Apr 28

Most people know that red and white wines are served in different glasses and that flutes are traditional for champagne. However, did you ever wonder why they are served in different shaped glasses? In order to truly appreciate wine, suitable stemware should be used. Here is an easy guide so that you will be able to enjoy each glass to its fullest!

white wine glass

White Wine: A white wine glass is usually tulip-shaped and is narrower than a red wine glass because whites do not need as much aeration. Younger and crisper whites do well in a narrower glass because it emphasizes its residual sugars and aromas. The shape also allows the wine to be directed towards the tip of the tongue. A mature wine requires more time to let the aromas develop; therefore it’s served in a glass with a wider opening. Also, with a wider opening the wine first hits the sides and back of the tongue. This highlights the rounder style of a mature white.
red wine glass Red Wine: Red wine glasses have a wide bowl so that there is proper aeration. The body must be large enough so that there is enough space between the surface of the wine and the glass. This lets the aromas develop and allows the complex bouquet to develop. Young reds are usually served in glasses similar to the ones that are used for mature whites. There are two basic glass shapes for mature and medium to full-bodied reds. First, what is commonly known as a Bordeaux glass, is used for ones with moderate acidity. Burgundy glasses, which are characterized by their slightly flared-rim, are for ones with high acidity.

rose' wine glass

Rosé Wine: Rosé wine should be served in a glass with a slightly flared rim, which allows the fruit flavors to hit the tip of the tongue, and will bring out the aroma of the wine. The glass should also have a long stem. This allows rosé, which is served chilled, to stay cool. Since rose wines can range from sweet and light to full-bodied and dry, the size and shape of the glass that they are served in can vary depending on the wine.

sparkling wine glass

Sparkling Wine: Sparkling wine is traditionally served in a flute. This type of glass is characterized by its tall, narrow shape, long stem and cone or tulip-shaped bowl. Its small surface area helps maintain the sparkling wine’s carbonation. The shape of the bowl highlights the bubbles as they move towards the surface. The long stem prevents the drink from warming-up.

dessert wine glass

Dessert Wine: Dessert wine is served in small wine glasses. This is because a dessert wine is sweet and is usually drunk in tiny sips and served in small amounts. The small size also allows for the wine to hit the back of the mouth and not become too overpowering. The glass’ short, but wide body and narrow opening helps to concentrate the aromas.
Apr 21

The liqueur is made from lemon peel, sugar, water and vodka, but true limoncello must be made from Sorrento lemons, which grow in Campania on Italy’s southwestern coast.

Limoncello also makes a great dessert ingredient, such as in the recipe below.
lemon

Limoncello Cake

2 sponge cakes
9 egg yolks
1 3⁄4 cups sugar, divided
1⁄8 teaspoon salt
1 cup limoncello, divided
21⁄2 cups heavy cream, divided
8 seedless lemons, sliced 1⁄4-thick
1 bunch mint, leaves only

Using a serrated knife, cut each sponge cake into 3 horizontal layers. (You will need 5 of the layers to make the cake.) Place a large stainless steel bowl over a pot of simmering water. Add the egg yolks, 1⁄2 cup of the sugar and salt and whisk together. Add 1⁄3 cup plus 1 tablespoon of the limoncello and whisk vigorously for 5 minutes, or until the mixture is thick and triples in volume. Transfer the bowl to a larger bowl filled with ice and continue to whisk.

Using an electric mixer, whisk 1 cup of the cream until soft peaks form. Fold whipped cream into the limoncello mixture and transfer to the refrigerator to chill until ready to use.

Using an electric mixer, whisk the remaining cream until soft peaks form. Add 1⁄4 cup of the sugar, 1 tablespoon at a time, continuously whisking, until firm. Transfer to the refrigerator to chill until ready to use.

Meanwhile, bring 4 cups of water to a boil. Add the lemon slices and cook for 2 minutes, then drain. Repeat 2 more times, changing the water each time. (This process will rid the lemons of any bitter taste.)

In a large pot, combine the remaining sugar and 1 cup of water. Bring to a boil and add the lemon slices. Cook over medium-low heat without stirring for 15 minutes, or until soft. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the lemon slices to a tray and spread them out in a single layer.

To arrange the cake, place 1 bottom cake layer on a serving platter. Lightly brush with some of the remaining limoncello. Top with some of the limoncello cream, spreading it almost to the edges. Add another bottom cake layer. Brush with some of the limoncello. Spoon on some of the limoncello cream, spreading it almost to the edges. Add a middle cake layer, brush with some of the limoncello and spoon on some limoncello cream, spreading it almost to the edges. Add another middle cake layer, brush with the remaining limoncello and spoon on the remaining limoncello cream, spreading it almost to the edges. Finish with a top cake layer, turning it upside down first. Using a metal spatula, cover the top and sides of the cake with the whipped cream. Garnish with the candied lemons and mint and serve. Serves 16

Apr 15

Lamb’s role in a religious holiday such as Easter isn’t a surprise since it was one of the first foods to be offered to deities. Today, the sacrificial lamb is still significant in Islam, Judaism and Christianity. For instance, at Easter the lamb is associated with Jesus and his sacrifice, and Jesus is referred to as the “Lamb of God.” Beyond religion, its cultural and economic role is significant, since it has been domesticated for over 13,000 years, and has been a part of diets throughout the world.

Lamb itself is very versatile when it comes to its preparation, and this is why it’s prized in Italian kitchens. Lamb should be eaten fresh between the months of October and June, and is typically roasted or stewed. Roasting is one of the most classic ways to cook lamb, and its leg, called the “cosciutto” in Italian, is one of the best parts for this method. The loin, or carré, is also used for roasting, as well as the shoulder, or spalla, which is typically roasted in a pan.

Roasted Lamb

Roasted Leg of Lamb

1⁄2 leg of lamb, about 5 1⁄2 pounds, bone in
3 cloves garlic, sliced
2 tablespoons rosemary, chopped (optional)
salt and freshly ground pepper
extra-virgin olive oil
lamb stock, heated (optional)
mint leaves for garnish (optional)
hard-boiled eggs for garnish (optional)
Mint Sauce (optional) (recipe follows)

Preheat the oven to 400°. Make slits along the top and cut side of the lamb and stuff them with the garlic and rosemary, if desired. Arrange the lamb in a roasting pan. Season with salt and pepper, drizzle with olive oil and transfer to the oven to cook until golden brown on top. Lower the oven temperature to 350°, baste the meat, cover with aluminum foil, and continue to cook, basting every 15 minutes (if desired, you can baste the meat with heated lamb stock), until a meat thermometer inserted into the lamb reaches at least 145° (the thermometer should not touch the bone), or until desired doneness. Set aside to rest for 10 minutes before serving or slicing. Serve garnished with mint leaves and hard-boiled eggs and accompanied by the Mint Sauce, if desired. Serves 6 to 8

Mint Sauce

1 cup sugar
1 cup white wine vinegar
1 cup white wine
1 tablespoon white peppercorns, crushed
2 tablespoons mint, chopped

In a saucepan over medium heat, dissolve the sugar in 1⁄2 cup water. Cook, stirring occasionally, until caramelized, about 5 minutes. Stir in the vinegar, wine and white peppercorns and cook for another 5 minutes, stirring frequently, until the sauce reduces by 1⁄2. Stir in the mint, cook for 1 more minute and remove from the heat. Set aside to cool slightly. Makes about 1 cup

Apr 13

 

LA PIAZZA ITALIANA the Italian Square is the only portal in the world dedicated to Italian Style for Body, Mind & Spirit

La Piazza Italiana

  to visit and enjoy all sorts of free information as well as new guides, special gourmet travels, new art exhibits and Paolo’s new food stories.

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