Monthly Archives: November 2017

Coppiette

Coppiette are strips of meat that have been dried, cured with salt and pepper and then seasoned with fennel and pepperoncino (hot Italian chilli peppers). South East of Rome, in the province of Frosinone, the locals include garlic and white wine to make coppiette ciociare. This is simple fare and was part of the staple diet enjoyed in times past by both farmer and humble peasant. It has some close relatives. Coppiette would have been understood as jerky to the pioneers opening up the American West in the nineteenth century, and to the native Indians the settlers encountered. The Dutch voortrekkers (meaning literally fore-pullers) who made the great trek across South Africa to escape the British in the 1830’s and 1840’s, were sustained by something strikingly similar – they called it biltong.

It’s not hard to understand its appeal. These dried meats are rich in protein and residual fat. They also have high levels of salt added during the drying process to inhibit any bacterial activity. The tired and hydrated Lazian farmworker, after a day in the field, chewed on coppiette and was quickly revived by a concentrated shot of energy and nutrients. These ‘sticks’ of meat packed away to almost nothing in his pocket; they were also inherently stable because all the excess fat and moisture had been removed. Nestling in the dark recesses of a pack or pocket, they could last for days or even months.

Then and now, the raw material used to make the cured meat depends on the location. The cowboys and native Americans cut strips from beef and game species including buffalo, deer and moose. In South Africa biltong made from beef remains the most common variety available, but today the Afrikaaner also uses ostrich and game species including kudu, wildebeest and springbok. In the Lazio region of Italy, horse and donkey were the common options available. Today most coppiette are made from pork.

However, with their aversion to pork, the Jewish community makes its own version using beef. A good butcher might be able to sell you some coppiette using meat sourced from the prestigious Maremmana, a breed of cattle reared in Maremma, former marshland straddling southern Tuscany and northern Lazio. If you visit the small town of Genzano, residents might offer you their own rare speciality using meat from the donkey.

In times past, no part of the animal was wasted; today butchers, and those still making it in the home, concentrate on the sinewy muscle tissue surrounding the ham, shoulder or abdomen. Strips 10-15 centimetres long and 2 centimetres thick are cut from the carcass and seasoned in wooden vats, before being gently cooked for half an hour in a refractory brick oven fired by brushwood. Any excess water is drained off and the meat is baked for a further half hour before being left to dry for up to 48 hours in wire cages.

Internet Changed Pizza History

People discuss their favorite pizzerias with the same emotionally charged energy as they would discuss politics or their favorite sports team. Pizza has become so entrenched into the culture that it is easy to forget, pizza was once simply peasant food. It was for many years, enjoyed by the lower echelons of society, who could afford little else.

For most of the long and romantic history, this was a regional dish. The great pies in New York stayed in New York. The inside secrets of the best New York pizza remained in the boroughs and neighborhoods where it was created. There would be an occasional newspaper or magazine article. Television and radio reporters would sporadically discuss slices on regional and local venues. However, unless you visited New York and knew where to look, these inside secrets remained mysteries to the rest of the country.

The pies in New Haven stayed in New Haven. Frank Pepe began making pizza in 1925. Sally’s founded by Franks, nephew, Salvatore Consiglio, came into being a decade later. Modern Apizza, also in New Haven developed their own incredible masterpieces. Up the road in Derby, Connecticut, Roseland Apizza had created their own brand of incredible cuisine, independently of anyone else.

Most people outside of New Haven were clueless to the pizza being created there. This was true for most of the residents of the entire state. Most Connecticut residents had never thought of traveling to New Haven to eat pizza. And why would they? They had their own great pizza, or so they thought.

And so it had been across the country. State by state, region by region. From the East Coast to the Heartland. From the Deep South to the West Coast. From Chicago to Los Angeles. From Portland to Louisiana. Pizza made in that region stayed in that region. There was no cross over. No sharing of pizza ideas.

The only way you discovered regional pizza was by knowing someone who lived there or by traveling yourself to a particular area and searching it out. Other than that, pizza was regionalized remained hidden and undiscovered.

This was true not only of the United States but across the entire planet. Pizzerias in Italy, all of Europe and other continents hid their pizza secrets to all but the fortunate residents and random traveler.

However, things were about to change. Enter the great game changer. The Big Kahuna of Information was about to turn regionalized pizza into a global point of argument and dialogue.

The floodgates of the great pizza symposium were opened. The Internet was the single biggest catalyst to educate, inform and open the debate of how to make pizza and where to find great pizza. The earth had truly become a global village of pizza. Now various countries, regions cities and towns were able to showcase their own marvel of pizza.

Sugar Free Jam Making

The first thing that caught my attention is that Pomona’s is the only pectin that is pure pectin. Other brands are not pure. Traditional pectin has dextrose a corn derivative or other acids. These things are added to make the pectin easier to mix with the fruit, but may not be what we want to eat.

Because it is pure pectin, you cannot add Pomoma’s Pectin to the fruit directly or it will clump. Always stir the pectin into an amount of dry sweetener that is no more than ½ the amount of mashed fruit or juice. Always stir the pectin into an amount of liquid sweetener that is no more than ¼ the amount of mashed fruit or juice. Add any remaining sweetener after the pectin is dissolved.

There is another thing you need to know about Pomona’s pectin. This pectin must be mixed well in enough sweetener to keep the pectin grains from clumping together in the hot fruit. If you follow these guidelines, and have a recipe, you will be successful and you will love your jam or jelly.

The reason I like to use Pomona’s is because it doesn’t gel with sugar, but calcium and it is derived from citrus peel. This means that you do not have to use a set amount of sugar to make the jam or jelly set up to the consistency that you want. Prior to finding Pomona’s, I had used Clear Gel to make freezer jam so I didn’t have to put so much sugar in it. Pomona’s Pectin makes a better texture in the jam or jelly. I can use any type of sweetener I want and as much as I want.

It helps to start your jam making experience using the recipes included or developed by the manufacturer, but you are not limited to them and there are tips on their web site to help you in developing your own recipes.

You can buy Pomona’s pectin in a 1 oz. package that will make 2 to 4 batches, or a ½ lb. or 1 lb. bag. It will keep indefinitely without going bad or getting too old to gel.

If you want less sugar in your diet, you will love Pomona’s Pectin.

Use Pomona’s Pectin to make healthy fruit jams and jellies. Give your family the very best jams and jellies you can make. Each package will make two to four batches so it is economical as well. Pomona’s Pectin is natural and healthy. It is Jam making time. Make it a healthy alternative.

Going The Extra Mile

When you come to think of it, it is a whole separate task to decide what to cook every day- not to mention grocery shopping and the time and hassle that takes. It is simply not everyone’s cup of tea and not everyone finds it satisfying enough.

I keep thinking how junk food is readily available no matter where you live in the city, so then why would anyone be motivated to cook healthy and stock up on fresh ingredients? The hold that takeout places and fast food have on us is intoxicating, to say the least because they are always there for you when you feel famished and they take little effort and much less money than buying all the things you would need for lunch or dinner. It is like they know our minds and how to sway them!

Even though it is not always possible to eat right; try to make a goal of squeezing in one nutrient-rich meal each day. At least this way you will be on track. Our problem is that we want to be in good shape with minimal elbow grease but that’s not always possible is it? Our bodies are worth the extra mile so don’t take shortcuts! If you want to have a longer, happier and healthier life, you need to redesign your priorities and improve your standard of eating. Your future self will thank you for it!

No one wants a time to come in their lives in which they are constantly rushing to the doctor and having all kind of ailments. Apart from avoiding cigarettes and alcohol, it is wise to evolve when it comes to deciding what to put in your body! I have in my experience heard people telling me how they don’t eat or enjoy potentially delicious vegetables like spinach, sweet potatoes, and leafy greens- not to mention their attitude towards Omega 3 oils rich fish, legumes, and probiotic-rich yogurt. I mean can you imagine the wonders these can do for your energy level and health? A tasteful salad can easily include all of these in one meal!

Every now and then treat yourself to a dessert or something fried, there is no harm in it but be wary of making it your whole life. Train yourself to enjoy the things that are good for your body and also taste brilliant. Trust me there are all kinds of recipes out there that will make you forget you ever wanted French fries. So go ahead and start taking care of yourself by eating more wholesome food! You won’t regret it!

Eating Healthy can be done!