Thursday, March 31, 2016

Lavazza: Turin coffee out of this world

Up your hand if you love Italian coffee?
Lavazza logo
How many brands of Italian coffee do you know?

Stop for a moment and think about Italians, their love for coffee and you will quickly understand how easily you can make any Italian feel at home just by offering the right cup of espresso ;)

As for you, no matter where you are, look around and chances are, you will see some Turin coffee brand. That's because after cars, sport, fashion, aperitifs and chocolate, Turin is also THE coffee trend-setting city of Italy and one of the Turin coffee brands you might happen to like and find everywhere is Lavazza

Friday, March 25, 2016

Lagostina pots from Piedmont!!

The Italian pleasure of cooking well
As Easter is quickly coming by and traditionally Italians spend it at home, eating with their families delicious traditional foods, it comes to our minds that another famous Italian brand related to cooking and food is actually from Piedmont!!
Lagostina is def the top Italian epicurean cookware brand from the same steel area around our beautiful Lake Orta, just like Alessi and the Bialetti coffee pot.

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Irish pubs in Turin

Whether you are celebrating St Paddy's or are just a beer lover and a rugby fan, once again Turin will amaze you! In fact, there are lots of pubs in this city besides a Celtic festival in Lingotto.

All downtown Turin is studded by pubs, mostly Irish but there are also a few English, Scottish and even Aussie ones. The picturesque thing is that pubs or (American style) bars in Italy also offer a great food selection because, as we all know, Italians love to eat well as they drink, and getting publicly wasted isn't socially appreciated.

Friday, March 11, 2016

Casa Jasmina techy buffets

Just a week ago, Casa Jasmina in Turin, hosted the Share Festival jury who selected the 6 winners of the 2016 "House Guests" edition. For the occasion Italian astronaut Samantha Cristoforetti and MoMA design curator Paola Antonelli were part of the jury together with the other organization members.
Famous cyberpunk author, Bruce Sterling who is also part of the Casa Jasmina project with Massimo Banzi, THE Arduino man, happens to be "quite the Turin Epicurean fan" and this is how we ended up giving our epicurean touch to this magic day!

Turin Epicurean Capital chef and culinary specialist, Benedetta Oggero aka Miss Bee designed the menus following the Share Festival and Casa Jasmina directions. 
In fact there were two big buffets to share the event with different guests at different levels from local council members, sponsors and journalists to local artists.
Casa Jasmina aims to be the pole of innovative technology - meant for everyday life - and the best Italian design; at the same time, every year, the Share Festival awards the best examples of digital art enhancing the vision of a futuristic lifestyle that is at the same time, rather epicurean;)

Thank you, Gilberto Conti for your damigiana and maker expertise!
As Casa Jasmina is made of makers and it's located in Piedmont, the real Italian wine country, the wine served needed to be decanted from a real damigiana or demijohn
The research for a small size damigiana was rather long as usually the smallest ones come in 28 liters! However, we were lucky enough to get one of real Barbera 13%  plus some 12 liters of Cortese di Gavi, a delicious white wine from  the Monferrato wine district, here in Piedmont.

Both buffets were local and included seasonal ingredients; the lunch was lighter to allow the guests to go back to work, so to start, Miss Bee prepared a mix of raw vegetables and 3 dips the colors of the Italian flag!
The first dip was very delicate and white made of beans, cumin, tahini and lemon; one was green and strong and it included mint, parsley, anchovies, capers and balsamic vinegar. Finally the red one had tomatoes, carrots, celery and chili flakes.
The green one was especially appreciated :P

In every standing buffet, it's important to be able to eat bite size foods, therefore Miss Bee served vegetable quiches and vegetable muffin-size lasagna made with the first season asparagus and robiola cheese.
Following the Piedmontese tradition, the second course was a revisited beef roast a' la Cavour with an optional chicken liver sauce to pour on top!

The dessert saw Grandma Jasmina apple tartelettes with red fruits and a pie version topped with chopped hazelnuts and ho boy!! Everything was fresh and good but Miss Bee's cakes are always a winner!

Lunch quickly went by and soon it was dinner time right after Paola Antonelli and Samantha Cristoforetti's public appearance. Starting at 7:15pm, in a matter of minutes, Casa Jasmina was "Turin's bellybutton" aka the center of the city:D
People kept coming and eating enjoying once again Miss Bee's specialties and the wines!
We helped Miss Bee arranging a huge board covered in local cheeses and cured meats: Gorgonzola, artisan toma, goat cheese and fresh tomini cheeses shared their table corner with artisan salamis, honey, jam, dried fruits and nuts.

A Nebbiolo braised beef stracotto, or overcooked roast, waited just a few seconds on the table before being savored together with two loaves of polenta - another traditional Piedmontese food. 
As the guests kept coming, Miss Bee reached the 2kg porcini mushroom risotto: as she turned the stove off, a long line had already formed to get served and take seconds!
In the meantime, some guests were still enjoying Bee's crispy two carrot salad with orange and purple carrots topped with hazelnuts. 
Yes, as we told our Astronaut, Piedmont is famous for hazelnuts which is why we have been putting them everywhere, from pralines, to chocolate spreads and savory dishes. The top quality hazelnut is the "tonda gentile" aka round and gentle from the Langhe wine district! 

And finally, a huge gianduja chocolate pavolva made its royal appareance and... as quickly as it appeared, it magically disappeared together with mini gianduja meringues:P

What a magic day and what amazing menus!!
Miss Bee really went out of her way and even baked half the bread with her staple recipe :P

Our Web Chef Alberto Bonis and Benedetta Oggero aka Miss Bee

A special GRAZIE goes to Bruce Sterling for his constant support and for inviting us to share this very special occasion!

Bruce Sterling reading his welcome speech


Thursday, March 3, 2016

WineWed damigiana

Damigiana sizes
Buying wine is one the most pleasant things in life as it usually gives us the expectation for something nice. As in most places, in Italy, people normally get their wine in: 
  1. grocery stores. This is generally for the average and last minute consumption
  2. wine shops or enoteca when looking for higher quality and boutique wines 
  3. many people go directly to the producer's and buy boxes of 6 bottles of their favorite wine 
  4. and finally there are people who buy lose wine in damigiana!