Archive for the ‘Italian food facts’ Category

Fantastic Formaggio

LaTur

Our chef at Caffe Caldesi Antonio is a major cheese freak, a regular visitor to the many cheese purveyors at Borough Market. One of his favourite ports of call is Gastronmica  where the selection of Italian cheeses is immense. A pile of waxed paper parcels caught my eye in the corner of the kitchen yesterday… Antonio had been cheese shopping …

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How to Peel and Use an Artichoke

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Italians are crazy for their artichokes and at this time of year they are everywhere, in the markets, restaurants and homes. You often see the hearts of these tender young artichokes for sale already peeled, bobbing around in buckets of water and lemon. Pasta with artichoke, raw artichoke salad, marinated artichokes with cured ham, seabass with artichoke and white wine. …

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What makes an exceptional panettone?

Katie and Michela

I asked food journalist Michela Di Carlo who writes for the Italian national paper, La Republica, what makes one panettone stand out from the others and why I should spend so much money on what is essentially just a piece of cake.
Here she refers to her favourite brands as the Rolls Royce of bakery and wants us Brits to …

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Prosciutto Di Parma

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Parma ham is a type of prosciutto (pronounced proshooto) a word derived from the Latin perexuctus, and the modern Italian verb prosciugare meaning ‘to deprive of all liquid’, because the hams are salted and dried. This preserving process dates back at least to the second century B.C. and thought to have used by the Romans and Etruscans.  It …

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Parmigiano Reggiano

Parmigiano Reggiano

Parmigiano Reggiano is a hard straw coloured cheese made from raw cow’s milk.  It is commonly used as an ingredient in grated form but is also wonderful to eat on its own in small pieces or shavings.  Parmigiano isn’t salty but is ‘umami’ meaning savoury – this is due to the amino acids breaking down in the slow maturation. Foods …

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Olive oil – Just like wine – a sublime grand cru or quaffable plonk?

Olive oil – Just like wine – a sublime grand cru or quaffable plonk?

When you think about choosing an olive oil think about how you would choose a wine- an expensive fine wine at one end of the scale to savour with something special or everyday, quaffable ‘plonk’ at the other.  In my kitchen I have little bottles of single estate extra-virgin olive oils, I buy them when I am in Italy or …

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Balsamic vinegar

Balsamic vinegar

A little alchemy mixed with wine, wood and time makes Balsamic vinegar. Originally made and sold as a medicine in the Middle Ages in the form of a tonic it was used to “heal, soothe and restore”. You can imagine medieval traders shouting out promises of the healing powers of their bottles at markets in Northern Italy. Rather like a …

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Our 6 Top Italian Cooking Ingredients

Our 6 Top Italian Cooking Ingredients

At La Cucina Caldesi we are frequently asked about our products and cooking ingredients, what to choose and where to source them. Stefano Borella, our Head Lecturer and Katie Caldesi have put together a list of FAQS.
Tinned Tomatoes 
For making sauces we recommend tinned plum tomatoes which are produced in Italy; good quality brands such as Cirio and …

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