi al lavoro

In the kitchen you can’t lie.
And there is no God either.

In any case he couldn’t help you.
An omelette you know how to do or don’t know how to do. 
Cutting an onion, using a pan, keeping up with the other cooks, continually remaking, perfectly, the dishes that must be done, are all things that you know how to do or don’t know how to do.
No credentials, no bullshit, no beautiful sentences or no supplication will change things.
The kitchen is the last bastion of meritocracy, a world of absolutes.

(Anthony Bourdain)

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Sparkling water: does it hurt or not? The choice between natural and sparkling water is always a source of doubt and discussion. Let’s analyze the situation of drinking water, with all the pros and cons of sparkling water in order to make an informed choice.

Carbonated water: sparkling water and natural effervescent water: what are the differences?
Carbonated water is a mineral water particularly rich in carbon dioxide (also called CO2, or even carbon dioxide or E290). In some waters it is naturally present, while in others it is added before bottling. This explain the presence of the so much loved or hated bubbles.

Spring water

Natural Effervescent Water
It flows from the naturally rich source of bicarbonates and does not undergo any treatment: the natural effervescence combines with the mineral salts and other elements contained in the water.

Sparkling Mineral Water
It is natural mineral water with added carbon dioxide. Treatment does not change the nutritional characteristics of the water.

Calorie content
Water is the only natural 0 calorie drink, carbonated or natural.

The moisturizing power
Natural sparkling water, effervescent water and natural water hydrate in the same way, but this aspect will certainly not surprise you.

Refreshing effect: does carbonated water quench your thirst?
Those who, however, are convinced that carbonated water is more refreshing than the natural one can be disappointed: the sensation of greater freshness is only temporary.

It seems, in fact, that the belief that reduces thirst faster is due to the fact that the bubbles tickle the taste buds, but this is just a sensation of the moment. Another, similar, interpretation is that the bubbles stimulate taste receptors almost to anesthetize them. Also for this reason the temporary sensation of freshness on the palate is greater.

Understand now why many people consider it more refreshing than the still water.

The fixed residue
It is not directly related to the type of water (natural, sparkling, or natural effervescent). However, it is important to know what it is. The fixed residue is a measure that allows to measure the amount of mineral salts present in the water after the complete evaporation of the water that has been brought a temperature of 180° C. The higher this value (expressed in mg/l), the more minerals are dissolved in one liter. The advice is, for everyday use, to choose a water with a low fixed residue, with a value as low as 100 mg/l if possible

Pros and cons of sparkling or natural effervescent water


  1. Promotes digestion, as the carbon dioxide present stimulates the production of gastric juices
  2. give a greater sense of satiety than natural water and has the property of reducing appetite if drunk before a meal. In this case we could say that it has a hunger reduction action
  3. naturally sparkling waters generally contain more mineral salts, such as calcium, magnesium, potassium and sodium. However, these minerals are inorganic, so they are not easily assimilated. I disagree with the statement that I found in several articles on the web “sparkling water is indicated in those subjects that take few minerals with food.”
  4. according to some experts the sparkling water is safer than the natural one because the added carbon dioxide should be able to limit bacterial replication
  5. the bubbles of carbonated water, consisting of CO2, promote gastric emptying and therefore can facilitate digestion


  1. It can cause abdominal swelling and gastric dilation, especially in those who already suffer from it
  2. carbonic anhydrite ruins tooth enamel
  3. it is not suitable for those suffering from stomach acid, gastroesophageal reflux, gastritis and gastric ulcers

A subjective choice
Beyond its organoleptic characteristics, which may be more pleasing to some and less to others, the choice of drinking sparkling water or natural water is subjective. My advice is always to choose the naturalness for which, natural or effervescent natural water. Moreover, it is always useful to listen to the reactions of our body. He always knows what’s good for us.

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Origins and use

Until about a billion years ago, sea water was as free salt as that of rivers. The current salt concentration (about 35 grams per liter of water) dates back to when, around four billion years ago, the Earth started to cool and torrential rains poured into the planet for thousands of years, forming the sea.

After the re-emergence of the earth, the waters continued to flow into the sea and flowing on the surface of the continents, they were enriched with mineral salts eroded from the earth, then discharging into the oceans. Even today, the degree of salinity of the seas varies according to depth: it is, in fact, higher on the surface, where evaporation is greater, scarcest at the maximum depths or where the flow of fresh water is more substantial, for example near an estuary.

Since ancient times, the human being has resorted to salt in his diet, to flavor food but also to preserve them for a long time, in ages when food stocks needed to be durable due to the fear of having to suffer hunger and the conservation systems were practically non-existent. From the nutritional point of view, in fact, salt is the most ancient and natural preservative, having the ability to remove the water that makes micro-organisms proliferate, to regulate the fermentation processes of the meat and contribute to determine the fermentation of favorable bacteria, together with temperature and humidity. And so as above all meat, fish and milk have given life, thanks to salt, to cured meats and cheeses, which have similarly allowed the conservation of raw materials for days, months and even years.

There are reports that as early as 10,000 years ago, at the origin of agriculture and the subsequent use of cultivated cereals, notoriously poor in salt, man has begun to resort to salt in cooking food. Archaeological finds tell us that salt, an element considered to be once more precious than gold, was present in the first settled civilizations, such as Sumerian, Egyptian, Chinese (3,000 BC), Hittite and Jewish (2,000 BC). In Italy, we know that the Etruscans already used it.

The Romans used salt (which they called “sal”) in votive offerings made to the gods, and its importance to them is also evidenced by some terms with the same root: “hi” when you had to wish a good day, “salus”(health), “salubritas” (health) and according to the historian Gaius Plinius “salario” was the ration of salt received as pay by soldiers and slaves.

Even today the Italian word “salario” (English “salary”, French “salaire”, Spanish “salary”) is used with reference to the payment of the hours worked during the day.

Value of the salt

Routes of the salt, Sicily

It goes without saying that, since ancient times, this mineral has played an important role in the life of the human being and has been a great demanded good, especially by those people who lived in places far from the sea and therefore had greater difficulty to supply.

In short, salt has become a kind of basic necessity, obtainable from the deposits of rock salt (mine salt) or through the evaporation of sea water, and its commercialization has provided an opportunity for enrichment comparable to the obsidian, the amber, the spices, the sugar and the silk.

The “routes of the salt” that spreaded from the sea to the internal territories (look the Via Salaria) were large commercial streets, to transit along which you often had to pay a tax calculated on the value of the goods in transit. During the Middle Ages salt continued to be considered a very precious commodity and the taxes applied on its transport passed from 2.5% of the Roman imperial age to 20%.

Thanks to its geographical position, Italy became the center of the salt trade, and this favored the enrichment of producing or exporting cities, such as Venice and Genoa, for example.

The centrality of this product in everyday life is evidenced by literature, mythology and religions, one for all the Christian one. For example, in the Discourse of the mountain of Jesus, handed down in the Gospels, is famous the phrase of Christ which, addressed to the apostles, said “you are the salt of the earth; but if salt loses its flavor, with what can it be salted?” (Matthew 5, 13).

The recipes of the great humanist cook Bartolomeo Sacchi called Plàtina report that salt was the “wisdom” of food: “The kitchen needs salt so that the food is not insipid. In fact, we call vapid and foolish persons because they have no salt, that is to say wisdom”.

Japanese wrestler throwing a hand full of salt into the ring for purification

Salt: symbolic values

Precisely for its nutritional value and consequently for its venal value, salt acquire over time numerous symbolic values, such as that of “fidelity and stability”, when, with its exchange in the “salt pacts”, agreements were concluded between marriage and economy, or that of “purification from evil”, when it was sprinkled on the occasion of baptisms, blessings or exorcisms.

In the East Mediterranean and the ancient Greeks (but also in Japan), the sacredness of hospitality was sanctioned by the “ritual of sharing” salt with the guest; at a sumo wrestling match, you will see the wrestlers throwing a hand full of salt into the ring. Again, this is for purification. It’s believed that this is done so no evil spirits can enter the ring to prevent the wrestler from winning.

Because of its great value and consideration, the waste of salt was considered an indication of bad luck and if it fell on the table or on the ground, the ominous could be averted, as is known, throwing a pinch behind the shoulders.

Which salt?

Which salt are we talking about? From the chemical point of view, the salt is an electrically neutral compound, made up of the set of several ions (anions and cations), generally arranged inside a crystalline grid, joined by an ionic bond, ie a real force of electrostatic nature. From the gastronomic point of view, the salt, or the cooking salt, is just one of the many possible salts, namely sodium chloride (NaCl).

The “food” salt is obtained from the salt marshes, ie from naturally evaporated sea water: one cubic meter of sea water contains about 30 kg of sodium chloride and other salts. Most of the salt marshes have been obtained in flat areas at sea level. The most extensive in Europe are still today those of Santa Margherita di Savoia in Puglia.

In addition to sea water, it can be obtained by mining from salt mines (rock salt), activities that before the industrial revolution, was relatively difficult and very dangerous, and therefore entrusted to slaves and prisoners.

Salt consumption in the alimentation

The World Health Organization affirm that the daily consumption of salt, in order not to be dangerous, must be less than 5 grams, but nevertheless, we continue to consume excessively salty meals. Recent scientific studies carried out on the subject have shown that in Italy men would consume about 10.8 grams of salt per day and women about 8.4 grams, a result similar to what emerged with children between the ages of 8 and 11. Today in Italy, as in many other countries, we ingest a double daily dose of salt necessary to our body due to the increase in consumption of industrial food products that lead us to addiction to salty always looking for larger doses (also to enhance the taste, from sauces to desserts, and encourage the consumption of drinks).

The consequent risks are known: hypertension, kidney diseases, cardio-cerebrovascular diseases, tumors and osteoporosis.

In addition further scientific publications indicate that reduced sodium consumption and increased potassium consumption can help prevent hypertension, and therefore cardiovascular disease.

The reduction of salt in food is now a priority for WHO and for the European Union, and one of the objectives pursued by the Italian Ministry of Health with the “Gaining health” program.

The kitchen of “Without” Chef Oliver Glowig

The kitchen of “Without”

Many initiatives carried out at various levels aim to contribute to reducing the use of salt for food purposes, while safeguarding the taste of food. An example is the initiative “The kitchen of “Without”, devised and promoted by Lucia and Marcello Coronini, with the aim of promoting a kitchen “without salt, fat and sugar”, which is expressed in the event “Gusto in Scena “, held annually in Venice at the prestigious headquarters of St. John the Evangelist School since 2011 and to which the best international Chefs compete.

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No pineapple on the pizza

Pizza is the democratic food par excellence that is consumed by the poor to the most economically wealthy and everywhere in the world.

The combination of flavors varies, but can satisfy anyone and is quite accessible to all classes, can be consumed by everyone, even those with dietary restrictions, with chronic diseases and food intolerances: simply replace the ingredients from the dough and stuffing.

The preparation varies depending on the preferences of the place where it is consumed, with different ingredients you can eat pizza in Naples and on Mars. It can also be consumed in restaurants, at home, at work, as street food or wherever we want

But sometime, more often than what we mean, the night after the pizza swells abdominal and so much thirst, why? Spend a night with intestinal disorders, thirst, sleepless, after a pleasant evening in a pizzeria, is a chronicle of an increasing number of people of all ages.

Pizza is a regional and national dish, to be enhanced with ingredients of nutritional and gastronomic value. A good pizza, to be such, does not procure thirst and must not be indigestible.

Make pizza non war

Unfortunately, more and more often we eat pizzas prepared with flour too rich in protein, gluten, resistant starch, with additives and stabilizers; flour for pizzas with 20-30% of Manitoba flour, with high protein and gluten content. The used flours are very strong (w 280 to 420).
With those flours, pizza is a concentrated of gluten, which forms a strong dough able to “hold” tomatoes and mozzarella or other ingredients.
If the time of leavening is not correct, during cooking at high temperatures, the Maillard reaction occurs with the formation of glycated proteins: the union of glucose with an amino-acids of the flour proteins.
Glycated proteins are aggressive molecules against the intestinal walls and if absorbed in the blood, they can damage the vascular system and the extra cellular matrix. Moreover in the pizza is present the resistant starch, “resistant” because it is not digested by the digestive enzymes of the small intestine.

The flours mostly used by pizzaioli (not all, however, honor and worthiness to true pizzaioli) may not be compatible with our intestines.

The parts of the pizza not digested in the tenuous transit in the colon, where these are “eaten” by billions of bacteria with gas production (meteorism) and the appearance of intestinal disorders: diarrhea, irritable colon syndrome; in addition, there is a recall of water from the blood inside the intestine with the appearance of prolonged thirst in the night.

A pizza weighs 150 g (base) with a dose of carbohydrates around 90 g is able to raise the glycemia after eating it, with insulin secretion; it contains about 20 grams of protein.

The quality and the salubriousness of the pizza depend from the used flours, the leavening time and the cooking temperatures, as well as the ingredients used to stuff the pizza.

The pizza made at home, with flour less rich in proteins and without Manitoba flour, right long leavening times and cooking temperature not too high, does not provide the same symptomatology of pizza eaten in pizzeria.

The pizza can also be made with flour obtained from grains of ancient varieties healthier and more nutritious than the modern grains.