Articles by: Giada Gramanzini

  • IACE Summer Camp
    Facts & Stories

    Summertime in Narni

    On the basis of a multimedia competition that consists of creating a video about the topic "Italian on the net", 22 students, aged 13 to 17, have been selected by the Italian American Committee on Education (IACE) to partecipate in a  2 weeks Summer camp taking place in Italy from July 10 to 23, realized in collaboration with the City of Narni (Province of Terni). 

    The educational program included Italian language classes, special lessons in cooking, ceramics, bottle weaving and music. Chaperoned tours to Narni, Assisi, Spello, Rome, Marmore Falls, Orvieto and other beautiful places were scheduled as well, letting students discover the history, arts and culture of “Bel Paese”. 

    Immersed in music

    The initiative took also advantage of the collaboration with composer Cristina Pegoraro’s Narnia Arts Academy in conjunction with the Narnia Festival, a big celebration of arts, offering exhibitions, conferences, cultural activities, excursions, besides music and dance performances by world renowned artists. The event praised the participation of international teachers, schools and universities, such as the Juilliard School of New York, Accademia del Teatro alla ScalaConservatorio di Santa Cecilia.

    Promoting Italian language

    “Thanks to the grants received by the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs we can support our Teaching Italian as a Second Language courses in 237 American public schools with a membership of 53,000 students,” stated Executive Director Ilaria Costa. "It is a record for our district, compared to previous years," she continued.

    IACE’s activities include also online training courses in collaboration with ICON, an interuniversity consortium supported by the Italian Ministry of Education, Universities and Research (MIUR). It aims at diffusing Italian language, culture and literature through e-learning. About the future initiatives involving the collaboration of IACE, Costa mentioned a book fair which will take place at the Italian Cultural Institute in New York on November 2nd with the participation of all those publishers who promote texts for the teaching of Italian for foreigners, while on November 3rd there will be a bilingual exhibition at Fordham University

  • United Nations Headquarters
    Facts & Stories

    With the UN and WHO Battle Against Fat and Salt, Even Made in Italy Products Are in Danger

    In a draft recently drawn up, the World Health Organization and the United Nations have declared war on non-communicablediseases such as diabetes, cancer and cardiovascular that, according to the studies, are responsible for a number of deaths that should decrease by one third by 2030. 

    A risky strategy

    The strategy that could be adopted by the two organizations is similar to the one used to discourage the smoking habit: Applying heavy taxes on food products considered harmful to health and putting danger warnings on the packaging.

    But the point, according to experts in the food industry, is that even some Italian products could receive the "black stamp," such as Parmigiano Reggiano, Prosciutto di Parma, pizza or wine.

    The UN neither explicitly mentions Italian products in its documents, nor does it say that they are like smoke. The fact is, due to its composition and nutritional properties, many Made in Italy products risk to be tagged as "unhealthy" and, therefore, to be penalized as already happens in some countries praised by the WHO or otherwise mentioned among the foods to be reduced in the nutritional tables of the regional offices of the Geneva Organization. 

    To be continued...

    The topic will be discussed at the United Nations High Level Meeting on non-communicable diseaseson September 27 wherethe progress made in the fight against non-communicable diseases will be evaluated. The UN General Assembly meeting will end with a political declaration to be adopted by consensus on which negotiations are under way in these days. There is no resolution and no vote.

    The political opinion

    "What would be the value of the Mediterranean Diet universally recognized by the international organizations themselves as well as by the scientific community? I understand that in this way the UN would do more than a war against non-communicable diseases a war on common sense and scientific evidence, stated on this important issue Fucsia Nissoli Fitzgerald, Chamber Deputy elected by the constituency of North and Central America With regard to this issue. "We will defend, in every way, the Made in Italy quality,” she continued “from any attempt to discredit! Hands off the Parmesan and typical Italian products!"

  • High School students
    Facts & Stories

    Italian School Opens Up to the World

    Deciding which school is the right one where enroll your children is undoubtedly a demanding choice, especially in the context of the varied and constantly evolving panorama of the American institutional training offer, both public and private.

    What a great achievement: IB Diploma Program!

    Currently, one of the best High School education systems into force is the International Baccalaureate Program, more commonly known as the IB Diploma Program. Conceived by the International Baccalaureate organization (IBO), an organization founded in Geneva in 1968 with the mission of creating a high level international education, the IB Diploma Program is valid alternative to the Advanced Placement Courses system advocated by the College Board. At the moment it is offered by 3,372 schools distributed in 153 countries around the world. Among them, over 900 are located in the United States and 68 (56 public and 12 private) only in the state of New York: About 15 are in New York City and specifically 5 (2 public and 3 private) are located in Manhattan. La Scuola d'Italia is one of them, officially recognized as IB World School and formally authorized since May 1, 2018 to offer the IB Diploma Program.

    La Scuola d'Italia is growing

    La Scuola d'Italia has chosen to evolve and seize the challenge of its own future. "It took 3 years for the this project to get approved. Our program is a model that can be followed by other schools and I have to mention that we will maintain our excellent Italian scientific high school diploma as well," said Head School Maria Palandra. La Scuola d’Italia is a multicultural education institution, from the Pre-K level through High School. Its educational programs are rooted in the best Italian/European and American traditions for internationally oriented studies and its mission is to form students that are well prepared for the personal, university, career, social, cultural and ethical challenges deriving from globalization. 

    The equivalence with the Diploma di Stato di Liceo 

    Starting next September, the juniors of La Scuola d'Italia will be able to undertake this new 2 years program as an integral part of their studies. It is recognized by the Ministry of Education, Universities and Research (MIUR) through a ministerial decree, and by all the major university institutions worldwide. Students who hold an IB Diploma are typically favored in the college admissions process wherever they decide to apply thanks to a particular curriculum, which provides for the compulsory integration of humanistic and scientific subjects. The state of Italy recognizes the equivalence of the IB Diploma with the Diploma di Stato di Liceo (Linguistic, Scientific, Classical and Human Sciences) only if the student has opted for appropriate combinations of IB courses and associated levels. Currently the IB courses provided by the educational offer of La Scuola d'Italia in New York are compatible with the equivalence criteria specified by MIUR. 

  • 100% Italian Gelato. Photo credits: Francesco Sapienza
    Facts & Stories

    The Best of Italy in a Scoop

    The New York Post restaurant critic Steve Cuozzo has elected their vanilla the best he has ever tasted. Chef Giacomo d’Alessandro and his team of professionals and lovers of Italian gelato and pastries are are having great success in Little Italy since the opening of Polosud Gelato, Coffee and Pastries, their Sicilian-style gelato store located at 166 Mott St.

    Perhaps not everyone knows…

    The Italian origin of gelato is recognized in most of the world, but it was its introduction in France that made it famous throughout Europe. A famous urban legend is linked to a Florentine food lover who soon became very famous thanks to a preparation that included cream, eggnog and fruit. He would have prepared ice cream for the wedding of Caterina de 'Medici and Enrico d'Orleans. However, beyond the legend, there is no trace of this event, presumably invented by contemporary historiography.

    Certain news about ice cream as a "business" is on Francesco Procopio dei Coltelli, a Sicilian chef who, in 1686, managed to prepare the mixture that we all know today. He arrived, after many failures and subsequent improvements, up to Paris. Discovering the use of sugar instead of honey, and salt mixed with ice to make it last longer, he made a qualitative leap and was welcomed by the Parisians as a brilliant inventor. Because of this, he opened in 1686 the Café Procope where a great variety of ice creams were served.

    A return to the origins

    Chef d’Alessandro’s project comes from his previous experience in Australia, where he had worked for six years. Then, he decided to go out on a new adventure in the Big Apple. The choice of Little Italy was dictated by the desire to retrace those immigrants' steps who arrived in the New World with the famous cardboard suitcase. “Opening an artisanal gelato shop here in New York was a nice way to remember them, as I am an emigrant of the 21stcentury as well," said d'Alessandro. At the moment of signing the lease contract, he googled just out of curiosity the address of the building and among the images that appeared, he saw one photo dating back to 1910 of Gaetano Venezia Caffè, the first ice cream and candy store in the City. After 45 years, it was replaced by a Chinese button shop. "As fate would have it, the random choice of the location was just a cycle of traditions and a return to the origins."

    The idea, developed together with his partners in this initiative, is to propose something that few can do. The big franchise chains import ice creams already made from France or Italy, while the concept behind the “gelato artigianale” is to produce and sell it within the same day. “Ice cream and gelato are two worlds apart. It is not easy to explain Americans the difference between them. They can only understand it once tasted,” said the Sicilian Chef, “But it is also true that American people, especially those coming from New York, are more erudite because they are used to traveling. Our customers are exactly those people who, after being in Italy and having tasted gelato in Palermo, Naples, Rome or Florence, come back here with the desire to try again those same unmistakable and authentic flavors.”

    It takes time, passion and quality

    Compared to the common American ice cream, Polosud gelato is made of milk 60% less fat. It is produced specifically by a farm located Upstate New York, found by chance on one of d'Alessandro's trips. "We import the ingredients from Italy: Pistachio from Bronte, hazelnuts from Piedmont and fresh fruit, which is selected in the markets. This allows us to obtain a high quality product."

    Polosud has a wide selection of flavors, precisely 21, such as “Amore e Odio" with fresh mint and rum; “L'Americano” with bananas and peanut butter and others prepared with caramel in order to bring Giacomo and his team closer to the American public. There are some vegan flavors as well, without milk and with fruit or dark chocolate as main ingredients. In fact, it is possible to ask for “The Polosud," the flavor of the day.

    Besides gelato, the menu includes traditional Italian and espacially Sicilian desserts: Tiramisù, Cannoli, Cassata and so on and so forth. Even the sheep's milk ricotta is imported from San Biagio Platani, in the Province of Agrigento, with a freezing process to reproduce the same real taste of original Sicilian cannoli.

    Future projects 

    At the moment, Polosud has a cart in Hell's Kitchen between 57th St. and 9th Ave., but, for the next year it intends to position other three or four around the city. Then, d’Alessandro would like to bring his products outside Manhattan.

    In addition, “Chocolate Surprise” will be the flavor he will bring on August 11 and 12 to the Gelato Festival America, a contest taking place in Jersey City where the ice cream makers of 8 different cities will be judged by a half-popular and half-technical jury. The 7 winners will compete in Italy with 7 other ice cream makers selected throughout Europe and 7 other Italians and all for the title of Best gelato maker. 


  • Cornetti
    Facts & Stories

    A Sweetness Made in Italy

    Forno d'Asolo is a leading Italian company in the production of bakery products and pastry. Its story originated in the hills of Asolo in a small mill in the province of Treviso where, five generations ago, the Gallina family's small shop was born. From that ancient tradition of passion for goodness and craftsmanship, the brothers Fabio and Paolo Gallina decided to realize their revolutionary idea in 1985: bring to those who live far away the freshness and fragrance of the products made everyday in their family's oven. 

    The expansion of the company 

    Since March 2014, the 21 Investimenti group, led by Alessandro Benetton, has acquired Forno d'Asolo with the aim of enhancing its industrial heritage and the brand as excellence in "made in Italy" bakery production, working towards a strong development abroad as well. Today it distributes its specialties through a network of agents and distributors focused on the catering channel, with a presence also in large-scale retail trade (United Kingdom, United States, France, Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Japan, Korea and Singapor).

    Part of this broader growth and development strategy is also the acquisition of the company La Donatella. Founded in 1946 as a laboratory of artisanal pastry, it stood out at the beginning of the ‘60s on the Venetian coast thanks to the experience, the entrepreneurial ability and the tenacity of its founder Giuseppe Marconato. 

    Main ingredients: Love and passione

    The best ingredients are chosen everyday to obtain products with a unique flavor. They are created with a particular care, handed down from generation to generation making every single creation a perfect sample. The whole process is conducted respecting the rules imposed by the strictest quality certifications, in order to bring the maximum of freshness and fragrance to all tidbit lovers in the world.

    “Our company is very attentive to the origin and the quality of the ingredients. Most of them come from Italy, such as Mascarpone and Savoiardi (from Verona) wich are used for the original Tiramisù recipe," said Commercial Manager Elisabetta Gottin. 

    Everybody goes crazy for cornetto

    Forno d’Asolo has specialized in the production of Cornetto, which represents “the perfect alternative to a croissant,” as Gottin said. Cornetto is the tipical breakfast food in Italy that is usually accompanied by drinking caffè or cappuccino.

    “We have a selection of 230 items (shells, vegan products, savory Cornetti) that stand out because of their long-lasting frangrance and freshness just because we work the dough in a different way,” explained Gottin, “quite the opposite, croissants usually lose their frangrance in two hours because of their butter consistency.”

    Re Borbone is the top of Forno d’Asolo’s Cornetto line, prepared with yeast base and a delicate note of vanilla, which makes them truly original in taste. Fragrant and soft, they are easily recognizable in the showcase thanks to the well-blended dough. The flavors available are: plain and glazed with fine sugar, stuffed with apricot jam in pieces and decorated with caramelized cereals, or filled with custard and vanilla bourbon and sprinkled with sugar crystals.

    Savory cornettos, made with ancient grains, can be a valid alternative to panini. Besides the gluten free line, the company is launching a new vegan one made of puff pastry, maple cyrup and walnuts. Among the innovations, the Shells, which are made of puff pastry and filled with a delicious chocolate cream or with milk cream, and the Bomboloni a kind of light and fluffy donut filled with chocolate, apricot or cannoli cream.

    The American reception 

    About the the reaction and welcome of the U.S. market, Gottin commented “We are very successful in Miami, Chicago, New York and even in the traditional American coffe shops located in the small towns. We believe that it is very important to bring our history and our dream in this Country that we love so much. We are just giving ideas to America. Our goal, however, is to export the authenticity of Italy and fight the phenomenon of Italian sounding.” 

  • Facts & Stories

    Opera Italiana Is in the Air: Pure Magic in the Park

    From Verdi's Rigoletto to La Traviata, from Rossini's Il Barbiere di Siviglia to Puccini's Madama Butterfly and La BohèmeOpera Italiana Is in the Air came back on July 2 in Central Park. The event, that took place once again in the wonderful setting of Naumburg Bandshell, was produced by Dani Bedoni (also Master of Ceremony) and was born from the initiative and coordination of the President and Artistic Director Alvise Casellati, who is considered one of the emerging talents of the last years.

    The lawyer who wanted to be a conductor

    After a Master's Degree in Law at Columbia University, Casellati was already in charge of the legal department of an important real estate fund, but he also had a diploma in violin obtained in 1994 at the Conservatory of Padua. 

    In 2007 he ended up in hospital because of a problem that the doctors failed to explain, holding him for six months in a state of great anxiety. It was then that he realized that if you have a dream in life, you do not have to wait for the right time to make it happen. Therefore, at the age of 34 he made a radical change, enrolling in the evening courses of the Juilliard School of Music.

    In March 2011 he directed his first Italian concert at La Fenice in Venice on the occasion of the 150th anniversary of the Unification of Italy and thanks to his great achievements he decided to leave New York and the legal career returning to Italy.

    New Entries and Performers

    This year, Opera Italiana Is in the Air moved two steps towards a less traditional audience, presenting The Beginning Before the End by Paulina Castro, a 13-year-old composer who was selected through the Very Young Composer's Program of the New York Philharmonic. “I thought about putting in soul my heritage, bringing some of my history. With a lot of different instructors it came to be what you have just heard and I am really glad it makes other people happy because it’s all I want to do with my music,” said Castro about her composition. The second piece was Oceanic Verses by Paola Prestini, one of the leading contemporary Italian musical voices, co-founder and artistic director of the National Sawdust of Brooklyn. The talented young lady, who belongs to the Top 35 Female Composers in Classical Music, went also to Venuezuela to teach kids how to compose music in the Very Young Composer's Program. Her piece was written for the amazing vocalist Helga Davis, who sang it with the soprano Jennifer Zetlan. “I want to thank Alvise and Dani for the opportunity and of course to the musicians who play so beautifully”, said Prestini.

    The orchestra was composed of members of the Metropolitan Opera, as well as extraordinary students from New York Symphony, New England Conservatory, NYU, New World Symphony, Juilliard and Manhattan School of Music. The singers were the soprano Larisa Martinez, the tenor Cody Austin and the baritone David Pershall. 

    The event was promoted and supported by the Consulate General of Italy. Besides the Consul General Francesco Genuardi, among the audience there were Ambassador of Italy to the US Armando Varricchio, and President of the Italian Senate Maria Elisabetta Alberti Casellati, Alvise’s mother.

  • 100per100 Italian Pizza: ex aequo per Ribalta e Sorbillo
    Fatti e Storie

    E il premio 100per100 Italian va a...


    In concomitanza con l'inaugurazione della 64edizione del Summer Fancy Food avvenuta lo scorso 30 giugno, la Scavolini Soho Gallery ha ospitato 100per100 Italian Gala, organizzato dall'associazione culturale no profit I Love Italian Food, che promuove e tutela a livello mondiale l'autentico Made in Italy nel settore agroalimentare. i-Italy era presente tra i partner principali della manifestazione: Scavolini, AICNY, Parmissimo, Bellavista, Consorzio dell’Aceto Balsamico di Modena IGP, Contadi Castaldi, Olitalia, Gustoso e Dissapore.

    I criteri di selezione 

    Nel corso dell'ultimo mese, l'associazione ha selezionato all'interno del suo network 100 professionisti italiani che operano a New York, chiedendo loro di suggerire i nomi di altrattanti rappresentanti del settore alimentare che si sono distinti nella promozione dell'autentica cucina italiana in America. "La nostra missione è quella di portare la cultura del cibo italiano nel mondo, e per questo è nostra responsabilità e orgoglio premiare tutti quei professionisti che lavorano duramente ogni giorno”, ha dichiarato Alessandro Schiatti, A.D. e co-fondatore di I Love Italian Food, prima di annunciare i vincitori delle sei categorie.

    I vincitori

    Daniele Cipollina, Presidente di Gustoso, ha assegnato il premio 100per100 Italian Espresso ad Eataly Flatiron non solo per il sapore autenticamente italiano del suo caffè, ma anche per la sua location, dove sedersi e rilassarsi.

    Il premio 100per100 Italian Gelato, assegnato a L’Arte del Gelato, è stato consegnato dal Presidente del Consorzio Tutela Aceto Balsamico di Modena Mariangela Grosoli, che ha spiegato quanto l'Aceto Balsamico di Modena IGP sia versatile in cucina, persino abbinato al gelato.

    Il Direttore Export di Parmissimo Paolo Ganzerli è stato scelto invece per premiare Norma Gastronomia Siciliana con il 100per100 Italian Menu, distinguendosi grazie a un cibo genuino basato su ricette classiche in continuo aggiornamento e all'importanza dell'utilizzo in cucina di ingredienti di qualità.

    Per quanto riguarda il riconoscimento dell'autentica pizza napoletana, c'è stato un sorprendente ex aequo che ha visto protagonisti Ribalta, ormai diventato una vera e propria istituzione del Greenwich Village, e Sorbillo, particolarmente apprezzato per la sua specialità: la pizza fritta. Entrambe le pizzerie sono state premiate dal Direttore Marketing di Olitalia Gianni Tognoni con il 100per100 Italian Pizza

    A ricevere il 100per100 Italian ChefLaRina Pastificio & Vino, premiata dallo Showroom Manager e Creative Director di Scavolini Soho Gallery Daniele Busca perché riconosciuta migliore realtà emergente nel panorama della cucina italiana a New York.

    Infine, Piccola Cucina e Tarallucci e Vino sono stati i vincitori della categoria Ristorante con il premio 100per100 Italian Restaurant.

  • 100per100 Italian Pizza: ex aequo for Ribalta and Sorbillo
    Facts & Stories

    And the 100per100 Italian goes to...


    In conjunction with the launch of the Summer Fancy Food 64th edition, the non-profit cultural association I Love Italian Food, that promotes and defends the real made in Italy agribusiness in the world, organized on June 30 the event 100per100 Italian Gala in the characteristic setting of Scavolini Soho Gallery. i-Italy was one of the main partners together with Scavolini, AICNY, Parmissimo, Bellavista, Consorzio dell’Aceto Balsamico di Modena IGP, Contadi Castaldi, Olitalia, Gustoso and Dissapore.

    The selection creteria 

    One hundred Italian professionals based in New York were selcted by the association during the last month, asking them to suggest the names of those realities belonging to food industry who distinguished themselves for promoting only authentic Italian cuisine to the American consumers. “Our mission is spreading the culture of Italian food worldwide and it’s our responsibility and pride rewarding all those professionals that work hardly everyday to spread the real Italian food in the world," said Alessandro Schiatti, President and Co-founder of I Love Italian Food, before announcing the winners of the six categories.

    The winners

    Daniele Cipollina from Gustoso awarded Eataly Flatiron with the 100per100 Italian Espresso not only for the taste of its real Italian Espresso, but also bufor its beautiful location where to sit and relax.

    The 100per100 Italian Gelato award went to L’Arte del Gelato, given by Mariangela Grosoli, President of Aceto Balsamico di Modena IGP, who explained how much versatile the Aceto Balsamico can be, even mixed with ice-cream.

    Parmissimo International Sales Director Paolo Ganzerli awarded Norma Gastronomia Siciliana with the 100per100 Italian Menu, because of its genuine food based on updated classic recipes and the importance of using only the finest ingredients.

    As for the recognition of ‘The real Italian pizza,' there was an ex aequo. Olitalia Sales & Marketing Director, Gianni Tognoni, had the honor to award with the 100per100 Italian Pizza two symbolic pizzerias in New York: Ribalta, already a reference in the City and Sorbillo, for its famous fried pizza. 

    Showroom Manager e Creative Director Daniele Busca from Scavolini Soho Gallery gave the 100per100 Italian Chef to LaRina Pastificio & Vino, as the best emerging reality in the panorama of the Italian cuisine.

    Finally, Piccola Cucina and Tarallucci e Vino were the winners of another special ex aequo for the category of 100per100 Italian Restaurant.

  • Italian Pavilion opening ceremony
    Facts & Stories

    Italy Rocked Summer Fancy Food 2018

    More than 2,600 companies exhibiting over 200,000 specialties! These are the incredible numbers of the 64th edition of Summer Fancy Food Show, home to the largest and most important food and drink trade fair in North America. The event, which took place at the Javits Center in New York from June 30 to July 2, involved important producers and exhibitors from all over the world with 54 countries represented. 

    Italy stole the show 

    Italy was the greatest protagonist of the event, considering it keeps maintaing the sixth place in the hierarchy of world exporters in the United States with a market share of 3.2% after Mexico, Canada, China, Chile and France. The Italian pavilion, once again, the largest in the international area, was an enormous attraction for the participants: 300 companies (12% of the total exhibitors) and more than 26,000 sq.ft. surface area occupied to present the entire range of Made in Italy food products under the ICE - Italian Trade Agency’s distinctive sign The Extraordinary Italian Taste. "The Made in Italy food and farming industry, supported by public investments for promotion, confirms its leadership in the US,” said ICE New York Agency Director and US Coordination Maurizio Forte. The government organization participated in partnership with Specialty Food Association (SFA).

    Italian food reception in US

    As recognized by SFA President Phil Kafarakis, Americans have long embraced Italian cuisine with deep interest in the health benefits of the Mediterranean diet. “SFA is proud to work closely with Italian producers and exporters to bring the best of Italian food and drink to the US market,” stated Kafarakis. The Italian agent of the SFA and producer of the Italian Pavilion Donato Cinelli added, "Today, the United States represent truly the ideal place to highlight the value and the work of Italian companies, our Made in Italy is an integral part of the culture of beauty, quality has always been appreciated and sought by the American public."

    The grand opening

    President of the Italian Senate Maria Elisabetta Alberti Casellati was invited on the first day of the show to inaugurate the Italian Pavilion. During her speech, she recognized the ideal of respect behind the “Italia model," reminding how much food-counterfeiting betrays and poisons the entire culture and history of a country. Thinking about the Pizza Napoletana, proclaimed World Heritage by UNESCO on 7 December 2017, she commented, “It is not an exaggeration, but a lighthouse on the interweaving of people and things that become tradition and, at the same time, creativity.” Moreover, the importance of eating well is being affirmed and can not be separated from the quality of raw materials, of production process and of food culture. “Protecting agri-food heritage is not therefore a mere economic or commercial strategy,” said Casellati, “but rather the redemption, through the work and commitment, of those who believe in the dimension of the good, of the beautiful, of the right.”

    According to Ambassador of Italy to the US Armando Varricchio, this traditional event owes much to Italy for its success over the years. "I have the opportunity to visit many cities in the United States and, wherever I go," he said, "I collect concrete witness to the great appreciation for value and ability."

  • Toast!
    Facts & Stories

    The Best "Pizzaiuoli" Together in New York City for #LSDM

    On June 27 and 29, Roberto Caporuscio’s Kestè Pizza & Vino in Fulton Street hosted the third edition of #LSDM Le Strade della Mozzarella, an organization which promotes all Made in Italy products, especially those tight to the pizza world. 

    Only the best quality ingredients

    Thanks to the support of Mulino Caputo, which has been producing the flour in Naples for over three generations, the culinary congress gathered food lovers, entrepreneurs and pizza makers with the aim of reducing the bridges between US and Italy by discovering the best ingredients of the Mediterranean diet. Among them: Mozzarella di Bufala Campana DOP, San Marzano Tomatoes, Provolone Val Padana DOP, Pasta di Gragnano IGP, Extravirgin Olive Oil, flour and dough, Aceto Balsamico di Modena IGP, Prosecco DOP and Neapolitan coffee.

    Masters of Pizza

    Special guests of the first day event were 5 of the greatest “pizzaiuoli” who are dominating the scene in Campania region and United States. They had the chance to tell their stories and roots, bringing their own personal pizza style. 

    Guido Barendson, journalist of the Italian daily La Repubblica, introduced Giorgia Caporuscio, who is a representative of the new generation of pizzaioli. Her passion for pizza exploded when she moved from her hometown (Terracina) to New York, where she soon followed in her father’s footsteps. Together with him, she created the so-called Pizza Cetara combining the authentic tradition of Neapolitan pizza and the flavors of Mediteranean Sea: stracciatella di bufala, sautéed zucchini with Cetara anchovies, basil and a grated lemon peel.

    Presented by the chef and food promoter Hope Cohen, Tony Gemignani prepared a pizza with the classic ingredients: mozzarella, red tomatoes, fresh basil, provolone and crystallized basil. His love for pizza was born during his honeymoon in Naples. Today he directs Tony's Pizza Napoletana in San Francisco. He usually proposes other specialties of pizza to his customers because "the most important thing is to make people understand the differences and appreciate the qualities."

    Carlo Sammarco is the owner of Carlo Sammarco Pizzaria 2.0 located in Aversa, in the province of Caserta. His family counts four generations of restaurateurs and he started working when he was very young, learning the real secrets of pizza. He noticed that the most of  the “cornicioni” (crusts) were left in the dishes and used to return to the kitchen. Therefore, he tried to change something by studying baking, dough, chemistry, and raw materials. The result was his famous “pizza a canotto”. He is considered now one of the best emerging pizzaioli and one of the main interpreters of an innovative way of making pizza. “Being 27 years old and staying here with the biggest Maestri and showing my pizza style in New York is so exciting! Naples is the most beautiful city in the world to me, but New York has bewitched me. Perhaps, in the future I will open a restaurant in the United States,” said Sammarco. Moderated by food journalist Antonio Scuteri, he presented his Pizza Nerano, a white one with provolone fondue and a zucchini velouté, seasoned with fresh basil and extra virgin olive oil.

    The fourth champion, introduced by Scott Wiener (the guy who organizes the tour of pie hotspots in New York), was Anthony Mangieri. After a long experience in New Jersey, he opened his pub Una pizza napoletana in the Lower East Side. His career was inspired by his wife, Ilaria, who comes from Naples. Their daughter, Apollonia, gives the name to his best creation: a fusion of American and Neapolitan flavors, seasoned with mozzarella, salami, an egg and pepper sauce that immediately reminds of the taste of the Neapolitan casatiello.

    Last but not least, Enzo Coccia, who came directly from his renowned Pizzaria La Notizia in Naples to prepare a marinara with cheese, a baked calzone margherita, and one pizza with yellow and red cherry tomatoes. Defining pizza as an extension of himself, he stated: “Preparing something that is part of the history of my family and the history of my city is what really makes me happy. Transmitting joy to others is always a great emotion because food, besides being culture, is also a pleasure for the soul. Our job is essential, and cooking is something extraordinary, it is an act of love. A pizza can never be good if we do not put our heart, passion, love and technique into it." Hoping that Neapolitan pizza will soon make its way through the junk food around the world, he reminded the sorrowed Neapolitan song-writer Pino Daniele, who said: "Fatte 'na pizza c'a pummarola' ncopp, vedrai che il mondo poi ti sorriderà" (“Make a pizza with tomato on top, you'll see that the world will smile back at you"). Coccia was presented by writer, journalist and gastronome Luciano Pignataro.

    The expert opinion

    As Luciano Pignataro explained about #LSDM, the basic idea of this important showcase is to bring out the great quality work that has been done in Italy in the last ten years. “All the world is ready to accept it because pizza is definitely an urban food. People love it because it is environmentally friendly and they want to be reassured on the healthiness of the products used. On the one hand we intend to export taste, on the other hand we want to export health.” With this operation, the traditional Neapolitan style is combined with other pizza styles, with which it meets and compares. It is thanks to these events that pizza chefs have the opportunity to grow and improve themselves, exchanging their experiences. 

    “New York is an unforgiving square,” continued Pignataro, “where you have to be very competitive. Those who set their work well, focusing above all on the quality-price ratio, are more likely to obtain excellent results.” There are Neapolitan pizzerias in New York that are having success and are treated positively by critics, as well as by the market. Probably Neapolitan pizza is experienced as something authentic and lighter if compared to the New York pizza style. “It's a sort of revolution since the Americans are used to eating slices and not the whole pizza, but it must be said that pizza is born as street food and takeaway food to be eaten standing and in a hurry. This is what has always meant for the city of Naples and,” concluded Pignataro, “it will always be like this.”