Feb 11, 2015

Aglio, Olio e Peperoncino nominated Best Food Blog!

I knew it was the flu coming. Those initial aching symptoms, head, bones, eyelids... everything starts aching. It was past the day of my blog's 6th birthday and I couldn't find the energy or desire to celebrate. That gloomy morning, all I wanted to do was just lay in bed, and feel very sorry for myself.

Lazily checking my blog reader I chanced upon the Italy Magazine Annual Blog Awards post, and eager to find out this year's fortunate nominees, I clicked through to the shortlist.

My heart skipped a beat. And it wasn't the flu.

Aglio, Olio e Peperoncino has been nominated for Best Food Blog!

Yes, it has! If you've been reading this blog for the past 6 years, or have just arrived here, you need to know this is a very big deal for me. Blogging has changed my life, and Aglio, Olio e Peperoncino, a crazy long name with an impossible URL, is the butterfly cocoon.

Italy Magazine is a platform on all things Italian: food, lifestyle, language, culture, art, fashion, accommodation, travel and more. Every year the magazine gathers nominations for a number of categories honoring the best in food, travel, art & culture, fashion and living in Italy. My little food blog – started on the rainy night of January 24th, 2009 – is now in very good company, nominated along with 9 other great blogs in the running for Best 2014 Food Blog. I still can't believe it.

Want to help me win, and appropriately celebrate 6 years of happiness? If you're an Aglio, Olio e Peperoncino fan – PLEASE VOTE!

It takes a few seconds and there is no registering required, all you have to do is click on Vote for Best Food Blog under Aglio, Olio e Peperoncino, and you're done!

Here, I'll provide the link for you: http://www.italymagazine.com/blog-awards/2014?field_blog_category_tid=44499

I really appreciate your vote! If you think anyone else might like to vote for me too, it would be great to share the news with them ;-) Voting closes on February 27th, winners will be announced March 3rd.

And if I win, there will be pizza and bubbly for everyone ;)

Until then, GRAZIE and buon appetito!

Feb 1, 2015

Parmigiano, not your average parmesan

It takes 16 liters of grass-fed cow's milk to make a single wheel of Parmigiano. And many months to age it to perfection. During this time each wheel is placed on wooden shelves that are cleaned manually every 7 days. At 12 months, the ruling consortium inspects each and every cheese wheel. The rounds are tested by a master grader whose only instruments are a hammer and his expert ear. By tapping the wheel in various points, he can identify undesirable inaccuracies within. Those cheeses that pass the test are then heat branded on the rind with the consortium's logo.

What's known to the English-speaking world simply as Parmesan, is locally called parmigiano, but the actual name is grana, and it is probably Italy's single most recognized specialty. Still produced according to an eight-century-old method with the same ingredients and techniques.
Yet not all grana is created equal.

There's Grana Padano and Parmigiano-Reggiano. Both are made in the same way and in more or less the same area. They share a similar color, aroma and flavor nuances. But they're not identical. And the slight variation — regulated by official monitoring — makes all the difference.

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