Italia Per Due Week 5: Adam, Angela, and the Italian Concentration
We took a class field trip to Benedetto Cavalieri Pasta which is a fourth-generation pasta company which started in 1918. Cavalieri is in Maglie, Puglia which is about a 45-minute bus ride from Ugento. We got a tour of the factory which is the same factory that was started in 1918, by Andrea Cavalieri. At the factory, we got to see where they store the different flours, the machines used to extrude the pasta, the drying chambers, and also the packaging machines.
Benedetto Cavalieri uses traditional processes to preserve the quality of their artisanal pasta. It makes different shapes of pasta with different ratios of flours and water. This is done because each shape needs a different consistency to be extruded. Benedetto Cavalieri uses bronze dyes when extruding the pasta, which gives it a coarser texture than the dried pasta that is extruded using Teflon dyes.
The coarser the pasta the more sauce will stick to it. The company uses special chambers that are set to dry the pasta in 30–44 hours at 40–55 degrees Celsius. The longer time and lower temperature help slowly dry the pasta and avoid altering the protein structure of the pasta.
Antique pasta drying machine that is still in use today
We were told that the most important factors in producing their great quality dried pasta, is their relationships with the farmers. Benedetto Cavalieri has maintained long-term relationships with farmers who grow their wheat without using fertilizers and pesticides. This produces less quantity but higher quality wheat, which results in an exceptional dried pasta.
Benedetto Cavalieri pasta sample that they gave each of us to try
By Adam Shoemaker
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My Evening in Roma:
We spent an unforgettable long weekend visiting Rome, Naples, and Pompeii this past Friday, Saturday, and Sunday! After a long day of walking inside the Colosseum, making a wish at the Trevi Fountain, visiting the Vatican, and gazing at the beautiful architecture, it was time to treat ourselves to dinner in one of Italy’s most famous cities. Plus, being CIA students, we had to check out the food scene!
The fabulous restored Trevi Fountain
A memory that will with me stay forever is the wonderful dinner my friends and I experienced at Culinaria in Rome on Saturday night. Shortly after we were greeted and seated at Culinaria, the server welcomed us with burrata foam with anchovy, olive oil, and crispy onions. As a starter, I ordered what I can absolutely say was the best octopus I have ever had in my life. The octopus was skewered and wrapped in guanciale, served with a cream of red bean sauce and a parmesan chip. After we had our second courses and enjoyed a bit of prosecco, we wholeheartedly agreed it was one of the best meals we have ever experienced.
By Angela Piccinich