Thursday, 15 September 2011

A "celebrity chef" of 1800

We are all used to see celebrity chefs on the tv nowadays. They probably spend more time in front of the cameras than in their kitchen. However it is not something totally new.

In the 18th century, in Italy there was somebody already keen in becoming a celebrity chef.  Pellegrino Artusi was his name. This year, a century after his death, its masterpieces in the kitchen and in its books are still around and considered more than ever the real bases of the Italian culinary traditions.

A bit of history to introduce the star of the show..

Pellegrino Artusi was born in Forlimpopoli on 4th August 1820, the only male son among seven sisters. His father, Agostino was a wealthy businessman dealing with colonial items.
 After his studies at the Bertinoro’s Seminary, he started dealing with his father business as well as cultivating his passion for literature and cooking,

His masterpiece, “La scienza in cucina e l’ arte di mangiar bene” (The kitchen science and the art of well eating) is still considered a mile stone of the family culinary tradition in Italy and abroad. It collects 790 receipts, from broth to liqueurs, passing through soups, hors-d’ ouvres (or well “starters”), second dishes and cakes. The approach is a didactic one (“with the practical manual – Artusi writes – it’ s sufficient to be able to keep a ladle in the hands”). The receipts are followed by the author’ s reflections and anecdotes, as he writes in a witty style.

It is a real pleasure to read the book, which is available in English as well. It has cultural insights, which help the reader understand where much of the Italian culinary tradition come from.

Artusi is not just a book or a name; it became in the years a brand, which have been used to promote gastronomic tourism in the Artusi’s region, Emilia Romagna, already strong in the food and beverage field.

Furthermore, a wide range of culinary events and cooking classes are organized by CASARTUSI, which is “the centre of gastronomic culture dedicated to Italian home cooking”. CASARTUSI involves a library, dedicated to the “celebrity chef”, a restaurant, where receipts are inspired by the above-mentioned book, and a cooking school. Everything under one name : Artusi, which with is scientific approach to cooking, and without the use of tv and social media have been surviving for a century and will last for ever.

If you want to find out more visit:  .

Monday, 29 August 2011


A blank page to write on is like an empty fridge when you are hungry and you would like to cook something. It is a bit of a hard mission…

So tonight, after walking around searching for inspiration, I start looking at some old pictures and I found this:

You may be wondering… what the hell is this?? Hopefully it look as good as it tastes. This is a CROSTATA ALLA FRUTTA. As much of my basic culinary knowledge, this as well comes from my grandmother repertory.  She uses to make this in any of the special familiar reunions. Her CROSTATA was a perfect balance between style and taste. I am still working on both aspects.  Cooking is a learning process.

This is my favourite when the summer is coming. It doesn’t take long to make it and the result is worth a bit of waiting. The base is the same as the one described in one of my previous posts (6/10/2010)… for the topping, just choose some juicy and tasty fruit at your choice from your nearest market, and is all done. Easy, isn’t it?

Thursday, 7 April 2011


Have you ever heard about Vinitaly?

This year will take place from April the 7th to April the 14th in Verona the 45th edition of Vinitaly, an international wine fair. For the wine lovers and experts this is the place to be: more than 95 thousand square meters of exhibition space, 4,000 exhibitors, 153,000 visitors from around the World and 2,000 journalists.

Vinitaly, the world's top exhibition in the wine sector, consists in five days of great events, technical tastings of wine and spirits, overviews of wine-making realities in Italy, an impressive convention programme and targeted workshops.

Wine-makers representative of all Italian regions will dominate the scene of the fair. Just to mention some names: Mancinelli Stefano, with its "Lacrima di Morro d’Alba” (a fruity red wine) as main star; La Monacesca and its "Verdicchio di Matelica" (a white wine with an exuberant aromatic richness); Moroder and its Rosso Conero “Dorico”.
High quality and origin (all the producers above are from Marche) link the three wine-makers mentioned, that offer some amazing wines to their national and international customers.

Some friends of mine will be off to Verona from tomorrow…I’ll be there with my mind!!!

Cheers guys 

Sunday, 3 April 2011


After long time, a bit of time to spend thinking about Cibolandia...
Many months passed by between study, work and a lot of good food of course.
This time I won't write about anything but my dissertation project: the food shopping online!!

To be honest, I was an old fashioned visitor of supermarket until one day my super tech wife proposed me to do our grocery shopping online. My scepticism was quickly defeated by the fact that I didn't have to carry kilos and kilos of meats, water, fruits until my fingers get purple and my arms painful for three days. But at the time we chose (more or less) of the day we decided a stranger knocked at our door saying: "It's X your food shopping is here!". I loved it!!

From that day I occasionally visit a supermarket, finding annoying queuing at the till, looking for hidden items in endless shelves and trying not to be run over by trolleys.

All this to say that my master dissertation project is about ONLINE GROCERY SHOPPING and I will need the help of all of you to complete  a quick and easy survey that is possible to find at the following link:

Thanks for your cooperation and see you soon

Stay tuned

Thursday, 4 November 2010

Cibolandia: Cibolandia: The WHITE and BLACK gold

Cibolandia: Cibolandia: The WHITE and BLACK gold: "Cibolandia: The WHITE and BLACK gold: 'In the world of gourmet foods, there is one treasure that is worth its weight in gold. The 18-th cent..."

Sunday, 17 October 2010

Cibolandia: The WHITE and BLACK gold

Cibolandia: The WHITE and BLACK gold: "In the world of gourmet foods, there is one treasure that is worth its weight in gold. The 18-th century gastronome Brillat-Savarin called..."

The WHITE and BLACK gold

In the world of gourmet foods, there is one treasure that is worth its weight in gold. The 18-th century gastronome Brillat-Savarin called the truffles “the diamond of the kitchen”. Truffles or Tartufi in Italian, is a rare, edible mushroom that is considered a delicacy in many parts of the world.
Requiring climates with mild weather changes, truffles grow in a limited number of places including France, Italy, Croatia and Slovenia. In Italy “Tartufi” are especially famous and present in Piemonte, Umbria and Marche. Despite their price they are a key ingredient in local dishes such as pasta, eggs, cheese, oil and many more.

All type of truffles are related to mushrooms and are known as hypogenus fungi. Unlike mushrooms, truffles never emerge from the surface: they are formed below the ground close to a tree such as oak, willow and linden. For this reason for the truffle harvesting well trained dogs or pigs are used.

The "black truffle" can be found in late autumn and winter, reaching 7 cm in diameter and weighing up to 100 g. As well during the summer, with a lower quality and taste.
The “white truffle”(that is as expensive as gold) comes from the area of Piedmont region in northern Italy and, most famously in the countryside around the city of Alba. They can reach 12cm diameter and 500 g, though are usually much smaller. The white truffle can be found as well in the Marche region, although not as popular internationally as his Alba cousin.

The record price paid for a single white truffle was set in December 2007, when Macau casino owner Stanley Ho paid US $ 330,000 (£165,00) for a specimen weighing 1,5 kg. The white truffle is never cooked and only served fresh; it is far to delicate for cooking, although can be preserved or infused in olive oil. Instead is shaved raw over cold or warm dishes often to enhance the favours and aroma. Its great combination with pasta, salads or eggs.
Generally speaking when using truffle for cooking is enough to follow some basic principles and the truffle will do the rest to make your dish tasting amazing:
1. the truffle is king: never combine truffle with any other ingredients with strong flavours
2.Fat is not bad: Fats work perfectly with truffles and help enhancing all the flavor.
3. Shave, Sliver and Slice: Always maximize the truffle flavour using the least amount of the ingredient as possible. So always slice into thin parts without wasting not even a gram.
4. Pasta and Rice: both of them match really well with the diamond of the kitchen.

Note that all the pictures have been sourced from google images. I am working hard to get my own photographic material