While Halloween is only starting to catch on more recently in Italy as a day for costume parties, November 1st has long been a standing holiday on the Italian calendar – it’s All Saints Day (in Italian it’s Ognissanti or Tutti i Santi). This is a day when families honor their dead relatives, often visiting cemeteries to leave flowers and clean up graves. There are also sometimes more public celebrations in town centers. All Saints Day is a national holiday in Italy, so don’t be surprised if more than a few shops and attractions are closed for the day.
There are also more food festivals in November, some of them continuing on from October – like the many truffle festivals in northern and central Italy. November is typically when the vendors who sell roasted chestnuts are out in force in many Italian towns, and some places even have chestnut festivals.
If it wasn’t already raining and cold by the end of October in Italy, expect both of those things in abundance in November. In some areas you’ll still get lucky with relatively warm days, but most of the country is headed straight for winter weather.
Since the temperatures pretty much always go up as you head south in Italy, your best bet for finding the last warmth of autumn is to head south as well. Even if you do concentrate your trip in southern Italy, it’s not a bad idea to carry a small umbrella around anyway – and if you’re in the north, an umbrella (not to mention a warm coat) is basically a necessity.
Temperatures in November vary depending on where you are in Italy, but as a general rule of thumb these are the ranges:
Northern Italy: 35-50°F (2-10°C)
Central Italy: 45-60°F (7-16°C)
Southern Italy: 55-65°F (13-18°C)
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The fig tree (Ficus carica) is the result of a majestic plant, native to the Mediterranean area.
It is believed that the fig tree is native of 'Asia, but according to other sources, however, its origin is placed in the Middle East. In any case, surely its origin is very old.
In the Bible, for example, is cited as the first "dress" of the story: Adam and Eve "dressed" in fact, of fig leaves. In the Old Testament, the fig is mentioned as a symbol of abundance.
In India, the banyan tree is considered sacred, and the plant is called Ficus Religious.
In Greece the fig tree was involved in many myths, especially of an erotic nature, they also saw it as a sacred tree, and attributed to the god Dionysus, the birth of this tree.
It is said that Polyphemus used the juice produced from the fig to coagulate the milk and produce cheese in his cave. Aristotle documented fact, in one of his writings, both techniques clotting milk : the coagulation of animal origin and the one with fig juice .
Plato was a great lover of figs, and for this reason he was given the name of "eater of figs." Also recommended to eat this fruit because according to him, helped to strengthen the intelligence.
For the Romans, the fig tree, was a sacred plant as the vine and the olive tree: it is said that during the New Year holidays, as a wish for a happy and prosperous year, they used to give to family and friends, honey and fig fruits. Pliny claimed that eating figs "makes us stronger young people, helps the health of the elderly, and reduces wrinkles."
Also the Phoenicians and Etruscans, are among the oldest populations feeding on figs.
Roses of figs
If you have fresh figs, take them, rinse and dry it with a soft cloth and gently wipe the outside.
Cut into 4 equal parts but without dividing the base (as in the photograph), then open them gently like a flower has four petals and formed with each slice of prosciutto ham a rose, which will place the center of each fig.
We put together the 10 most common mistakes and stereotypes about Italian Cooking abroad...so you can avoid them! Share this note with your friends :)
1- You shall not sip cappuccino during a meal! Coffee and cappuccino are the pride of Italy in the world; but if the first is usually consumed at the end of the meal, the second, more substantial, is sipped at breakfast, usually accompanied by some pastry. You can ask for a cappuccino at the end of a meal, just know that most Italians don’t.
2- Risotto and pasta are NOT a side dish The organization of courses in the Italian dining is unique and requires pasta and – most of the time –risotto to be served by themselves (apart from specific recipes such as Ossobuco milanese-style). The presentation of pasta as a side dish to others is widespread in several countries, but in Italy is seen almost as a sacrilege.
3- You shall not add oil to pasta water!Oil should not be added to pasta cooking water! Pasta dressing (and oil too) must be added only after you have drained it from its cooking water. Find out how to cook pasta like an Italian here.
4- Ketchup on pasta: please, don’t This is one of the combinations that most shocks Italians; although ketchup may have some similarities to tomato sauce, pouring ketchup over pasta in the “Bel Paese” is considered a real gourmet crime. Keep ketchup for your french fries or hot dogs, please!
5- Spaghetti Bolognese? No way, it’s Tagliatelle! While probably being the world’s most popular Italian recipe, you will not find any restaurant in Bologna to eat it. That’s because the original Italian recipe is “Tagliatelle Bolognese” (not spaghetti). Although this may seem a minor detail, in real Italian cuisine the pairing of the right kind of pasta with the right sauce is considered almost sacred.
6- Chicken Pasta: not in Italy Speaking with American friends, one of the most frequent requests is the advice for a typical Italian recipe for pasta with chicken. It’s always rather embarrassing to point out that in Italy there are no hot dishes featuring pasta and chicken.
7- “Caesar salad” This salad, which bears the name of its supposed creator, Caesar Cardini, is a part of the long list of recipes devised by chefs of Italian origin, but in fact is almost unknown in Italy.
8- The red and white checkered tablecloth is only a stereotype !For some strange reason, these tablecloths are universally associated with our food and with the stereotype of the "spaghetti-eater", and abroad almost all the restaurants that want to play typical Italian use them. Probably, tourists who come to visit Italy remain somewhat disappointed when they discover that the checkered tablecloths are almost never used (only restaurants for tourists do!)
9- “Fettuccine Alfredo” are popular only overseas This is perhaps the most curious in this top ten. The fettuccine Alfredo is both the most famous “Italian” food in the United States and the least known dish in Italy. These noodles, seasoned with butter and Parmigiano Reggiano, are in fact actually been invented in the “Bel Paese”, specifically by Alfredo Di Lelio, the owner of a restaurant in Rome, but in Italy have never been imposed as a traditional dish. Overseas, however, have become increasingly popular and in time became a symbol of the good life in Rome. For this reason legions of American tourists coming to Italy hoping to enjoy the fettuccine Alfredo at every restaurant on the peninsula remain very disappointed.
10 - You shall respect tradition and what Italian mamma says. She knows from her mamma, who knew from her mamma who knew from her mamma and so on. It's been tried and tested. And what a mother teaches at her daughter while they are cooking? that love is the center of all. We must share Italian food with your loved ones. It is what life, love and family are all about.
When I first thought of opening this store, I thought about all the different kind of vendors I would like to contact. The more I call and talk to different vendors the more I realize how much of a waste distributors really are! It seems that something that cost cents to make turns to dollars to buy. So many hands in the cookie jar makes products expensive. At one point, I really thought I should go to Italy and just buy the items myself. Not much is the gathering of vendors you can call but, the fact that sometimes they take days to return calls. In any case our product list is almost finalized and we have narrowed down the local store. As much as I wished to be open now, offering Baci and Mon Cheri chocolates for Valentines, we will have to wait a couple of weeks to open our online store! Hope to see everyone there. Happy Valentines Day!!
Welcome all to the Marchese Italian Market. I want to take a few lines to talk about the beginning of this idea. As an Italian married to an American, I have traveled to many places, from Japan to Tunisia. Although I experienced great cultures, like a good Italian, I always missed my native cuisine. Living in Europe for many Europeans I think, is fairly easy in terms of finding products of countries within the European Union, but once you travel abroad your native cuisine becomes a luxury. Everywhere I searched for ingredients to make pizza, tiramisu, lasagna, and many other typical dishes. What I found was that many products were not imported or the cost was about the same as a trip back to Italy! So my trip around the world finished here in the U.S. Where I have experienced the greatest mix of cultures and wonderful events such as the 4th of July, Halloween, Thanksgiving, and Superbowl Sunday! I know the last one is not a holiday but given the togetherness of people, it might as well be Christmas. The greatest sculptor would tell you that they did not complete their sculpture, but just chipped away the edges. Opening an Italian store online seems more like a mosaic that I have to put together; which makes putting together the pieces sometimes difficult. The world of Italian cuisine outside of Italy is seen through different views. Everyone has their own opinions, where you can find thousands of vendors, but few original Italian products. On my travels, I have met many Italians and Americans alike that visited Italy. Each person had their own stories and experiences, but the one thing in common that I found was how they wish they could find some things they had in Italy. So the idea for the Marchese Italian Market was born!