Common wisdom dictates that one of the best ways to learn a foreign language is to move to the country where it’s spoken. If you’re learning Spanish, you would move to Spain, Argentina or any other Spanish-speaking country. If you’re learning Japanese, you would move to Japan, and so on. In theory, those should be the ideal places to learn our target language: the country where it’s spoken by everybody. I haven’t tried this approach yet, but I tried something similar. Between 2020 and 2022, I spent a lot of time learning and practicing German and Italian in Argentina and Uruguay. And in June 2023, I had the opportunity to visit Germany, Austria, and Italy for the first time. Here I’d like to share with you my experience using and speaking German and Italian in Berlin, Vienna, and Rome.[Read more…] about Speaking German and Italian Abroad
I have to admit that in the beginning, I thought this was a very strange recipe. A sweet salame? Made of chocolate? When I first learned about it (three months ago) it made no sense and sounded like a joke. But as I came back to it at the end of this project, after learning a bit more about the spirit of Italian cuisine, it makes more sense. Not only that: I loved it 😊.
I hadn’t pick this recipe at the start of the challenge, but just because it didn’t make it to the 12 final recipes. Instead of this one I had intended to prepared the vegan version of the zeppole. But that didn’t work out! 😅 I tried twice doing the zeppole, with two different recipes. The first try was aborted even before it got into the oven. The second didn’t turn out as I expected. It was that bad that I couldn’t even eat it. And now, back to the salami![Read more…] about Cooking in Italian (Week 12) Salame di Cioccolato
In Argentine, we know this dish as “arroz con azafrán”. It’s not exactly the same, but I would say it’s pretty close. I’ve eaten it many times, with and without chicken (before becoming vegan). The vegan version of this risotto replaces the usual butter and parmesan cheese with olive oil and nutritional yeast flakes. Following Nico’s suggestion, I also added a bit of cornstarch to make it creamier, without adding extra oil, cheese, or vegan butter.
I wonder if using coconut oil instead of olive oil for the mantecado at the end of the preparation would make a significant difference. I am curious! I’d probably try that on my next try. I added a bonus recipe: risotto al salto. It’s pretty much a rice tortilla/omelette. I thought it could well with vegan cheese inside, so I added some 😊.[Read more…] about Cooking in Italian (Week 11) Risotto allo Zafferano
To choose this recipe I didn’t have to look further into its ingredients. I didn’t even need to see a picture. It was love at first sight. When I first saw the name, I immediately liked it. With such a sweet name (torta tenerina ~ tender cake), it had to be good. And indeed it was! Among all the recipes, this was my favorite name 😊.
Before choosing a vegan version on YouTube I checked many recipes, including those which were not vegan. This looked like a super chocolaty cake. All the recipes asked for a lot of chocolate. Some had very little flour. The one I chose was made with rice flour (for extra tenderness!)[Read more…] about Cooking in Italian (Week 10) Torta tenerina
I got to know about ragù just last year, in 2020. One of my favorite sources to learn Italian, were the comedy videos I found on YouTube (for example, Casa Surace). And that’s exactly where I started hearing time and time again about this traditional Italian recipe. In the beginning, I thought it was something like the Argentinian estofado and that it always had to have some type of meat on it. Later on, I would learn that there were multiple types of ragù. Even vegetarian or vegan ones! 😊
When I picked this recipe I was aware that this is something you usually add to other dishes. So, in a sense, it’s not a dish in itself. But, as it looked like such an important part of the Italian culture, I wanted to have it on my list 😄. The one I prepared is based on soy. So far I tried it with pasta, as a sauce. It could also make a great lasagne filling. A good alternative to the lentil lasagna I did in Week 7!).[Read more…] about Cooking in Italian (Week 9) Ragù di Soia
How did I pick the recipes for this project? First I searched online for the most popular (or representative?) Italian dishes. I started from there. One other thing was my personal preference. I wanted to try preparing many of these recipes for a long time (such as the “pizza napoletana”, the “tiramisu” or the “lasagna”). But in a couple of cases, I just went with a dish just because I liked the name. I liked how it sounded. The “sbrisolona” is one of these 😊.
For some weird reason, I thought that if I had the “sfogliatelle”, I should also do the “sbrisolona”. They kind of sound similar, right? Or, at least, they start with an “s” and a consonant. I like words like that in Italian. Always! But… if I only had known that for this recipe I would have to use cornmeal, maybe I would have chosen another one 😄. Cornmeal is one of those few ingredients that I don’t like that much. Especially on sweet recipes! But I tried to do the best anyway.[Read more…] about Cooking in Italian (Week 8) Sbrisolona