This Italian town has Red Wine coming out of the Faucet

Starbucks Is Perfecting Its Coffee For Italian Debut

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By Cooking Panda

When we think of big, popular coffee chains, the first name that comes to mind — and we’re betting comes to many of your minds, too — is Starbucks, of course.

But when you consider which country is most well-known for its enduring love of excellent coffee, which one do you think of?

For us, and for many others, that country is Italy — which is perhaps why Starbucks has decided to announce its plans to open up to 300 branches there.

However, the coffee chain is being warned: Don’t open up in Italy, a country known for taking its coffee seriously and with a plethora of different absolutely divine coffee options, if you don’t have a plan to ensure that the market is going to love you.

“We are aiming to open 200 to 300 sales points across Italy, we think that there’s a place for it in the market,” said Antonio Percassi, the former soccer player turned entrepreneur who is spearheading the entire operation, at a press conference in Milan, per The Local.

For the time-being, two Starbucks cafes are set to launch in Milan and Rome in summer 2018. Four more locations will open up during that same week across both cities.

Howard Schultz, Starbucks CEO, told Telegraph that Starbucks, in fact, was originally invented in Italy’s cafe culture’s image. Schultz reportedly took a trip to Milan and Verona in the ’80s and was, “inspired by the craftsmanship of the Milanese barista, the spirit of the Italian people, their passion for community, their friendliness and taste for quality.”

Perhaps out of respect and even reverence for the Italian people and their coffee-heavy culture, Schultz is planning on making sure that the first Starbucks branch to open in Italy will be a fitting addition to the climate.

Luckily, Schultz has people on his side. Luigi Ordello, the president of the Italy-based Institute of International Coffee Tasters, for instance, told The Local that: “It wouldn’t threaten Italian coffee if it does arrive, as Starbucks today represents an international standard of coffee and not an Italian one.”

That sounds like you got the all-clear to us, Starbucks! Go on with your bad, Italian-bound self!

Sources: Telegraph, The Local / Photo Credit: Kazan/Instagram

Tags: coffee culture, howard shultz, italian coffee, italy, Starbucks
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Vatican McDonald’s Promises To Feed The Homeless

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By Cooking Panda

A McDonald’s located on Vatican-owned property has partnered up with an organization to regularly offer free meals to the local homeless population.

Italy’s The Local reports that this particular McDonald’s, nicknamed “McVatican,” has sparked outrage among Italy’s population and people of the church for proceeding to build its restaurant on Vatican-owned property. However, those same cardinals who called the McDonald’s’ actions “controversial and perverse” might be singing a different tune in the near future. After all, the fast food giant is behaving quite charitably, and who can complain about that?

The McVatican (I guess that’s going to stick) is collaborating with the Medicine Solidale (Solidarity Medicine) charity in order to carry out this new idea, and the director of the organization, Lucia Ercoli, seems to be thrilled. She said that the McDonald’s responded “promptly” to her request for this service, and that she was “very satisfied with this agreement.”

“It is truly a small drop in an ocean of things being done by so many other associations, by so many people who spend their time helping others,” she told Vatican Radio.

The details of the charitable services involve handing out more than 1,000 meals at lunchtime, beginning on Jan. 16, 2017. Lunches will consist of a double cheeseburger, apple slices and a bottle of water.

According to Catholic News, this Monday lunch will be handed out for 10 Mondays in an effort to open dialog with the people of Italy about expanding more in the future. Ercoli’s organization has long been in collaboration with the papal almoner in working to help the homeless in areas such as medical care and nutrition. Bringing McDonald’s into this mix should surely help everyone involved. If this fast food chain wants to be welcomed into Italy so badly, I would imagine this is the best way to get the country to open its arms.

“With these meals, we’ll make a significant leap in providing so many women and men who live on the street in this neighborhood the possibility of a meal that will guarantee a suitable intake of proteins and vitamins for them,” Ercoli said. These efforts are truly admirable, and I’m rooting for the golden arches.

Sources: The Local, Catholic News / Photo Credit: Poland Europe/Instagram

Tags: charity, free lunch, Free McDonald's, italy, mcdonald's, McVatican, Vatican
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Italian Man Breaks Record For Most Ice Cream On A Cone (Video)

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By Cooking Panda

There is officially a new world record for how much ice cream can be stacked onto a single cone. Italy’s Dimitri Panciera has claimed the title of Guinness World Record Holder for his ability to stack a whopping 121 scoops of ice cream onto a cone.

UPI reports that Panciera was able to complete this balancing feat at the annual Gelatimo ice-cream festival in Forno di Zoldo. In order to do this, he had to use a cone with a diameter of 3.74 inches or less, and balance the ice cream for at least 10 seconds. That doesn’t sound like a long time until you are standing on a tightrope, which is probably what this felt like with all of the cameras. You’ll see what I mean in the video below. No pressure!

The previous scoop-balancing master was none other than Panciera himself. That record was 109. They say you should only strive to be better than the person you were yesterday. Panciera took this quite literally, it seems. But it doesn’t stop there. He must have a serious love for ice cream, because he also holds the world record for creating the world’s largest ice cream scoop. This colossal scoop measures 6 feet 4.7 inches long, 10.8 inches wide and 6.6 inches deep. Basically, that scoop of ice cream is larger than most children.

 In the video below, posted by Guinness World Records, you can see the process of stacking the scoops onto the cone. Panciera is moving quickly, while spectators arrive to watch, but even with his quick moves the video has to be sped up, because it takes a long time to put 121 scoops of ice cream onto a cone. It doesn’t seem like he has too difficult a time balancing the many scoops for more than 10 seconds either. He’s either very practiced or just good at making it look easy.

The secret, Panciera says, is to use the local artisan ice cream. If you want to try and challenge this master of ice cream, at least try and use the homemade stuff to level the playing field.

Sources: UPI, Guinness World Records/Youtube / Photo Credit: Guinness World Records/Youtube

Tags: Artisan Ice Cream, Guinness World Records, ice cream, italy
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Will You Try McDonald’s New Deep-Fried Olives? (Photos)

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By Cooking Panda

Sure, we know that different countries have different tastes when it comes to food. McDonald’s knows that better than anyone, since they’re always making local menu changes. Some of this year’s new offerings will either throw you for a loop, or make you olive-green with envy.

First, we have fried olives on the Italian menu, also called Olive all’Ascolana. According to Brand Eating, this is a pretty common food in Italy, so why not? The olives are stuffed with meat then deep-fried and served as a side dish. Personally, I’ll pass on trying that, but I imagine people who love olives would be pretty eager to order it.

The Nutella burger is our next find. According to CNBC, the brand new Nutella burger offered by McDonald’s in Italy consists of two sweet rolls with a Nutella spread in the middle. More of a Nutella sandwich, if you will. It’s called “Sweet with Nutella,” and if I was going to try any new McDonald’s dish, it would be that one.

The next menu offer is the Trio of Vegetables, tempura style, which probably means they should be served in Japan. This side features fried pieces of zucchini, eggplant and peppers.

There are a couple more sweet treats available as well: the Zuppa Inglese McFlurry (doesn’t that mean English soup?), which has pieces of cake and custard mixed into the ice cream, and the Panettone Tiramisu — Tiramisu topped with candied fruit, raisins and almonds.

Now that you’re getting slightly jealous already, I’ll drop one more little menu addition on you: local beer is also on the menu. Imagine a Nutella burger and a nice microbrew. You might think that those two things don’t go together, except that I believe Nutella goes with everything.

All of this is great and all, but it begs the question, when will be seeing crazy and creative new menu changes in the U.S.? I’m always grateful for the Big Mac, but how about a Nutella milkshake or something? We could also use some new McFlurry flavors. Just throwing that out there.

Sources: Brand Eating, CNBC / Photo Credit: McDonald's Italy/Instagram, Brand Eating, CNBC

Tags: Fried Olives, italy, mcdonald's, McFlurry, nutella
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Treat Yourself: White Truffle Prices Have Dropped

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By Cooking Panda

One of the best feelings you can get while grocery shopping is going to put your favorite food item in your cart, only to discover that it is on sale that day.

Now, foodies who love the white truffle are in for a major treat, because the typically super expensive delicacy is having a phenomenal harvest season, which means its prices have dropped by about 30 percent from 2015.

We call that a super sale!

Bloomberg reports that Italy’s Tanaro river basin has been besieged with heavy rainfalls, which is probably annoying to residents in the area, but it also means that Alba white truffles have been proliferating more than usual. Now, $109 can get you over 2.5 ounces of white truffles, whereas in 2015, that much cash would get you only about 1.8 ounces.

What’s more, one person needs only 0.2 ounces, so that is a lot of white truffle-infused meals for your dollar.

“The truffles are fantastic,” chef-patron Francesco Mazzei told Bloomberg. “They started early, and we are selling quite a lot.”

If you’re interested, just remember to double-check that the retailer you’re purchasing white truffles from is authentic. You don’t want to shell out that kind of money only to end up with an inferior product that’s being passed off as the real thing.

“Just saying they are from Alba increases the margin,” chef Jacob Kenedy told Bloomberg. “You need to know your dealer, like any sort of dealer, to be sure you get the right stuff.”

If you’re too afraid to risk paying big bucks for the wrong product, you can find solace in the fact that at the very least, not all high-end chefs or foodies actually like the product to begin with. For instance, executive chef John Williams says he would choose a Perigord black truffle over the white truffle any day.

“I am a black tuber melanosporum man,” he told Bloomberg. “I love the aroma and flavor of white truffle, but as a cook, it doesn’t turn me on in the same way.”

Source: Bloomberg / Photo Credit: Richard Vines/Bloomberg

Tags: cheap delicacy, crop, italy, Mushroom, white truffles
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Could This Gelato Improve Your Sports Performance?

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By Cooking Panda

Currently, there are countless sports drinks and protein-packed power bars that claim to help consumers up their athleticism. You can eat an electrolyte-filled gel; mix a scoop of protein powder into your smoothie; down a shot of a fizzy energy drink to get you moving.

But did you ever think that there would be a gelato to help you work out better?

Apparently, an Italian cardiologist and researcher named Valerio Sanguigni has patented a remarkable new ice cream recipe that he claims has proven health benefits, and also could help improve sports performance in young people.

Per The Local, Sanguigni told Repubblica that he was hoping to “shed some light on the jungle of substances which contain antioxidants.”

Sanguigni’s ice cream is chock full of antioxidant properties, which have indeed been shown to improve heart health and help counteract certain diseases. Sanguigni, who is a professor at the University of Rome Tor Vergata, believes that unfortunately, certain superfoods actually lose their antioxidant properties by the time consumers pick them up from the grocery store and get around to eating them.

Low temperature foods, however, conserve the properties well; so do cocoa beans, green tea, and dried fruits.

Therefore, Sanguigni combined his knowledge of antioxidants with his lifelong love of ice cream, and created three different gelato flavors: chocolate, hazelnut, and green tea. Then, The Local reports that he hopped on his moped and zoomed off to the university with his ice cream in tow, ready to share his secret recipe with the world.

His taste-testers had their blood tested first, and then sampled the gelato. Some ate Sanguigni’s gelato; others ate a standard chocolate ice cream. Then, they pedaled as fast as they could on exercise bikes to determine whether the gelato actually improved vascular function and physical performance.

The answer? A resounding yes for Sanguigni’s gelato; not for the standard chocolate ice cream.

“Who says that health foods have to taste bad?”

Hear, hear, professor Sanguigni!

Source: The Local / Photo credit: Gelato al naturale/Instagram

Tags: antioxidants, gelato, ice cream, italy, sports performance
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Italy’s Rarest Pasta Is Gorgeous To Behold

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By Cooking Panda

Pasta is great; it comes in a countless number of varieties, with flavor profiles, textures and shapes that span an impressive range.

One of the rarest forms of pasta in the world, however, may be one called su filindeu or, in English, “the threads of God.”

For the past three centuries, only one family in Italy has known how to make the extremely time-consuming dish — more specifically, only the women of one Sardinian family know how.

Per BBC, Paola Abraini’s niece and her sister-in-law live in Nuoro. For more than 300 years, the recipe and technique for su filindeu has been passed down strictly through the women in Abraini’s family, with each mother closely guarding the secrets of the pasta before passing the knowledge along to her daughters.

As it happens, imitation attempts have been made previously: Barilla, a hugely popular pasta manufacturer, actually visited Abraini’s home and tried to replicate her technique with machinery; the attempt was a failure.

Additionally, BBC reports that the president of Slow Food International also visited over the spring, as well as British celebrity chef Jamie Oliver. Oliver reportedly attempted to follow Abraini’s technique for two hours before throwing in the towel.

“Many people say that I have a secret I don’t want to reveal,” Abraini told the BBC. “But the secret is right in front of you. It’s in my hands.

“There are only three ingredients: semolina wheat, water and salt. But since everything is done by hand, the most important ingredient is elbow grease.”

Su filindeu is made by using the tips of your fingers to pull and fold 256 even strands of semolina dough; then, you form the dough into an intricate three-layer pattern.

Intuition plays a big part in making sure the dough reaches the same consistency; and once the three layers of the dough are formed, Abraini takes the base outside to dry under the Sardinian sun, until they are hardened and resemble delicate stitched lace.

Isn’t it gorgeous?

Abraini loves the pasta, and wants the tradition of the dish to carry on.

“You know, for me it’s a blessing just to be able to make su filindeu. I’ve been in love with it since the first time I ever saw it, and I love it more each day,” she told BBC. “I hope to continue to make if for many years ahead — but if one day I have to stop, at least I’ll have a video.”

Source: BBC / Photo credit: Eliot Stein/BBC

Tags: italy, pasta, secret recipe, su filindeu, threads of god
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McDonald’s Now Serves Its Own Dessert Taco

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By Cooking Panda

If you’re a McDonald’s fan with a sweet tooth, then you’re in luck.

The always-on-top-of-it folks over at Brand Eating reported that McDonald’s Italy has debuted what looks like an amazing new iteration of the already-beloved Klondike Choco Taco.

Called the Sundae Pocket, the new dessert is a taco-shaped pita filled with vanilla soft serve, chocolate fudge and a fine sprinkling of hazelnuts.

From what we can see, the pita looks like it may also be dusted with some cinnamon, although we can’t confirm that that’s the case.

For some unfathomable reason, none of the stateside McDonald’s locations appears to be serving the Sundae Pocket, but Italian consumers can pick up this 331-calorie treat next time they have a hunkering for the golden arches.

Sources: Brand EatingMcDonald's Italy / Photo Credit: McDonald's Italy

Tags: dessert taco, italy, mcdonald's, sundae pocket
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Italy Now Has A Free, 24/7 Wine Fountain (Photo)

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By Cooking Panda

We need to get one of these stateside ASAP.

Central Italy is doing it right: A fountain of locally produced red wine was installed in Abruzzo on Oct. 9, offering boozy refreshments to passersby 24/7, The Local reports.

And the libations are free of charge to anybody who wants a glass.

It is the fountain dreams are made of.

Called fontana del vino, the fountain is located along a popular pilgrimage route called the Cammino di San Tommaso, which means loads of people will probably be helping themselves to a serving or two of its flowing wine in the days to come.

The first 'wine fountain' just opened in Italy - and it's free

While fountains of flowing wine have actually popped up in Italy before, they are rare and usually have a time limit. For example, white wine replaces water in a fountain located in Marino for one hour during the the town’s annual grape festival.

The fontana del vino is the first 24/7 free wine-flowing fountain in Italy.

“The wine fountain is a welcome, the wine fountain is poetry,” the Dora Sarchese vineyard wrote on its Facebook page, according to The Local.

The vineyard made sure to warn, however, that “drunkards” and “louts” would not be welcome to help themselves to the free wine; how they plan to make sure nobody takes advantage of the beautiful creation, we don’t know, but hopefully the unlimited wine supply brings happiness rather than distress to those who witness it.

Source: The Local / Photo Credit: Las Vegas Woman Magazine, Dora Sarchese Vineyard via The Local

Tags: 24/7, free wine, italy, wine fountain
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New Italian Law Helps Put The Kibosh On Nation’s Food Waste

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By Cooking Panda

A bill aiming to eliminate 1 million tons of waste from Italy’s annual estimated 5-million ton output has been passed into law.

The bill, which was backed by 181 senators (with 2 against and 16 abstaining) has been widely praised, with Agriculture Minister Maurizio Martina even declaring it as “one of the most beautiful and practical legacies” of the Expo Milano 2015 international exhibition, according to the BBC. 

The exhibition focused on tackling hunger and food waste worldwide — a pertinent topic for Italy, considering that the cost of food wasted amounts to more than $13.4 billion per year for Italian businesses and households, according to ministers.

Of course, Italy is only one country; the problem is worldwide, and especially bad in Europe.

The Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations suggests that around one third of our world’s food may be wasted worldwide — however, that figure rises to a staggering 40% in Europe.

“The food currently wasted in Europe could feed 200 million people,” the FAO states.

The new bill includes drafts that seek to help make donating food not only easier (there were some who worried about violating health and safety laws by donating food that was technically past its “sell-by” date, but still perfectly healthy and nutritious), but also encourages farmers to give away their unsold produce to charities without worrying about losing money.

Additionally, the BBC reports that the Agricultural Ministry will spend more than $1.1 million researching how to revolutionize packaging foods, in order to prevent spoilage during transit, and ultimately extend shelf life. An informational campaign for the public aiming to reduce food wastage will also be released.

Lastly, “family bags” (popularly known as those “doggy bags” us Americans take home if we’re unable to finish our entire meal at a restaurant) will be introduced to Italian culture. While it is expected in many parts of the world to be able to save your leftovers after a meal, the practice has so far been uncommon in Italy — until now. A $1.1 million campaign will back a new “family bag” scheme.

Congratulations and good luck, Italy!

Sources: BBC, FAO / Photo credit: Yes Health

Tags: family bag, food waste, italy, leftovers
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Could This Italian Town Turn Totally Vegan?

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By Cooking Panda

Turin, a city known for dishes with succulent meats and cheeses, may soon become Italy’s first vegan city.

Chiara Appendino, Turin’s new mayor and acclaimed politician in the Five Star Movement, wants to limit the animal products consumed by the city’s residents. The Five Star Movement supports certain progressive values, such as green energy, environmentalism, and conservation, according to The Guardian. 

This is the first time that vegetarianism or veganism has been included as part of a political movement for a local Italian government, as reported by The Local.

“The promotion of vegan and vegetarian diets is a fundamental act in safeguarding our environment, the health of our citizens and the welfare of our animals,” the council’s program stated.

Over the next five years, the council will educate children about various food issues in order to decrease the amount of animal products consumed in the future.

“Leading medical, nutritional and political experts will help promote a culture of respect in our schools, teaching children how to eat well while protecting the earth and animal rights,” the program continued.

However, as many traditional meals include renowned meat and cheeses, many residents are skeptical of both the necessity and effectiveness of such a program.

“Great foods like wild boar ragu and Chianina steak are already disappearing from the menu once famed for its meats, wines and cheeses,” said local resident Elena Coda.

According to Coda, the city has a few dozen restaurants that feature a plant-based diet, most of which have opened in recent years.

“At the same time there are more and more vegan and vegetarian eateries,” Coda said. “I’m not sure if the trend will continue and expect there will be an inevitable backlash sooner or later.”

Stefania Giannuzzi, the council’s environment assessor, said this initiative is not trying to hurt local businesses and longstanding Italian traditions.

“We have total respect for our food heritage, our restaurants and nothing against the meat industry,” she said. “I’m a vegetarian and have been for 20 years. But in reality, this program isn’t something I instigated — it’s just an extension of schemes which have been in place for years.”

Sources: The Local, The Guardian / Photo credit: moi-meme/Wikimedia Commons

Tags: Five Star Movement, italy, Turin Italy, Vegan City, veganism, Vegetarianism
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How Did These Thieves Steal More Than $200,000 Worth Of Wine?

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By Cooking Panda

Hundreds of thousands of dollars of Barolo wines were stolen in two separate incidents over the course of about three weeks. Although investigators have yet to reach an official conclusion regarding the thieves, evidence suggests that the same robbers were involved in both incidents, according to Wine Spectator.

On July 13, individuals wearing laboratory-style cleanroom disguises burglarized the Armando Parusso winery in Monforte d’Alba, Italy, taking about 120 cases worth approximately $112,000.

“They took about three hours and they did their work very calmly,” Marco Parusso, co-owner of Armando Parusso winery, told Wine Spectator.

The cellars of the Parusso winery are located underneath the family’s home.

“Our winery is built into the hillside, so it’s very hard to see or hear anything below,” said Parusso, whose mother slept through the incident.

According to outdoor surveillance cameras, the three thieves used the winery’s own truck to transport the wine, as the vehicle’s keys were kept inside an office.

“The truck had no gas in it, so they took the gas from a tractor,” said Parusso.

Police have yet to identify the suspects or locate the missing truck.

“They took some of our best wines,” he lamented.

A few weeks earlier, on June 25, 250 cases worth over $100,000 were stolen during a similar incident at the Cordero di Montezemolo winery in La Morra. Surveillance cameras recorded six men entering the facilities through a high window that was not linked to the winery’s security system.

Investigators believe both robberies are related.

“We live in the country,” said Parusso. “We never have this. It’s quiet here.”

However, unlike some of Parusso’s wines, which are rare enough to lead to their recovery, Alberto Cordero di Montezmolo’s stolen inventory would be more difficult to locate.

After a December 2015 robbery of the Seralunga d’Alba producer in Fontanafredda, owned by Eataly founder Oscar Farinetti, a nighttime security guard was hired. During the burglary, over 170 cases of Barolo and Barbera wines were stolen.

“Barolos are easy to resell,” Farinetti explained. “They don’t do this in areas where wines cost little.”

Source: Wine Spectator / Photo credit: The World Wide Wine

Tags: Armando Parusso, Barbolo wine, Cordero di Montezemolo, italy, robbery, wine
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Carb Up: Italian Study Claims That Pasta Won’t Make You Fat

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By Cooking Panda

A new study has come to what is surely the most important conclusion of the year thus far: according to Italian scientists, pasta is not fattening. In fact, pasta consumption can help reduce levels of obesity.

Perhaps Regina George was truly on to something when she adapted that all-carb diet.

The study, published in the journal Nutrition and Diabetes, examined the diets of over 23,000 adults, and found that those who reported a regular pasta intake were found to have a “lower waist circumference and better waist-hip ratio,” according to the Independent.

While pasta’s association with a lower body mass was partly due to its prevalence in the standard, healthy Mediterranean diet (which is rich in olive oil, vegetables, fish, whole grains and fruit), the researchers at the Department of Epidemiology and Prevention at IRCCS in Pozzilli, Italy also found that the beneficial effects of pasta consumption existed regardless of how strictly the Mediterranean diet was observed.

Licia Iacoviello, head of the laboratory of molecular and nutritional epidemiology at the institute, said, as reported by the Independent:

In popular views pasta is often considered not adequate when you want to lose weight. And some people completely ban it from their meals.

In light of this research, we can say that this is not a correct attitude. We’re talking about a fundamental component of Italian Mediterranean tradition, and there is no reason to do without it.

The message emerging from this study, as from other scientific analyses conducted in the context of the Moli-sani Project and INHES, is that Mediterranean diet, consumed in moderation and respecting the variety of all its elements (pasta in the first place), is good to your health.

Of course, after ridding yourself of all those nasty ingrained carb-related biases, the next step (unfortunately) isn’t to cultivate a habit of gorging yourself on massive piles of pasta — not if you want to stay healthy, anyway. As always, the main takeaway of the study is that moderation is key.

“What is interesting …,” said Dr. Gunter Kuhnle, from the University of Reading, “is that these results clearly show that it is wrong to demonize carbohydrates, as the data clearly show that consumption of a carbohydrate-rich food such as pasta does not have an adverse effect on body weight.

“The results of this study confirm current dietary recommendations and support the recommendation for a balanced diet.”

Sources:  Nutrition and Diabetes, Independent / Photo credits: Fraulein Ella, Spoon University

Tags: carbs, italy, mediterranean diet, obesity rates, pasta
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400 Italian Chefs Gather In Naples To Break Pizza World Record

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By Cooking Panda

With the summer Olympics fast approaching, world records seem to be on everyone’s minds. While running and swimming are great, however, we have our eyes set on a different type of world record—and this time Italy is the clear champion.

More than 400 Italian chefs recently gathered in Naples to break the world record for longest pizza, and the results were just as glorious as you might imagine. All in all, the chefs used 4,409 pounds of flour, 3,527 pounds of tomatoes, 4,409 pounds of mozzarella, and 441 lbs of water to craft their mouthwatering masterpiece.

The result? 6,080 feet of pizza perfection.

While the chefs clearly had quantity accounted for, you’ll be glad to hear that quality did not fall by the wayside when breaking this most delicious of world records. Sources report that only the finest ingredients were used in every step of the cooking process, and the pizza was even baked in a wood-fired oven. That’s right. All 6080 feet of it was more gourmet than the single-serving pies we regularly demolish!

Personally, we’re thinking that a move to Italy might be in order. If they can make over a mile of gourmet pizza along the beautiful Neapolitan waterfront, what can’t they do? Take a moment to imagine a world full of wood-fired pizza, bread, and pasta before giving these glorious photos one last glance and heading back to work.

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Source: Metro / Photo credit: Metro

Tags: Chef, italy, Naples, Pizza, World Record
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It Is Now Legal To Steal Food In Italy

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By Cooking Panda

The Italian courts are finally looking after the interests of someone other than Silvio Berlusconi.

In a country “with a burden of 60 billion Euros in corruption per year,” Italian citizens were shocked this week to learn of a recent court ruling that protects the lives of society’s most vulnerable members. After a five-year legal battle, the Italian Supreme Court of Cassation finally ruled in the case of a starving homeless man who stole food in order to survive. The Court decided that the man’s thievery was “not a crime” because it occurred “in the face of the immediate and essential need for nourishment.”

More simply put, it is now legal for starving individuals to steal necessary food in Italy.

The homeless man in question, Roman Ostriakov, was arrested five years ago after stealing 4.70 Euros worth of sausages and cheese from a Genoa grocery store. Though he was starving at the time he committed the crime, Ostriakov was charged a 100 Euro fine and spent six months in jail following the incident before embarking on the multi-year legal battle that ended with the May 2 ruling.

In the Supreme Court’s official statement, the justices lay out the details of their decision, stating, “The condition of the defendant and the circumstances in which the seizure of merchandise took place prove that he took possession of that small amount of food in the face of an immediate and essential need for nourishment, acting therefore in a state of necessity.” 

Unsurprisingly, this declaration sparked massive outcry across Europe, evoking both positive and negative responses. Some critics mocked the fact that such a trivial case was brought to trial in the first place, suggesting that the Italian justice system would do better to focus its efforts on more important issues.  Others lauded the ruling as major human rights landmark, legitimizing basic human kindness in the eyes of the law.

Either way, there is no question that the Court’s decision marks an important turning point in Italy’s legal stance toward the homeless. Only time will tell whether or not the ruling pays off for the country and its most vulnerable residents.

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Source: Vice, BBC News / Photo credit: Taste of Sicily

Tags: Court Ruling, italy, Ostriakov, Stealing Food
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Italy Might Give Kids Wine Drinking Lessons In School

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By Cooking Panda

Italy’s known for its wine, and it’s about to make the classy adult beverage something kids can learn in school!

Italian legislators drafted a bill that would allow children as young as 6 years old to take wine lessons in elementary school. One hour per week would be dedicated to “wine culture and history.”

“Italy is now the biggest wine producer in the world, it is our history, and we should be happy and proud to teach our children about it,” Senator Dario Stefano said, The Drinks Busines reported.

While wine tasting won’t be in the curriculum itself, the classes will focus on proper use of the beverage and discourage abuse.

“There will be no tastings, since we believe the body can’t metabolise alcohol before 17 years of age,” wine-taster Vito Intini said, The Sun reported. Italy’s wine production increased 10 percent in 2015.

Looks like sommeliers are about to become a popular profession in the wine capital of the world!

Sources: The Drinks Business, The Sun / Photo credit: Quinn Dombrowski/Flickr

Tags: drinking, italy, kids, School, wine
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