Tag Archives: tradition

Wiener Schnitzel luxury

For some Italians, the traditional recipe of Austria is somehow a copy of “cotoletta alla milanese”. That is one of the most famous dishes in Italy. This is wrong because Wiener Schnitzel is made in a different way. Not only the preparation is different, but also the type of meat used. That’s why I was really happy to taste it during my trip to Vienna. I am not going to explain the recipe. Because I am not a food blogger, but I want to focus on my experience.

I had a Wiener Schnitzel luxury, in a superb hotel’s restaurant. The Austrian capital offers many great places where to eat. From the budget level to the top. I want to write about the restaurant in the Hotel Sacher. The five-star accommodation is in front of the Opera. It has a luxury and elegant restaurant where they offer superb food. Among them also the meat prepared in Vienna style.

Wiener Schnitzel in Restaurant Grune Bar

The setting is very elegant, with wooden decorations, 19th-century paintings, and refined textiles. It has a majestic ambiance where the guest feels like a king. As a luxury restaurant, it counts on very professional staff. Maitre and waiters are kind, precise, and fast. Those elements are really important, but never as the menu. The food is the main feature, also when it includes a Wiener Schnitzel.

It looks a simple recipe, but this means that it has to be cooked very well. Anyway, the cook combine tradition and innovation, experimenting and presenting every recipe with creativity. The Wiener Schnitzel is only one of the various proposals of the menu. In the middle, they bring to guests some specialty to taste. Also at the end of the meal, they give some sweets to conclude the dinner.

The Hotel Sacher is historical and its Restaurant Grune Bar gives a unique gastronomic experience. To gladden the people there is a pianist that play all evening. If you want to taste a gourmet and elegant dinner in Vienna, or to try one of the best Wiener Schnitzel, don’t miss the chance to visit this restaurant. The prices are well related to the quality offered.

Get more tips about Vienna’s restaurants with traditional recipes here.

 

New Year’s Eve in Europe

The New Year’s Eve is getting closer and we need ideas. Till today I was thinking of a relaxing night with friends or something like that, but one of my friends proposed me to search for a short trip. Well, he literally asked me some last minute proposal. I am still not convinced to accept, but at least I want to help him. That is why I started my research online.

I love to travel so it is certainly not a big deal to prepare the luggage and to go abroad for a few days. But I travel often and maybe I can enjoy these holidays at home. Maybe just visiting friends around me. Anyway, I am not here to share my wish about the New Year’s Eve, but to tell you about my research and to ask you some ideas also.

New Year’s Eve trips

Generally, when I search online for some advice I have already a general idea, but not this time. So I have to combine the last minute proposal according to my (and the ones of my friends) interests. The New Year’s Eve offers are really a lot, also if many hotels, at least in Italy, seems fully booked. Amsterdam, Paris, London, Berlin and many other destinations in Europe.

Stay in Europe is better to not lose too much time in traveling. I decided to check the various events around the main cities. It can be funny to attend a concert. It is also better to see something innovative or exclusive. What to do? Where to go? These questions are in my mind all the time, but I need to win the challenge: find a good place for New Year’s Eve.

The events of New Year’s Eve

Rome, Milan, Turin, Naples will host big concerts, but Italy is not in our wish. We want to go out of our country. Then it is not a too crowdy place, but just some fun with new people. There are also proposals for a break in nature, mountains to see the snow and stay close to the fireplace. We need a last second travel offer for the New Year’s Eve.

A plane, a room and nothing more. This is what we are searching for. Of course, it has to be a good destination, where to have fun. Possibly a place where I have never been. Maybe this is too much for my friends. Reading the New Year’s Eve idea I get confused. What to do? Maybe you can help and maybe my friends will easily decide.

European cities and New Year’s Eve

The first proposal in Madrid, Spain: the capital appears as a must for party lovers. There are a lot of events, some places where to drink and dance and they have also a good cuisine. At midnight they eat, as the tradition says, a bunch of grapes. Then there is Madeira Islands in Portugal. There is a cruise ship that starts from Funchal and there are fireworks on the sea. In 2006 they were recognized by the Guinness World Records for the largest display of the fireworks in the world.

The New Year’s Eve is cool also in London, UK. The sky at midnight becomes a blaze of light and colors. They organized a big firework show. On 1st January there will be a parade with 8,500 performers from 20 different countries. In Berlin, Germany, at the Brandenburger Gate they will have more than two kilometers of fun stages for shows, party tents, light, and laser shows as well as a mass of food and drink stands. An amazing street party.

Other proposals

In Paris, France, the New Year’s Eve will have a magical setting with the Eiffel Tower, the Seine, the bridges. They offer a special festive menu: scallop céviche, duckling breast, Christmas Log. All accompanied by a live orchestra. Edinburgh, Scotland, host Edinburgh’s Hogmanay, one of the biggest world’s celebrations. It consists of a Torchlight Procession that will end with a fireworks show.

In Brussels, Belgium, they will play more than 60 DJs in 15 different New Year’s Eve parties around the city. The charming streets will become a big discotheque. They will play from rock’n’roll to hip-hop. Dubrovnik, Croatia, will be full of performers to entertain people, also with music. Then in Vienna, Austria, in the City Hall Square and in Prater there will be great events. The first one is a gala dinner with festive ball and opera. The second one is a concert with a hip club and sophisticated bar.

Among the proposals, there are many other cities as Prague and Stockholm, but I guess there is enough to choose. Also, research on Booking.com gave me some ideas. In fact, there are some hotel offers. Now we need only to prepare our credit card.

And you?

What will you do for your New Year’s Eve? Any ideas? Do you have some tips? What would you choose among the proposals that I found? Share your traditional party or just some curious way to celebrate. I will appreciate it a lot. You can just write in comments.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Holidays’ tradition: Italian Epifania

You should know the Italian holidays’ tradition if you want to travel to Italy at the very beginning of January. After celebrating Christmas, Saint Stephen (on 26th December) patron of Italy, and New Year’s Eve there is one more important event. Especially for Kids. It is something more curious. For us, the Christmas holidays finish on 6th January, with Befana, an old lady.

Maybe it is not only an Italian holiday’s tradition but here it is like a second Santa Claus for kids. Someone, joking, define Befana as the wife of Santa. Anyway, this imaginary person comes from the folklore. It is a bit sad also because this character represents the last day of festivity.

Holidays’ tradition: the Befana

In origin, Befana was part of the holiday’s tradition in Rome and it became well known by all Italians in the 20th century. We believe that the name of this character is just the translation (mispronunciation) of the Greek word Epifania, that it means appearance.

The Roman holiday’s tradition was concerning a gift exchange made at the beginning of January. It was a festivity in honor of Ianus and Strenia. We call ‘strenna’ a Christmas gift. Anyway, the kids expect some presents.

How Befana looks like in holidays’ tradition?

The holidays’ tradition sees the Befana as an old woman shriveled by the ailments of age and cold, with few teeth. Her face wrinkled and sometimes, but not always, she has a very prominent nose to emphasize her old age and the little beauty due to her age. The old aspect derives from a symbolic representation of the old year. Once it is ended, it can be burned. To burn puppets is a tradition also in the North of Europe.

To shelter adequately, the Befana wears long, lysed and jotted patches. She often wears an apron. She also uses heavy anti-cold socks and comfortable shoes. But she doesn’t use boots much more suited to the witches of fairy tales. On the shoulders, sometimes hunched, she always has a heavy and colored wool shawl and not a fluttering cape. A true Befana uses only a handkerchief of heavy cloth (the pezzóla) or a woolly knit scarecrow knotted under the chin. She has a broom, often used to lean or fly briefly. Sometimes she can also use a stick instead of a broomstick. In the imaginary, the Befana rides the broom.

What does the Befana do?

The character has her own holidays’ tradition style. She has no sack of gifts, but she brings her gifts or her charcoal in jute sacks unmade and siphon. This takes the form of huge socks, or in a wicker basket. It depends on the territoriality and the tradition of the place where it is celebrated.

As the legend of the holidays’ tradition says, the Befana delivers sweets to good children or coal and onion to naughty children. Coal – or even ash – from the ancient ritual symbol of bonfires was initially inserted into socks or shoes along with sweets. This in remembrance of the seasonal renewal, but also of burned puppets. In the Catholic moral view of the following centuries, Befana was putting only the coal and the onions into socks and shoes as punishment. Only children who had behaved badly during the previous year got these gifts.

Will you receive sweets or coal?

Italian culture

Before to visit Italy it is good to know something about the holiday‘s tradition of the country. Especially if you have the chance to live them going around in the right period. I have prepared more posts about culture, curiosities, and information about Italy. You can visit the section of my blog. So you will find something useful and also some ideas to plan your Italian tour. I add often new articles. All of them from my direct experience.

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Now I let you organize the trip to Italy. I am sure you will like to spend your holidays in my country. You can use free air miles to reserve your ticket and find a house sitter who will take care of your house while you are away.

Feel free to ask for some information or tips for your trip. And share your impressions after the trip. Comments below and contact form are at your disposal. I will be happy to read your notes and answer.

Christmas lunch tradition

Here it is almost time for Christmas lunch and in my house, we are getting ready. I renew my wishes to all of you. To whom is celebrating this day: how is it going? I hope very well, I hope you are having a really smiling Christmas, full of joy. Well, today I am at home, so I have no travels to share or advice to give. I want just to give you a recipe. Well, I am not a good cook and this is not a food blog, but it is an opportunity for me to share a bit of tradition.

What we eat for Christmas lunch

In Piedmont, my region, we have a special tradition, different from the rest of Italy. We eat “Agnolotti”. I enclose the recipe for one of the versions. In each area of Piedmont, there are differences, but this one is surely appreciated by most of the people. Before to let you how we prepare them, I prefer to give some curiosities.

Agnolotti is the traditional recipe for Christmas lunch, but this food was invented for the Carnival. Women were preparing this dish while men were playing to cuciòn, a game similar to bowling.

To taste real agnolotti it is better, according to the taste of some gourmets, don’t use any dress, but we have the habit to put some sauce or some broth. Old people eat them drinking Barbera wine. Some cooks roast them and some others eat Agnolotti as an appetizer. In my family, we have it as the first course.

The recipe

I go directly to post the recipe for Christmas lunch, just letting you know that the picture is coming from my house. They are completely made by us. As the tradition asks. The recipe was written and translated by Armando Gambera

Agnolotti al sugo d’arrosto

Ingredients

for the filling:

  • 500 g veal meat
  • 500 g pork meat
  • 5 garlic yolks
  • rosemary
  • 3 eggs
  • a ladle of stock
  • 500 g Savoy cabbage
  • one glass olive oil
  • 100 g grated parmesan

for the dough:

  • one kilo 00 wheat flour
  • 12 eggs

Procedure

First they made the filling, called the empiora.

First of all roast both the veal and pork meat: after having fried it lightly on high fire for ten-fifteen minutes with three garlic yolks, a bit of rosemary, salt, and pepper, let it cook on a slow fire for an hour, adding some stock from time to time if necessary.

Let the meat cool down, take the garlic and rosemary away and mince the rest carefully.

In the meantime boil the cabbage and cook it in a pan for some minutes with oil and garlic; then mince it.

Now add the meat and put the mix in a bowl, add the parmesan, three whole eggs, and mix. The filling is now ready.

The dough

Put the flour on pasteboard and give it the shape of a volcano.

In the hole put three whole eggs and nine yolks: knead carefully until the dough is ready, adding soma more flour if necessary.

Cut the dough in thick slices, then with a rolling pin or a machine make each slice into a very thin leaf.

Take little portions of the filling and put them on the dough, one cm. away from one another.

Then fold the dough over the filling and close it by pressing.

Now separate the agnolotti from one another.

They must e square, about one cm. long, well filled; the more the filling, the better; but the agnolotti must not be to big.

Let the agnolotti rest in a cool place for a couple of hours before cooking them in salted boiling water for some minutes; take them away and dress them with the sauce made by the meat you have roasted to make the filling; or with some melted butter and sage.

Enjoy the Christmas lunch Agnolotti!