“One of the best things in life

is to regularly interrupt any work

and concentrate on food.

(LUCIANO PAVAROTTI)

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Italy is one of the most diverse countries when it comes to wines. It has more than a thousand different types of grapes and more than three hundred Designations of Origin. All this fundamentally due to the peculiarity of its orography, the Cordillera de Los Alpes to the North, the Adriatic Sea to the East, the Tyrrhenian Sea to the West and the Mediterranean Sea to the South with the Volcanic Island of Sicily.

The aperitif in Italy is an institution, especially in the North. There they meet in the bars before dinner to taste it, chat and relax.

In the traditional sense it is an alcoholic or non-alcoholic drink that "opens" the stomach, stimulates the appetite before dinner, or - more rarely - lunch.

Among the white wines most requested during the aperitif, is the Chardonnay, whose name comes from its grape, widely cultivated in Italy. It is a vine of French origin found in all regions, particularly in Sicily, Trentino-Alto Adige, Piemonte, Lombardia, Veneto, Friuli-Venezia Giulia and Abruzzo.

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[ brusquette ]

Dish originating from Italian cuisine, specifically from central Italy. It is considered one of the most popular and traditional antipasti (appetizers) in Italy. It was born in Italy as a "humble" recipe devised by peasants to take advantage of stale bread. However, it includes excellent ingredients such as extra virgin olive oil, tomatoes and fresh basil, which has made it a very popular summer snack over time. The variations of the bruschetta come from the additives and the spices used, varying these according to the imagination, the custom and the ingredients used. Depending on the time of year, they are usually the most typical: tomato, vegetables and cheese. The word "bruschetta" comes from the Roman dialect verb "bruscare", equivalent to the Italian word "abbrustolire", which means to toast.

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Dish originating from Italian cuisine, specifically from central Italy. It is considered one of the most popular and traditional antipasti (appetizers) in Italy. It was born in Italy as a "humble" recipe devised by peasants to take advantage of stale bread. However, it includes excellent ingredients such as extra virgin olive oil, tomatoes and fresh basil, which has made it a very popular summer snack over time. The variations of the bruschetta come from the additives and the spices used, varying these according to the imagination, the custom and the ingredients used. Depending on the time of year, they are usually the most typical: tomato, vegetables and cheese. The word "bruschetta" comes from the Roman dialect verb "bruscare", equivalent to the Italian word "abbrustolire", which means to toast.

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Pasta salad or also called cold pasta, is a cold dish made with pasta and various ingredients mixed together and seasoned in various ways. To prepare it, the type of pasta called short of all forms is generally used. Its origins are unknown but it is typically consumed in Italy in summer.

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[ aranchini ]

The arancino di riso is a specialty of Sicilian cuisine. It is a ball of rice flavored with saffron, breaded and fried, stuffed with ragù. Its name derives from the typical shape and color reminiscent of an orange (in Italian arancia). The arancino seems to have been imported by the Arabs who used to eat rice flavored with saffron, herbs and meat. The Arab culture, in fact, had a lot of influence in Sicily, along with the Greek culture. The invention of breading comes later and is attributed to the court of Frederick II, when a way of transporting food during trips and hunts was sought. The breading ensured a perfect preservation of the rice and stuffing, as well as better transport. It has been officially recognized and included in the list of “Traditional Italian Food Products - PAT” and is an Italian street food favourite. Paradoxically, this small ball of rice divides the island of Sicily due to the different versions of its preparation. While in Palermo they are prepared round, in Catania they are made with a flat base and in the shape of a volcano (referring to Etna), taking them to consume them like an ice cream cone. They are prepared with many other fillings and can also be found sweet.

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The amaretti (singular amaretto, from amaro, 'bitter' in Italian) are biscuits present in all regions of Italy made from almond paste, made with sugar, egg white, sweet and bitter almonds. They were probably invented by the Arabs and from the Mediterranean basin, and especially from Sicily, they successively passed into the culinary traditions of other parts of Italy and also of the Normans, Spanish and French. This sweet has two main different versions: the “Amaretto di Saronno” (crunchy and brittle) and the “Amaretto di Sassello”, sweeter and more similar to marzipan. Amaretti are present in practically all regions of Italy, typically the traditional soft version. Among the most important regions can be cited the region  Liguria (the Sassello area) and lower Piemonte (where both versions appear). Made with sweet and bitter almonds, amaretti di Modena in Emilia-Romagna are crunchy on the outside and soft on the inside. Famous throughout the world is the amaretto di Saronno, produced at the Lazzaroni farm. Not to be confused with the liqueur once known as "Amaretto Di Saronno" which now for legal and marketing reasons had to be called "Disaronno Orginale". Also produced in Saronno (Lombardy region) and known and sold all over the world.

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Tiramisù is a dessert spread throughout the Italian territory, whose origin is attributed above all to the Veneto and Friuli-Venezia Giulia regions. It is made from “savoiardi” (traditional dry and brittle egg-based cookies) soaked in coffee and topped with “mascarpone” cream cheese, egg and sugar, dusted with cocoa powder. However, although these are the most basic ingredients, this recipe is not unique and has different geographical and personal variations. As for its origins, the experts point out that it is a modern and non-traditional formulation, as its condition as a classic of Italian gastronomy might suggest. This is based on the absence of mentions of the recipe in large gastronomic compendia until the second half of the 20th century, however, this is not a reason for different stories and legends to want to place its origin in another historical moment and have been taken as true. One hypothesis about the origin of tiramisù tells that the gourmand snack first came to light in a brothel in the Veneto region. According to the story, in the fifties the brothels of the city of Treviso, which at that time had a cook, began to offer their clients from the hands of the madame a dish with supposed restorative and even aphrodisiac effects. The candy was presented to the parishioners, promising that it would "take them upstairs", which in the Venetian dialect is expressed as "he throws his". From there it would derive in "ti tira su" Italian and, when it became popular, it would begin to be called by the name that remained: tiramisu.

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Good appetite!

Five five!

[ chin chin ]

Health !

Arrivederci e grazie!