Tuesday, August 27, 2013

SETTEMBRATA

Settembrata on Anacapri means Italian musicians singing in the street, pacchiane (local women dressed in Neapolitan garb) carrying baskets of grapes on their heads, and contadini (farmers) pushing wooden wagons piled high with the first seasons grapes.                         
This is la festa dell’uva e della vendemmia, the festival of the grape and wine harvest.      
The festa takes its name from September, it blesses the coming vendemmia, and kisses summer good bye. Settembrata was first started in 1923 by Filippo Tommaso Marinetti, Edwin Cerio, and Lino Lipinsky.

Friday, August 23, 2013

THE PIZZA REVOLUTION

There's a pizza revolution going on – and it doesn't involve pineapple or hotdog-stuffed crusts. 
Why does it matter? Because Naples is the spiritual home of the pizza. Naples gave the world what the Oxford Companion to Food terms "the archetype of modern pizzas". 
The Associazione Verace Pizza Napoletana produces a mind-bendinglylong and precise booklet about what constitutes an authentic Napoletana pizza, with edicts on acceptable toppings (sorry, no pineapple). But for British producers of Neapolitan-style pizzas, what matters are the quality ingredients and techniques: 00 flour, Italian tinned tomatoes (preferably San Marzano), fresh basil and firm fior di latte (mozzarella made from cow's milk) in the case of a classic margherita. The dough is left to rise slowly, then cooked for 60 to 90 seconds in a blisteringly hot wood-fired oven. The bases should be thin and softer in the middle of the circle, with a puffy cornicione (crust).