That perfect combination of seasonal vegetables and extra virgin olive oil. Pinzimonio is a food of… beauty!

That perfect combination of seasonal vegetables and extra virgin olive oil. Pinzimonio is a food of… beauty!

OLIVE OIL is as triumph. Of light, colors and smells. Our senses are engaged with no holds barred… It is its aroma that most envelops us with its intense, fruity flavor, precious for the benefits it offers us.

With the heat, there is a need for freshness and light foods that are at the same time rich in substances that restore what is lost through sweating which, especially when there is a high level of humidity, is more accentuated.

One of my favorite dishes this season is dip: it is a feast for the eyes and with its colors it brings joy to the table, it is prepared quickly, it is delicious and tasty and above all… it does not require turning on the stove! (which in the heat we try to use as little as possible). And then – a prodigy among prodigies – in addition to being an excellent food from a nutritional point of view (I would say almost therapeutic) it is also a food for our beauty.

 

In ancient times, the dip served as a “corollary” to important courses, thus reducing it to a purely decorative fact. With the passage of time it has taken on a new look. Today it is highly valued as an appetizer and, in some Italian regions, also as an end to a meal. And rightly so: dip is good and good for you.

PINZIMONIO is made from extra virgin olive oil, vinegar, salt and pepper, sometimes with the addition of lemon. This simple mixture is used to dip raw vegetables: carrots, celery, fennel, pepper, tomatoes…

 

Raw vegetables in dip are a true explosion of taste and health: they delight and refresh the palate and are good for the inside and outside of our body.

 

We know well that extra virgin olive oil is a source of monounsaturated fatty acids, with a predominance of oleic acid. It promotes the maintenance of normal blood fluidity, reduces the amount of cholesterol associated with low-density lipoproteins (LDL or bad cholesterol) and contributes to the formation of important biological structures, such as cell membranes and lipoproteins.

Furthermore, the content of vitamin E, polyphenols and other unsaponifiables gives olive oil antioxidant, anti-free radical, biostimulant, hepatoprotective and slightly analgesic properties, properties which, together with the laxative and anti-gastric ulcer properties, make it a medicine “light”.

The nutrients in olive oil are essential for keeping skin healthy, young and elastic “from the inside”, as well as from the outside.

If the properties of olive oil are associated with those of raw vegetables, we understand why dip is a healthy food in all respects and exceptional for the skin.

First of all, the content of water and mineral salts make raw vegetables indispensable to counteract the heat and the effects of sweating: they hydrate us “from the inside”, and the effects are also clearly visible on the outside, with healthier and firmer skin .

Vegetable fibres, soluble or insoluble, are essential for accelerating gastric transit, giving a sense of satiety (to the benefit of the figure), nourishing the intestinal flora, reducing contact time with any unwanted “waste”, strengthening the walls of the intestine. Even in this case, the benefits for the body are many, and also affect our skin.

And then raw vegetables are rich in vitamins, trace elements (iron, zinc, selenium,…), antioxidants and other substances typical of each vegetable, which make them precious allies of health and beauty.

 

Celery and fennel, for example, are excellent diuretics, digestive and antihypertensive, so they have beneficial effects on the cardiovascular, digestive and renal systems. They intervene in the metabolism of fats and counteract water retention, with beneficial effects also on the skin.

Cucumber is refreshing, purifying, eliminates toxins and improves the activity of the liver, kidneys and pancreas. It has emollient, anti-inflammatory and anti-itching properties, all of which are very useful if you have excessively exposed yourself to the sun: and these properties are valid both if the cucumber is used as a food or as a soothing topical remedy.

Pepper is very rich in vitamin C, a powerful antioxidant and literally indispensable for many physiological functions, as well as to counteract the negative effects of solar radiation. Among the many functions that vitamin C has, I focus on its fundamental role in the synthesis of collagen, which makes blood vessels stronger and keeps the skin vital, firm and elastic, also effectively counteracting the effects of free radicals.

We continue with the tomato, rich in lycopene, an antioxidant substance that has many positive effects which also occur at a dermal level: it combats rashes and premature aging.

“A GOOD OIL IS ALWAYS THE RIGHT CHOICE “

Pizza, a culinary Masterpiece

Pizza, a culinary Masterpiece

The “pizza” in the myth
Pizza even has a mythical origin, linked to the Olympian gods and the city of Naples. In fact, the myth tells that one day the god of fire Vulcan, returning home from his forge in the bowels of Vesuvius with a great appetite, asked his divine consort Venus what good food she had cooked for him.

The goddess of love, however, had spent the day entertaining one of her many lovers and she had completely forgotten to prepare food for her husband. Forced to work hard, therefore, Venus took a small piece of focaccia dough, cut it into a thin disc, garnished it with goat’s milk, fragrant herbs and juicy berries and put it to cook on a red-hot stone that had just emerged from the mouth of Vesuvius. .

In a few moments the meal was ready and Vulcan was so won over by it that he asked his wife to prepare it for him more often.

From focaccia to pizza
Prepared since prehistoric times with barley, millet or rye flour, focaccia played an important role in the diet of the ancient Egyptians, but also of the Greeks and Romans. And it was a very short step from these early focaccias to the birth of the first pizza.

For centuries, the pizza prepared in Naples and the surrounding areas was nothing more than a flattened disc of bread cooked in a wood-fired oven and seasoned with garlic, lard and coarse salt or with caciocavallo and basil. One of the most probable hypotheses is that the term “pizza” indicates its flattened shape, deriving from the Latin word pinsa, which means “squashed”.

The first written attestation of the term “pizza” dates back to the Middle Ages and more precisely to 997. In fact, a rental contract for a mill near Gaeta dates back to this year, which also included 24 pizzas per year as part of the annual rent.

The arrival of the tomato
The tomato arrived in Europe only in the sixteenth century, but until the eighteenth century it was considered an ornamental plant. In the 18th century, however, the tomato also began to be used to enrich traditional recipes, including pizza.

Among the first “patented” pizzas in this period was the pizza marinara, based on tomato, garlic, oil and oregano. A simple but appetizing preparation that Neapolitan sailors used to take with them on the open sea.

The invention of Pizza Margherita, the pizza par excellence, is linked to another king. On 9 June 1889 Umberto I and Queen Margherita had Raffaele Esposito, the most famous Neapolitan pizza chef of the time, called to court at the Royal Palace of Capodimonte. On this special occasion Raffaele and his wife Rosa prepared three pizzas for the royal couple: the most traditional, topped with cheese, basil and suet, a marinara with only garlic, oil and tomato and an absolute novelty with mozzarella, tomato and basil, in homage to the colors of the Italian flag. The queen liked the latter so much that Raffaele Esposito baptized it with the name pizza margherita in honor of her.

Since then the toppings have multiplied and, in addition to having conquered all of Italy, pizza has also become increasingly appreciated abroad, by all generations, thanks to its irresistible flavor and its versatility.