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| Wysłany: Wto 4:20, 12 Kwi 2011 Temat postu: air jordan 2011 Castagnaccio, the Traditional Ital
Castagnaccio is believed to have derived from the primitive cakes Roman soldiers carried with them on long journeys across the Roman Empire. The cake made from chestnut flour combined with water and a pinch of salt, forming a thick paste, which is then usually topped with rosemary and pine nuts. Time has evolved the recipe somewhat, with the optional addition of raisins, prunes or other fruits to the topping.
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The Italian Chestnut Harvest
Chestnuts are an integral part of the Italian economy. Accounting for about 10% of the forests in Italy, chestnut trees cover 2,000 acres of the country’s twenty regions. Mid-October through mid-November is the time of the chestnut harvest in Italy, and no part of the plant is waisted. Its leaves are used for animal bedding, the wood for building, and the nuts are bottled, dried, eaten fresh or ground into flour. In the Liguria region of Italy, chestnut flour is used to make many different pastas and gnocchi. The harvest is a celebratory time of year in Italy as well, accompanied by many festivals filled with jubilant folk music, outdoor banquets [link widoczny dla zalogowanych], and sporting events.
A Different Kind of Cake
The chestnut has been seen as a staple of the poor man’s diet for centuries. These nuts provided essential carbohydrates, nutrition and energy to the working poor population who [link widoczny dla zalogowanych], often, did not have the money to buy flour all the time. It took nothing for people to walk into the woods and gather their own chestnuts, grind them into flour, and cook with what they had. This was the case in ancient Italy, and while chestnuts are not needed purely for survival anymore, they still hold vital meaning in Italian culture. One of the most famous recipes to result from these chestnut-collections was for the age-old cake castagnaccio.
Castagnaccio History and Technique
Also, the cake is not what typically comes to mind when one thinks of a “cake” - castagnaccio is made in a very wide pan, making it often only 2 cm high, and no icing to top it off. The crust is slightly crunchy, while the inside remains moist. Chestnut flour is a very unique flour to bake with, for it has a very sweet taste, however, there is an underlying, smokey flavor as well. Despite the properties of chestnut flour, castagnaccio is the perfect dessert for those who enjoy a subtle sweetness in desserts [link widoczny dla zalogowanych], for the cake doesn’t overpower the palate with sweetness.
For a traditional castagnaccio recipe, visit the blog of Aurelio Barattini.
For an lemony version of castagnaccio by master chef Mario Batali, visit Food Network.
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