Italy Steps It Up With Cooking Shows

rubioOver the past few of years, cooking shows have been growing in popularity in Italy. In recent couple of years, I’ve seen a major improvement in quality, production and content. Inspired by the popular shows seen in UK and America, Italian cooking shows are now more than just a chef behind a counter chopping.

Recently, I was introduced to the new series Unti e Bisunti which aired this past summer on Italy’s DMAX channel. DMAX features male oriented programming like Top Gear and Milano City Tattoo. Unti e Bisunti (meaning ‘greasy and more greasy’) focuses on regional street foods of Italy. The series is hosted by Chef Rubio – a former Italian national Rugby player, whom after a major injury, decided to enroll in one of Italy’s popular culinary programs and eventually landed into this adventurous TV series. Rubio travels around regions of Italy in search of the area’s most popular street food. In the series one learns that Italian street food is not just fried dough or sausages. No. Rubio sinks his teeth into tripe, liver, frogs and even fish eyes – but these are the extremes.

In each episode, Chef Rubio eats his way through a city and chooses a food that intrigues him the most. Once chosen, he takes his signature stance, rubs the ends of his barbell moustache and challenges the master to a street-cart culinary dual.

Unti e Bisunti is a great example of the evolution of Italy’s cooking show production; a perfect Italian-made TV series that focuses on the land of the world’s most favorite cuisine. Before this, I was seeing a lot of American made shows translated; including one of Italy’s favorites, Cake Boss. It’s awesome to see Italy taking hold and fabulously showcasing one of its greatest assets – food.

Bialetti Moka Pot Turns 80

Bialetti-80This week marks the 80th anniversary of the Bialetti® Moka Pot – the most popular household coffee maker in Italy.

Created by Alfonso Bialetti in 1933, this espresso-making masterpiece is world renowned for practical function in a modern, sleek, angular design. In fact, the moka pot is still regarded as one of Italy’s most distinguished designs; and is part of modern art collections in museums including New York (MOMA) and Milan (Triennale).

Fun Fact: Alfonso Bialetti is the maternal grandfather of another famous Italian housewares designer, Alberto Alessi.

This week, honor Bialetti. Don’t go out and buy your morning/afternoon espresso. Don’t use your pod or fancy espresso machine. Today is the day you dust off your moka pot and percolate your own cup.

For the advanced, here’s my tip on making sugar foam to top your espresso,

Team Italy Gears Up For World Cup 2014 Domination

mario-balotelli-sicoverCheck out Sports Illustrated August 26, 2013 issue with super Mario Balotelli on its cover. The article boasts him as “the most interesting man in the world”. I, and many Italian soccer fans, agree.

One of Italy’s most popular athletes, Balotelli is known for his amazing skills, drive and intimidating strength. His strong personality and much talked-about winning plays for A.C. Milan – one of Italy’s strongest teams – and the Italian National team allows Balotelli to be a dream subject for sports journalists and paparazzi alike.

Gearing up for World Cup in Brazil, the Italian team has put together an amazing squad – as they showcased in the 2012 Eurocup and in the recent Confederations Cup tournament in Brazil. There’s no doubt that this Italy team shines because of a fresh group of driven players including Marchisio, Pirlo and Balotelli.

World Cup opponents beware: Team Italy is ready to conquer.

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