Friday, February 27, 2015

Carnaval Ivrea - The Orange Battle

The Historical Carnival of Ivrea is the city’s most important festival, during which the Ivrea community celebrates its right to decide for itself, commemorating an incident that is said to date back to medieval times, when the starving townspeople were freed from the tyranny of an evil baron. According to legend, around 1200 A.D. the baron was overthrown thanks to the rebellion of a miller’s daughter, Violetta, betrothed to Toniotto, when she refused to abide by the ”jus primae noctis’ imposed by the tyrant on all young brides. She went to the castle, beheaded the baron and incited the people to revolt, leading to the destruction of the castle, which was never re-built, and the institution of a free municipality. The Orange Battle re-enacts this rebellion: the people, interpreted by the nine teams of orange-throwers on foot, fight the overlord’s army, personified by the throwers on horse-drawn carts wearing protective clothing and masks recalling ancient armour.
Orange-throwing originated around the middle of the 19th century. Before then, in the Middle Ages, the battle was waged using beans.
In fact, it is said that twice a year the lord gave a pot of beans to the poor families who, as a sign of their contempt, threw the beans onto the street. The same beans were also used at Carnival time, thrown in fun at spontaneous opponents.
In the 1800s, along with confetti, sugared almonds, lupin beans and flowers, girls also threw a few oranges from their balconies at the carnival parade. Their idea was to attract the attention of the boys they were smitten by, using this aristocratic, exotic fruit grown on the French Riviera.
From the coaches, for fun, they began to get their own back and, gradually, from being a tribute it turned into a duel. In fact, from the 1854 carnival poster we learn that General Panietti ordered that “for the success of the carnival in the last three days it is forbidden to throw oranges or other items vehemently” – but in later years this rule was not complied with, on the contrary, the throwing became a real “head to head” fight between the throwers on the balconies and those in the streets.
Only after the Second World War, with the formation of the first orange-throwing teams, did the battle take on its present-day form, following strict rules.
Nowadays over 4000 throwers on foot belonging to nine teams (Picche, Morte, Tuchini, Scacchi, Arduini, Pantere, Diavoli, Mercenari and Credendari) take part in the battle, as well as over 50 horse-drawn carts (carts and pairs with 10 throwers aboard and carts and fours with 12 throwers aboard), making a total of about 5000 people involved.
The Carnival is really a large-scale role play, in addition to being an extraordinary lesson in civic-mindedness: thousands of people that peacefully throng the squares to celebrate a festival of freedom, in a combative atmosphere like that of the Orange Battle, respecting unwritten rules, are a fine example of civility that the city can proudly boast and must “defend”.
The battle takes place according to an unwritten gentleman’s code, followed by all the participants, that guarantees their overall safety (apart from a few inevitable black eyes ) and keeps the battle on the lines of a real “sports” competition in which it is those who are the most skilful and throw the oranges hardest that win. The duel between the throwers on foot and those on the carts often turns into a private fight and, even though they are part of the crowd, the closer the relationship between the fighters, the harder the fight. Throwing as strongly as possible is a sign of respect towards an acquaintance, to honour the battle together. At the end, a handshake endorses their re-found friendship.
The battle is without doubt the most spectacular part of the carnival highlighting the fight for freedom, the symbol of the Ivrea festival. Along with all the other historical events that are part of carnival, the orange battle constitutes an incredible cultural patrimony, which makes Ivrea one of the leading carnivals on both the national and international scene. Orange-throwing is also the time with the highest collective participation. Everybody can take part by enrolling in one of the nine teams on foot or by manning the carts. 

Photography: Carlo Zunino. 

Monday, February 23, 2015

Maniterra, the love for Earth.

One day with Chiara from Maniterra in Montalto Dora in Piedmont Italy.   

Her name is Chiara, she is a ceramics and she own MANITERRA. 

Chiara started this activity because she wanted to do something from scratch by herself. Strong woman by personality, but I must say she is also sweet and sensible  inside maybe the vibe of art is in her vines. Therefore she start to do the ceramist because she wanted to connect with Earth, living a particular style of life and philosophy about it. She said to feel something sacre on this activity She feel so much respect for clay because is a very antique element, in the history clay has been used to create many things but the most important for her are containers for food since the creation of this planet. 
Chiara is Vegan so she consider very important the energy of food. The food must be conserved in a very particular way. For this the energy between Food and containers must have same quality of energy. 

"Who doesn't have a containers put their food in their hands united just like a pray position", on this way she compare her work with something divine. 

I consider absolutely creative and interesting visit her workshop and why not, taking some Ceramic lessons. Let's do it. !! 

Sunday, February 15, 2015

Valentine's day with Chef Martin San Roman

My Valentine's day was in Mexico this time with Chef Martin San Roman from La Terrasse San Roman in Valle de Guadalupe Baja California. Right inside of Alximia a very interesting Winery from Valle de Guadalupe I think one of the most original for their design and history. 

Chef San Roman, open his cuisine "Baja - Provencale" for me and my camera and show me his magic at work. He has a great team that had been working with him for years. To be able to create a team like that you need to be great   on  leadership, coordination and organization and he has all those skills. He takes care with detail and precision every single detail to obtain the best quality. 

I though San Valentine's day it wasn't the perfect day for a photoshoot, my thoughts were almost negatives. But after this experience I have to say it has been one of the best Valentine's in years. Even all the people around, the orders, the tension on the kitchen etc. I tried to be a ghost for them. 

Chef Martin San Roman Born in Mexico City, graduated from L'Ecole Lenotre in Paris, France. His experience developed in great hotels like Fauchon and Le Meridien Hotels in Paris, the London Hilton. etc. Had a cooking show with Televisa Network the most important from Mexican TV for eight years with strong fallowing on both sides of US and Mexico Border. Chef San Roman has traveled the world representing Mexican Classic and Modern cuisine and has received more than 250 awards from 12 different countries. 

Chef San Roman has been a member of Mexico's Vatel Club; Acedemie Culinaire de France; Societe des Cuisiniers de Paris, and the American culinary Federation, he was spokesperson for Tijuana Inovadora 2012, and he is a Chef consultant for Restaurante Parilla Argentina El Diego in Monterrey and Mexico City. Chef San Roman is also consulting Chef for Dobson's, Hotel Boutique Casa Fernanda in Tepoztlan, Mexico and Whole Foods Markets in San Diego. Chef Martin San Roman brings a refreshing fusion approach to La Terrasse's Baja Proven├žale cuisine.

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Pasta Fabbri

I remember my first trip to Italy long time ago, the first thing I wanted to have it was "The Pasta" and you won't believe me but it taste completely different from what I used to have in other countries. For that I wanted to find out is a good place to represent this amazing product. Pasta Fabbri is a family business, comparably with other brands I should say small but with the best quality. 

Pasta Fabbri born in 1893 in the heart of Chianti in Tuscany  from that time the family work with passion producing an excellent product. They produce dry pasta using brass molds with the best bases working only with Italian wheat mainly from Tuscany. I notice that They pay special attention to every single process is incredible how they take at least 6 days on the dry process. 

Their main goal is share to the world the Good Food culture, in their website they show us how to recognize a good pasta, and they share some great recipes to use with. 

An special thank to Giovanni Fabbri for his great explanation about how they made their pasta. Using just flour and water, in the interior of their building they have a Museum "The Pasta Museum" wish is very interesting because he has been collecting everything regarding to processing of Pasta. Making a great collection of Pasta makers machines, books, and some other interesting tools. 

Giovanni show me every single step how to make their pasta, and I love they way the use. Is impossible to post all the photos from my visit but you should come with me some day and visit their place.