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National and Regional Identities One State…One Nation?
Unità dItalia, Amato: "Tenere insieme le tante identità regionali"• Roma, 12 mar 2011 - ”The many regional identities are a treasure for Unified Italy , and keeping them together is an objective that must be remembered during this celabration”.• ”The Country was born trying to overcome the division North-South. Many batlles have been faught but the war is not over yet.”• “I believe that the Mezzogiorno, for centuries a victim of the central government, a federal solution can constitute an opportunity. Federalism must unite Italy not divide it".
What does keep Italians together? The love for GOOD FOOD!
Some History• Calabria, in antiquity known as Bruttium or -formerly- as Italia, is a region in southern Italy, south of Naples, located at the "toe" of the Italian Peninsula.
• The capital of the region is Catanzaro. The most populated city of Calabria is Reggio.• It is bounded to the north by the region of Basilicata, to the south-west by the region of Sicily, to the west by the Tyrrhenian Sea, and to the east by the Ionian Sea.• The region covers 15,080 km2 (5,822 sq mi) and has a population of just over 2 million.• In ancient times the name Calabria was used to refer to the southern peninsula of Apulia also known as the heel of Italy or Salento.
• It is mainly a mountainous region. Three mountain ranges are present: Pollino, La Sila and Aspromonte. All three mountain ranges are unique with their own flora and fauna.
• In general, most of the plain in Calabria has been agricultural for centuries, and exhibits indigenous scrubland as well as introduced plants such as the prickly pear cactus.• The lowest slopes are rich in vineyards and citrus fruit orchards. The Diamante citron is one of the citrus fruits.
Moving upwards,olives and chestnuttrees appear while inthe higher regionsthere are often denseforests of oak, pine,and beech trees.
The climate is influenced by the mountainous and hilly relief of the region: cold in the area of Monte Pollino, temperate with a very limited temperature range in the area of Aspromonte.The Sila and Serre massifs ensure greater humidity onthe Tyrrhenian coast and a drier climate on the Ioniancoast.
• Calabria was first settled by Italic Oscan- speaking tribes.• Greeks settled along the coast.• Kroton (Crotone) was the birthplace of the mathematician Pythagoras.• Calabrian urban centers were leading cities of Magna Graecia during the 6th and 5th centuries BC.
• The Greeks were conquered by the 3rd century BC by Oscan tribes from the north, including the Lucanians and an offshoot of the Lucanians called the Bruttii.• The Bruttii conquered the Greek cities, established their sovereignty over present day Calabria and founded new cities, including their own capital, Cosenza.
• The Romans conquered the area in the 3rd century BC after the fierce Bruttian resistance• After the fall of the Roman Empire, the inhabitants were in large part driven inland by the spread of malaria and, from the early Middle Ages until the 17th century, by pirate raids.
• In 1098 the Norman King Roger formed what became the Kingdom of Sicily.
• Beginning with the subsequent Angevin rule, which ruled Calabria as part of the Kingdom of Naples, Calabria was ruled from Naples right up until unification with Italy.
• Aspromonte was the scene of a famous battle of the unification of Italy, in which Garibaldi was wounded.
The Economy• A typical feature of agriculture in Calabria is the high fragmentation of the farm structure. Holdings of less than two hectares made up 69% of the total in 2000.• The main cultivation in Calabria is olive tree.• 137,938 farms on a total of 194,600 produce olives.
Within the industrial sector, manufacturingcontributes to gross value by 7.2%. In themanufacturing sector the main branches arefood industry and tobacco.
• Tourism also plays an important part in the economy of Calabria.• Its beautiful mountains, natural parks and coastline attract hundred of thousands of tourists each year.• “Sustainable cultural tourism” is also being promoted.• One of the treasures of Calabria are the “Bronzi di Riace”.
• The Bronzi di Riace are two famous full-size Greek bronzes of nude bearded warriors, cast about 460–430 BCE .• They were found by Stefano Mariottini, a chemist from Rome, on a scuba diving vacation at Monasterace, on August 16, 1972, perhaps at the site of a shipwreck, off the coast of Riace, near Reggio Calabria.
The history and geography of Calabria havestrongly influenced the cuisine of the regionwhich, like most southern Italian cooking, ischaracterized by essentiality, simplicity and“poverty”.
PRESERVESPRESERVES were first introduced in the region by thePhoenicians and Greeks.It allows to store food for more than a year and live throughwinters, droughts, and even SIEGES!
Many families still today, use salt, vinegar, oliveoil or lard to store: pork meat, salami, olives,eggplants and sun dried tomatoes.
Vegetables are not the only thing to be dried.The Byzantines introduced the tradition of drying and saltingfish, specially anchovies.Anchovies and wild plants, as the nettle, are used in thepreparation of stuffed bread.
Eastern Innovation• Basilian Monks coming from the Byzantine Empire, taught local populations new farming techniques.• The quality of the produce had a great impact of the cuisine but also on the quality of life.• Pigs and goats were raised in the monasteries.• Most of the salamis were produced to avoid wasting meat.• Giblets, which were generally used in religious sacrificial rites, begin to be used for human consumption.• Even pigs’ blood is not wasted and is used in the preparation of SANGUINACCIO
The Arab influenceArabs introduced many dishes that were thenmodified and became typical of the region.Purpette and Iaccatieddri are two examples.
Mushrooms are a big part of the cuisine fromCalabria. There is a real “mushroom tourism”.On the mountains of Pollino and Sila thousandsof mushroom hunters gather between Septmberand November looking specially for PORCINI.
Every family used to own a pig.During Carnevale the animal was slaughteredand the first “nduja” and “soppressata” of thenew year used to be prepared. Not manyfamilies still follow this ancient tradition.
Pisci-spatu ccu chiappari e limuniSwordfish with capers and lemon
Ingredients• Servings 4• 2 lb swordfish• 2 cloves of garlic• 2 oz capers, in vinegar• 1 sprig parsley• 1 pinch oregano• 1 lemon• 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil• salt to taste
Preparation• 20 minutes preparation + 5 minutes cooking• Brown the garlic in oil, then remove it and add the fish and capers. Season with salt, parsley and oregano.• Drizzle the lemon juice over and finish cooking lid-on.
Ingredients• Servings 4• For pasta• 1 lb all-purpose flour• 4 eggs• for the soup• 3 ½ tablespoons extra virgin olive oil• 1 lb chickpeas• 1 bay leaf• ⅛ oz wild fennel fronds• 1 clove of garlic• 1 ¾ oz celery• 3 oz onion• salt and pepper to taste• 1 ¾ oz Parmigiano Reggiano cheese• ⅛ oz baking soda
Preparation 30 minutes preparation + 1 hour cookingStep 1Make a dough from the flour and egg, and roll it out into many thin sheets. With the aid of aknife, cut into sheets.
Step 2• Leave the chickpeas to soften in water and bicarbonate for about 12 hours. Drain them and cook them in a pan with water and salt, a drop of oil and a bay leaf.• Blanch and peel the tomatoes, remove their seeds and toss them in a pan with a little oil. Season with salt and pepper and then purée them. Keep hot.• In a pan containing the rest of the oil, gently fry the finely chopped onion, celery and garlic and flavour with the wild fennel.
Step 3Add the chickpeas with a little cooking liquid, adjust the seasoning with salt and pepper, andcontinue cooking.
Step 4Cook the pasta in abundant boiling salted water.Remember to stir frequently to avoid it sticking.Once it is cooked, drain it. Step 5In a large pan, add the tomato sauce to thechickpeas and adjust the seasoning. Add thepasta sheets, mix and serve piping hot. Sprinkleeverything with the grated Parmesan.