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Thursday
Oct032013

GRAPE MUST DOUGHNUT

By Maria Liberati - Brunch isn’t as common in Italy as it is in America. But if it was, one of the main brunch servings would be ciambellaCiambelle are an Italian version of doughnuts, traditionally made as a family meal but now commonly used as a dessert or side dish when entertaining guests. They are usually ring-shaped and prepared with almonds, hazelnuts, or sugar to make them (more)

Monday
Sep302013

AMARETTO LACE CANNOLI

By Cathi Iannone - We grew up spending every weekend at our Nonna's house. I have fond memories of sitting on a chair to stir the pot on the stove, and studying her every move as she hand measured all her ingredients. After many years, I began to write her recipes down. One of my favorite memories is making cannoli with her. She let me wrap the round discs of dough around the wooden dowels and (more)

Tuesday
Sep242013

RAVIOLI

raviolo is traditionally composed by two square or round layers of thin egg pasta dough and a sealed filling of vegetables, meats, or cheese between them. Who invented them? We don’t know, but Giovanni Boccaccio in the Decameron (1349-1353) wrote: "the only thing they did was making and cooking maccheroni and ravioli " (more)

Saturday
Sep212013

BEST ITALIAN WINES 2013 AWARDS

Biwa, Best Italian Wines Awards, has published the list of the 50 winners for this year.

1 - Toscana - Poggio di Sotto - Brunello di Montalcino Riserva 2007

2 - Piemonte - Roagna - Barbaresco Asili Vecchie Vigne 2007

3 - Toscana - Setteponti - Oreno 2010

Monday
Sep162013

TOMATOES AND ITALY, A LOVESTORY

The exact date of tomato plants’ domestication is unknown, although, by 500 BC, it was already being cultivated in southern Mexico and probably other Central and South America’s areas. A thousand years later, when they arrived in Italy, tomato plants were sold for their beauty, grown only in vases, gardens and flower beds. Some varieties were toxic or inedible and people were discouraged from attempting to eat them either fresh or cooked. Until Italians found the (more)

Friday
Sep132013

PROVOLONE

Provolone (large provola) is a pale yellow, semi-hard, full-fat cow's milk cheese with a smooth skin, made by combining the milking from the morning and evening and by kneading the curd while it's still hot. It originated in Casilli, near Mount Vesuvius, with taste varying significantly from provolone piccante (spicy/piquant) - using goat or lamb's rennet to coagulate the (more)

Friday
Sep062013

PHILLY CHEESESTEAK

In the early 1930s, brothers Pasquale ‘Pat’ and Harry Olivieri owned a hot dog stand in Philadelphia and, on one occasion, decided to make a sandwich for lunch using chopped beef and grilled onions. While Pat was eating the sandwich, a cab driver stopped by and was interested in it, so he requested one for himself. (more)

Thursday
Sep052013

MARSALA

The first sip of wine most Italian Americans have tasted is probably Marsala. In sabayon or in a sponge cake,  or even as a drop in a decorated shot glass. Marsala is a fortified wine produced in Sicily, especially in the province of Trapani. Originally, it was fortified with alcohol and aged in wooden casks to ensure that it would last long ocean voyages, like Portuguese Port. In 1773, English trader John Woodhouse landed by mistake at the port of Marsala and discovered the local wine called Perpetuum. Three years later, (more)

Thursday
Sep052013

SARDINIAN HONEY WON AGAIN

For the second consecutive year, a type of honey produced in Guspini, a town in the Medio-Campidano area, has won the national Italian prize for best honey. The secret? Honey made by bees who only used nectar from Lavandula stoechas, a species of wild evergreen shrubs in the lavender family. Differently from lavander honey, it is more delicate and less aromatic, a rarity. Produced on the unpolluted Oschiri's hills by the local department of forests and parks, (more)

Tuesday
Sep032013

Stuffed Vine-Ripened Tomatoes

By Cathi Iannone - Transform your leftovers into something sexxxy!
INGREDIENTS:
* 3 cups of cooked brown/wild rice blend
* 1 cup of cooked chicken breast (chopped finely)
* 8 large vine tomatoes (or, other large tomatoes) (more)

 

Thursday
Aug292013

PROSCIUTTO DI SAN DANIELE

A pig thigh can only become Prosciutto di San Daniele if it fulfils three conditions: first of all, the origin of the raw material. The thighs must come exclusively from pigs bred in ten regions of Northern Central Italy (Friuli Venezia Giulia, Veneto, Lombardy, Piedmont, Emilia Romagna, Tuscany, (more)

Friday
Aug232013

EXPLORE THE MEDITERRANEAN DIET

by Maria Liberati - With all the pasta, gelato, and pizza that Italians are stereotyped to be eating, how do they stay thin? Travelers to the Italian lands have witnessed their three course meals that last for hours - and don’t begin until right before bedtime - and wondered what was different about the carbs the Italians are eating and those that the Americans are constantly being told to stave off. The secret is in the (more)

Friday
Aug232013

TIRAMISÙ

One of the most famous spoon cakes in the world is Italian Tiramisù (‘pick me up’). Created in Treviso, a city in the Veneto region, in the 70s, it is made with ladyfingers (savoiardi) dipped in espresso coffee, layered with a whipped mixture of egg yolks, mascarpone cheese, and sugar, flavored with (more)

Thursday
Aug152013

FERRAGOSTO: THE TRIUMPH OF CHICKEN

Grilled, roasted, stewed, millions of chickens are eaten by Italians during the Ferragosto festivities. Romans eat pollo alla romana (roman-style chicken) aka pollo con i peperoni (chicken with peppers), that can be served hot or cold, perfect for picnics, wonderful leftover. The traditional recipe calls for a chicken cut into pieces, cooked in a pan with 3 sliced peppers, four (more)

Monday
Aug122013

RICOTTA

Creamy, fresh, slightly sweet, light ricotta ("cooked twice") is an Italian cheese made from sheep milk whey, the liquid remaining after milk has been curdled and strained for the production of cheese. A byproduct, nothing is wasted! It takes over 2 and a half gallons of milk to produce 2 pounds of cheese, and the residue from that process is whey. Ricotta can be also produced with milk from cows, (more)

Sunday
Aug112013

CAPOGIRO GELATO ARTISANS

By Caroline Chirichella -  Ciao a tutti! I think I have made my love for gelato pretty clear, so when I first heard about Capogiro Gelato in Philadelphia, I knew I had to get there someday and lucky for me, this past week I got there!! Not only did I get to have the best gelato I’ve had since Italy, I also had the chance to interview Stephanie Reitano (co owner, along with (more)

Wednesday
Aug072013

Baicoli, most famous Venetian biscotti

By Maria Liberati - Baicoli were prepared and served in Venice in the 18th century, usually accompanied with zabaglione (a light foamy dessert made of egg yolks, sugar and marsala, whipped together over a gentle heat). They were the typical biscuits of the Republic of the Serenissima, always present at home, but (more)

Tuesday
Aug062013

CHICKEN CACCIATORE

Cacciatore or alla cacciatora (hunter style) is an easy traditional dish prepared with a chicken (pollo alla cacciatora) or a rabbit (coniglio alla cacciatora), 2 pounds of tomatoes, one medium onion, 1 carrot, rosemary, half a glass of wine or two tablespoons of vinegar, salt and pepper. That’s the basic recipe. It is an old summer dish created by Tuscan farmers, when the (more)

Sunday
Aug042013

ESPRESSO, CAPPUCCINO AND LATTE

Most Italians are addicted to espresso. You can have it normale (standard), lungo (less concentrated), ristretto (more concentrated), doppio (double), macchiato (with a little bit of milk), con panna (whipped cream), shakerato (cold coffee with shaved ice (more)

Friday
Aug022013

Zucchini Flowers stuffed with Ricotta

By Caroline Chirichella -  I heard my mother speak of Zucchini Flowers. They’re not as popular in the United States as they are in Italy, so getting your hands on them can be pretty difficult. You’re best trying a farmers market once they are in season. I only first tried Zucchini Flowers on my first trip to Italy in the summer of 2011. When my mother and I were in Rome during that trip, we made (more)