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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”.
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
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.
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.
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 1933
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.
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.
https://www.aromi-diversi.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/05/logo.png00Robbiehttps://www.aromi-diversi.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/05/logo.pngRobbie2018-10-12 12:37:012019-02-06 04:24:11First of all, God made coffee, otherwise he would not have done the rest
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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.
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
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
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”
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!
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
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
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)
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
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
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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Famous for his participation as Judge at Top Chef, the American Chef reveals which dishes are best avoid in order not to spoil a lunch or a dinner outside
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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:
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
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
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
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
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
avoid Sunday brunch: the restaurants are used to dispose of the leftovers of the weekend, recycling them in a captivating way
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
Anthony Bourdain, June 25, 1956 – June 8, 2018 RIP
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