ZZAFF!: Veneziane

For this month’s ZZAFF! episode I opted for a classic of our childhood’s mid-day snacks. What’s your memory of veneziane? To me it was a specialty that was given as a snack only on special occasions! Elegant, decorated with sugar grains and coated with a crisp and sticky hazelnut glaze, the veneziana is a refined leavened dough bread usually flavoured with vanilla and citrus. And it is extremely soft! History also testifies its consumption on special occasions such as weddings and Christmas and Easter Holidays. After all, the dough is very similar to that of colomba and panettone. I also found a dialectal expression: “Bell ti che ta gh’et ammò la veneziana con sü ul zücher!” that means: “Lucky you, you still have your veneziana with its sugar on!”. It is an expression that alludes to the consumption of veneziane on the occasion of wedding celebrations. The image of fresh veneziane which still have their grains of sugar on them is a metaphor for a newly feted wedding. My version although simplified is a bit complicated to make, but it gives a lot of satisfaction!
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Maroggia’s Mill Cookbook: Kamut and Pear Crumble / Il ricettario del Mulino di Maroggia: Crumble di kamut alle pere

A classical British dessert for today’s Maroggia’s Mill Cookbook recipe. I used a flour available at Maroggia’s Mill which is not directly produced by them. I was intrigued since I used Kamut flour very seldom. I took a look online and found out that Kamut flour is more easily digestible, has a lower glycemic index and is very rich in protein, amino acids, vitamins and minerals compared to wheat flour. Seen all these qualities why not use it to bake a sweet? The crumble turned out beautifully, soft and heavenly melting in the mouth when warm, crunchy when eaten cold. The basic recipe for the crumble can be used with any kind of seasonal fruit, spices and even chocolate chips!

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Maroggia’s Mill Cookbook: Banitsa / Il Ricettario del Mulino di Maroggia: Banitsa

It’s been more than six months, but it seems like a century ago. In June we went on a short trip to Sofia, Bulgaria. A strange city, which I feel I still have to visit in order to fully understand (or at least try to understand). Needless to say that in 4 days we ate plenty of local food. I must say that variety is not a hallmark of Bulgarian cuisine and that in our daily trip to the bakery we often opted for a warm banitsa, a bread stuffed with eggs and feta. As is well explained in this Wikipedia page banitsa is generally served with boza. For your own sake I do not recommend trying this drink.
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ZZAFF!: Pesce in carpione

Pesce in carpione is a typical dish from the lake regions of northern Italy such as Lake Como and Lake Garda. This recipe requires fatty fish, such as shad, whitefish, bleak or smelt. The recipe was born from the need to preserve the fish for a long time. The fishes are fried, then dipped in a marinade of white wine and vinegar which is flavored with herbs and vegetables. Fish thus prepared can be eaten warm but more often pesce in carpione is eaten cold, after a rest of 24 hours in the refrigerator.

Here you can listen the program, every first Sunday of the month:
At 20 pm Rendez-vous on http://www.radiogwen.ch to hear Vostok’s podcasts in French!
At 21 Rendez-vous on http://www.radiovostok.ch to hear Gwen’s podcasts in italian!
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Maroggia’s Mill Cookbook: Seadas / Il ricettario del Mulino di Maroggia: Seadas

Once you start with fried foods, well…it’s over! Frying makes almost anything irresistible so for today’s Maroggia’s Mill Cookbook recipe I present you a typical sardinian dessert: seadas. Also called Sebadas, they are amongst the most famous Sardinian desserts. Usually made with semolina flour and filled with pecorino cheese and lemon zest, seadas are enjoyed with honey to sweeten them naturally. But let’s find out more about these irresistible fried treats!
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Maroggia’s Mill Cookbook: Rye and Herb Ciabatta / Il Ricettario del Mulino di Maroggia: Ciabattine alla segale e erbe aromatiche

Ciabatta. A versatile crunchy bread roll. Breakfast? You can have ciabatta spread with butter and jam. Lunch break? Bite into a cheese and lettuce ciabatta. Snack? A mini ciabatta with a piece of chocolate will ease those hunger pangs. Dinner? Ciabatta is the perfect accompaniment for any soup, or a valuable help to scoop spaghetti sauce from the plate. For today’s recipe for Maroggia’s Mill Cookbook I flavoured the dough with fresh herbs. What a flavour! And what a pleasure to eat them with a little soft goat cheese. Maroggia’s Mill’s farina bianca nostrana is the perfect choice for this highly hydrated dough, developing a good gluten bond which traps all the air bubbles who make this ciabattas so soft. But in order to bite in those crunchy rolls you have to pull your sleeves up! Let’s get started!
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ZZAFF!: Risotto con la Luganega

This month recipe for ZZAFF! is a classic of Ticino cuisine. Luganega or luganighetta is a sausage made with pork, pepper and spices, which is usually grilled in summer and country festivals. I remember when I was a child at the Sassello Fair in Obino, the village where I grew up, they served luganighette rolled on wooden sticks which looked like a snail. This sausage is usually associated with carnival and is appreciated with the classic risotto, a dish formerly reserved for holidays.

Here you can listen the program, every first Sunday of the month:
At 20 pm Rendez-vous on http://www.radiogwen.ch to hear Vostok’s podcasts in Italian!
At 21 Rendez-vous on http://www.radiovostok.ch to hear Gwen’s podcasts in French!
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Maroggia’s Mill Cookbook: Vegan Rye flour, Almond and Dark Chocolate Cookies / Il Ricettario del Mulino di Maroggia: Biscotti Vegani alla farina di segale, mandorle e cioccolato fondente

Has been quite a long time since the last time I baked cookies for Maroggia’s Mill Cookbook. Taking a look at the past recipes I realized that all of the cookies baked so far contain butter, eggs, milk or cream. Not even one vegan recipe. Surprising, as these vegan cookies have been a staple of my famous brunches! I adapted the original recipe to the use of Maroggia’s Mill rye flour, but you can always replace with any other kind of flour. These cookies are chewy, a word I tried to translate into Italian with not much success. If, just like me you love chewy cookies this recipe is the one you are looking for!

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Maroggia’s Mill Cookbook: Semlor / Il Ricettario del Mulino di Maroggia: Semlor

The carnival is almost over, but in Ticino opportunities to celebrate do not lack. For this post for Maroggia’s Mill Cookbook I propose a typical Shrove Tuesday recipe, from Sweden. No one will notice, we are still having fun after all aren’t we? In fact even in Sweden these soft rolls, flavoured with cardamom and filled with almond paste and cream, have become the national breakfast cake and snack and are sold in bakeries all over the country. And there’s no wondering why, they are simply irresistible!
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ZZAFF!: Ciambella ticinese

The ciambella ticinese is a crunchy and crumbly biscuit, spiced with anise seeds or sometimes fennel or cumin seeds. The typical shape of the ciambella is a ring with a hole in the middles, and its diameter is of about 8 cm. Apparently the ciambella ticinese was born in Lugano, at the hands the baker Bianchi who baked these biscuits in the early 20th century, flavouring them with different spices. It was he who made famous the ciambella ticinese, which spread in Ticino thanks to pastry chefs in urban areas. Once upon a time ciambelle could be bought in a bakeries or grottoes, bars and restaurants, usually stored in a typical glass jar. It was a daily consumer product, like bread. They were often eaten as afternoon snacks, dipped in red wine or milk. Widely popular in taverns, the ciambelle were strung into wooden rods resting on the bar counter and the customers enjoyed them accompanied by a glass of wine. Unfortunately ciambelle have lost importance in Ticino due to the competition from industrially produced biscuits. Today, family recipes are handed over, like the one I am presenting to you today which my aunt Luciana passed on to me.
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