by Lina Malafronte
Pistachio and mortadella. It’s the happy and gourmet duet that, these days, La Notizia introduces to its guests, contained between the murzillo saporito two layers of soft dough, a perfect starter for an excellent dinner.
Originating from the Middle East, the singularity of the pistachio, with its taste oscillating between sweet and salty, overstepped its geographical boundaries to impose itself, without the need of any kind of articulated introductions, as a special ingredient for a fascinating variety of recipes around the world, where it takes some funny names. For the Chinese it is the “happy nut”, for the Iranians the
“smiling nut”, for people from Bronte the “Sicily’s green gold”. Whatever its name, the pistachio, elixir of health and flavour, makes its way, with or without the shell, whole or chopped, salted or toasted, from the aperitif to the dessert.
Prehistoric snack, already mentioned in the Bible, the little green nut was for a long time considered as noble food, privilege of a minority group. Refined delicacy of the royal banquets, but also good luck symbol. It seems that in the eastern countries the couples usually meet, on moonlight nights, under a pistachio trees and if they hear the sound of a shell open it is a hope for a long and happy life together.
However, there is not just one kind of pistachio. From Turkey, Syria, the United States and China tons of pistachios arrive, but no one can equal the special nature of those that bloom in Bronte between the volcanic debris and the rebellious lava.
Brought by the Arabs, the Pistacia vera fruits occupy, in the Sicilian town founded by the Cyclops, more than 3000 hectares and with the approval of a double title, PDO and Slow Food Presidium, are harvested every two years. This is when the trees fortify to give their best in the fruitful year when the good taste of those little gems is trapped in pesto sauces, creams and pastes.
And with green pistachio pesto from Bronte PDO, smoked buffalo mozzarella cheese and Pasquini & Brusiani mortadella, the last and most important artisan sausage factory from Bologna, Enzo Coccia, while the key moment of dry fruits is approaching, filled one of his creations, tasty in name and in deed, a mixture of wholewheat flour and 00 flour. The history of this Mortadella with capital “m”, a Slow Food Presidium too, brings us back to the 50’s, when Pasquini, artisan butcher, and his father-in-law Brusiani, son of one stufatore, the man in charge of cooking the meat, started to decide the delicious sausage destiny. Only an infinitesimal amount of preservatives and pure pork meat packed in the pig bladder make the mortadella produced in via Delle Tofane 38 shop an authentic ambrosia.
This murzillo, combined with a cold and rich of scents beer or a sparkling wine like the Gragnano one, promises to be like the first love, unforgettable!