Category Archives: Italiano (I Tell Ya I Know)

“The History of Coffee – Espresso”

“The History of Coffee – Espresso”

7 Fast Facts About Espresso

November 23 is National Espresso Day! (FYI – “The First Pull” refers to “pulling” a fresh shot of espresso.)

Here are 7 things you should know about this delicious beverage, illustrated with GIFs.

1. Espresso is not a particular type of coffee bean or a particular roast, it is a drink.

Specifically, it is a particular type of coffee brewing method that uses high pressure to force nearly boiling water through finely ground coffee in about 20-30 seconds.

2. “Crema” is the initial light/tawny colored liquid that comes out during an espresso extraction.

Learn more about why crema is so important to espresso aficionados.

3. Espresso is regulated by the Italian government because it is considered an essential part of their daily life.

Related: How to Drink Espresso Like an Italian

4. Espresso machines use 132 pounds per square inch of pressure to extract coffee.

Traditional drip coffee brewers just use boring gravity.

5.One shot of espresso requires 50 coffee beans.

And just one bad bean in the blend can ruin the taste.

6. Brewed espresso has 2.5% fat, while filtered coffee contains 0.6% fat.

This is because espresso is an emulsion; or a liquid composed of stratified oils. (Extra coffee fact: A coffee bean is roughly 12% oil.)

Zero gravity coffee cup – via NASA

7. As of 2015, astronauts on the International Space Station can brew fresh espresso on board.

For a drink that’s really out of this world. [Ed. note: Sorry.]


A visual reference for ingredient ratios.



“Espresso System animated explanations” 

“Espresso System animated explanations” 


 I’ll have a MOCHA ESPRESSO with a Buttercrunch Biscotti, to go, please!
A Coffee, Hazelnut & Cream Flavored Edible Cocktail

When I decided to make a coffee flavored cocktail gel I kept thinking of how people order their chi-chi coffees at places like Starbucks and that great parody of the whole process in the movie L.A. Story with Steve Martin and Sarah Jessica Parker.

This inspired my whole approach to how I decided to make this Mocha Espresso Edible Cocktail. To tickle the barrista in my soul, I have created a “mocha espresso with a shot of hazelnut. a dash of cinnamon” and it comes with an order of three little gel biscotti on the plate!

This is my “half, double decaffeinated, half-caff” homage to all silliness we’ve gotten involved with in ordering a simple cup of coffee. It’s a little tongue in cheek presentation, complete with a twist of humor!  MOCHA ESPRESSOEdible Cocktail

Espresso Layer

1 C. Espresso
1 C. Kahlua
2 Pkgs. Knox Gelatin
3 Tsp. Cinnamon
1/2 C. Sugar

Mocha Layer

1/2 C. Coffee
1/2 C. Milk
1/2 C. Hazelnut Liqueur
1/2 C. Hazelnut Creamer
2 Pkgs. Knox Gelatin

Garnish & Presentation

Cooking Spray
1 Tbsp. Ground Coffee
Whipped Cream
Crushed Up Butterfingers
Cinnamon Powder
Serving Platter


Measuring Cups
Non-stick Medium Saucepan
Non-stick spoon
12 – 16 Small Plastic Shot Cups
Mini Loaf Pan or similar small pan
Sharp, Thin Blade Knife


  • Spray all your molds with cooking spray and set aside.
  • Measure out all your ingredients and get your tools ready.
  • Pour your non- alcoholic liquid (juice, water, puree, milks, creams, etc.) into your saucepan, stir well and let this sit for a few minutes.
  • Place the saucepan on a burner, turn the heat to low and warm the mixture, stirring constantly, until the gelatin is completely dissolved. This takes about 2 to 4 minutes. Do not boil, it’s not necessary.
  • Remove the pan from the burner and, if the recipe calls for a package of dessert gelatin, stir it in.
  •  Next, quickly stir in your alcohol ingredient.
  •  Pour gelatin mixture immediately into whatever mold(s) you plan on using.
  •  Place in the refrigerator to set for at least an hour.
  •  You can then pour on additional layers, if any.
  •  Once all layers are set, you are ready cut, press out with a cookie cutter and/or release the elements of your cocktail gels and plate.


  • I used the small, plastic shot glasses for my molds to get the shape of a cup of coffee from a coffee house.
  • Start with the espresso layer first and do the mocha layer last. Save enough of the mocha gelatin to make your Gel Biscotti.
  • To make the small Gel Biscotti I reserved about 1/3 of a cup of the mocha layer and poured this into the small loaf pan. I tossed in the crushed Butterfingers, let it set then cut out small crescents with my knife. I then rolled the round edge in the cinnamon sugar mixture.


  • If you are molding in a cake pan, dip your knife blade in hot water and slide it around the edge of the cake pan. Do the same when you cut out the separate pieces. Use a flat metal spatula to lift your gel out of the pan.
  • Cookie cutters don’t need to be heated and silicone molds do not need to be heated to release either – but don’t forget the cooking spray before you pour your gelatin into any mold!
  • Most cocktail gels can be frozen, depending on the ingredients.
  • If you’re preparing these for a party that will have children present create some without alcohol simply by replacing the liquor with the same amount of a non- alcoholic liquid or puree of a complimentary flavor, BUT be sure to make the non-alcoholic ones look very different from the ones with alcohol.




“Martin Zarzar – Moliendo Cafe/Grinding Coffee” 

“Martin Zarzar – Moliendo Cafe/Grinding Coffee” 

Pink Martini’s percussionist Martin Zarzar sings Moliendo Café, a song by popular Venezuelan composer Hugo Blanco (September 25, 1940 – June 14, 2015). From his solo album named “Two Dollars to Ride the Train” which released in 2012.

Pink Martini is a musical group that was formed in 1994 by pianist Thomas Lauderdale in Portland, Oregon. Members of the band call it a little orchestra that crosses the genres of classical music, classic pop, Latin music, and jazz.[1] The co-lead vocalists for Pink Martini are China Forbes[2]and Storm Large.

Moliendo Café” is a Venezuelan song that has become popular around the world. The authorship of the song is disputed between Hugo Blanco and his maternal uncle, Jose Manzo Perroni. According to Hugo Blanco, he composed the song in 1958, and since he was not of age (he was 17 years old), he asked his uncle to register the work for him at SACVEN (Sociedad de Autores y Compositores de Venezuela). A few years later, Jose Manzo Perroni sued his nephew for appropriating the work, claiming that it was he who composed the song, and that his nephew had stolen the melody. The first to record “Moliendo Café” was Mario Suárez in 1958; Hugo Blanco did not record it himself until 1961. Blanco’s version hit #1 in Argentina and Japan in 1961.[1][2]

Cuban singer Xiomara Alfaro‘s Spanish-language version peaked at #1 in Peru.[3] Lucho Gatica‘s version of the song peaked at #3 in Spain.[4] Mina‘s version topped the Italian singles chart and was the #11 track on the end-of-year chart.[5] At present, the song has more than 800 versions in many languages. In Japan, the song’s title is “Coffe Rumba”. In Indonesia, the song is titled “Kopi Dangdut” and was a hit in that country in 1991. Ricardo Montaner performed a cover of the song on his 2001 album Sueño Repetido.

“Moliendo Café” has become a popular chant for soccer fans around the world. The chant is widely known as “Dale Cavese” and has the same tune as the song.

“Martin Zarzar – Moliendo Cafe/Grinding Coffee” – Lyrics…. 

 This song is by Mina and appears on the album Moliendo Café (1962). 

When the afternoon languishes and the shadows are reborn And it is the stillness of the coffee plantations again feel 

This sad song of love of the old mill 

That in the lethargy of the night you hear moaning. A pain of love, a sadness He carries the zambo Manuel and in his bitterness 

Spend the night grinding coffee. 

When the afternoon languishes and the shadows are reborn 

And it is the stillness of the coffee plantations again feel 

This sad song of love of the old mill 

That in the lethargy of the night you hear moaning



“Copacabana (At the Copa)” 

“Copacabana (At the Copa)” 

The song was inspired by a conversation between Manilow and Sussman at the Copacabana Hotel in Rio de Janeiro, when they discussed whether there had ever been a song called “Copacabana”. After returning to the US, Manilow — who, in the 1960s, had been a regular visitor to the Copacabana nightclub in New York City — suggested that Sussman and Feldman write the lyrics to a story song for him. They did so, and Manilow supplied the music.[1]



“The Ultimate Dining Experience: A Rock And A Hard Place”  

“The Ultimate Dining Experience: A Rock And A Hard Place”  

Yes, it is a cave…   a hollow place in the ground.   Specifically,  a natural underground space large enough for a human to enter. Caves form naturally by the weathering of rock and often extend deep underground. The word cave can also refer to much smaller openings such as sea cavesrock shelters, and grottos.

It is estimated that the maximum depth of a cave cannot be more than 3,000 metres (9,800 ft) due to the pressure of overlying rocks. For karst caves the maximum depth is determined on the basis of the lower limit of karst forming processes, coinciding with the base of the soluble carbonate rocks.

Most caves are formed in limestone by dissolution.

But check this cave out:

Stunning views over the Adriatic, a warm summer night’s breeze and world class dining – the only thing the Grotta Palazzese is missing is four walls.

This enchanting restaurant in Polignano a Mare in Southern Italy was built inside a cave centuries ago, allowing for one of the world’s most unique dining experiences.
Carved from the cliff face’s limestone, the restaurant juts out 74 feet above sea level, allowing diners to watch the waves lap the shores just beneath them.

Yes, ‘Breathtaking’: A Restaurant Grotto, situated in a limestone cave in Southern Italy

And, it is also ‘Stunning’: It is just 74 ft above sea level, allowing diners to watch the waves lap the shores below

The dramatic view over the sea is best viewed from one of the dimly-lit tables for two that sweep along the cave’s edge.


As they take in the sea view, they can enjoy dishes such as Thai squid and grilled garlic prawns with glasses of Fiano di Avellino(and so much more) – at more than $100 a head.   Right here:

World class: Dishes include Thai squid and grilled garlic prawns, and meals can cost $100 a head
Atmospheric: The dimly-lit tables for two along the water's edge offer the most romantic seats in the house
Atmospheric: The dimly-lit tables for two along the water’s edge offer the most romantic seats in the house

And if diners want to work up an appetite before the meal, they can meander through the narrow streets of the medieval town, built on sheer cliffs with scattered white buildings and natural caves.

The setting also provided a feast for the eyes for local nobility during grand banquets at the restaurant as far back as the 1700s.

The grotta – Italian for ‘cave’ – is part of the Grotta Palazzese hotel, which is located above and built from local stone. The restaurant is open from May to October.

Cave: The restaurant, which is only open in the summer months, is situated beneath a hotel
Cave: The restaurant, which is only open in the summer months, is situated beneath a hotel
Quiet: The restaurant, near Bari in Southern Italy, offers spacious tables and an ever-changing menu
Quiet: The restaurant, near Bari in Southern Italy, offers spacious tables and an ever-changing menu
Tranquil: Diners can enjoy dinner while overlooking the still Adriatic sea
Tranquil: Diners enjoy dinner while overlooking the still, Adriatic sea


Amaretto Iced Coffee

Despite the known history on the introduction and acceptance of almonds into Italian cuisine, newer takes on the meanings and origins have been popularized by the two major brands. Though of sometimes questionable factuality, these tales hold a sentimental place in Saronno culture:

In 1525, a Saronno church commissioned artist Bernardino Luini, one of Leonardo da Vinci‘s pupils, to paint their sanctuary with frescoes. As the church was dedicated to the Virgin Mary, Luini needed to depict the Madonna, but was in need of a model. He found his inspiration in a young widowed innkeeper, who became his model and (in most versions) lover. Out of gratitude and affection, the woman wished to give him a gift. Her simple means did not permit much, so she steeped apricot kernels in brandy and presented the resulting concoction to a touched Luini.

Amaretto (Italian for “a little bitter”) is a sweet, almond-flavoured, Italian liqueur associated with SaronnoItaly. Various commercial brands are made from a base of apricot pits, almonds, or both.[1]

Amaretto serves a variety of culinary uses, can be drunk by itself, and is added to other beverages to create several popular mixed drinks, as well as to coffee.




“Cafetière italienne Mukka Express Bialetti” 

  1. “Cafetière italienne Mukka Express Bialetti”   24 APR



%d bloggers like this: