#122 I miss Italian “Halloween” – 1

Halloween is not an italian tradition. In recent years, thanks to the influence of American Tv series, “trick or treat” has become popular among italian kids.

The actual Italian traditions for those days are Ognissanti, or Tutti i Santi, ‘All the Saints’ day’, on November 1st and Il giorno dei Morti ‘All souls’ day’ on November 2nd.

Frate Angelico, La Chiesa militante (‘The Church Militant), 1423-24

Duccio di Buoninsegna, Maestà, detail, 1308

In Italy November 1st is a holiday, people go to the Church and meet family and friends. On November 2nd we remember our morti, visiting them, bringing candles and flowers.



#121 I miss Italian food leftovers recycle – 4

And speaking of colazione

…all dessert leftovers become an excellent breakfast the day after.

Panettone is the typical Italian Christmas cake…

it is also a very popular Christmas gift, you bring one at any dinner party you are invited on December…

people always buy dozens of panettoni starting from the end of November…

…As a consequence it always become a perfect breakfast leftover food from January on!


See also “I miss Italian food leftovers recycle 1 – 2 -3″



https://misshome.wordpress.com/2013/10/12/103-i-miss-italian-food-leftovers-recycle-3/ )

#120 I miss colazione a casa

Many Italians are biased on savory food for breakfast, and think that this is not part of Italian tradition.

But this is not true.

My grandfather always had a fresh egg for breakfast

Sweets, especially industrially produced cookies and pastries, has been introduced in Italian tradition only very recently. In the 70s I would say. Before that nobody bought sweets or other breakfast foods.

Coffee and sugar were very expensive people bought them only in very special occasion. Tea was not very common, especially in rural areas and in the countryside.

For colazione people had latte 

or caffè d’orzo, not actual coffee but a hot beverage made with toasted barley

or caffelatte the homemade version of cappuccino, prepared with milk and coffee or milk and orzo. Many people (especially the elders) still today use orzo for cafellatte, because is cheaper than coffee.

Caffelatte is traditionally served in a bowl rather that in a cup

With latte, caffelatte or orzo, people had pane.

Simple, plain bread, leftovers bread from the previous day

With some jam or honey or butter, if you were very lucky.

More recently fette biscottate, and biscotti became typical

big classic among biscotti (‘biscuits’) for colazione are:

‘Oro Saiwa’, that in my family, for some reason, were called Marie (yes, the plural of Maria)

and Bucaneve (‘snowdrop’)

And of course coffee prepared with the napoletana

or the classic moka

#119 I miss colazione al bar

Many tourists don’t appreciate italian breakfast when they visit Italy, because in their countries breakfast is a full meal, that includes more courses, savory and sweet.

Many Italians cannot accept the idea of eating savory food for breakfast; normally when they travel abroad they complain about food and coffee all the time. But at the same time they are often intrigued from “exotic” breakfasts.

I am a weird Italian: I like savory food for breakfast and (even) american coffee.

Ma la colazione italiana ha il suo fascino.

(‘but italian breakfast has its charm’)

Basically you have two options: colazione al bar o a casa (‘going out for breakfast or  having it at home’).

Al bar (that in Italian means both ‘bar’ and ‘coffee shop’)

you normally have caffè, cappuccino, latte (that in Italian just means ‘milk’) or (‘tea’), and/or  succo di frutta (‘juice’, not necessarily orange. Most popular: apricot, peach, pear, pineapple, orange, grapefruit… apple is not very common) or spremuta (fresh squeezed orange juice).

And something like…

cornetto filled with jam, cream, chocolate…

a variety of paste (‘pastries’)

filled with apple, rice and curd, raisins, nutella…

or bombolone, the italian version of donut

plain or con la crema, with curd

(To be continued)

(See also “I miss caffè” https://misshome.wordpress.com/2013/07/06/6-i-miss-caffe/

“I miss granita siciliana” https://misshome.wordpress.com/2013/07/09/i-miss-granita-siciliana/ )

#118 I miss finestre aperte

Nothing more common than an open window in Italy.

Walking on the streets you can smell sugo di pomodoro, ragù or cotolette, because people very often open the window in the kitchen while cooking (especially when they cook something that has a strong smell such as fried fish).

It seems to me that here in the States, for some reason, nobody ever opens the windows…

I mean, if it is too hot people immediately switch on the A/C without even thinking about (switchin off the heating first, taking off a jacket and then maybe) opening the window…

Everyone uses a lot of perfumes and scented candles to cover smells, but nobody ever opens the window to allow some fresh air to get in before that…

I miss some fresh air

and of course an open window on a panorama italiano!

#117 I miss pasta ripiena – 2

There are many different types of pasta ripiena, with different shapes, the pasta can be made with or without eggs,  there are different kinds of stuffing and dressing.

Basic dressing:

Burro e Parmigiano, ‘butter and Parmigiano’, or Burro e salvia ‘butter and sage’. Perfect for vegetables stuffing, but also with ravioli with meat stuffing.

Panna ‘cream’: for tortellini stuffed with prosciutto crudo, and cheese stuffed cappelletti

Panna e prosciutto (‘ham and cream’)

Sugo di carne or ragù (‘meat sauce’), for meat stuffed ravioli, tortelli, agnolotti…

Salsa di noci ‘nuts’ sauce’ the traditional dressing for pansotti from Liguria.

Anolini, cappelletti, and tortellini traditionally are served in brodo ‘in a meat broth’

(See also “I miss pasta ripiena – 1” https://misshome.wordpress.com/2013/10/23/114-i-miss-pasta-ripiena-1/ )

#116 I miss Italian mac&cheese -2

The italian quattro formaggi, ‘four cheese’ can translate the adjective “cheese” or “cheese only”

Cheese only pizza in Italy is Pizza ai 4 formaggi

Pasta ai quattro formaggi is the Italian version of Mac&cheese.

But 4 formaggi is much more.

Risotto ai 4 formaggi

Gnocchi ai 4 formaggi

Polenta ai 4 formaggi

(See also “I miss Italian mac&cheese – 1” https://misshome.wordpress.com/2013/10/22/113-i-miss-italian-maccheese-1/ )