Sunday, January 29, 2017

Could you make me a cappuccino?

The cappuccino is an Italian invention that the world envies.
Who said that at home we cannot enjoy a really creamy cappuccino?

You can make a creamy cappuccino even without possessing special tools.

In general for the basic recipe you require the following ingredients per person: 130 ml of milk and 30 ml of coffee.
The secret is in milk - its quality should be very very high.

The another secret of a good cappuccino is in its foam. If the milk is not sufficiently mounted, in fact, the result is rather disappointing. To get a good creamy texture the milk should have min. 3%: the protein provide a soft foam.
To make a foam, it takes about one third of the milk which in total will be used to prepare a coffee.

Pour the milk up to a one third of the size of the cup. Cover it and then shake it for 30 seconds; then remove the cover and heat the cup in the microwave for another 30 seconds.

Another way is to buy a mixer for the milk which doesn't cost too much. It is very useful for recipes in which it is prepared hot milk and for those with cold milk as a milk shake.
Pour milk, hit it on the oven, then put the mixer into it for 15-20 seconds.

Then you can add coffee to the milk and you can enjoy your cappuccino :)

Monday, January 9, 2017


It may be a question which is important only for graphics and a few more philologists (like myself), but why italic is called italic? 
Is it related to something Italian?

The italics (in English marked also as italic) takes its name from the famous Venetian printer Aldo Manuzio who, at the beginning of the sixteenth century, spread this kind of slanted font, designed by Francesco Griffo, typographer from Bologna. 

He had been inspired by humanists such as Poggio Bracciolini, Coluccio and Niccolo Niccoli, who had promoted the introduction of humanistic script, in reaction to the dark Gothic script which earlier had already criticized Francesco Petrarca.

I present you also the definition from the etymological dictionary:

italic (adj.)
"type of printing with lines sloping to the right," 1610s, from Latin italicus "Italian, of Italy," from Italia (see Italy). So called because it was introduced in 1501 by Aldus Manutius, printer of Venice (who also gave his name to Aldine), and first used in his edition of Virgil, which was dedicated to Italy. As a noun, "italic type," 1670s.

[Italics] pull up the reader and tell him not to read heedlessly on, or he will miss some peculiarity in the italicized word. [Fowler]

Earlier (1570s) the word was used in English for the plain, sloping style of handwriting (opposed to gothic), and italic printing sometimes in English was called cursive (and also Aldine). Often, but not always, for emphasis; in manuscripts indicated by an underscored line. Related: Italics.
The Italic words in the Old and New Testament are those, which have no corresponding words in the original Hebrew or Greek; but are added by the translators, to complete or explain the sense. [Joseph Robertson, "An Essay on Punctuation," 1785]

Monday, December 26, 2016


When we see a nativity scene or a true representation of this in art, it is difficult not to connect it with the figure of Saint Francis. 

In December of 1223 San Francesco was in Greccio, in Franciscan hermitage between Terni and Rieti. Seeing a cave, came up with an idea of ​​representing the nativity scene of Jesus. Thus was born the first crib in history.

The Pope would have not let him to do it in a church like he had seen it in Bethlehem (at that time the representation of the sacred dramas were banned) only allowing him to celebrate Mass in a natural cave in Greccio, rather than in church. The liturgical celebration were lit by torches and inside the cave was placed a manger stuffed with straw, standing next to a donkey and an ox. Actually it was not a real crib, but rather a mass celebrated in a cave and not in a church.

The first nativity scene with figurines dates back to 1283 and it is the work of Arnolfo di Cambio. The sculptor made a nativity scene with eight marble statues.

But because Francis of Assisi had this idea?
There is no explanation given for sure. We can accept the hypothesis formulated by professor Franco Cardini. A great desire of st. Francis remained unfulfilled because he wasn't able to visit the places of Jesus in the Holy Land. The Saint went there after the fifth crusade, but because of the war and because he had no papal permission to visit the holy places, Francis returned to Italy in 1220 without being able to visit and pray in these places. St. Francis decided to bring the Nativity from Bethlehem for all those Christians who could have not travelled to the Holy Land.

The word presepe (crib in Italian) comes from the Latin word "praesaepe" and it is formed of the words prae (before) and saeps (hedge). 

Sunday, November 27, 2016

The afternoon coffee

During Sunday afternoons many people think about having a cup of delicious coffee. Maybe it is worth knowing better different types of this black gold which wins the hearts of many.

Let's start a journey between the two main species of coffee: arabica and robusta.

The arabica and robusta are two types of coffee beans used to produce the mixed coffee selections. Their main differences are in taste and where they are grown. The first important difference is genetic one, the robust also contains a higher level of caffeine as arabica, even twice. This factor is important to consider for those who have difficulty with falling asleep after drinking a cup of coffee.

The arabica (the 70% of the coffee produced in the world!) is mostly cultivated in the South America and in the Africa. The robusta is produced in West Africa (Cameroon, Cote d'Ivoire, etc.) and in the Far East (Vietnam and Indonesia). In addition to this the arabica grows best at high altitudes and needs a lot of rain, while the robusta grows at lower altitudes and even in tough conditions, less than ideal. It has also less problems with diseases.

The arabica and robusta beans are distinguishable. Those of arabica are more elongated, oval, those of robust have a more rounded shape.

Podobny obraz
All these things are useful as a curiosity, but we come to two very interesting elements: to a taste and a wallet. It is important to consider that the arabica has a more delicate taste, less bitter, with less strong and intense acidity (at least in the best types arabica). The robust taste has a strong sense of bitterness.

Judging by their portfolio is not always possible to say that the arabica is better than robusta (and because there are good robusta coffies and because tastes are different and you can appreciate different things). The arabica has also higher prices, keep this in mind if you want to buy 100% arabica. However there are arabica types which cost 2 euro per kilo and the other one can cost 400 euro. The choice and the taste is yours.

Do you know now why many companies write proudly on the paper cups for coffee "100% arabica"?

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

The history of ice-cream

The Italian ice cream are famous not only for the excellent flavor but also for their ancient origins. We can say that the history of ice cream in the world begins in Italy. The tradition of eating this cake existed also in ancient Rome. Probably already at that time somebody ate a cold dessert which looked like the ice cream, made of ice cubes with addition of juice, fruit and honey. At that time there were no refrigerators, the ancients Romans (of course only those who could afford it) sent their servants to the mountains to bring ice cubes. So as we see the primary ingredient of the first ice cream was water, not milk. From the Middle Ages comes an interesting story: the Arabs who lived in Sicily often ate a special ice cream: fruit juice mixed with the snow from Etna. The name sorbet derives exactly from the Arabic expression that meant fresh snow (in Turkish serbet). A real ice cream boom arrived in the Renaissance. In the sixteenth century at the court of Medici in Florence someone did an important discovery: adding a little bit of salt to the ice cream, make their temperature lower. This was the first step towards the invention of modern sorbet. The recipe of Medici let the ice cream spread around Europe.

Sunday, November 20, 2016

How to recognize the quality Italian ice cream?

There are simple rules to recognize a quality artisan ice cream even if you are not an expert. Entering an ice cream shop (it. gelateria) you can easily check what kind of ice cream you are going to eat.

There are some rules in order to understand the ice cream production. The quality of ice cream depends always on how it is made, on the ingredients and on the production process.

Now I will try to write about simple rules for all ice-cream lovers :)

Good ice-cream melts fast

An ice cream to melt must not have so many fat. If an ice cream would melt immediately, we can be sure that they were used good ingredients, not so many artificial things like colorants and preservatives.

Color of ice cream

A good habit  is to observe the color that has the ice cream.
The pistachio is the taste that we can easily choose for this test.
The color should be pastel green, absolutely natural and with no lime green accent.

Another taste is the strawberry.
It must be as natural as it is the color of strawberry, not red. We can also observe if it is made with real strawberries: the typical strawberry seeds. 

An ice-cream should be smooth

We cannot find any little patches of ice (of course already of a particular taste) when we eat it. A good ice-cream should be always very smooth and pleasant for our palate.

Sunday, November 13, 2016


One of the most famous roman dishes is supplì - the rice balls. Everybody should taste them during their trip to Lazio. I truly recommend one of the most famous family bars where you can eat delicious and traditional supplì.

La casa dei supplì - the house of the rice balls in Piazza Re di Roma is opened since 1986.

This little bar there is in the heart of one of the most lively districts of the Italian capital. It opened for the first time  in 1986 but earlier, the owner had begun his work at Trastevere in 1979.

A meticulous work over the years and the perfect quality of products has guaranteed a success. The family still continues to make rice balls for customers.
They prepare the rice balls using the classic recipe - meat, mozzarella and tomato. But at this product you can add numerous variations. And that's what happens in the house of the rice balls - la casa dei supplì in Italian. There are about ten types of rice balls. Among these the most delicious are cheese and pepper or mushroom ones.

It's a spacious and comfortable place where you can be groped not only by the famous rice balls but also by other traditional products for a lunch or for a dinner. 

The house of the rice balls is opened very day except holidays. 
Znalezione obrazy dla zapytania la casa dei suppli roma

Znalezione obrazy dla zapytania la casa dei suppli roma 

Znalezione obrazy dla zapytania la casa dei suppli roma