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

Wednesday, 6 October 2010


Try to make this nice cake, it’s fun especially in a wet Sunday afternoon. Below I’ll write the receipt for a sweet called CROSTATA, basically a pastry that can be combined with jam, crème, fruit and even with the great Nutella (for the ones not on diet!)
170 gr. of butter
300/400 gr. Of plain flower
100 gr. Of sugar
3 eggs (2 whole eggs and 1 yolk)

Ingredients for the cream:
1 yolk of egg
1 big spoon of sugar
1 glass of milk
1 spoon of flower
Vanilla flavour
Lemon juice

How to do it:

Prepare the flower leaving an empty space in the middle where the butter and the sugar will be mixed together before adding the eggs. Once the eggs have been added work the dough until obtain a soft and slightly sticky mass. Leave the dough to rest for half an hour in the fridge.

While the dough is resting in the fridge prepare the cream: mix the egg and sugar, add the milk and the flower. Add vanilla flavour and lemon and cook at low fire mixing continuously clockwise. Cook until the mixture will become thicker.

Prepare the base, putting the dough in a container. Cook the base for a 10 minutes in a pre-heated oven at 180°C. After 10 minutes put the cream on the top of the base and put the crostata back into the oven and cook for 15 mins more.

Let cool down a bit and enjoy it...It's amazing!!!

Have a look to some pictures!!!!

Wednesday, 29 September 2010


Memories of years already gone…that’s what vintage (at least in clothing) usually means!!
I am not pretending to be gloomy I just would like to talk about one of the funniest and, at the same time, hardest work experience of my life: the “VENDEMMIA” or VINTAGE in English.
Vintage, in wine-making, is the process of picking grapes and creating the finished product.
The harvesting period is between August and October (Northern Hemisphere), and depends on many factors such as: weather, temperature, area of production, kind of grapes and type of wine that needs to be produced.
Every single bottle of wine (It doesn’t matter if good or bad, cheap or expensive, from Italy or south Africa) strictly depends on this process. The harvesting can be either manual or mechanical. Although the mechanical one is used nowadays to optimize time and resources, the manual harvesting is generally in use for high quality wines and champagne, where a careful selection of the grapes is needed.

In many Italian countryside villages the “vendemmia” is time of hard work as well as happiness where old and young share life experiences surrounded by breath taking scenarios and landscapes.

The new trend in terms of gourmet holidays is a “Vendemmia” holidays, when there are festivals, tasting events and even the chance to help pick the grapes. In this way people can enjoy nature, ancient traditions, history and be part of a process for creating a product called in ancient Rome "nectar of the gods". 

All the images in the post have been sourced from Google Images

Sunday, 26 September 2010


Living in a city like London you always find yourself running against time or running after a train or a bus!! Therefore the daily routine brings you to just grab a quick sandwich for lunch to eat while you read your last e mails or check your Facebook profile.
That sounds like sad but it’s daily life. For somebody like me, who loves preparing food, knowing about food and spend a lot of time enjoying it with a good amount of wine, anything that it doesn’t look like a proper meal (maybe prepared with love, care and knowledge) sounds like FAST FOOD.

I want to refer to this way of eating as FAST FOOD, without saying that is good or bad, healthy or unhealthy but just considering the time people spend worrying about what they are eating.

SLOW FOOD means (not just to me, of course!) taking time to know more about what you are eating, understanding the whole culture behind a meal. Master of this concept is SLOW FOOD ( a non-profit, eco-gastronomic member-supported organization that was founded in 1989 to counteract fast food and fast life. Nowadays SLOWFOOD has over 100,000 members in 132 countries.
The mission: “to defend biodiversity in our food supply, spread taste education and connect producers of excellent foods with co-producers through events and initiatives.” The members all over the world organize meals, tastings, fairs, festivals, workshops, conferences, visits to local food producers, taste education initiatives.

SLOW FOOD is present in the UK as well with SLOW FOOD UK ( Have a look to the web site, it is plenty of interesting things to do and discover.

In Italy SLOW FOOD is famous for many international fairs such as “Il Salone del gusto” or “Cheese” as well as projects such as TERRA MADRE (
As stated in the fair web site: “ The Salone del Gusto is educational, because it is about learning, knowing, comparing and discovering, but always in the name of a right to responsible and fully shared pleasure.”

So let’s start knowing better anything we eat and drink. It would be as well a great excuse to know new cultures and otherwise unknown sides of our Planet.

Thursday, 23 September 2010

I introduce you my dear friend "Ciauscolo"...

Ciauscolo (sometimes also spelled ciavuscolo or ciabuscolo) is a variety of Italian salame, typical of the Marche region (especially of the Province of Macerata).
Ciauscolo is a smoked and dry-cured sausage, made from pork meat and fat. It is spiced with black pepper and garlic. The meat is finely ground, mixed with the spices and cure, stuffed into wide hog middles, and left for twelve to twenty-four hour drying period. Once the surface has become tacky, the sausage is cold-smoked  for two days, then hung to cure. Although it can be aged for a month or more, it is typically eaten after only a brief two weeks. The result is a very soft, moist sausage which can be spread on bread, in a manner similar to some patés. Otherwise can be used as a tasty filling for a great sandwich.

The production of the Ciauscolo can differ according to the different areas of the region where is made. The result is always the same: a great and tasty "salame" difficult to find in any other Italian Region as well as abroad.

Unfortunatly in London I didn't find it easly. Just once in one of my rare food shopping expedition in Wholefoods ( I could spot the Ciauscolo in beetween many other international salami, but not anywhre else.
In my opinion without any doubts the "Ciauscolo" could potentially competes (if better known and more available) with any of its more famous international cousins such as Hungarian Salami, German Salami or Spanish Chorizo!!

Let me know if you want a taste of it guys...Any time I go to Italy I bring with me at least a couple (more if I don't fly with Ryanair!!!)

Tuesday, 21 September 2010

And the journey begins...

Many people nowadays (much more famous and glamourous than me!!) talk, write, twit and post about italian food. Italian food in my opinion is all about passion and traditions; it is part of the culture. In Italy every street hides its very own recipes and culinary secrets. Every mum and granmother is source of a vast and rich amount of know how mixed with years of experience.
From there my passion about food started and from there the idea to share this passion on line, feeling free to talk about secrets and traditional dishes, good wines known and unknown ones. The idea behind this blog is not to act as the expert in Italian Cusine but to share emotions, feelings about something we all love: GOOD FOOD!!
Have a nice journey