Home in Italy - Luxury villas in Italy
Europe +39 075 505 78 65
UK toll free 0 808 189 0999
US and Canada toll free 1 877 293 7654

posts tagged ‘ italian food ’

Truffle hunting in Umbria

posted by Home In Italy on October 10th, 2017

Truffle Hunting in Umbria is an ancient tradition and the quality truffles in this territory is famous throughout the world. If you are a fan of truffles, you will surely know that the wooded hills of Umbria are an ideal habitat for many kinds of high quality truffles. Today we will try to learn more about these underground and exquisite mushrooms!

Truffle in Umbria: what varieties?
The Nero pregiato, known also as Truffle of Norcia or Spoleto, grows up from November to March and is spread along the territories boarding the Nera river and the mountains around Spoleto and Trevi. These truffles are quite small, their bark is black and wrinkled and the pulp is black-violet. Once picked, the black truffles are divided into several categories depending on the quality and size and their price will vary accordingly (from 350 to 800 Euros per Kg). Among the truffles of Umbria, these are the most famous and appreciated, for their intense aroma and the particular flavour that persists, indeed it is exalted, when cooked.
Tartufo Bianco, which is usually cultivated in Piedmont region, is indeed also present in Umbria and is picked up from October to December. This variety is very rare and valuable and can be recognized by its round shape, the whitish yellow colour and the colour of the pulp, ranging from hazelnut to dark brown with reddish streaks. It is considered a real delicacy and can be priced up to 4.000 Euros per kg, but its scent is unforgettable and its particular flavour is preserved only if served raw.
Scorzone and Bianchetto are less valuable than the previous two varieties, but yet very common and used in the preparation of sauces. The Scorzone is characterized by a less intense scent and is available in summer and autumn seasons, while the Bianchetto is recognized for its small size and reddish colour and is available from January to April. These two “little brothers” have significantly lower prices, ranging from 100 to 250 Euros per Kq.

Truffle Hunting Tour!
The collection of truffles in Umbria is allowed all year around except for May and September: truffles can only be picked when they are ripe, otherwise they will have no scent. The concierge team at Home in Italy will be pleased to help you in organizing a memorable experience of a truffle hunting tour!
Join an expert truffle hunter and his dogs on his daily search for precious truffles before having a lunch of truffle-based dishes. You will see the truffle hunting dogs in action and learn about the history of truffle hunting in Umbria. This experience will bring you back to tradition and will will make your day absolutely special!

HIS MAJESTY, THE WHITE TRUFFLE

posted by Home In Italy on January 27th, 2017

The precious white truffle, scientific name ‘Tuber Magnatum Pico’, is considered the truffle par excellence because it has a significant important trade role.
Its specific taste and its aromatic smell make the white truffle a very appreciated ingredient in the kitchen and it is considered the best after the black truffle.
Piedmont is the region in Italy where you can find the white truffle, and Alba is a suitable place where to celebrate this most loved and sought delight of the chefs from all over the world.
Every year in October and November, almost two months of events celebrating the Tuber Magnatum Pico, the white truffle of Alba, gem of Piedmont di Langhe, Roero and Monferrato, with an International Fair of the White Truffle of Alba invading the streets, courtyards, markets and palaces of the capital of the Langhe.

How to conserve


The truffle most be stored in a glass jar or, alternatively, in an airtight plastic container. Within this, it should be wrapped in a paper towel, which should be changed and replaced every day. To avoid definitely, as erroneously spread, is to introduce rice in the container, because the rice excessively absorbs the moisture of the truffle, drying it and depriving it of its perfume. Similarly, avoid to store it in oil, which favors fermentation.

The jar or container needs to be placed in the lower part of the refrigerator, at a temperature between 2 and 4 °C (pay attention to milk products, such as butter and cheese, which tend to absorb the smell). Even under the best storage conditions, it is recommended though to eat the truffle within seven/ ten days after purchase. Like the universal rule valued for all fresh products: the sooner you eat/drink it, the better the tastes of the truffle will be.

How to clean


The truffle is a fungus that grows underground: it goes without saying that at the moment of collecting them, they will be covered with earth. It is advisable that anyone who sells truffles already cleanse them before sale, making sure to brush them, even if only superficially. Primarily for the weight, which affects the price, but even more to allow those who are purchasing to verify the quality of the truffles. The earth, in addition to hiding any flaws, it may also be a carrier of insects or worms of various sizes, which might ruin the truffle. For all these reasons, our fresh truffles are sold already well brushed. We do not wash them as this process could undermine its duration. It would be enough to, a few hours before serving the truffle at the table or use it as an ingredient, gently wipe it – but carefully – with a soft bristle brush (such as a fine shoe brush or toothbrush, clean of course) wetted with water at room temperature. The white truffle should never be immersed in water, cooked nor boiled.

How to cut



You don’t eat a truffle by biting it (unless you can afford it), you don’t peal it with a knife (except for the black truffle) and should not be torn to pieces (even if, in some recipes, this way of preparation can offer unique sensations). Generally you don’t grater the truffle, although some kitchen tools could guarantee good results in that way.

The best way to enhance the flavor is to gill. There are several thoughts about the cut, depending on whether you want to achieve a crispy or melted result; in the first case, the blades will be thicker and consistent, in the second case rather thin, almost transparent. The tool to achieve this is the truffle slicer. There are different types available on the market: the important this is that it is equipped with a smooth and sharpened blade, preferably stainless steel, which can regulate the thickness of the slices in order to get a precise cut; variable between 0.2 and 4 mm.

Another suggestion concerns the disposition on the plate. For the most sublime experience, we suggest you to create a cone starting from the outer edge of the plate, creating concentric circles smaller and smaller, following a circular motion.

QUALITIES AND VIRTUES OF THE SO CALLED OLIO NOVO

posted by Home In Italy on October 27th, 2016

Since ancient olives and oil they have always occupied a leading position in power, and this especially for the explosion of the olive trees, originating in Palestine and Asia Minor, along with the screws, in the flora of the so-called ” Mediterranean area “.


But, to be fair, we must say that the use of oil in the gastronomic field was certainly limited compared to what it was used for the houses and street lighting, or as a fuel, especially to power the “sacred fires” dedicated to the gods, but especially in Minerva, of which the oil is said to be the favorite fruit. Last but not least it was also used to anoint the whole body before any wrestling match or fast running, offering less grip opponent since it was allowed interfere with each other. They were finally those of branches of wild olive crowns (later then made laurel) that the winners of the Olympic Games received as a reward of their ability.

Olive oil has come down to us, while preserving its characteristics and its preparatory process, while over the centuries have increased visibly the “surrogates” extracts from other plants: some forty are in fact the varieties from which they derive the vegetable oils known today, such as for example almond oil, walnut, coconut, cinnamon, clove, rosemary, flax, cotton even if only a dozen are the most important ones.

For we must not forget that olive oil plays an important preventive action against atherosclerosis and cardiovascular diseases, as well as being – as opposed to the much-vaunted “light” of various seed oils – digestible and essential (especially in ‘children’s growth) for the ease with which it is assimilated by the body. It is in fact similar in composition to that of human fat, and contains vitamin A (only present in olive oils) and oleic and linoleic acid in the same proportion that we find in human milk.

CROSTATA WITH RICOTTA AND FIGS

posted by Home In Italy on October 10th, 2016
Ingredients:
flour 165 g
almond flour 70 gr
butter 100g
icing sugar 95 gr
medium eggs 1
1 vanilla bean
salt 3 gr
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
ricotta 400g
isinglass 8 gr
fig jam 400 gr
Liquid fresh cream 200g
Directions:
Combine flour  and the cold butter cut. Stir flour almond and cinnamon . Combine the icing sugar, the inner seeds of the vanilla bean, eggs and salt. Transfer the dough on floured work surface. Briefly work to get a loaf. Wrap the dough in plastic and leave in the freezer for an hour. Then roll out the dough until it becomes a centimeter thick. Lay the mold lined with parchment paper. Bake the base in the oven at 175 ° for 35 minutes. Allow to cool the shell and transfer it to a plate.
Prepare the ricotta in a bowl and, in a small saucepan heat the cream. Melt the gelatin in cold water and add to the ricotta. then add the fig jam. Stuff the base filling it with cream and then it level well in area.
Wash and dry the figs, then cut in half without removing the peel. Add the figs on the cake and allow yourself to this delicacy!