ZZAFF! Castagnaccio

Our ZZAFF! season begins with an autumnal recipe which has chestnut as the main ingredient. Chestnut is an ancient plant whose presence in the Ticino Region extends from Mendrisiotto to Leventina. Chestnut has been one of the staple ingredients in ticinese cooking since the Middle Ages, due to its high nutritional value. It’s nutritional value can be preserved for a long time through drying or grounding into flour. Among the different recipe sin which chestnut is used I chose the castagnaccio, a sweet which is typical of Northern Italy but has always been very popular in Ticino too. The ingredients are simple as well as the recipe is.
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ZZAFF! Gazosa casalinga

Summer time has finally arrived! For the fourth episode of ZZAFF! I decided to try out a classic drink which is very commonly drunk during the warm season: gazosa. It’s sort of a homemade version of Sprite, and it is usally mixed with red wine or beer (this version is called panaché) but flavoured versions of the drink can be found in shops. One of the most common, and my favourite, is tangerine. This has been the first time I tried to make gazosa and I was very pleased about the result. Next time I will try and flavour it with other blends of herbs. Why don’t you try it out too?

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ZZAFF! Riso in cagnone

This recipe, which I proposed in the latest episode of ZZAFF!, is a simple one. A recipe reminiscent of times when even with a simple rice dish could satiate the stomach as much as please one’s taste buds. Rice, mostly cooked as a risotto, is very common in Ticino’s culinary tradition probably because of its high content of starch, a quality that makes it a highly satiating food. Risotto was cooked mostly in middle-class families, while farmers would just add a handful to their soup. This recipe is simple to make yet very tasty.
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ZZAFF! Torta di pane Ticinese

It is with pleasure that I announce to you a new collaboration with some friends of a local radio station, Radio Gwendalyn. From now on I will be collaborating with some recipes for their new interregional podcasts, ZZAFF!, a program in collaboration with the Geneva-based Radio Vostok radio. Once a month we will meet in the “Svizzeria” to discover the wonders of the artistic and cultural Swiss scene. This program was especially thought to promote our linguistic region to the French-speaking friends. We will be recording one hour program in the language of Voltaire, while our friends from radio Vostock will record an all-Italian podcast. Interesting isn’t it? Alan, Chief Editor of Radio Gwen, asked me to take care of the regional cuisine column. And how not to start with a classic of Ticino cuisine? la torta di pan, or bread cake, Ça va sans dire!

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