#235 I miss risotto – 2

Risotto and more specifically Il Risotto alla milanese, with saffron, is the symbol of Milano.

(Risotto and  ossobuco)

Rice was introduced in Europe in the XIV century, the House of Aragona ruled southern Italy at that time, and apparently they brought rice in Napoli.

Only later on it became popular in Northern Italy.

Saffron was used by painters, and, according to the legend, a flamish artist working in the Duomo di Milano, one day was eating his lunch at work, and by mistake pour some saffron in the bowl of rice he was eating. The yellow rice looked so yummy, he tasted it and… et voilà.

A different version says that rice with saffron was common among the Jewish community.

Whatever is the truth, in the XVI century, official documents describe risotto as the most traditional milanese dish.

(See also “I miss risotto – 1” https://misshome.wordpress.com/2014/02/17/230-i-miss-risotto-1/ )

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#220 I miss gnocchi – 2

Not only gnocchi di patate…

Canederli are made of bread, eggs, cheese, speck…they are indeed an excellent way to recycle leftovers.

They can be served in brodo or as a side or first course

Inspired from german Knondel, popular in Germany, Austria, Croatia, Serbia, Hungary, Ukraine, and Italy: in Trentino Alto Adige

In Trieste they make gnochi de pan (‘bread gnocchi’) similar to canederli and gnochi de susini, a variant made with the same dough but filled with a plum

Spatzle instead are little gnocchi, made of flour, eggs and water, popular in Trentino, Alsace, Germany, Switzerland…

(See also “I miss gnocchi – 1” https://misshome.wordpress.com/2014/01/30/212-i-miss-gnocchi-1/ )

#165 I miss Santa Lucia

Santa Lucia, Christian martyr from Siracusa, Sicily, died during Diocletian’s persecution.

According to the medieval legend her eyes were gouged out, and in fact she is often portrayed with her eyes on a cup or plate. She was actually decapitated, the ‘honorable’ death reserved to any Roman citizen (such as Saint Paul).

The medieval legend probably originated from the fact that Lucia means ‘light’, from Latin Lux, lucis, and her  death coincided with the Winter Solstice. As the proverb says: Santa Lucia il giorno più corto che ci sia ‘Santa Lucia: the shorter day of the year’. That’s why Santa Lucia become the saint of light and consequently sight, the protector of the blind and those with eye-trouble.

On December 13th, in Siracusa, Santa Lucia is celebrated with a huge procession

In Northern Italy Santa Lucia brings gifts such as Santa. The legend says that she comes at night, holding a lamp, with a donkey and a basket full of presents and candies for good children.

and kids leave milk and cookies for her on the door step.

 

 

#105 I miss being two hours far from…

I miss being two hours far from… a lot of wonderful places all over Europe.

With a couple of hours flight with a low coast airline (that costs less than a train ticket from Milan to Rome) you can be…

here…

…or here

…or here

…here

…here

Because, I mean, I LOVE this

but I also love being part of this