A day in Naples and the best pizza in the world. Gino Sorbillo’s review.

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Vesuvius volcano.

Naples is like a lioness, beautiful, haughty and arduous to tame. The collective consciousness about the third city of Italy is made up of diehard preconceptions: a poor, anarchic and at times dirty urban centre on the slopes of a volcano. I’m not here to say this is just not true, because each and every stereotype always has a pinch of accuracy. Also, if the essence of a community remains strong throughout centuries, not necessarily the said people won’t open to change for the needs that modern times demand. What I would like to point out here is that although I come from a region that borders with Campania (the region where Naples is the main centre) and my dialect is strictly similar to the Neapolitan one, due to centuries of Neapolitan domination in the fragmented South, I also had preconceptions. I had them because the last time I visited the city I was about ten, and well, almost 20 years ago the situation was a bit different than it is now. The neglected architecture of the buildings always stays the same, just as some grotesque “personalities” you can find in the narrow alleys that form the map of the city centre. However, this time Naples felt cleaner and safer. It’s true that Christmas is a busy period for the city, because tourists from every part of Italy and the world hit the San Gregorio Armeno alley, to visit the artisan workshops specialised in the creations of nativity scenes. For this reason it would be only logical to consider the hard work of the municipality as something special for the holiday season, but apparently the city is dealing with an actual desire to change, in order to make the ancient capital of southern Italy a modern European city. Some results are already showing, just like the project Stations of Art which is aimed at changing the perspective of the city’s perception by allowing contemporary artist to take over the design and architecture of some underground stations. In fact in 2012 Toledo station was chosen as the most beautiful underground station in Europe

The wonderful mosaic of Toledo underground station in Naples. Project by the Catalan architect Oscar Tusquets Blanca. Credits: The New York Times

Where does food place itself in this context of traditions looking at the future? Exactly in harmony with everything else. Street food is a market that lures young entrepreneurs, because they have the chance to offer the classics of Neapolitan gastronomy in a new light by enhancing the traditional preparation methods, using quality Italian products and social networks to promote their business in the quickest way to the public. This is just what happened with the famous Gino Sorbillo’s pizza that I finally had the chance to try. Gino Sorbillo for whom pizza making runs in the family, is a young talented chef. His passion for the traditional Neapolitan pizza motivated him to improve it by researching and experimenting with mother dough, different organic flour blends and ingredients in order to find an excellent and easy to digest recipe. Gino Sorbillo’s research never stops, in fact it seems that he is trying to create a dough specifically for coeliac disease affected people with the same texture, taste and digestibility of the regular one used in his 3 pizzerias. The ingredients used as toppings are all the best Italian products the country can offer, with their origin and traceability stated on the menu. In other words, Quality. Yes, with capital Q.

Now let’s talk about the experience: image10 The location. You’ll recognise it from afar even though you’ve never been there before, because there’s always a queue that looks endless. You have to be patient, because sometimes it’s necessary to wait hours to get a taste of the best pizza in Italy (and the world in my opinion). My advice is to go either at the opening around 12 or after lunch time at 3. This doesn’t mean you will not queue at all, because as I said the place is always packed with people, but the wait is more “human”. image3 The pizzeria is an ancient two storey house, property of Esterina, Gino’s beloved aunt who passed the passion for pizza on to him. The decor is minimal because all the attention is concentrated on the product. Anyway, in my opinion it wouldn’t harm to modernise the retro style of the place, but retro is not to be intended as the vintage design that is so trendy right now. I am talking about 90’s Italian, so last century!

The service is very fast even though the waitresses aren’t smiley or chatty. I would have certainly appreciated some more courtesy, but I understand that heavy shifts and dealing with every kind of people at a fast pace can get easily on everyone’s nerves. For this reason, there’s no tablecloth on the table and glasses are disposable, just like their napkins. When customers are ready to leave, a waitress comes and cleans the table in a few seconds, so it’s ready for the next group of people.

The pizza. The base is light and soft but doesn’t tear up. This is the result of working the dough and stretching it by hand only, because Sorbillo refuses to use industrial machineries. To those who are not familiar with Neapolitan pizza the dough will taste as still raw, but believe me, it’s not. You will realise it immediately, because after eating you pizza you will not feel full and bloated. As I mentioned before, high-digestibility.

My Osvaldo pizza.

My Osvaldo pizza.

I got an Osvaldo pizza which is made with cherry tomatoes, smoked mixed buffalo&cow’s milk provola cheese, mixed buffalo&cow’s milk mozzarella, extravirgin olive oil and fresh basil. Only 5€.

Vittorio pizza.

Vittorio pizza.

G got Vittorio, an amazing mix of Apulian tuna, Taggiasca olives, Mount Saro’s wild oregano, Italian organic passata and mixed buffalo&cow’s milk mozzarella. Price was 7.50€.

My vote is 9. Sorbillo’s pizza is extraordinary, the best I’ve ever had, because it is a combination of harmonic quality ingredients with a digestible dough, basically the dream. I can’t give more than 9, because some aspects of the overall experience can definitely be improved, but of course I recommend you to try Sorbillo’s amazing pizza because, I can assure you, nothing will ever be the same after that.

Gino Sorbillo, Via dei Tribunali, 32, 80138 Naples.

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Kirazu London review: a Japanese “tapas” restaurant in Soho

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I found Kirazu during a hot August afternoon while, in the middle of disastrous property viewings, I was comforting myself with the latest hipster trend, a bubble tea, in the shop right next to it. I suddenly stopped gulping my fresh white peach and tapioca pearls drink and intensely stared at the inside of the empty room from the window. I am sure the waitress, who was cleaning and tidying up for the evening shift, thought I looked a bit creepy, but she smiled politely back at me like only the Japanese can do.

To tell the truth, I was totally enchanted by Kirazu’s interior design whose aged wood, wrought iron elements and beautiful Japanese pottery create a modern but also homely style. An elegant and, at the same time, cozy balance between the Japanese modern design and the vintage approach that is taking over London trendy bars.

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I unquestionably missed Japanese food, I craved it so much during the previous 9 months I stayed in Italy (no, I wasn’t pregnant!) that I felt the urgency to go back there and give this place a chance. Usually I consult the web before trying a new place, like everybody in 2014, but this time my instinct was stronger than my usual reasoning. Or, simply, I was just in love with the interior and I expected the food to be as delightful as the location. Typical me!

The following day I went back there for lunch to give a first try, since the lunch box menu was only just £5. “I’ll play it safe this time and if they surprise me I will definitely go back.” I told myself while I was staring at the big black board listing all the tapas they prepare for the evening shift. Yes, tapas, although I don’t like this word when used outside its Spanish context, but I assume the chef Yuya Kikuchi borrowed the term to immediately convey the precise concept of tiny plates to share to its international customers.

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My partner, G., and I chose our lunch box from a list of 4 available on that day. He ordered chicken karaage with curry and I got the same chicken but with sesame dressing and mayo  and a pickle salad. Both lunch boxes included a hot miso soup and a portion of steamed rice.

While waiting, G.’s face lit up as his eyes caught the word Matcha on the menu. Now, Matcha green tea is not something supposed to be drunk at the beginning of lunch, but I don’t always follow rules because life would be boring, wouldn’t it? Plus, G. wanted to try the “real thing” for so long, so I challenged him to prepare it. Luckily for him, every passage was carefully explained by our kind waitress, so no mess or green splashes all over the place.

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“Your face shows everything you’re thinking, please do something about it.” I remember my mother and friends repeating these words to me since childhood. This time it happened again, I could not hide a bit of disappointment in looking at how small portions were, especially the main dish of the bento box: 2 tiny bite-sized pieces of chicken. At the same time, I was torn because I felt almost guilty being dissatisfied with my lunch as I was paying £5, seated and served.

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I have nothing to complain about the food, as it was delicious and full of flavour. It was just what I wanted, what I had been craving for months: pure Japanese home style flavours. I just wanted more of it. I solemnly promised myself to go back for “tapas” and that’s what we did a week later.

Surprisingly, the evening atmosphere had completely different vibes: dim lights, people cheerfully toasting, waitresses who relentlessly juggled around the tables and tiny spaces with their trays full of beers and sake. In other words, the place was rapidly transformed into the modern adaptation of the traditional Japanese izakaya, a bar where customers can enjoy food to accompany their drinks. However, I noticed that the options for the evening are far more refined than the ones offered for lunch, so it has to be said that the food served here has not the mere role of a side dish to accompany a glass of beer, but more of an elegant protagonist.

This time we ordered from the “tapas” board a portion of takoyaki, octopus carpaccio with fresh wasabi, mentaiko (a type of marinated roe) and salmon sashimi to accompany the roasted aroma of our Asahi Kuronama black beer.

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Octopus carpaccio

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Mentaiko

Food portions were again tiny and maybe a bit expensive for that size, but I give up to the fact that fish is pricey anyway, so I don’t feel I should blame the owner/chef for overcharging us.

Again the flavour was just perfect for each plate in a different way, but my favourite were, the octopus carpaccio and mentaiko. The first had a delicate soft texture which is not easy to master. Then the intense flavour of fresh wasabi gave the dish a nice zingy kick. Mentaiko had a strong spicy and smoked flavour that I cannot associate with anything else I have ever tried, but it was undeniably pleasant to the palate.

I can’t say I was full after eating there, so I would probably not call that meal, a proper dinner, more like a fancy aperitivo.

I give this restaurant 7.5 in total, as the food truly reflects the authentic flavours of Japan. In addition, the place has a simple but modern atmosphere that makes the whole dining experience charming.

I’m still not convinced by their £5 lunch deal, so for your lunch break I would recommend more a place like Soya, whose larger portions are worth spending some more pennies.

However, Kirazu can be a lovely place for an elegant pre-dinner sake or to indulge in a Japanese dinner where traditional flavours are modernised with a hint of sophistication.

Kirazu, 47 Rupert Street, London, United Kingdom W1D 7PD.

October’s Favourites: 5 gluten free products I’m loving!

Thanks to my faithful hypocondria I just discovered that some mild symptoms I have from birth could be linked to a hypothetical coeliac disease or gluten intolerance. Panic at first, that’s what being ignorant about the subject causes. However, my doctor reassured me that if this were the case, it wouldn’t be the end of the world, since valid gluten free alternatives on the market are rapidly increasing.

At the moment I am waiting to go back to Italy to run some tests and verify if a coeliac disease or gluten free intolerance is confirmed, but in the meantime I was advised to reduce the intake of gluten rich foods and see how it goes.

So lately, I often find myself hanging out at Whole Foods, to carefully study the alternatives I should adopt in case I get diagnosed. I still need to do a lot of research about the topic, but, for the moment, these are my 5 gluten free products that I’m loving this month:

Drink me chai green tea chai latte

 

Normally I’m not really a fan of Chai Latte, because I find the spice blend too powerful for me, but this one is truly amazing! It’s spicy but delicate and sweet with a pinch of green tea to balance the overall flavour.

Seasoned nori seaweed – Crispy texture, full of flavour and fun to snack on. Be careful to read the label though, as the majority of Japanese brands use wheat and soy sauce (which contains wheat unless it’s tamari) in their seasoning. In fact, I was about to give up when, luckily, I found some Korean seaweed that was seasoned with just olive oil and sea salt.  Although seasoned nori seaweed is super easy to prepare at home, it’s handier for the lazy ones like me, to have a little package to toss in the bag, right? Healthy bits: nori seaweed is also good for your body because it is a natural source of iodine, which regulates the production thyroid hormones.

Nutritional yeast:

Nothing to be scared or disgusted about, because nutritional yeast is inactive, or in other words dead! It’s grown on sugar canes or molasses then killed with heat. In this phase the yeast develops glutamic acid, which is a natural source of umami. This is one of the two main reasons why nutritional yeast is produced and sold, because it adds a nutty savoury note to our recipes and enhances their flavour. Nutritional yeast does not only please the palate, but it also has healthy benefits, because it is packed with vitamin B complex, zinc, selenium, folic acid, potassium and proteins. Cool right? At the moment I’m using nutritional yeast in soups, salads and mashed potatoes, but I will experiment more combinations.

Want to know more about nutritional yeast? then check this blog out.

 

Eat natural bars:

My guilty pleasure in this period I’m trying to figure out if I have a gluten intolerance or not. Well, to be honest I loved these bars even before, but let’s say that now I have a good excuse to try the whole range. My favourite ones are the cashew&blueberry bar with yogurt coating and the coffee&chocolate bar with peanuts and almonds.

Mangajo lemon and green tea drink:

Last, but not the least a light and refreshing drink made with lemon, apple juice and a hint of green tea. The only sugar in this drink is the natural fructose contained in both lemons and apples. Great for those who don’t like super sweet beverages or watch calories. Normally, fruit juices should be gluten free in the first place but it’s always better to check the label regarding any possibility of contamination by the handling of other sources.

What about you guys? Let me know what you’re loving this month, both regular and gluten free snacks. Recipes for homemade treats are also welcome, as I would like to have everything covered in case this coeliac disease/gluten intolerance is confirmed. This would be the second phase, the acceptance, but we all know that before there’s the denial. Considering my optimism, I already picture myself crying my eyes out for the possibility of giving up the regular pizza for ever. Sigh!

Does colour influence the taste and flavour perception of food?

Last Saturday I found myself staring at my partner’s cheeseburger questioning his choice of cheese: Red Leicester.

Red Leicester cheese @Neal’s Yard Dairy. The one in the burger was unnaturally brighter.

Last Saturday I found myself staring at my partner’s cheeseburger questioning his choice of cheese: Red Leicester. I had never tried it before last week, because that bright orange colour sincerely put me off every time I considered buying that cheese. The fact that it’s coloured with annatto, a natural extract of the Archiote tree’s fruit, still doesn’t convince me entirely. I’m not sure why, maybe it’s just an irrational instinct, but that colour in a cheese still feels unnatural to me. Never judge a book by its cover, right? So even though I had preconceived ideas, this was the right time to finally have a bite of that intensely bright orange cheese and prove myself I was just having unreasonable biases. A little bite full of expectations, I would say, but then a sense of confusion mixed with disappointment hit me hard: Red Leicester tasted just as regular Cheddar. (Forgive me, cheese purists!) Why was I experiencing that negative feeling? I kept wondering, until I suddenly got the answer: my brain and eyes just fooled me. Even though being surprised and, at the same time, fascinated by this phenomenon, I rationally tried to give myself an acceptable explanation: my brain did an association with a familiar cheese based on that bright colour. Red Leicester should have tasted nutty and sharp, just like my beloved Molisan Provolone Cheese when is aged for a couple of year and gets a warm golden shade. It’s not news that food companies add colourings to their products in order to alter their appearance, making them look fresher and more appealing for customers. It’s an effective technique that bears its fruits because we always “eat with our eyes” first. We start making choices about favourite colours since childhood and try to apply them to various aspects of our daily life. Neuroscientists claim that this is due to an early association of a positive feedback to a certain colour, so during our life we tend to recreate that comforting feeling by choosing the same colour, which often becomes our favourite one. Kids love coloured food because they can associate an exact colour with their favourite toy, or cartoon character. For example, It’s not rare, during the Italian summer, to witness children happily devouring a “Smurf  gelato”, which is nothing other than a blued dyed vanilla ice cream. Less happily their mothers will struggle to remove those stubborn blue stains from clothes, but this is another story. Anyway, sorry mum!

Gelato Puffo or Smurf Ice cream. @foodspotting

We are the same children, who grow up and change their eating habits for healthier and “more natural” options. We learn the importance of colour in foods as an essential characteristic to judge the freshness of a product, for example we experience the consequences of eating a steak that turned green, and painfully regret we didn’t toss it. Literally. In the meantime, the society we live in has shaped a stable idea about the food we eat, its wide range of colours and the flavour we associate with each one of those shades. In other words we develop a precise idea of what a certain food should taste like based on its appearance in our own cultural context. This is why we are confused, and at times disappointed, when this matching does not happen. Now, try to picture a young woman being tricked by her friends into drinking what looked like a blood orange smoothie. Then imagine her wide-eyed expression when, in a fraction of a second, her tastebuds rapidly experienced the strong sour and salty flavour of Gazpacho.  Yes, that woman shouting at her friends was me.

Yellow watermelon on hungryforchange.tv

Sometimes it can also be fun to see our cultural certainties crumble, like the first time I tried the yellow watermelon. I was visiting a nice Japanese lady in Tokyo, when she brought a beautiful blue ceramic plate with some precisely cut slices of yellow watermelon. Yellow? Thank God, she “couldn’t read my poker face”, but I was seriously puzzled inside. “That melon would have been sour, like every unripe fruit.” My stream of consciousness kept flowing in the few seconds necessary to thank my host and take a slice. A first bite and within a moment I felt so stupid! Because it was even sweeter than the common watermelon I crave every summer. I am sure that without this experience I would have never bought that fruit because of a preconceived idea. The mental association between the colour of a food and the assumption we have about its taste is a field that neuroscientists are still exploring, but recent experiments have revealed some remarkably interesting results. For example, an experiment conducted by the Ohio State University showed how using a red colouring in white wine led the unaware participants to describe the aroma and the flavour of the drink with adjectives belonging to the semantic field of red wine. Colours influence our daily life and even the choice of the food we eat. I am fascinated by the way our brain works, leading us to pick a specific coloured food over another simply because it gives us pleasure. However sometimes the same brain tricks itself and that’s when a new memorable colour related experience is created, whether it is positive or negative. What do you guys think about the influence of colours in the choice of our food? Please let me know in a comment below.

September favourites: 5 not conventional snacks that I am loving

The area of London I recently moved in is definitely a trendy one, full of hipsters and hipster wannabes. Therefore due to the high level of “hipster population”, shops are now more than eager to stick to the eco-friendly credo following the latest trends in terms of local, organic, free range, home grown food just to name few adjectives that cover shop signs and windows.

I cannot deny my grocery shopping is influenced as well, mainly because I was raised this way (click here) Not to mention how changing eating habits affected my everyday life when I moved from Italy to London 5 years ago. In other words I got 7 kilos and, as you can easily imagine, I wasn’t the happiest girl on earth.

With that in mind, I always try to balance my weekly meals according to the percentage of carbs, proteins and fibers. Then, systematically something messes up my plans and I find myself eating nutella from the jar or devouring a whole bag of crisps, or chips for you guys across the pond. What is the best thing to do when those cravings beg you to give up your good intentions for 5 seconds of pure ephemeral joy? Well, I like to think I try to limit the damages by choosing those unconventional snacks that you can find at Whole Foods or the Asian Markets, but probably I am just fooling myself. Here you can find my favourites of the month:

  • Calbee Shrimp Chips: The first time I tried these “crisps” was at the Daiso 100 yen shop in Harajuku, Tokyo. I was surprised that as much as a processed food we are talking about, the ingredient list is short and they were relatively low in sodium. Also the taste is delicate while, as you can imagine, their smell is strong. Ingredients: Wheat, Flour, Canola oil, Modified food starch, Shrimp, Sugar, Salt, Baking powder, MSG. Calories:  130 per serving (28 grams) or 464 per 100 grams.

  • Calbee Snapea Crisps: I first got to know these crisps while browsing on youtube, in some healthy grocery haul video, so last week I found them on offer at Wholefoods and I gave them a chance. A huge commitment for someone who doesn’t like peas like me. There are 3 types for the English market: lightly salted, Ceasar (salad seasoning?) and Tomato and basil. I picked the lightly salted ones because their ingredient list was way shorter than the other two. Long story short: I liked them because they are salty on the outside and sweet-ish on the inside. Ingredients: Green Peas, Vegetable Oil (Canola, Sunflower and/or Safflower Oil), Rice, Salt, Calcium Carbonate And Vitamin C (Ascorbyl Palmitate) Calories: 110 per serving or 393 per 100 grams.

  • Cofresh Hummus Chips: or simply chickpea crisps as there’s no trace of tahini or sesame. It’s a bit misleading as a product, but even though these chips do not really taste like hummus, they’re not as bland as the ingredient list would suggest. Ingredients: Chickpea Flour, Rice, Potato Starch, Vegetable Oil (Rapeseed), Corn Flour, Sea Salt. Calories: 135 per serving or 483 per 100 grams.

  • Senbei or Japanese Rice crackers: I don’t really stick to a brand in particular, but to a flavour, in fact I tend to prefer those seasoned with soy sauce. I believe rice flour is lighter and easier to digest than wheat, but feel free to correct me if I’m saying something not really correct However, the real reason I tend to buy senbei is that they are often packed in pairs, which is definitely not fair to the environment but prevents me to eat more than one packet because I feel guilty. Calories are an average of 35 per cracker.

  • Wasabi peas: namely roasted peas covered in wasabi. This is a tricky one, because it’s one of those snacks that I don’t really like at first, but then I have to finish the whole packet because of a strange addiction. Calories are around 400 per 100 gr.

…or you could eat that apple you have on your kitchen counter!

Have you guys tried these snacks? let me know what you think about them and please suggest me what I should try after these, hoping to find them in London.


And now in Italian.

L’area di Londra in cui mi sono trasferita recentemente è sicuramente quella più di tendenza, piena di hipsters e aspiranti tali. Per questo, a causa dell’elevato presenza di questa fetta di popolazione, i proprietari dei negozi sono molto inclini a seguire il credo eco friendly degli hipster, e quindi le ultime tendenze in termini di cibi locali, biologici, da allevamenti a terra, o fatti in casa, solo per citare alcuni descrizioni che caratterizzano le insegne e le vetrine del quartiere.

Non posso negare una certa influenza “verde” su ciò che compro, ma solo perché sono stato cresciuta in questo modo (cliccate qui) per non parlare di quanto aver cambiato le mie abitudini alimentari da un paese all’altro abbia pesato sulla la mia vita di tutti i giorni. In altre parole, 5 anni fa avevo preso 7 chili e, come si può facilmente immaginare, non ero molto contenta della cosa.

Tenendo a mente tutto ciò, cerco sempre di bilanciare i miei pasti settimanali a seconda della percentuale di carboidrati, proteine ​​e fibre. Poi, sistematicamente c’è sempre qualcosa che incasina i miei piani e mi ritrovo a mangiare nutella dal barattolo o a finire un intero sacchetto di patatine. Qual è la cosa migliore da fare quando ti prendono quelle voglie che ti istigano ad abbandonare le buone intenzioni per 5 secondi di fugace piacere? Beh, mi piace pensare che cerco di limitare i danni scegliendo quegli snack inusuali che si possono trovare nei negozi di cibi biologici o in quelli asiatici, ma probabilmente (anzi, quasi sicuramente) mi prendo in giro da sola. Qui potete trovare i miei preferiti del mese:

  • Patatine Calbee ai gamberi: La prima volta che ho provato queste “patatine” era al negozio Daiso ¥ 100 a Harajuku, Tokyo. Ricordo che rimasi sorpresa che per quanto fosse un alimento industriale, la lista degli ingredienti era breve e con basso contenuto di sodio. Il gusto è delicato, mentre, come si può immaginare, il loro odore è forte a causa del condimento al sapore di gambero. Ingredienti: frumento, farina, olio di colza, amido alimentare modificato, gamberetti, zucchero, sale, lievito, glutammato. Calorie: 130 per porzione (28 gr.) o 464 per 100 gr.
  • Patatine Calbee Snapea ai piselli: ho avuto modo di conoscere queste patatine mentre navigavo su youtube, in alcuni video riguardanti gli snack salutari, così la settimana scorsa le ho trovate in offerta da Wholefoods e ho dato loro una possibilità. Un fatto significativo per chi, come me, non ama i piselli. Ci sono 3 tipi di prodotto per il mercato inglese: leggermente salate, Ceasar (condimento per l’insalata?) e pomodoro e basilico. Ho scelto le prime perché la loro lista degli ingredienti era molto più breve rispetto agli altri due. Per farla breve: mi sono piaciute perché sono salate all’esterno e dolciastre all’interno. Ingredienti: piselli, olio vegetale (colza, girasole e / o olio di cartamo), riso, sale, carbonato di calcio e vitamina C (ascorbil palmitato). Calorie: 110 per porzione o 393 per 100 gr.
  • Cofresh Hummus Chips: o semplicemente patatine di ceci visto che non c’è traccia di tahini o di sesamo. E ‘un po’ fuorviante come prodotto, ma anche se non sa di hummus, queste patatine non hanno un gusto così piatto come la lista degli ingredienti suggerirebbe. Ingredienti: ceci farina, riso, fecola di patate, olio vegetale (colza), farina di mais, sale marino. Calorie: 135 cal per porzione o per 483 100 gr.
  • Senbei o crackers di riso giapponesi: Non c’è una marca in particolare a cui sono legata, ma il gusto sì, infatti tendo a preferire quelli alla salsa di soia. Credo che la farina di riso sia più leggera e più facile da digerire rispetto al frumento, ma correggetemi se sto dicendo una castroneria. Comunque, il vero motivo per cui compro i senbei è che sono spesso confezionati in coppia, cosa che è sicuramente non è eco friendly, ma mi impedisce di mangiarne più di un pacchetto, perché mi sentirei in colpa. Le calorie sono una media di 35 per cracker.
  • Piselli al Wasabi: cioè piselli tostati e ricoperti di wasabi. Questo è uno snack strano, perché è sempre così, in un primo momento non mi piace, ma poi, piano piano, sviluppa una strana dipendenza che mi obbliga a finire l’intero pacchetto. Le calorie sono circa 400 per 100 gr.

… potreste sempre mangiare quella mela che avete nella fruttiera in cucina, o no?

E voi, avete mai provato questi snack? fatemi sapere cosa ne pensate e suggeritemene altri, sperando che li possa trovare qui a Londra.

When healthy meets delicious: a chat with Tamara Arbib, founder of Rebel Kitchen.

Last month I was religiously visiting Wholefoods after ages, because it was absolutely necessary to keep myself updated with the latest food trends. So, while I was looking for new drinks, there it was, looking at me: the Rebel Kitchen Matcha Green Tea Mylk.

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Great, I thought, it should be similar to the drink I used to have when I was in Japan, Once again my choices are extremely connected with memories and emotions.

Luckily enough there was a very kind lady who was giving samples of the entire Rebel Kitchen Mylk range to customers, so I took the opportunity to taste them all and also to be informed about their sustainably sourced ingredients and the healthy bits; in fact all drinks are made with coconut milk, meaning dairy free, and are naturally sweetened with date nectar, which makes them ideal for both children and adults.

Ok, but what about the taste? One word: amazing. This is because ingredients are carefully balanced, so there are no overpowering flavours. I confess I have a bias against dates, as I find them too sugary, but in Rebel Kitchen drinks they perfectly blend with the other ingredients without resulting extremely sweet.

Healthy and delicious almost never go together in the same sentence, but these two adjectives truthfully sum up the characteristics of Rebel Kitchen Drinks.

I felt the necessity to know more, so I did some research and I contacted Rebel Kitchen’s founder, Tamara Arbib who kindly agreed to answer my questions:

Q: I read you came up with the idea of producing your coconut based drinks because you were desperately looking for healthy and appealing alternatives to feed your children, but it does not really happen every day to start company on these basis. What convinced you to do make this step?

A: I’ve always been passionate about food and nutrition and my husband and I set up a charitable foundation called the A team foundation to help support and promote this goal. After 5 years within the space it was crystal clear we needed to show that health can be achieved not only through charitable endeavours but also through a business channel.

Q: “It’s important to drink milk because it makes you grow up stronger” I remember my mother kept telling me these words for years, so what would you say to those mothers like mine who would fear rebel drinks cannot compare because of their dairy free nature?

A: I think that coconut milk is tremendously nutritious and provides other nutrients in the form of MFC (medium fatty chain acids like lauric acid) that promote brain function and support the metabolism. Coconut milk is an antiviral and anti-fungal. You can get calcium from other plant based sources such a dark leafy greens. Nutrition and growing up strong can be achieved through a diet of whole and unprocessed foods. Milk is not a necessity past the baby stage.

Q: Did you invent and test the recipes yourself? Can you explain the entire process, from the idea to actualisation of those recipes?

A: Yes we did! in the rebel kitchen! I cannot tell you more as that would give our secrets away! hehe!

Q: I see you have a Coming Soon section regarding snacks on Rebel Kitchen’s website. Any anticipation?

A: I have a lot of ideas and the list is long…you’ll have to wait and see! We don’t want to rush and we have a lot to do with the mylks first!

Oh, I will wait for sure, maybe while sipping my favourite Rebel Drink!

 

Click here to know where you can find Rebel Kitchen Drinks near you.

Disclaimer: I am not affiliated with Rebel Drinks and I purchased the product myself for personal use unless otherwise noted. My opinion is completely honest and based on my own experience.

 

And now in Italian

Il mese scorso sono andata in “pellegrinaggio” da Wholefoods dopo secoli che mancavo, perché dovevo assolutamente tenermi aggiornata su tutte le ultime tendenze in fatto di cibo. Così, mentre cercavo nuove bevande, c’era lui, che dal banco frigorifero, mi attirava intensamente: il Rebel Kitchen Matcha Green Tea Mylk.

Perfetto, ho pensato, dovrebbe essere simile al latte al tè verde che bevevo in Giappone. Ancora una volta le mie scelte gastronomiche sono state fatte in funzione dei miei ricordi e delle mie emozioni.

Per fortuna c’era una signora molto gentile che stava facendo provare ai clienti l’intera linea Rebel Kitchen, così ho colto l’occasione per assaggiare tutti i loro drink e per essere informata riguardo gli ingredienti da agricoltura sostenibile e le loro proprietà benefiche. Tutte le bevande sono fatte con latte di cocco, ottimo per gli intolleranti al lattosio, e sono naturalmente dolcificate con sciroppo di datteri. Praticamente sono ideali per adulti e bambini.

Ok, ma il sapore è buono? Sì, incredibilmente buono. Questo perché gli ingredienti sono magistralmente equilibrati, quindi non ci sono sapori che prevalgono prepotentemente. Confesso che sono un po’ prevenuta contro i datteri, in quanto li trovo troppo zuccherini per i miei gusti, ma in queste bevande si fondono perfettamente con gli altri ingredienti, senza che il risultato finale sia estremamente dolce.

Sano e buono sono due aggettivi che quasi mai troviamo nella stessa frase, ma riassumono fedelmente la descrizione delle bevande Rebel Kitchen.

Dovevo assolutamente saperne di più, così ho fatto qualche ricerca e ho contattato il CEO Rebel Kitchen, Tamara Arbib, che ha gentilmente accettato di rispondere alle mie domande:

D: Ho letto che hai avuto l’idea di produrre le tue bevande a base di cocco perché eri disperatamente alla ricerca di una bevanda sana e, allo stesso tempo, invitante da dare ai tuoi figli. Non capita spesso di avviare un’ azienda su queste basi. Cosa ti ha convinta a fare questo passo molto importante?

R: Sono sempre stata appassionata di cibo e nutrizione,  per questo ho creato con mio marito una fondazione di beneficenza chiamato A Team per contribuire a sostenere e promuovere questo obiettivo. Dopo 5 anni dopo, era chiaro che dovessimo impegnarci per dimostrare che le sane abitudini possono essere instaurate non solo attraverso opere di carità, ma anche attraverso un canale di business.

D: “E’ importante bere latte perché ti fa crescere forte”. Ricordo che mia madre continuava a dirmi queste parole per anni, quindi cosa vorresti dire a quelle madri come la mia che potrebbero non essere convinte dalle tue bevande poiché non contengono latte?

R: Penso che il latte di cocco sia estremamente nutriente e fornisca altri nutrienti sotto forma di MFC (acidi grassi a catena medio come l’acido laurico) che promuovono le funzioni cerebrali e aumentano il metabolismo. In più, il latte di cocco è un antivirale e antimicotico. È possibile ottenere il calcio da altre fonti vegetali, come le verdure a foglia scura. Crescere forti e ben nutriti può essere possibile attraverso una dieta composta da cibi integrali e non processati. Il latte non è una necessità oltre la fase dell’infanzia.

D: Hai inventato e testato le ricette da sola? Potresti spiegare l’intero processo, dall’idea alla realizzazione?

R: Sì, l’abbiamo fatto! Nella Rebel Kitchen! Non posso dirti di più perché dovrei rivelare i nostri segreti! hehe!

D: Vedo che sul sito di Rebel Kitchen hai una sezione “Coming Soon” riferita a degli snack. Ci dai qualche anticipazione?

R: Ho tantissime idee e la lista è lunga … dovrete aspettare e vedere! Non vogliamo correre e abbiamo ancora tanto da fare per la linea Mylk!

Certo, aspetterò di sicuro, magari sorseggiando il mio Rebel Drink preferito!

Trovate i drink Rebel Kitchen da Wholefoods, Waitrose ed altre catene del Regno Unito (Clicca qui per sapere dove). Il sito ha una sezione shop che, per ora, spedisce solo nel Regno Unito, ma l’azienda si sta attrezzando anche per le spedizioni internazionali.

Disclaimer: Non sono in alcun modo legata all’azienda citata in questo post e ho acquistato personalmente il prodotto. Il contenuto del post riflette solo e soltanto la mia opinione e la mia esperienza del prodotto.