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Lasagna or lasagne: Which is correct?

Lasagne or lasagna? It’s everyone’s favorite cheesy Italian casserole. Layers of al dente noodles create a deliciously starchy structure on which we pile creamy ricotta, tomato-y meat sauce, and melty mozzarella. It’s a comfort food like no other. But what’s with the spelling? Have you noticed sometimes lasagna ends in an ‘e’ rather than an ‘a’? While it might seem like they are interchangeable (and they basically are in the U.S.), there is actually a method to this pasta madness. In Italian, ‘lasagne’ is the plural name given to flat, rectangular pieces of pasta. Whereas ‘lasagna’ is actually the singular form of ‘lasagne.’ ‘Lasagna’ is also the American English spelling of the word, with ‘lasagnas’ being the American plural. English speakers outside of North America usually use ‘lasagne.’ Whether you spell it with an A or an E, the pronunciation is the same. The last syllable sounds like “ya” —…

This is the most popular type of cuisine in the world, according to a survey

It may come as no surprise that the cuisine that claims pizza and pasta is a world-wide favorite. That’s right. A survey found that Italian food is the most popular cuisine in the world. The global survey of more than 25,000 across 24 countries, conducted by YouGov, found that 99 percent of Italians love Italian food (duh!), and more than 90 percent of Spaniards, French, Swedes, Philippines, Australians, and Brits also favorite the saucy fare above any other foreign cuisines. Considering all of the delicious foods of the world, taking the number one spot is quite the culinary honor, and it’s a big step for a food that once considered lower-class fare. John F. Mariani, author of, “How Italian Food Conquered the World,” once wrote that Italian food “never received anything like the respect accorded French cuisine, even though the ingredients used in French kitchens were no better than in…

Prosecco’s popularity has experts warning consumers of counterfeits

Prosecco is one of the most popular drinks, but experts warned that the demand for this high quality Italian sparkling wine has meant an increase in counterfeits products. So what is so special about Prosecco? Prosecco is a controlled designation of origin in North east Italy, where sparkling wine, or semi-sparkling, is principally made from the Glera grape variety. Two quality assurance labels help protect the Prosecco region outside of Italy — DOC – Denominazione di Origine Controllata (controlled designation of origin) and DOCG – Denominazione di Origine Controllata e Garantita (controlled designation of origin guaranteed). Despite these labels, the Food Standards Agengy says they are seeing an increase in the number of knock-offs coming out of Eastern Europe. They’re being passed off as the real deal, but out of the 4,000 samples sent to laboratories for testing every year, around 1,000 are counterfeit. According to FSA wine inspector, Mark Dawson, a…

Parmesan crisps make for a perfect, crunchy appetizer

One ingredient recipe? I’m totally in. These paper-thin wafers make for incredible appetizers. A thin layer of fresh-grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese is sprinkled into a hot non-stick pan until it bubbles and forms a lacy pattern, full of delicious cheese flavor. Your appetizer effort can end there. But you may also choose to top with a touch more flavor by adding basil, sesame seeds, cumin or black pepper. I chose to use thin jalapeño slices on some and a dried garlic and rosemary blend on others — our ingredient count is still only at three so I figured that was still in the “insanely easy” category of cooking. It’s best to experiment a little at first so you can get the heat in the pan just right. Once you have it right, you can turn out tons of them in no time. Make sure your cheese is real Parm-Reggiano or another hard, grating cheese.…

You’ll soon be spending more for that cheap wine

Just when you found a few good, cheap wines to rely on, they’re about to get way more expensive. According to data from the Paris-based International Organization of Vine and Wine (OIV), wine production was down this year to the lowest production levels seen since 1957. According to Reuters, it’s the weather causing the problem. Three of the world’s top wine producers, Italy, France and Spain, were hit by harsh and unusual weather last year, like drought, hailstorms and late spring frost, leading to an overall drop of 14.6 percent in production. The 2017 harvest only brought 25 billion liters of wine. That’s down from the 2015 harvest which produced 27.6 billion liters, and the 2016 harvest which brought 26.7 billion liters. The continent accounts for 65 percent of global wine production. The OIV told the Independent that this doesn’t necessarily mean there will be a shortage of wine unless the weather conditions and poor harvest…

8 Christmas traditions from around the world

In today’s globalized economy, the Christmas holiday can seem a little too expected. Images of Santa Claus, decorated evergreen trees, and candy canes be found all over the world. But if you dig a little deeper, you can still find people celebrating the beloved holiday in their own special way — particularly with food. While you’re tearing up tissue paper and singing festive songs this Christmas morning, consider what people around the world might be doing to add to their holiday cheer. https://www.instagram.com/p/BcqXOPkn9mb/?tagged=japankfc Japan Christmas is not an official holiday in Japan, but that doesn’t stop people from waiting in long lines at their local KFC. So why all the love for the fast food joint? December 25 is the one day a year KFCs in Japan serve “Christmas Chicken” — a tradition that dates back to a wildly successful ad campaign from 1974. The campaign was so successful, the people still flock to KFC…

The World’s Best Cheese has been named

The best cheese in the world has been named, and neither Italy nor France can claim the honor. It’s created in Cornwall, a county in southwest England. The cheese is called Cornish Kern, and it now officially the Supreme Champion of the 2017 World Cheese Awards. Produced by Lynher Dairies, the cow’s milk cheese has a dark black, wax-like rind. Lynher Dairies describes the cheese as being “buttery with caramel notes.” According to iNews, it’s a “Gouda-style recipe” and is made with “Alpine starter cultures.” It’s aged for about 16 months, producing a hard, “flaky and almost dry” cheese. Cornish Kern beats hundreds of cheeses from around the world to win “World’s Best Cheese” title https://t.co/aoVE6mqjp5 pic.twitter.com/3Jq6GBunw0 — Eater London (@eaterlondon) November 18, 2017 It might not be a region commonly thought of for cheese, but this isn’t the first time Cornish cheese has received international recognition. A variety called Cornish Blue won Best…

For Italians, pizzelle have always made the holidays

Pizzelle, piazelle or pizzele. However you spell it, to Italians, there is no feast without them. Another holiday season is approaching, and with it will be stacks of gorgeous golden pizzelle. As we bite into this crispy confection and gorge on three or four biscuits before dinner even begins, we should take a minute and consider what this cookie has meant to families for millennia. The pizzelle’s often misspelled, mispronounced name, comes from the Italian word “pizze” meaning “round” and “flat”. Many other cultures have adopted versions of the thin cookie and renamed it accordingly. The Belgians have the lukken, and the Norwegians call it krumkake. But the central Italian region of Abruzzo is credited with creating the first pizzelle, and on a grander scale, what is thought to be the world’s first cookie. Centuries ago, families would have pizzelle irons customized with their family crests or other meaningful designs. The irons would be passed down for generations. Modern day pizzelle makers are…

National Pizza Day: A Slice of Shared Italian-American History

(Originally published Feb. 8, 2017 for National Pizza Day) This year you will likely eat about 23 pounds of pizza. And you’re not alone in your cheese-laden love affair. Collectively, Americans will devour about 3 billion pizzas before the end of this calendar year. September 20 is National Pepperoni Pizza Day, and we should take a minute to consider whether there is any other single food that has captured our cultural creativity or embraced our ever-changing, national heritage more than this versatile staple? Pizza embodies the region where it is made. For independent pizzeria owners, it’s a labor or love. More than 75,000 pizza restaurants make up 17% of all restaurants nationwide. In the U.S., pizza has become a passion. But of course we know, like most foods, Americans can’t take credit for its invention. The origins of pizza could actually be credited to anyone who first learned the secret of…