ZZAFF!: Amaretti ticinesi

For this month’s ZZAFF! Episode we offer you a recipe for a sweet ticinese treat which often accompanies coffee at the end of a meal. I’m talking about amaretti, slightly bitter biscuits, crumbly on the outside and soft on the inside, which were born from the need to use egg white left over from the preparation of recipes based on yolk, such as panettone or cream custard. Amaretti are very popular all over Italy, where different types of this biscuit can be found. In fact, those from Ticino are different from the best-known Italian amaretti biscuits, which are round and soft (amaretti di Sassello) or crispy (amaretti di Saronno). The term amaretti comes from the bitter taste given by armelline (bitter almonds) which are added in small quantities, but for convenience I used sweet almonds only adding a few drops of bitter almond flavour.
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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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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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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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