The Voice Is… Carmen Pierri

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Congratulations go out to Carmen Pierri, who just won The Voice Italy this past week! Carmen hails from Montoro, Avellino Province, and, at age 16, was the youngest of this year’s contestants. Continue reading

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La Repubblica Italiana As Seen From Irpinia

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Celebrations for the Festa della Repubblica begin at the Altar of the Fatherland monument in Rome and include a flyover in the Italian colors, as seen here.

La Festa della Repubblica Italiana (Italian National Day) is celebrated annually on June 2 in commemoration of the 1946 referendum where Italians went to the polls to decide on what form of government they would like to have following World War II and the fall of fascism. On this day, 12, 717,923 votes were cast in favor of a republic, while 10,719, 284 were cast hoping to retain the monarchy. Following this vote, the male descendants of the House of Savoy were sent into exile. Continue reading

Yes, Honey!

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It seems like everyone is taking about honey these days– especially in my home region of northeastern Pennsylvania, where we are taking it by the pound to help with our early spring allergies!

While honey comes in a wide variety of types and flavors to appeal to every palate, it has been determined that some of the best honey in the world comes from Apicoltura Mattei, located in the town of Lapio in the Province of Avellino. Continue reading

The Best Panettone Comes From Irpinia

I have a confession to make… I cannot get enough of Panettone (the name loosely translates to “large bread”). We Americans have seen the brightly colored boxes with the string pop up all over during the holiday season. This year, I even discovered an incredible one imported to the US from the Milan region that had candied pumpkin, pumpkin cream and all sorts of delightful fall flavors. I tried it, loved it, and went back to Sam’s Club to buy three more. I love Panettone.

But even more than I love Panettone, I love Irpinia, so imagine my surprise when I saw an article from La Nostra Voce that claimed that the best traditional Panettone in all of Italy was deemed that created by Raffaele Romano of Pasticceria Fratelli Romano in Solofra, Avellino Province.

Oh, yes. This is a culinary dream come true. Just so you know, Milan is considered the “home” of traditional Panettone, so this was quite the coup for Signore Romano!

The competition was part of the Sweety of Milano Festival, part of which included Panettone Day. Signore Romano was one of 25 finalists in the competition and left victorious. Signore Romano’s Panettone was judged based off of how it looks, its color, quality of baking, how much it rose while baking, the quality of ingredients used, and… of course… taste.

Signore Romano was quoted by La Nostra Voce as saying, “I am very proud of this result. To take on an icon of Italian pastry such as the panettone is a great challenge for those of us in the baking profession. To see my creation reign supreme over more than 200 recipes in such a prestigious competition gives me enthusiasm to keep growing my skills and to take on new challenges.” (Translation by me)

Now for the month of October, Signore Romano and the other finalists were able to exhibit their creations in My Temporary Shop, a modern concept store in Corso Garibaldi in downtown Milano, similar to an American “pop up” store, where people had the opportunity to buy and taste the best Italian pastry creations.

For those of us who can’t fly over to Italy for Panettone, check out the Panettone Project by Weekend Bakery… and buon appetito!