The History Of Italy’s Many Desserts

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The history of Italy’s desserts is very fascinating and old. Modern casual diners and culinary experts alike love to partake in a variety of rich and delicious Italian desserts, but few know how those desserts came about. For any aspiring chef, learning about this type of dessert will spark the imagination and motivate them to engage in the art of cooking with newfound passsion.

Italy’s First Desserts

Many experts believe that the first desserts were breaded sweets. While sugar was too expensive for many people to have, recipes included natural sweetening foods, such as fruit and honey. One of the most well known desserts that arose from such tradition was the panforte, whose earliest origins can be traced to Siena. This early version was much less heavy than the contemporary one, but ultimately led to the modern innovation as tastes advanced. Biscotti, which many people know as a gourmet dessert, also originated in early medieval Italy. Much like with all food at the time, the early version of biscotti was much simpler and included fewer ingredients.

When Sugar Became Readily Available

Slowly, as more and more sugar became readily available as a household item, more and more people were able to enjoy a wider variety of dessert innovations. Many believe that Italy’s most famous dessert, the delicious tiramisu, had originated in the 1500s. Historians believe that this dessert was first introduced to Duke Cosimo de Medici, who had enjoyed it so much that he helped spread its popularity. Whether or not this was the exact origin of the dessert, it is a clear indicator of how available sugar had become in most modern households. Had sugar not become so quickly available, this dessert would have taken much longer to develop. Many other desserts that many believe had originated during this time period are also panna cotta, cheesecake, and cream puffs.

Italy Has So Many Wonderful Desserts, It’s Hard To Name Them All. Luckily Pictures Are Worth A Thousand Words, So Check Out The Delicious Gallery Below:

 

More and more culinary developments resulted in more and more delicious desserts being created for so many people to enjoy. It is thanks to such early innovations that most modern Italian desserts exist as we know and love them now. With creativity on the rise, the future for culinary developments is a bright one.

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The Best Italian Cheeses For Cooking

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As you may already know, Italy is home to some of the best foods in the world. If you are looking for the best cheeses to use on your favorite meal, then Italy is the best place to look. Some of the most popular cheeses in Italy include; Parmesan, Fontina, Asiago and Gorgonzola. These Italian cheeses are world-renowned and can improve your experience in a remarkable way.

Asiago Cheese

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There are three different kinds of Asiago cheeses. You have Asiago Pressato, which is fresh, sweet and smooth, Asiago d’allevo, which has been aged, and has a bolder taste and the stravecchio, which has a more powerful taste from the aging process of up to 2 years. Most Asiago cheeses come with a stamp that reads, “Product of the mountain”. This means that they are produced in Veneto or Trentino, at an altitude of more than 1,800 feet.

Fontina Cheese

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Fontina cheese is used in making Fondue and has its origin in Switzerland, France and Italy. It comes with an intense, nutty flavor that will improve your cooking experience in a unique way. This one is also produced from cow’s milk and has been around for hundreds of years.

Gorgonzola Cheese

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Gorgonzola is one of the best Italian cheeses there is. It is produced in cold and damp conditions, giving it a unique flavor from the rest. There are two types of Gorgonzola cheeses; gorgonzola piccante and Gorgonzola dolce. Piccante has a slightly spicy flavor while dolce has milder one. The origin of this cheese remains a mystery — but some believe the name comes from the town it was created in.

Parmesan Cheese

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Just like wine, Parmesan, also known as Parmigiano Reggiano, gets better as it ages. It is made from cow milk and comes with a unique, sweet flavor. You can either eat this cheese as it is or use it on many different types of pasta in Italy.

Next time you are buying Italian cheeses, make sure it has a DOP label. DOP stands for Denominazione di Origine Protetta, which basically means that the product was produced and packaged in Italy. There is a huge different between cheeses made in Italy and those from other parts of the world, so you want to be careful when making a purchase.

A Successful Guide To Cooking With Wine

166223496Most people don’t realize there’s a science to cooking with wine. It you adhere to the right formulas, your cooked dish can be enhanced by the wine. If you fail to watch certain specific steps, you could end up with a dish that was ruined by the addition of wine.

Which Cooking Wines To Use

It is not imperative to use cooking wine; a good quality wine can also be added to dishes. In fact, if using a cooking wine, which has added salt, reduce the salt you would normally add to the dish to compensate. Do not waste a premium wine in a cooked dish, instead, always serve it with the meal. Never use a wine you don’t enjoy drinking for cooking.  The cooking process will only highlight the negative qualities you already dislike and destroy the dish’s flavor. If you would drink it, it’s OK to cook with it.

What Cookware To Use

If you’re planning to add wine to a dish as you cook it, do not use cast iron or aluminum cookware. Use enamel cookware so the flavors in the wine do not react to the materials that make up the cookware.  If you’re learning to use cooking wine in food, follow the pairing suggestions listed below.

Wine Pairing Suggestions

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•Full-bodied, Young Red Wine – use with red meat dishes and red sauces
• Earthy, Full-bodied Red Wine – use with soups containing root vegetables and beef stock
• Dry White Wine – use with cream sauces and seafood, poultry, pork and veal dishes
• Dry, Crisp White Wine – use with bouillabaisse and seafood soups
• Sweet White Wine – use with sweet desserts
• Sherry – use with consommé, vegetable soups and poultry
• Regional wines should be paired with regional foods

How to Cook with Wine

Cooking with wine is a process; do not rush it by adding wine and then bringing the mixture to a boil.  Never boil wine, instead bring the mixture to a simmer and cook it for at least 10 minutes so the wine flavors can mix with the other ingredients.  Wine takes time to impart its enhancing flavors, so don’t rush the dish or add the wine too late in its preparation and don’t forget to enjoy your meal!