Monday, June 25, 2012

Olive Oil: Revisited

A while back we posted a video we did on Olive Oil.  Well we wanted to add to that video with some great information from our friends at Cento.com.

EXTRA VIRGIN OLIVE OIL

Extra virgin olive oil is a primary component of Italian cuisine. Whether it is used in your grandmother's kitchen or in the finest restaurants throughout Italy, olive oil is one of the most essential and versatile ingredients in the world of cooking. It is used in recipes on a daily basis, yet many people are unaware of what makes this product so significant. In order to fully appreciate extra virgin olive oil, one must understand its unique production process and many health benefits.

Extra virgin olive oil, or EVOO, is produced from olives at a specific stage of maturity. Olives are picked from the trees at various stages of maturity based on the type of olive oil being produced. Also, the olives have to be harvested during the warm seasons, otherwise they may freeze. The earlier the olives are picked in the maturing process, the more "bite" they will yield in the oil.

Many times, however, the word oil tends to make food lovers a bit uneasy when it comes to determining whether or not a certain food should be considered healthy, and the average consumer is not likely to associate oil with healthy food. Although it is an oil, extra virgin olive oil stands out amongst the rest of the "oil family," offering a variety of health benefits. Most importantly, olive oil is high in monounsaturated fats, which ultimately has a positive affect on the body's cholesterol levels. Extra virgin olive oil offers anti-inflammatory benefits, fighting against inflammation with its levels of phytonutrients known for their anti-inflammatory qualities. In addition, consumption of extra virgin olive oil has been linked to a decreased risk of heart disease, as EVOO provides the body with antioxidants that help strengthen blood vessels, allowing the heart to function properly. Extra virgin olive oil can also help reduce the risk of certain types of cancer. Consuming even just a small amount can lower the risk of breast cancer, as well as certain digestive tract cancers. For all of these reasons, extra virgin olive oil can, in fact, be considered "healthy."

Extra virgin olive oil is an ingredient that takes on numerous roles in the realm of cooking. It has become a staple in kitchens and restaurants all over the world. It is a product that is often overlooked and under appreciated simply because it is used every day. With its unique production process and multiple health benefits, extra virgin olive oil is a remarkable product that should not go unnoticed.

OLIVE OIL PRODUCTION

Olive oil is produced by one of two methods. In the more traditional method, the olives are stripped of their stems and leaves and then ground into a paste. Direct, even pressure is applied to the olive paste by way of a press. This separates the liquid component, a mixture of oil and water. In the final step of the traditional method, the olive oil is separated from the water using a process known as decantation. The liquid is poured into a decanter, then slowly and carefully poured into a separate decanter, thus separating the oil from the water. In a more modern method of olive oil production, additional water is added to the olive paste and a centrifuge is then used to separate the paste into three parts - oil, water and solids. No matter the method used, olive oil production is a process that is done carefully and efficiently using precise machinery in order to yield a high quality product that many people have come to love.
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Extra Virgin Olive Oil Soap

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Have you seen the "Ferrari Train"?

With the global economy in such a state, each country is doing what it can to rebound and get back on track.  Speaking of tracks, Italy seems to be attempting to see a turnaround with the addition of a new high-speed rail service. Italotreno is the first rail service in Italy that is not state-run.  This form of competition, like any other business competition is very healthy in my opinion.  It keeps businesses honest and fair therefore creating a benefit for consumers.  Read the article and tell me what you think... 

"Ferrari" train driving high-speed rail renaissance
by Ayesha Durgahee


Italo serves major cities such as Milan, Naples and Rome

Rome, Italy (CNN) -- As chairman of Ferrari, Luca di Montezemolo is used to making things that move at breakneck speed. But rather than flashy sports cars for wealthy motor enthusiasts, the Italian businessman's latest high-velocity project aims to cater for the traveling masses.

The Italo train from NTV -- a passenger rail company of which di Montezemolo is also chairman -- is a high-speed service that has been dashing between Milan, Rome and other major Italian cities since April.

Italo's features include a cinema carriage and
free wi-fi access throughout the train.

With its dark red color scheme, streamlined shape and speeds as fast as a formula-one car, everyone's calling Italo the "Ferrari train." A cinema carriage, free Wi-Fi access throughout the train, and luxury leather seats all add to the high-performance, luxury theme. But Italo is intended to be affordable and accessible to all consumers.

Both Italo and state-run rival Trenitalia currently have promotional offers, but Trenitalia's flexible standard tickets from Rome to Milan start from $107 and go up to $200, whereas flexible standard tickets from Rome to Milan on Italo range from $110 to $163.
"Our idea was to do a train for everybody," di Montezemolo says.

NTV chairman Luca di Montezemolo
 hopes Italo will challenge state-run competitor Trenitalia.
He believes rail is the best way to travel in Europe and sees the emergence of NTV as a sign of rail renaissance. "There are other trains in Europe but for me high-speed train will be the future of Europe," he says.

While Italy has had high-speed trains since the late 1970s, NTV is the country's first rail operator not run by the state. Montezemolo and his consortium of partners, including French state rail company SNCF, have invested €1 billion ($1.2 billion) in NTV, breaking Trenitalia's monopoly.

But Trenitalia was ready for Italo's arrival. It has spent $100 million upgrading the interiors of its Frecciarossa trains and introduced free Wi-Fi. It welcomes a new high-speed player and is prepared to fight for every customer.
"It's an opportunity for the consumer," says Trenitalia's Emanuele Carando. "It's an opportunity for us to really demonstrate the power of Trenitalia and Frecciarossa ... and I think our numbers are really unbeatable. We are the first high-speed train in Italy ... we served 25 million consumers in the last year and I think our numbers are unbeatable."
State-run Trenitalia's new Frecciarossa trains
even include a conference room for business travelers.
They have spent over $100 million in upgrades
in preparation for Italotreno.
Cameron Jones, vice president of rail industry technology specialists SilverRail, agrees that competition in the sector can benefit the consumer.
"Privatization and competition drives more efficient businesses," he says. "With more efficient businesses those benefits and savings can be passed on to customers. So service gets better, product gets better and pricing gets better."


The expansion of other rail operators across Europe is having a similar effect, says Jones.
With its dark red color scheme, streamlined
shape and speeds as fast as a formula-one car,
 everyone's calling Italo the "Ferrari train."
"Competition is driving a customer approach to rail ... and not just in Italy," he says. "We can see that with (German rail company) Deutsche Bahn announcing they're coming into London to compete with Eurostar. Eurostar has invested £700 million in upgrading their entire fleet and adding 10 new trains in the fleet."
 
Italo hopes to have 25% of Italy's market by 2014, and di Montezemolo doesn't rule out expanding beyond the country's borders.
"It's too early to think outside of Italy but I think this will be the future," he says.
Ayesha Durgahee is the resident reporter on CNN'sBusiness Traveller

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Old World Pasta Cuts Find Their Way to America

Artisan style pasta cuts that normally would only be found in Italy, are gaining popularity here in the states.  They provide a unique experience because like different wine glasses, these cuts hold and present fellow ingredients differently from one another and hit your palate in distinct ways.  Here is a list of some fancy cuts that you should look for.  If you shop at our stores, you can find a few of these quite easily.  Buon appetito!

Click on image to view the list better.
























For more information about these artisanal pastas, read the article from Vanessa L. Facenda in the July/August 2012 issue of Specialty Food Magazine or find it on specialtyfood.com.

Monday, June 18, 2012

Cooking with Pine Nuts

From cento.com:

According to medical experts, consuming pine nuts can be very beneficial to your health. They contain omega-6 fatty acids which have been linked to increased satiety hormones which can suppress appetite and lead to weight loss. There are several ways to obtain the health benefits of pine nuts. One simple way to enjoy pine nuts is to toast them on the stove or in the oven. When combined with basil, olive oil and Pecorino Romano cheese, pine nuts create a flavorful pesto sauce. They can also add a crunch when tossed into a variety of salads and vegetables. Pine nuts are not limited to dinner recipes and salads however. Pignoli cookies can be found in many bakeries and are easy to make at home. They make a delicious, sweet snack that everyone will enjoy. Pine nuts are a versatile ingredient that can add flavor to recipes while adding nutritional value as well.




Health Information Source:
http://www.doctoroz.com/videos/crush-your-cravings-5-appetite-suppressing-foods?page=5#copy

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Happy Father's Day!


artwork by Pascal Campion
 Well it's another Father's Day and I am happy to say that for me and my family, all is well.  If you have read my past posts, you would know my father has been battling leukemia since 2010.  Well he is still in remission (thankfully) and I am blessed with every day that passes that I can pick up the phone and say "hi" to  my dad. 
While I am grateful for my father and all that he has done for me and my siblings, I wanted to be a little selfish this time and share a thought.  I come from a family where all my brothers and sisters started having kids in their twenties.  I was almost 37 when I had my daughter so I can honestly say that I waited a long time to  have a child.  There were times that I feared that I would never be blessed with having a child but it happened and you know what? My dream came true. 
Before my daughter was born, my wife and I would talk about how life will be and how scared and excited we were at the same time.  I told my wife that I wished for the day that I would be asleep in my bed and be woken up by the sound of little bare feet slapping the floor as my child would run into my room and stand at my bedside.  That day has come and happens often.
My daughter is now two and everyday she reminds me that she is a living dream and I cannot wait to make more dreams come true with her, my wife, and whoever else we would be blessed with.  Being a Dad isn't always easy, but to me, it is the most fulfilling aspect in my life..... Happy Father's Day to every man who cares for, worries, and inspires someone who looks up to them.

Related Posts:
Father's Day 2011
Father's Day 2010
Father's Day 2009
The Day After Father's Day
Make June All About Dad

La Linea: Episode 212

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Healthy Summer Fun!

From our friends at Fresh from Florida, here is a simple idea to keep the kids eating healthy and having fun this hot summer.  All you need are bananas, kiwi, and clementines or tangerines and your children can create edible works of art like this image.  Use other fruits and vegetables and have the kids create their own masterpiece. Share your kids' creations!  Send us your photo here or post it on our facebook page.  It's all about "family" for all of us here at Doris Italian Market and we hope it's the same for you as well.  Keep checking our blog for more recipes, ideas and other fun posts!  Ciao for now!

Friday, June 8, 2012

Sicilian Traditions are alive and well in Boca Raton...

Now featuring at Doris Market in Boca Raton, "Il Cartoccio Palermitano." This Specialty Pastry is only available on Weekends or by Special Order. Come and continue the Sicilian Traditions with Doris Italian Market in Boca!

 Per noi Siciliani "Il Cartoccio" è uno di quei dolci che rimpiangi quando sei lontano dalla tua terra. "Il Cartoccio" rappresenta l'unione della crema di ricotta con una pasta morbidissima che contrasta con il piú famoso e croccante cannolo Siciliano.

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

I'm feeling like pasta tonight....

I could eat pasta every day but my problem is that I can eat plate after plate.  So I try to exercise moderation but when it's pasta night, there are no guarantees.  And let's not forget the cheese.....
So whatever you are having for dinner tonight, buon appetito!

Monday, June 4, 2012

Recipe: Gorgonzola Ale Sauce

Looking for something different to top your steak with?  Try this great recipe...

Servings: 6



Ingredients:

2 pounds (about 7 cups) yellow onions, diced
1/4 cup olive oil
3/4 cup amber ale
1 teaspoon dried thyme
Salt, to taste
Pepper, to taste
Zest of 1 lemon
2 tablespoons chives, minced
2 tablespoons red bell pepper, minced
2 cups (14 ounces) Wisconsin Gorgonzola Cheese, crumbled
6 porterhouse or strip steaks, grilled to desired doneness

Cooking Directions:

Sauté onion in oil over low heat until reduced by half, caramelized and golden brown, about 20 minutes. Stir in ale, and season with salt, pepper and thyme; cook over low heat until liquid is reduced by one-third. Stir in lemon zest. Add chives and bell pepper; cook 1 minute. Remove from heat and stir in crumbled Wisconsin Gorgonzola Cheese; serve immediately over grilled steaks.

For more great recipes and cheese tips, visit http://www.eatwisconsincheese.com/

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Recipe: Grilled Tenderloin Sandwich with Fontina

Grilled Tenderloin Sandwich With Fontina

If you haven't been able to stop by and pick up the little grilling booklets from our friends at the Wisconsin Dairy Board, here is a recipe from the booklet that will help your summer be a nice Italian one...

Servings: 6


Ingredients:

2 to 2-1/2 pounds beef tenderloin
Extra virgin olive oil
1 cup sour cream
3/4 cup (3 ounces) Asiago Cheese, shredded
2 tablespoons bottled roasted garlic, chopped
1 large red bell pepper, sliced into rings
Salt and pepper to taste
1/2 cup butter, melted
1 loaf (16 ounces) French bread, sliced in half lengthwise
2 cups (8 ounces) Fontina or Gouda Cheese, sliced

Cooking Directions:

Preheat gas or charcoal grill to medium heat. Brush tenderloin with oil, season with salt and pepper; let stand at room temperature for 20 minutes.
In small bowl, combine sour cream, Asiago Cheese, roasted garlic, salt and pepper to taste; mix well.
Sear beef over direct heat for 10 to 12 minutes. Move to indirect heat until the internal temperature reaches 140°F. Remove and let stand.
Brush pepper rings with butter; grill 5 minutes.
Brush cut sides of bread with butter; grill until toasted. Spread bottom halves with sour cream sauce; top with pepper rings.
Cut tenderloin into 1/2-inch thick slices, placing over pepper rings. Cover with  Fontina Cheese. Top with bread. Wrap in foil; grill for 5 min. Unwrap and cut each into 3 sandwiches.

La Linea: Episode 210

Friday, June 1, 2012

Recipe: Ferrara Orzata Soda

Summer is upon us and heat is on!  Our friends at Cento Fine Foods have shared this refreshing and simple recipe to fight the relentless heat.  You can find these ingredients at all of our locations.  Enjoy!

Ingredients
6 oz. Ferrara Sparkling Mineral Water
1 oz. Ferrara Orzata Almond Syrup
5 oz. Ice, cubed
Instructions:
Fill a 12 oz. glass halfway with ice cubes.
Add mineral water then almond syrup.
Stir well, and enjoy.
Serves 1.








For more great recipes and information about their great products, visit www.cento.com or simply come to any of our five Doris Italian Market locations.

Chocolate: Delicious Sunscreen?

With the sweltering hot summer approaching, many people get ready to protect themselves from the harmful rays of the sun by getting their sunscreen lotions stocked up.  Well would you believe that chocolate can help as well?

From Specialty Food Magazine:

In addition to its taste and antioxidant properties, there may be a new unexpected benefit for chocolate to tout. Scientists at Laval University’s Institute of Nutraceuticals and Functional Foods in Quebec are studying whether eating dark chocolate helps protect against sunburn. Currently, they’re recruiting fair-skinned female volunteers to eat three squares of chocolate every day for 12 weeks. (By only including females, they can control the variability between men’s and women’s hormones.) Participants will then be exposed to ultraviolet light in a lab, and their skin will be checked for sun damage. A control group will be given a placebo, allowing the scientists to compare the degree of UV damage. Scientists were spurred on by research including a study published in the Journal of Cosmetic Dermatology in 2010 that showed that chocolate high in the antioxidant flavanol (i.e., those with high percentages of cacao), reached the upper layers of skin and counteracted the free radicals generated from exposure to UV radiation, making it a good secondary form of sunscreen. Green and white tea also contain epicatechin and catechin, the flavanols responsible for added sun protection.

Well all I can say is that before I go to the beach, I'm going to have a nice Baci Chocolate.  Stay Cool!

source: specialtyfood.com