Wednesday, April 1, 2015
Tuesday, April 29, 2014
Saturday, March 8, 2014
Monday, March 3, 2014
Note: I grew up loving these but the first time I made Calamari Fritti was in the summer at the end of my eleventh grade. A few of us had gotten together to rent an extremely rustic farmhouse ($20/month) on the very isolated west side of the island of Paros in the Cycladic chain of islands in Greece. It was the night of the full moon and we decided to have a party, the Calamari were one of the main courses.
This is a perfect fry with all the taste of fresh squid
Ingredients: 800 g squid, semolina, olive oil, salt.
PREPARATION: Wash the squid, and pat dry with kitchen paper. Cut into circles and turn them over in the flour until it no longer adheres well. Put the squid in hot oil and fry until golden turning with a slotted spoon. Drain them, put them on paper towels, season with salt and serve hot. The secret of a good fried food is the temperature of the oil. To find out if the temperature is right immerse the handle of a wooden spoon. If the oil bubbles around the spoon, it means that the oil is at the right temperature.
Sunday, January 26, 2014
Knowing some Italian makes any trip to Italy easier. But understanding Italian gestures might be even more important. Learn some with this cute video from La Repubblica... starring Dolce & Gabbana models.
Wednesday, January 1, 2014
Sunday, September 15, 2013
Friday, August 23, 2013
Nowadays, the United States Bocce Federation (USBF) promotes it as a sport and has been sending the best American players to world championships since 1979. They are part of a movement that is trying to get Bocce into the Olympics.
Thanks to Italian immigrants, Bocce has come to flourish in the United States although we find signs of the game before the 1800s: one early playing field was Bowling Green at the southern tip of Manhattan and we know that George Washington built a Bocce court at Mount Vernon.
Nine thousand years ago people played games similar to Bocce. Polished round stone balls with evident signs of having been rolled on the ground were found in Çatalhöyük, modern Turkey, and in an Egyptian tomb dated 3500 b.C. The Greeks played Bocce andHippocrates, the father of western medicine, considered it a healthy activity for the young and old. But it was the Romans that made it famous throughout the Empire. They invented wooden Bocce, cheaper and easier to make and to carry around. Emperor Augustus had a personal set made out of fine olive tree roots.
All this happiness bothered some aristocrats who did their best to ban it. Among them, French kings Charles IV in 1319 and Charles V in 1369, followed by the English kings Richard II in 1388, Henry IV in 1401, and Henry VIII, the king who had six wives, divorced two and had two beheaded.
Strangely enough, more somber people like Martin Luther (1483–1546), the German monk credited with initiating the Protestant Reformation, and John Calvin (1509-1564), the founder of Calvinism, found Bocce a fantastic game. According to legend, Sir Francis Drake refused to set out to defend England against the Spanish Armada until he finished a Bocce game, and we find Bocce in Rabelais’ novels, in Shakespeare's Richard II, in Peter Bruegel the Elder's paintings.
You can find courts almost everywhere but you can also play it on lawns, on the beach, wherever you find a leveled field. All you need is 8 colored balls, in two different colors or four different colors, and a pallino (smaller ball).
Wednesday, August 21, 2013
INGREDIENTI: 1 spicchio di aglio, 500 g di cozze, olio extravergine di oliva, pepe nero qb, prezzemolo tritato, vino vermentino di Gallura, 200 g pomodori
PREPARAZIONE Pulite le cozze eliminando il bisso. Cuocetele in un tegame con il vino bianco e fatele aprire a fuoco vivo. Tritate l’aglio e rosolatelo nell’olio; aggiungete i pomodorini tagliati a cubetti, unite le cozze e il loro sughetto e fate saltare il tutto. Aggiungete per ultimo il prezzemolo e il pepe macinato al momento. Disponete il letto di pane carasau e aiutandovi con un cucchiaio versate le cozze con i pomodori.
Sunday, January 13, 2013
Thursday, January 10, 2013
Old Neapolitan gestures, from left to right: money, past times, affirmation, stupid, good, wait a moment, to walk backward, to steal, horns, to ask for.
From: "Speak Italian: The Fine Art of the Gesture" by Bruno Munari (originally published in 1958)
Wednesday, January 9, 2013
Want to know how to make a real Italian pizza? The most important part is getting the Italian pizza dough right! More than just the base of the pizza, the dough is what gives the pizza its texture, holds together the flavors, and—if done right—can make you feel like you’ve been transported right back to Italy.
Just a bit about pizza in Italy…
A traditional pizza margherita of Naples, complete with the thick crust
Even though it’s become the most popular Italian food abroad, pizza and Italy didn’t always go together like, well, pizza and Italy. In fact, pizza wasn’t even invented until the 19th century, when it started out as a fast food on the streets of Naples. In the beginning (and, we’d argue, even today), the simpler the pizza, the better: The classic pizza napoletana was just dough with a tomato sauce of Marzano tomatoes, oregano or basil, a little garlic, salt, and olive oil.
What you need to make an Italian pizza
How to make your pizza:
Saturday, January 5, 2013
The Vatican Museums spiral staircase is one of the most photographed in the world, and certainly one of the most beautiful. Designed by Giuseppe Momo in 1932, the broad steps are somewhere between a ramp and a staircase. The stairs are actually two separate helixes, one leading up and the other leading down, that twist together in a double helix formation. Little did the Vatican Museum know in 1932 that this formation would come to represent life itself, with the discovery of the double helical DNA strand.
The Spanish Steps (Italian: Scalinata della Trinità dei Monti) are a set of steps in Rome, Italy, climbing a steep slope between the Piazza di Spagna at the base and Piazza Trinità dei Monti, dominated by the Trinità dei Monti church at the top. The Scalinata is the widest staircase in Europe. The monumental stairway of 138 steps was built with French diplomat Étienne Gueffier’s bequeathed funds of 20,000 scudi, in 1723–1725, linking the Bourbon Spanish Embassy, and the Trinità dei Monti church that was under the patronage of the Bourbon kings of France, both located above — to the Holy See in Palazzo Monaldeschi located below. The stairway was designed by architects Francesco de Sanctis and Alessandro Specchi.
Monday, November 5, 2012
|Most goods vendors in Rome are Senegalese, but many are referred to as Moroccans|
By Nicole Arriaga
Something that's always taken me back about Rome Italians is their complete lack of politically correctness. Most people in the U.S. work to avoid using words and phrases that might cause needless offense. Italians on the other hand seem to blurt out whatever's on their mind, giving very little thought to the impact of what they're saying.
This can be refreshing at times, admittedly. The downside of the American way is that we often think too much before speaking. Italians might even say we're a bit phony.
Maybe we are, but we're still polite.
Rome's Chinese community is growing, and still faces considerable discrimination.
A good example is the way many Romans still refer to street vendors. Whether the vendors are peddling umbrellas, bracelets, handbags or scarves — spend a little time in Italian cities and you'll notice there is a difference between who sells what — they're often generically called marocchini, Moroccans. There's no mystery as to why: it's based on their skin color and alien-ness.
Though this bothers for a variety of reasons, the first one is pretty straightforward. The vendors are rarely Moroccan. Most are typically from Senegal, Bangladesh or Nigeria (in fact, most of the vendors are typically Senegalese, just as flower-sellers tend to come from Bangladesh).
Italian actually has a phrase for illegal or unauthorized street vendors, venditori ambulanti, which basically means traveling salesmen. But it's a clunky to say aloud. And though Marrocchino is clearly derogatory, no one pays much attention since it's been built into the language.
The same kind of insensitivity goes for the description of babysitters or caregivers. Italians have the bad habit of attaching racial slants to any kind of help-out job, since such work is seen only as menial. I remember a stretch when I was working so hard I had little time to clean up. The suggestion of an Italian friend? Ma perché non ti prendi una filippina? ("Why not hire a Filipino to help out.")
A large Filipino community made its way to Italy in the 1960s and 70s, with most of them taking household jobs, basically the only ones they could get. Many married and started families in Italy. Since then, Filipino has become a going synonym for maid or helper.
Like most countries, the U.S. has its own share of racial and ethnic slurs, but they're usually used in anger. In Italy, north or south, Filipino and Moroccan are part of day-to-day speech.
Live in Italy long enough and some of that language profiling rubs off. The other day my husband called me to ask me where I was. Sono al negozio dei cinesi, I blurted out, "at the Chinese shop."
Chinese families in and around Rome run household item stores that literally sell everything but the kitchen sink (like Korean markets in New York). These shops have names, and in New York many locals actually learn the name of the owner, but in Rome everyone calls them I cinesi. It may be good-natured but it's still discriminatory. I try catching myself, but bad habits die hard.
Another issue is weight. I'm neither fat nor thin, but whenever there's a slight change in the pounds department I'm almost immediately called out. Ironically, the observation often happens immediately after a cordial greeting, as in:
"Hi, how are you? Long time no see! Looks like you've gained a few pounds, no?"
Great. Why don't you tell me how you really feel?
It's at moments like those that I envy Rome bluntness. I could return fire saying,
"Wow, so nice to see you again! It's been so long! Turn around and let me get a good look at you. Yep. You're still ugly."
But I'm not there yet.