International Day of Italian Cuisines

International Day of Italian Cuisines 2012


IDIC 2012 Celebrated the World Culinary Leadership of Italian Cuisine

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For the fifth year in a row the International Day of Italian Cuisines was celebrate on last January 17. Once again it has been a worldwide promotion of authentic and quality Italian Cuisine. The IDIC 2012 official dish was OSSOBUCO IN GREMOLATA ALLA MILANESE, another culinary landmark of Italy, originated in Milan, Region of Lombardia. The traditional global ola of Ossobuco in Gremolata alla Milanese was once again headed by hundreds of chefs and restaurateurs belonging to itchefs-GVCI network in more than 70 countries.


Rosario Scarpato, IDIC Director, Master Chef Gennaro Esposito, Dorothy Cann Hamilton, Founder of The International Culinary Center and Cesare Casella, Dean of Italian Studies at the ICC

The launch of IDIC 2011 took place in New York City at the International Culinary Center - School of Italian Studies with two days of great events including the Launching Gala Dinner prepared by Guest Master Chef Gennaro Esposito (Torre del Saracino, Vico Equense Napoli), the Made by Italian Hands Workshops, two Master Cooking Classes by Esposito and Pino Cuttaia (La Madia Restaurant - Licata Agrigento), the New York Challenge of the Risotto World Summit just to mention a few, and two LIVE Conferences with Milan and Moscow where launching press conferences were held simultaneously.

IDIC 2012 Gala Dinner in New York City by Guest Master Chef Gennaro Esposito

This year, 2 Michelin starred Master Chef Gennaro Esposito prepared the Special VIP and Media Gala Dinner for the Launch of the 5th edition of the IDIC. Thanks to the collaboration with Ferrarelle the dinner took place at the International Culinary Center on January 11 and it was accompanied by a special presentation of Luca Gardini, Best Sommelier in the world (2010 WSA).

See the MENU


Italian Cuisine New York Awards

Rosario Scarpato, Fortunato Nicotra (Felidia Restaurant), one of the awardees of the evening, and Cesare Casella

The IDIC is a unique opportunity to reward solemnly distinguished professionals who have made an outstanding contribution to the promotion of the Italian food and wine culture around the world. In the occasion of the Launch in New York a number of selected New York based chefs and restaurateurs were rewarded with a Certificate of Appreciation for their exceptional commitment to authentic and quality Italian Cuisine. Among the awardees were the chefs Kevin Garcia (Cesca), Mark Ladner (Del Posto), Fortunato Nicotra (Felidia), Fabio Trabocchi (Fiola), Jessica Botta (International Culinary Center) and the restaurateurs Sergio Bitici (Macelleria), Pino Luongo (Centolire), Gianfranco Sorrentino (Gattopardo) and Angelo Vivolo (Vivolo). The awards were presented to the winners by Dorothy Cann Hamilton, the Director of the International Culinary Center, and Rosario Scarpato in the presence of Grana Padano´s Chairman Nicola Cesare Baldrighi.

Sergio Bitici: “I am quality-oriented and that attracts fans and eventually the press”

Scott Conant: “Italian Cuisine has never been as popular as it is today”

Mark Ladner: “I'm heavily influenced by Italian art and design, Michelangelo & Leonardo Da Vinci, for example”

Fortunato Nicotra: “Cooking Italian is all about using seasonal and local products”

Giancarlo Quadalti: “I didn't become a chef overnight it took me many years of hard work, to learn how to make authentic Italian Cuisine”


Made by Italian Hands Workshops

Itchefs-GVCI and Cesare Casella, Dean of the School of Italian Studies at the International Culinary Center presented, as a part of the IDIC 2012 celebrations, a series of Demonstrations that put the focus on the importance of the hands in Italian Cuisine. They are kind of main "ingredients" in the making of fresh pasta, pizza, cold cuts and Italian pasticceria.

Master Cooking Class by Chef Gennaro Esposito

Master Cooking Class by Chef Pino Cuttaia

Preparation Ceremony of Ossobuco in Gremolata alla Milanese with Master Chef Matteo Scibilia


Risotto World Summit: The New York Challenge

The Winner of New York Risotto Challenge: Olivia Bonomi Todorov

Risotto is the most emblematic dish of contemporary Italian Cuisine in the world and the Risotto World Summit aims at reaffirming the history of this dish, its indisputable Italian roots, the reasons for its success around the world. Following the Hong Kong challenge held last November during the Italian Cuisine and Wines World Summit, a New York Challenge has been held during the IDIC launch. 12 talented finalists have took part into the competition. The judges of the Challenge have been Chef Pietro Zito (Italy), Chef Ivan Beacco (NY), Sommelier Luca Giardini, Chef Matteo Scibilia (Italy) and Chef Marcello Russodivito (NY). The Risotto Challenge was held at the International Culinary Centre on January 12 and the winner was Olivia Bonomi Todorov (see the Winning Recipe).



Chefs of the network itchefs-GVCI get together in Beijing for the IDIC 2012 at Marino D'Antonio's Aperitivo

Almost a thousand chefs in 70 countries prepared Ossobuco in Gremolata alla Milanese, the official dish of the IDIC 2012 and first and foremost of these were the associates of itchefs-gvci, the network of culinary professionals that promotes the event.



Rosario Scarpato, IDIC Director, and Chef Pietro Rongoni, host of the evening

On 17 January, Moscow was the centre of the IDIC worldwide celebrations, with the concluding ceremony of the Grana Padano Italian Cuisine Worldwide Awards as well as the Italian Cuisine Moscow Awards. The following day begun with the Risotto World Summit, Moscow Challenge and ended with a special presentation of the Consorzio Nazionale degli Olivicoltori´s dinner (see the MENU) for the spreading of it´s wonderful Program of Traceablility of Extra Virgin Olive Oil. The dinner was prepared by Gaetano Simonato of Tano, passami l´olio restaurant in Milano.

Grana Padano Italian Cuisine Worldwide Awards Gala Dinner

From left to right: Sergio Vineis, Marco Sacco, Rosario Scarpato, IDIC Director, Pietro Rongoni, host of the evening, Vilmo Perino, Tano Simonato and Nino Giardino

The Award Ceremony took place in Moscow on January 17 during a Gala Dinner (see the MENU) prepared by Master Chefs Marco Sacco, Sergio Vineis and Andrea Ribaldone of Stelle del Piemonte cooking team with an Ossobuco in Gremolata alla Milanese tasting, IDIC 2012 official dish, prepared by Tano Simonato, chef patron of Tano passami l´olio Restaurant in Milan. The Dinner was opened by a live video conference with Singapore, from where Mario Caramella, Chef Patron of Forlino Restaurant and GVCI Forum President, greeted the guests. Two more live connections were made with Giorgio Nava, chef patron of Keerom 95 in Cape Town (South Africa) and Villa Torretta Hotel in Milan, the epicentre of IDIC 2012 celebrations in Italy. In both places Ossobuco in Gremolata was the protagonist of the night, as in hundreds of other restaurants around the world.


The best Italian Chefs in Moscow presented with the ICMC Diploma

Talented Italian Chefs with the Diploma of Italian Cuisine Master Chef by Academia Barilla

At the end of the Dinner, seven talented Italian Chefs in Moscow were presented with the Diploma of Italian Cuisine Master Chef by Academia Barilla, they were Bruno Marino, Flaviano Biasatti, Mirco Galdino, Mirco Zago, Uilliam Lamberti and Valentino Bontempi.


Italian Cuisine Moscow Awards

Elena Cicalova receiving her award

The celebration of the IDIC in Moscow has been a wonderful opportunity to reward solemnly Russian personalities who are well known for their love of the Italian food and wine culture. They are among the best ambassadors of and educators to the authentic Italian cuisine, which is beloved by the Russian people. Together with a Certificate of appreciation they have been offered a luxury journey in the Piemonte Region, courtesy of Stelle Del Piemonte, Alexala (the tourist agency of Alessandria e Monferrato), and the Tourist Agency of Biella.


Grana Padano Italian Cuisine Worldwide Awards 2012 Ceremony

Chef Umberto Bombana, winner of the Award, shows the artistic Grana Padano silver wheel

The mission of the Italian Cuisine Worldwide Awards is to honour individuals who have made an outstanding contribution to the introduction, diffusion and preservation of the Italian food and wine culture in the countries they live in or in global context. The Awards, promoted by, are granted annually to chefs, writers, journalists and business people, for the work performed during the previous year or their whole careers. The pre selection for the Grana Padano Italian Cuisine Worldwide Awards 2012 was the result of a survey among the recently certified Italian Cuisine Master Chefs.

The Jury was composed by prestigious members of the food and wine industry: Luigi Cremona (Italian Touring Club Guides' coordinator), Paolo Marchi (founder of Identità Golose), Vinicio Eminenti (Accademia Italiana della Cucina China), Roberto Bava (Italian Cuisine in the world expert) and Rosario Scarpato (IDIC 2012 Director).

The 2012 winners are: SILVIA BERNARDINI (Mexico), UMBERTO BOMBANA (Hong Kong), DONATO DE SANTIS (Argentina), JOHN MARIANI (USA) and ANDREJ KOVALEV (Russia). MARIO CARAMELLA, Chef of Forlino Restaurant in Singapore and GVCI President received a special award for achievements made in his career and due to the high number of votes received in the survey.

The awards were presented to the winners by Garna Padano´s General Manager Stefano Berni with the presence of the Italian Ambassador in Russia Antonio Zanardi Landi.


Risotto World Summit: The Moscow Challenge

The chef Bruno Marino, Peshi Restaurant, winner of the Moscow Risotto Challenge wins a fantastic trip in the Collio Region, courtesy of the wineries Caccese, Picech, Roncus and Tenuta Villanova

The Moscow Risotto Challenge has been hosted at Aromi Restaurant. The jury, chaired by Francesca D´Orazio (Italy) was formed by Silvia Bernardini (Mexico), Chef Tano Simonato (Italy) and Rosario Scarpato (IDIC 2012 Director). The Challenge took place on January 17 and the winner was Bruno Marino.



IDIC 2012 at the Restaurant of Villa Torretta Hotel

From left: Aldo Palaoro, IDIC 2012 event coordinator in Milan, Francesca D'Orazio Buonerba, Afredo Zini, Vice President of Fipe and Paolo Marchi, founder and Director of Identita Golose

The Restaurant of Villa Torretta Hotel in Milan – Sesto San Giovanni has been the epicentre of the celebrations of IDIC 2012 in Italy. Inside the beautiful frescoed Restaurant’s rooms a launching press conference was hosted on January 12, with video conferences with New York and Moscow where similar events were held simultaneously. On January 17 a number of VIP selected guests gathered again in the Hotel to taste the Ossobuco in Gremolata alla Milanese cooked by Chef Angelo Nasta. In both cases the events were organized and coordinated by Aldo Palaoro (ICS Media and PR Agency) and Maurizio Palazzo, Food and Beverage Manager of the Restaurant. Among the guests there were talented chefs in both the occasions, including Tano Simonato, of Tano Passami l’olio Restaurant in Milan, and Matteo Scibilia, Chef Patron of the Osteria della Buona Condotta (Ornago) and President of the Consortium of Chefs of Lombardia.



What to drink with Ossobuco in Gremolata? The suggesitons of LUCA GARDINI

Luca Gardini, Best Sommellier in the world (2010 WSA), suggests 15 wines from all over Italy and one mineral water, Ferrarelle.

I choose wines that represent the most important Italian oenological regions, for both their typicality and personality. They symbolize the territory where they come from and are strongly linked to the tradition. Each one of them has the required characteristics to emphasize a tasty and rich dish as Ossobuco in Gremolata, accompanied perhaps by Risotto alla Milanese.

White or reds, rosé, still or sparkling, the wines to be preferred with this dish are those with a particular smoothness and pleasantness. The whites must have a limited acidity, the reds instead some gentle tannins and the sparkling must have fine and persistent bubbles, yet not excessive, to avoid the contrast with the spices in the dish. The chosen wines follow an ideal itinerary going from the North to the South of Italy. They all have a good body, to prevent the intensity of the dish from overshadowing the pleasure given by the wine, contributing to a harmonious match.


  • Barbera d’Alba DOC “Campo del Gatto” 2009, Costa di Bussia
  • Dolcetto D’Alba DOC “Canova” 2010, Ressia


  • Franciacorta DOCG Satèn 2008, Le Marchesine
  • Valtellina Superiore DOCG Grumello 2007, Aldo Rainoldi


  • Alto Adige DOC Schiava-Vernatsch 2009, Girlan


  • Spumante Brut Rosé Veneto IGT “Il Vigliacco” 2010, Buglioni


  • Collio DOC Friulano “Ronco delle Cime” 2010, Venica


  • Lambrusco Grasparossa Colli di Scandiano e di Canossa DOC “Sanruffino” 2010, Casali Viticultori


  • Maremma IGT Vermentino “Litorale” 2010, Val delle Rose
  • Montecucco Sangiovese DOC “Marleo” 2009, Salustri


  • Colli Maceratesi DOC Bianco “Angera” 2010, Il Pollenza


  • Fiano di Avellino DOCG 2009, Guido Marsella


  • Trebbiano d’Abruzzo DOC 2010, La Valentina


  • Salento IGT Rosato “Il Màcaro” 2010, Valle dell’Asso


  • Sicilia IGT Frappato 2008, Arianna Occhipinti

...and the Water

If the mission of the wine is to create a harmony with the food, the task of the water is to make that match perfect.

The fatty characteristics of Ossobuco require a thirst quenching effervescent water with a deterging action, which permits to appreciate the satisfying structure of this dish yet refreshing the palate.

The intense aromatic components of the dish and its spiciness force us to exclude waters with a too aggressive effervescence, which could increase its heaviness generating a sensation of heat or even causticity.

Finally, being a rich and tasty dish, it’s preferable to match it with a full flavored water with the right content of mineral salts. Ferrarelle water, with its natural effervescence, guarantees a perfect tasting balance, by contrasting the fattiness, highlighting the aromas and fulfilling the palate.


Italian Cuisine Moscow Awards

The IDIC - International Day of Italian Cuisines is a unique opportunity to reward solemnly distinguished professionals who have made an outstanding contribution to the promotion of the Italian food and wine culture around the world. In the occasion of the IDIC Launch the following selected number of Moscow based professionals were rewarded with a Certificate of Appreciation for their exceptional commitment to authentic and quality Italian Cuisine.

The Winners:




Italian Cuisine New York Awards

The IDIC - International Day of Italian Cuisines is a unique opportunity to reward solemnly distinguished professionals who have made an outstanding contribution to the promotion of the Italian food and wine culture around the world. In the occasion of the Launch of the IDIC the following selected number of New York based professionals were rewarded with a Certificate of Appreciation for their exceptional commitment to authentic and quality Italian Cuisine.


Macelleria Restaurant >


< Coordinator and Chef Instructor, School of Italian Studies


Scarpetta Restaurant >


< Peasant Restaurant


Cesca Restaurant >


< Del Posto Restaurant


Centolire Restaurant >


< Felidia Restaurant


Sant’Ambroeus Restaurant >


< Il Gattopardo Restaurant


Fiola Restaurant >


< Vetri Restaurant


Vivolo Cucina Restaurant >


< Marea, Alto, Convivio Restaurant


Antonucci Restaurant >


< Teodora Restaurant



IDIC 2012: VIP Gala Dinner. A Great Master Chef at Work

This year, 2 Michelin starred Master Chef Gennaro Esposito prepared the Special VIP Gala Dinner that was also the Launch of the 5th edition of the IDIC. It took place at the Italian Culinary Center on January 11.

See IDIC 2012 Program


IDIC 2012: Made By Italian Hands Demos in New York City

Itchefs-GVCI and Cesare Casella Dean of the School of Italian Studies at the International Culinary Center presented, as a part of the IDIC 2012 celebrations, a series of Demonstrations that put the focus on the importance of the hands as a main "ingredient" of different disciplines such as fresh pasta making, pizza making, cold cuts and Italian pasticceria.

10:00 hs

Tradition and innovation in the Italian Pasticceria

Master Pastry Chef: Gianluca Fusto

11:30 hs

The magic of making fresh pasta: orecchiette & tarallini from Puglia

Master Chef: Pietro Zito

14:00 hs

The joy of making salami, salsiccia and Co.

Master Butcher: Simone Fracassi

15:30 hs

The role of the hands in making great pizza

Pizza Masters: Domenico Crolla and Massimiliano Crocetti

Culinary coordinator: Jessica Botta

See IDIC 2012 Program


IDIC 2012 Celebrations in Japan at Genovese with Chef Giulio Vierci











国際イタリア料理デー(The International Day of Italian Cuisines, IDIC)は、イタリア料理が”改造”されている近年の風潮を危惧して定められました。


世界70カ国で働く1,700人以上もの食のプロ達のネットワークitchefs-GVCI (Virtual Group of Italian Chefs)の呼びかけているこの年一回の行事に、毎年世界中何千人ものシェフ、レストラン支配人、イタリアンフード愛好者たちが参加しています。




そして今回、Ossobuco in Gremolata alla Milanese(オッソブーコ・イン・グレモラータ、ミラノ風)が2012年IDICの一皿として選ばれ、世界数百店舗のレストランで本物のレシピをもとに提供されます。

詳しくは、 (英語サイト)をご覧ください。


Ossobuco (two S, one C) in Gremolata alla Milanese: The Official Dish of the IDIC 2012

For the fifth year in a row the International Day of Italian Cuisines comes back on the next January 17, 2012. Once again it will be a worldwide celebration of authentic and quality Italian Cuisine. The IDIC 2012 official dish is OSSOBUCO IN GREMOLATA ALLA MILANESE, another landmark of Italian Cuisines originated in Milan, Region of Lombardia. The by now traditional global ola of Ossobuco in Gremolata alla Milanese will be once again headed by hundreds of GVCI associates from more than 40 countries but any Italian Food lover or any lover of good food can be a part of this unique event. Joining the celebration is easy: just, fill in this form and prepare Ossocuco con Gremolata on January 17, 2012 according to the authentic recipe. We also love receiving photos from all over the world so please do so too!

The launch of IDIC 2011 will take place in New York City at the International Culinary Center with two days of great events: The Gala Dinner, Workshops, Master Cooking Classes, just to mention a few, and a LIVE Conference with Milan where a press conference will be held simultaneously. On 17 January, Moscow will be the centre of IDIC worldwide celebrations, with the concluding ceremony of the Grana Padano Italian Cuisine Worldwide Awards.

JOIN the global ola of Ossobuco in Gremolata alla Milanese!


That Tender, Juicy Ossobuco. The Symbol of the Most Tempting Italian Cuisine

By Rosario Scarpato
Director of IDIC – International Day of Italian Cuisines 2012

Ossobuco, with all its erroneously written variants (osobuco, ossobucco, osso bucco, etc.) is one of the best known Italian words in the world. Not by chance, in only 0.26 seconds Google in English gives almost 2,000,000 results with this name. The word means hollow-bone and, in culinary terms, it refers to the Italian dish ossobuco with gremolata alla milanese, whose basic ingredient is veal shank, more specifically, to the one made with the middle part of the hind shank, which has enough tender meat around the marrowbone, which the fore shank doesn’t have. Its popularity makes Ossobuco one of the most counterfeited dishes of Italian traditional cuisine in the world. For this reason it has been proclaimed as the official dish of the 5th edition of the IDIC – International Day of Italian Cuisines, whose mission is to preserve and protect authenticity and quality of the Italian cookery. The previous editions of the IDIC celebrated Spaghetti alla carbonara, Risotto alla milanese, Tagliatelle al ragù bolognese and Pesto alla Genovese. All these dishes share the same profile; while deeply rooted in their areas of their origin, all have become, with the passing of the years, symbols of the Italian “national” cuisine, particularly abroad.

Why is Ossobuco so popular around the world?

Based on historical evidence, there is not a single answer to this question. This dish emigrated from Italy with migrants, possibly, but not necessarily, with those coming from Lombardy, its origin. The recipe, at least in the 19th century and thereafter, has become well-known and is made all around Italy. Among the possible reasons of the popularity of ossobuco are certainly its low cost and the relative easiness of its preparation. The low cost doesn’t necessarily mean, however, that it was a dish for the poor; it was simply an ideal dish for families. Served with risotto or polenta, ossobuco made and makes a delicious and satisfying meal. It was originally a seasonal dish, to be cooked in winter time on charcoal or wood stoves, which in the past, also had the function of warming the household. Its familiar profile caused its success on the menus of the Italian restaurants opened by migrants all around the word, which were based almost totally on hearty, home cooking. However, a notable contribution to the worldwide popularity of Ossobuco was the inclusion of its recipe in famous collections published outside Italy. It was featured in France, for example, in the famous Art Culinaire Moderne by Henri-Paul Pellaprat , since its first edition in 1935, and in England as well, in the Elizabeth David’s book Italian Food at the beginning of the 1950s. Ossobuco a la milanaise, with some variations, has become part of the French home cooking tradition as well.

Where and when was the dish born?

From left to right: Elizabeth David and Pellegrino Artusi

Milan claims to be the city where Ossobuco was born. Its City Council, in 2007, solemnly declared the oss (or òs) buss, ossobuco in Milanese dialect, as part of the De.Co. (Denominazioni Comunali in Italian, or “community denominations”), which is an official public acknowledgement that a certain dish or product belongs to a certain territory. There is no dispute of the fact that Ossobuco originated in Region of Lombardy. No one, however, can say exactly when. The use of marrowbones and veal shanks was common in middle age Italian cuisine but there is no evidence of the presence of ossobuco (alla milanese) as a dish, at that time.

If we take into consideration the gremolata that accompanies Ossobuco, we can presume that the dish was already made in the 18th century. According to culinary historians it was at the time of the Illuminist Revolution that lemon – in this case the rind used in the gremolata – radically replaced the more expensive spices such as cloves, cinnamon and nutmeg. In that period and before, though, the dish didn’t include tomatoes, which became widely used only at the end of the 18th century. Some authors believe that Ossobuco has a very recent history, since it doesn’t appear in the popular cookbooks of the 19th century, such as La vera cucina lombarda (The True Lombard Cuisine) published in 1890 by an unknown author. Since this book was mainly direct to housewives, the American food writer Clifford Wright believes that Ossobuco was a dish born in a “professional” context, that is, in some osteria – the small, family-ran eateries catering to neighbourhoods in Milan. But then this thesis appears weak, because in 1891 the recipe of ossobuco alla milanese was included by Pellegrino Artusi in his La Scienza in Cucina e l’Arte di mangiar bene (The Science in the Kitchen and the Art of Eating well), the first collection of Italian national cuisine ever published, a celebration of both home cooking and well known dishes from all over Italy. Artusi wouldn’t have ever included ossobuco alla milanese in his book if it hadn’t been around and known for long, long time.

From left to right: Clifford Wright and Marcella Hazan

Variations that still make the dish authentic

As in the case of many other Italian traditional dishes there is not just one way of making authentic Ossobuco alla milanese. Variations however are well within the parameter of what is intended by authenticity in Italian Cuisine, that is, which is defined more by what is not accepted in a recipe rather than a single way of doing it.

The classic recipes of Ossobuco appearing in many cookbooks, including La cucina lombarda by Alessandro Molinari Pradelli and Cuochi si diventa (which can be translated: No one was born a cook) by Allan Bay, start off by making a simple soffritto of chopped onion sautéed in butter or butter and oil until translucent. The ossobuchi, lightly floured, are then to be browned adequately on both sides in the same pan with the onion (or without, to avoid the risk of burning it). White wine should be then added and the cooking should continue with the heat lowered and the pan covered.

From left to right: Alessandro Molinari Pradelli, Allan Bay and his book, Cuochi si diventa

In other recipes, such as those appearing in Artusi’s La Scienza in cucina and Marcela Hazan's Essentials of Classic Italian Cooking, chopped carrot and celery join the onion, to make what is known as the classic “Italian soffritto, which is also recommended in the recipe of Mario Caramella. Anna Gosetti della Salda in Le ricette regionali italiane, includes a single clove of garlic to be lightly browned in the butter and removed before adding the ossobuchi to the soffritto, which according to some recipes may also contain prosciutto or pancetta.

Flouring the veal, which was a way to tenderize the meat in the past, appears only in some recipes and definitely not in Artusi, nor in Hazan.

Traditional recipes call for dousing the browned veal with wine and then letting it evaporate. Then the ossobuchi are seasoned with pepper and salt and cooked at low heat in the covered skillet, turning them over from time to time and dousing them with broth as needed. That is the original Italian technique called arrosto morto “dead roasting” or stove-top braising, which in the past few decades has been replaced by a way of cooking very common in French cuisine, after the wine evaporates the ossobuchi are covered with broth and placed in a hot oven to braise. This technique starts to appear in the Seventies of the 20th century as in Marcela Hazan’s Essentials (1974).

From left to right: Il mangiatore di fagioli in the cover of Ada Boni´s famous Il talismano della felicità and Pellegrino Artusi's La Scienza in Cucina e l’Arte di mangiar bene

The gremolata (‘gremolada’ or ‘cremolata’), in its basic and traditional version is prepared out of parsley, garlic and lemon zest finely chopped together. Gremolata comes from the Milanese word “gremolà”, ‘reduce to grains’ and it was used in the past also to season scaloppine and dishes made with rabbit. It is added to ossobuco only at the end, before serving it. Sometimes the gremolada contains rosemary and sage too, or even anchovy, as Ada Boni recommend in her Il Talismano della Felicità.

“Soft as the leg of an angel”

The veal should braise until the meat can fall off the bone and can be eaten with a fork alone. The veal shank should be from a very young, milk-fed calf. Actually, according the American poet Billy Collins, who wrote a poem named Osso Buco (“something you don't hear much about in poetry,/ that sanctuary of hunger and deprivation”), the meat should be “soft as the leg of an angel / who has lived a purely airborne existence”. Tenderness and juiciness are the key to the best ossobuco. The marrow is a delicacy on its own and is traditionally dug out, in Lombardy, with a small, long-handled spoon called esattore (tax collector). Ossobuco is traditionally served surrounded by risotto alla milanese but goes well with mashed potatoes or crusty bread. One thing is sure, after eating it, it should generate a feeling that Collins describes as “the lion of contentment” placing “a warm heavy paw” on the chest of those who have dined on Ossobuco.

From left to right: Gremolata and esattore

My Favourite Recipe of Ossobuco in Gremolata alla Milanese

By Mario Caramella
GVCI President

This recipe will probably raise some controversial comments, but in my opinion and experience, this is a recipe that respects tradition, gives a clear direction to non-Italian colleagues and allows anybody in any part of the world to be able to produce a great ossobuco in gremolata.

A few recommendations before the recipe:

  • Ossobuco can be served with classic risotto alla milanese or with a simple risotto with grana cheese (Grana Padano or Parmigiano Reggiano) can also be a good. Mashed potatoes or polenta are also valid alternatives.
  • Ossobuco can’t be reheated; it is one of those dishes that should be cooked and served.
  • Do not use demi-glace or obsolete beef juice, if you do so it means you really do not understand what ossobuco is about.
  • Do not serve overcooked spaghetti with it as we have seen in many 5-star hotels around the world, and write its name properly.
  • Not ossibucco or osobbucco or osso bucco; once and for all, the the name is ossobuco! Two s, one c! OK?

Recipe (serves: 2)

For the Ossobuco

  • 4 hind veal shank cut 4 to 5 cm thick and 9 to 10 cm large
  • 100 g celery brunoise
  • 100 g carrot brunoise
  • 100 g onion chopped
  • 200 g butter
  • 800 ml veal broth
  • 300 ml white wine
  • 120 g Prosciutto di Parma PDO (Parma ham) with fat, cut diced
  • 200 g tomato, peeled, chopped
  • 150 ml extra virgin olive oil

For the Gremolata

  • 3 g lemon rinds, cut brunoise
  • 6 g sprigs parsley, Italian, chopped
  • 3 g cloves garlic, peeled and chopped
  • Salt and white pepper


  1. Place half of the oil and butter in a casserole and heat over medium flame, season the veal and place in the hot casserole, brown for 5 minutes per side till they are nicely seared and golden brown.
  2. Remove the veal and set aside.
  3. Pour off the excessive fat, add the rest of the butter and the olive oil in the same casserole and add the carrots, the Parma ham, the celery and the onion.
  4. Sauté at low heat until they are wilted.
  5. Turn up the heat.
  6. Add the wine and reduce till almost evaporated.
  7. Add the tomato and the veal broth and bring to a boil.
  8. Carefully arrange the veal in the casserole and spoon some of the vegetables and broth over it, the liquid should cover the surface of the veal, if not, add some more broth.
  9. The casserole should contain the veal just right, however make sure your casserole is not too big or you will end up with to much sauce in the casserole, cxl- the right size brings the liquid cxl with the veal to a boil.
  10. Cover the casserole with foil and place in a pre-heated oven at 180° Celsius, continue cooking for 2 hours.
  11. Remove the foil for the last 30 minute so the surface of the veal will caramelize nicely.
  12. In the meantime prepare the gremolata by mixing the lemon skin brunoise with the chopped parsley and garlic.
  13. At this point the veal will be tender enough that you can eat it with the fork, and the marrow, well-cooked, will develop its characteristic unctuous texture and incomparable flavor.
  14. To serve, remove the veal from the casserole and place it in a hot bowl.
  15. Remove the excessive oil from the sauce, add some veal broth if needed, bring to a boil, adjust the flavor and spoon it over the veal.
  16. Sprinkle the gremolata on top and serve immediately.

IDIC 2012: The Map

Click here to see the map of chefs and restaurants joining our International Day of Italian Cuisines celebration. We will be updating this map as chefs, restaurants, institutions get on board our global ola that will reach its peak on January 17th 2012 when all around the globe people will be cooking and tasting Ossobuco in Gremolata alla Milanese.


IDIC 2012: The Global Program


Click here to read the worldwide program of events for the IDIC 2012.


The list: chefs, restaurants and institutions joining and supporting IDIC 2012

The number of chefs and restaurants joining our International Day of Italian Cuisines celebration grows larger every year. We will be updating this list as chefs, restaurants, institutions get on board our global ola that will reach its peak on January 17th 2012 when all around the globe people will be cooking and tasting Ossobuco in Gremolata alla Milanese.


  • Adrian Soldano, Capo Restaurant, Buenos Aires
  • Donato de Santis, Cucina Paradiso, Buenos Aires
  • Donato de Santis, Spazio Da Donato, Buenos Aires
  • Leonardo Fumarola, L’Adesso, Buenos Aires
  • Mauro Crivellin, Ristorantino italiano, Buenos Aires


  • Leonardo Russi, Magnolia Beach Club di Arrajal d´Ajuda, Porto Seguro
  • Paulo Pecora, Sociale Cucina Restaurant, São Paulo


  • Gabriele Paganelli, Paganelli`s Risotteria, Toronto
  • Gianpiero Tondina, Copper Creek Golf Club, Kleinburg


  • Roberto Illari, El Atelier Gastronomico, Santiago de Chile
  • Walter Monticelli, Caprese Ristorante, Santiago de Chile


  • Luigi Passano, Riviera Restaurant, Guayaquil


  • Byron Anzueto Alvarado, Club Italiano
  • Giuseppe Atzori, Vista Real Hotels, Guatemala City


  • Ignazio Podda, Unique Villas of the Caribbean


  • Alessandro Mancuso, Palermo Restaurant, La Paz, Baja California
  • Silvia Bernardini, L'Invito Restaurant, Veracruz
  • Umberto Fregoni, Cabiria Restaurant, Mexico City


  • Fabio Boschero, Hilton Hotel, Curação


  • Alberto and Mario Gianati, Casa Italia Ristorant, San Juan Puerto Rico


  • Alberto Lazzarino, Personal Chef, Hollywood, Los Angeles
  • Andrea Cavaliere, Cecconi´s Restaurant, Los Angeles
  • Andrea Cavaliere, Cecconi´s Restaurant, Miami
  • Andrea Cavaliere, Soho House, New York
  • Andrea Cavaliere, Soho House, West Hollywood
  • Carlo Allesina, La Fiorentina Ristorante, Dallas
  • Cesare Casella, Salumeria Rosi, New York
  • Daniele Boldrini, Gradisca Restaurant, New York
  • Enrico Bazzoni, Nave Mary Whalen, De Graw Street Pier, Brooklyn
  • Fabio Trabocchi, Fiola Restaurant, Washington DC
  • Francesco Farris, Zio Cecio Cucina Italiana, Dallas
  • Francesco Schintu, Zeffirino, Venetian Hotel & Resort, Las Vegas
  • Gabriele Colombo, Giovanni´s Restaurant, Hyatt Regency, Saipan, Northern Mariana Islands
  • Gaetano Ascione, Gioco Restaurant, Chicago
  • Ivan Beacco, Acqua Ristorante, Peck Slip, New York
  • Jessica Botta, Chefs and Students, Classic Culinary Arts program, International Culinary Center, L´Ecole Restaurant, NY
  • Marcello Russodivito, Marcello’s Ristorante, Suffern, NY
  • Marie Algieri, Goldgrub, Beverley Glen Blvd, Los Angeles
  • Mario C. Cassineri, Bice Restaurant, San Diego
  • Massimo Falsini, Pasta Faire Ristorante, Belleview, FL
  • Massimo Falsini, Pomodoro Cafe', Gainesville, FL
  • Paola Bottero, Paola´s Restaurant, New York
  • Renato De Pirro, Cavour Restaurant, Houston
  • Stephen Rosenbluth, Naples 45 Restaurant, New York
  • Stuart Sussman, Core NYC Restaurant, New York
  • Vincenzo Pezzilli, Noodle Pudding, New York
  • Walter el Nagar, Il Grano Restaurant, West Los Angeles
  • Panevino Restaurant, Livingston, NJ


  • Agostino Suriano, Villa Logoreci Restaurant, Tirana


  • Alessandro Montanari, Piccolo Gourmet Riccardo Piccini, Vienna


  • Giuseppe Zanotti, Falcone Restaurant, Minsk


  • Atanas Raev, Bulgaria Restaurant, Sofia


  • Maurizio Mosconi, Italy & Italy Restaurant, Ringsted


  • Daniele Iannaci, Chalet du Mon Vallon, Les Menuires


  • Angelo Saracini, Paolo Rossi & Peppe Caldarozzi, La Terrasse, La Locanda Italiana, Hotel Pentelikon, Athens


  • Aimo e Nadia (MI)
  • Alberto Brambilla, Brambilla Ristorante (CO)
  • Alessandro Patanè, Boma Ristorante Caffè, Varazze (SV)
  • Anna Prandoni, La Cucina Italiana, Milano
  • Andrea Cristofoletto, Piccolo Hotel Claudia, San Vigilio di Marebbe (BZ)
  • Angelo Franchini,
  • Angelo Nasta, Hotel Villa Torretta (MI)
  • Antonio Milan, Valtellina
  • Carlo Bresciani, Antica Cascina Ristorante San Zago (Bs)
  • Claudio Ceriotti, Il Maragasc Restaurant, Legnano (Mi)
  • Claudio Santin, Ristorante Vieux Braconnier, Cervinia
  • Daniele Fabris, Giacomo Gallina e Giusy Veltri, Resort La Soprana, Cerretto Langhe (CN)
  • Daniele Fabris, Giacomo Gallina e Giusy Veltri, Zû a Mâ Ristorante, Spotorno (SV)
  • Domenico Virgilio, Trattoria La Barca (MI)
  • Emanuele Lattanzi, Gaya Ristorante, Grand Hotel Billia & Casino, Saint Vincent (AO)
  • Fabio Peiti, Hotel Parco San Marco Beach and Golf Resort, Cima di Porlezza, Como
  • Federico Samaden, Scuola Alberghiero Trentino, sedi di Rovereto e Levico Terme (TN)
  • Giorgio Broggini, Osteria di Porta Cicca, Navigli (Mi)
  • Ivan Bianco, L'officina dei sapori, Cernusco sul naviglio (Milano)
  • Lorenza e Luigi Cremona, Witaly Editore (RM)
  • Marco Davi, Per Bacco Ristorante, Aprilia (LT)
  • Marco & Sara, Quatar Pass Ristorante, Como
  • Marino Copetti, Grande Italia Ristorante, Rapallo (GE)
  • Mario Avallone, La Stanza del Gusto (NA)
  • Mario Fraschini, Hostaria Trattoria La Torre di Porta Bruciata, Brescia
  • Mario Musoni, Borgo Egnazia Resort, Savelletri di Fasano (Br)
  • Massimiliano Sepe, Roma
  • Massimiliano Telloli, Ristorante Stallo del Pomodoro (MO)
  • Massimo Martina, Il Fiorile Restaurant, Borghetto di Borbera (Alessandria)
  • Matteo Francini, Ristorante Motel Europa, Domodossola
  • Matteo Scibilia, Osteria Buona Condotta, Ornago, Monza (MB)
  • Paolo Fossati, Trattoria Edda (CO)
  • Paolo Montiglio, Ristorante De Filippi, Scuola Alberghiera De Filippi, Arona
  • Paolo Teverini, Teverini Restaurant, Bagno di Romagna
  • Pasqualino Barbasso, Falco Azzurro Pizzeria, Cammarata (Ag)
  • Piero Pulli, Canonico Restaurant, Carignano (Torino)
  • Sergio Mauri, La Rimessa Ristorante (CO)
  • Silvia Fagioli, Centro di Formazione Professionale Galdus di Milano, sede di via Pompeo Leoni (MI)
  • Susy Patrito Silva, Casa Artusi, Forlimpopoli (FC)
  • Vittorio Tarantola, Ristorante Tarantola (CO)
  • Il Pozzo del Podestà, Albavilla (CO)


  • Gino Razzano, M. Y. Sai Ram, Montecarlo


  • Fabio Cappellano, Il Tartufo Restaurant, Qualitalia, Delft
  • Giuseppe Cappellano, La Vita è Bella Restaurant, Qualitalia, Rotterdam
  • Jason Attardi, Da Silvano, Vlissingen
  • Saro Pulvirenti, That’s Amore Restaurant, Qualitalia, Den Haag


  • Pierluigi Maniero, Personal Chef Giacomo Girolamo Casanova, Bucharest


  • Antonio Voci, Il Borsalino Restaurant, Saint Petersburg
  • Bruno Marino, Ristorante Peshi, Moscow
  • Carmelo Inzirillo, Giardino Italiano, Moscow
  • Ezequiel Barbuto, Osteria di Campagna, Moscow
  • Ezequiel Barbuto, Ristorante Bistrot di Mosca, Moscow
  • Flaviano Biasatti, Ristorante Varvary, Moscow
  • Francesco Spampinato, Sky Café Lounge Restaurant, Ekaterimburg
  • Luigi Ferraro, Cafè Calvados Restaurant, Moscow
  • Mirco Caldino, NOA, Moscow
  • Mircko Zago, Syr, Moscow
  • Pietro Rongoni, Aromi Italiani, Moscow
  • Ruslan, Baziliko Restaurant, Saint-Petersburg
  • Umberto Rocca, Aist Moscow
  • Uilliam Lamberti, Ristorante Uilliam's, Moscow
  • Valentino Bontempi, Ristorante Bontempi, Moscow


  • Luigi Guarnaccia, Capocaccia e Luigia Restaurants, Geneve


  • Antonio Carmine Lombardi, Mezzaluna Restaurant, Istanbul
  • Daniel Evangelista, Peperoncino Italian Fine Dining Restaurant, Ankara
  • Domenico Ranieri, Mezzaluna Izmir
  • Giuseppe Pressani, Paper Moon Milano Restaurant, Istanbul
  • Mezzaluna Acarken
  • Mezzaluna Atakoy
  • Mezzaluna Capitol
  • Mezzaluna Etiler
  • Mezzaluna Express Kanyon Shopping Center
  • Mezzaluna İstinye
  • Mezzaluna Suada
  • Mezzaluna Trio


  • Roberto Osellame, Leonardo Ristorante, Brighton


  • Roberto Armaroli, Rym Bar (Bar Roma), Sevastopoli
  • Stefano Antoniolli, Antoniolli, Kiev
  • Salvatore De Vivo, Da Vinci Fish Club, Kiev


  • Manuelo Pintore, Do Forni, Sofitel Hotel, Phnom Penh


  • Alessandro Santi, Cucina Ristorante, Grand Hyatt Hotel, Shanghai
  • Antonio Puccini, Amores Italian Restaurant, Ningbo-Zhejiang
  • Catia Busa, Briccocafe', Shanghai
  • Davide Care, Tavola Italian Dining Ristorante, Shanghai
  • Domenico Patruno, Nolita Restaurant, Shanghai
  • Francesco Sanna, Bene Italian Restaurant, Sheraton Dong Cheng, Beijing
  • Giancarlo Biacchessi, Biscotti Ristorante, Sofitel Silver Plaza, Jinan
  • Giovanni Parrella, Grand Hyatt Hotel, Beijing
  • Giuseppe de Stefano, La Pizza, Sanlitun, Beijing
  • Giuseppe de Stefano, La Pizza, Solana, Beijing
  • Giuseppe de Stefano, La Pizza, Wenzhou
  • Giuseppe de Stefano, La Pizza, Xiamen
  • Giuseppe De Stefano, Shanghai
  • Jennifer Prescott, The Riviera Restaurant, Dalian
  • Lino Montaruli, Grand Central Hotel Shanghai, Shanghai
  • Marino D'Antonio, Sureno Restaurant, Beijing
  • Mauro Bellodi, Prego Ristorante, The Westin Hotel at Financial Street, Beijing
  • Paride Noviello, La Gondola Trattoria, Kempinski Hotel, Beijing
  • Samuele Alvisi, Luigi Restaurant, Sheraton Dongguan
  • Samuele Rossi, Bella Vita Restaurant, Tianjín Wuqing
  • Simonetta Garelli, Giovanni´s Ristorante, Sheraton, Shanghai
  • Stefano de Geronimo, Prego Restaurant, The Westin Hotel, Shanghai
  • Stefano Pace, Issimo Jia Hotel, Shanghai
  • Valter Gosatti, Yalong Bay Yacht Club, Sanya
  • Vincenzo Gatti, Mezzo Restaurant, Sheraton Futian Hotel, Shenzhen


  • Claudio Dieli, The Hong Kong Jockey Club
  • Enzo Carbone, 208 Restaurant
  • Francesco Greco, Ristorante Messina
  • Marco Furlan, Assaggio Trattoria, Wan Chai
  • Massimo Santovito, Il Bel Paese Ristorante, Wan Chai
  • Michele Senigaglia, Spasso Restaurant
  • Paolo Federici, Osteria Ristorante Italiano, Kowloon
  • Paolo Monti, Gaia Ristorante
  • Vittorio Lucariello, Tosca Restaurant, Ritz Carlton


  • Filippo Giunta, Ristorante Travertino, Oberoi hotel, New Delhi
  • Kamran Mohammad, Great Culinarians Galaxy, Kolkata
  • Mickey Bhoite, Le Cirque Restaurant, The Leela Palace, New Delhi


  • Enrico Campagnaro, Restaurant, Surabaya
  • Giordano Faggioli, Ristorante Sami Sami, Ayana Resort and Spa, Bali
  • Luigi, Sorriso Ristorante, Bali
  • Massimo Sacco, Da Massimo Restaurant, Sanur, Bali
  • Michele Greggio, Nelayan Restaurant, Jimbaran Puri, Bali
  • Oriana Tirabassi & Claudio Rossi, Rosso Ristorante, Shangri-La Ristorante, Jakarta
  • William di Nardo, Ocha and Bella Ristorante, Jakarta


  • Cristiano Pozzi, La Cucina Ristorante, Roppongi Hills Club, Tokyo
  • Giulio Vierci, Genovese Wine Bar Restaurant, Sapporo


  • Antonio Lotito, Ristorante Casalingo, Moevenpick Resort & Spa, Tala Bay, Aqaba


  • Stefano Vannini & Luca Marchesi, Signor Sassi Restaurant, Kuwait city


  • Luca Piazza, Portofino Restaurant, The Venetian Macau Resort Hotel
  • Michele Dell’Aquila, Aurora Restaurant, Altira Hotel


  • Armando Bonadonna, Le Midí Ristorante, Kuala Lampur
  • Paolo Petris, Nero Vivo, Kuala Lumpur


  • Enrico Rodati, Heritage Le Telfair Golf & Spa Resort


  • Marco Anzani, Anzani Restaurant and Bellini Bar, Cebu City
  • Roberto Cimmino, Paparazzi Ristorante, Edsa Shanghri-La, Manila


  • Luca Angioletti, The Italian Job Restaurant, Ramada Plaza Hotel, Doha


  • Vincenzo Raschella, Il Villaggio Restaurants & Lounges, Jeddah


  • Aira Piva, Marina Bay Sand Caffe B Restaurant
  • Alex, Tartufo Ristorante, Singapore
  • Angelo Ciccone, Il Basilico Restaurant
  • Davide Bizzarri, Palio Ristorante, Resort World at Sentosa
  • Lino Sauro, Gattopardo Restaurant
  • Mario Caramella, Forlino Restaurant
  • Sandro Falbo, Il Cielo Restaurant, Hilton


  • Mauro Giovanni Seu, Sheraton Grande Walkerhill, Seoul
  • Sebastiano Giangregorio, Enoteca 7 vinoteca con cucina, Seoul
  • Sebastiano Giangregorio, Esclusivo Ristorante, Seoul
  • Sebastiano Giangregorio, Sette 7 Ristorante, Seoul


  • Antonio Tardi, Marco Polo Restaurant, Shangrila, Taipei
  • Dario Congera, Danieli´s Ristorante, Westin Hotel, Taipei
  • Matteo Boschiavo, Papa Gio´ Restaurant, Taipei


  • Alex Lenti, J.W. Marriott Hotel, Khao Lak
  • Andreas Bonifacio, La Grappa, Hua Hin
  • Antonio Facchinetti, Brio Restaurant, Anantara Bangkok Riverside and Spa, Bangkok
  • Flavio Manzoni, Cefalu Restaurant, Surin Beach, Phuket
  • Francesco Lenzi, Medici kitchen & bar, Hotel Muse, Bangkok
  • Gaetano Palumbo, Giorgio Restaurant, Royal Orchid Sheraton Hotel & Tower, Bangkok
  • Gianni Favro, Gianni Ristorante, Bangkok
  • John Ranaudo, Ristorante Bellini, Amari Vogue, Krabi
  • Nicolino Lalla, Meridien Beach Resort, Phuket
  • Loris Pistillo, Spasso Restaurant, Grand Hyatt Erawan, Bangkok
  • Luca Appino, La Bottega di Luca Restaurant, Bangkok
  • Maurizio Menconi, La Scala Ristorante, Sukhothai Hotel, Bangkok
  • Silvano Amolini, La Trattoria Restaurant, Dusit Thani Laguna, Phuket


  • Andrea Pastore, Amici Restaurant, Abu Dhabi
  • Giancarlo Campoli, Sabella's Ristorante, Kempinski Hotel, Ajman
  • Marco Legittimo, Bussola Restaurant, Dubai
  • Susy Massetti, Masso Ristorante, Bahrain


  • Egidio Latorraca, Angelina Restaurant, Sofitel Legend Metropole Hotel, Hanoi
  • Frederick Farina, Green House Restaurant, Hyatt Regency Danang
  • Leopoldo Testor, Pendolasco Ristorante, Ho Chi Minh City
  • Michele Gulizzi, Opera Restaurant, Park Hyatt Saigon, Ho Chi Minh City


  • Federico Villoni, Leonardo Restaurante, Fairmont Heliopolis & Towers, Cairo
  • Francesco Picaro, Stefanos Restaurant - Hotel Four Seasons, Alexandria


  • Livio Ranza, Hotel Amanjena, Marrakech


  • Giorgio Nava, 95 Keerom Restaurant & Carne, Cape Town
  • Stefano Strafella, Strafella’s Restaurant, Roodepoort, Gauteng


  • Andrea Tranchero and Giampaolo Maffini, Burswood, WA
  • Max Grella, Hyatt Regency, Perth


  • Paolo Pancotti, Milk&Honey Restaurant, Napier Hawkes Bay


Stefano Fontanesi, Executive Corporate Chef, & Costa Crociere Chefs on all their cruising ships:

  • Allegra, Nosy Be, Madagascar
  • Atlantica, Nassau, Bahamas
  • Classica, Cai Lan, Vietnam
  • Concordia, Palma de Mallorca, Spain
  • Deliziosa, Canal de Panama, Panama
  • Favolosa, Abu Dhabi
  • Fortuna, Buenos Aires, Argentina
  • Luminosa, Catalina Island, Dominican Republic
  • Magica, Buenos Aires, Argentina
  • Mediterranea, Guadeloupe, Antillas Menores
  • Pacifica, Salvador Bahia, Brazil
  • Serena, Athens, Greece
  • Victoria, Santos, Brazil
  • Voyager, Sharm El Sheikh, Egypt

The International Day of Italian Cuisines: why 17th January?


January 17 is a date of great symbolic importance. It’s the day of the catholic feast of Sant’Antonio Abate, one of the most popular saints of Italy, the patron of domestic animals, but also of butchers and salami makers. On this day, according to tradition, the Italian Carnival begins, that period of the year during which, since unmemorable time, it’s “licet insanire,” transgressions are tolerated and good, rich food is celebrated and, along with this: cooking.

The cult of Saint Anthony “of January”, who was a hermit who lived in Egypt in the 13th century, is rooted in earlier pagan feasts, le sementine (that celebrates the end of the sowing season) of ancient Rome in honour of Ceres, the Goddess of the Earth.


The sacred and the profane as well as Celtic and Latin rites are mixed together here. Therefore this occasion is celebrated in Italy, from north to south, on January 17th in many different ways. The devotion to the saint is very strong in Pinerolo, in the Province of Turin, in the Province of Como, in Lombardy and in Emilia Romagna.

On the other hand, in the south on that evening “fires” are lit, “focaroni,” “focarazzi” or “focaracci” – bonfires, people congregate in crowds around these pyres to give hommage to the saint who, according to legend, banished the devil and took dominion of the fires of hell. This is what is done in Puglia, Sardinia, Campania e Abruzzo.


In the latter, in the town of Scanno this feast has been celebrated since the fourteenth century until recently with great, steaming pans of sagna (home made pasta) and ricotta in the town square, while in Lanciano a holy representation was held. Also in Lazio, especially in the towns of Nepi and Velletri, in the area of Tuscia, the feast still has strong gastronomic characteristics. In general, almost all the celebrations of 17th January ended with a collection of food products that the entire community then consumed collectively.


Elsewhere, in Guastalla in Emilia Romagna, the fried gnocco (gnocco fritto) is the king of the feast. Saint Antonio has always been represented by a suckling pig (by a wild boar in Celtic countries) whose meat was the most highly esteamed ingredient of a meal at the Italian peasant’s table. Once, many rural communities collectively raised a piglet that they then butchered and ate on that day. Ancient fairs, such as that of Lonato, in Lombardy, that used to be held on 17th January but today have fallen out of use, were completely a celebration of cooking and eating of pork, of which in peasant tradition, as it is of common knowledge, nothing went to waste.