Stanley Tucci does not Know How to Make a Negroni – his recipe is all Wrong

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STANLEY TUCCI Does Not Know How to Make a Proper NEGRONI
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Yes it’s true. The person who has become popular for making Negroni Cocktails, more than anyone else in the history of mankind, does not even know how to make a proper Negroni. This is scariligous, and shows once again, how people jump on the Band Wagon, so to speak.
I was horrified when I was looking in Tucci’s latest book TASTE “My Life Through Food”and saw his recipe for the Negroni. In his recipe and instruction, Tucci cals for 50 milliliters of Gin, 25 millileters Campari, and 25 milliliters Sweet Vermouth with a slice of Orange. “oh my God, I can’t beleive it, totally wrong Stanley. The proportions are totally wrong and would make a “Horrible Negroni, and one I’d never ever want to drink.” and I’ve been drinking these bad boys Since 1985, a good 25 years before the Negroni Craze reached the American Shores.
How can you do it Stanley? Everyone who knows anything about a Negroni knows that you use equal parts of Campari, Gin, and Sweet Vermouth, and not and never ever twice as much Gin as Campari, you complete destroy the taste, by completely throwing the cocktail out of balance, a primary prerequisite to any good cocktail. How can you do it Stanley. Futhermore, it is beyond me that the press and general public have practicallymade Tucci the King of The Negroni, and the man doesn’t know how to make one. This is horrifying ! Really Stanley? How can you do it. 
I’ve written extensively about the Negroni (in La Tavola), a good 10 years before the Negroni Craze even started. And as I’ve stated, I’ve been drinking these wonderful cocktails since the Summer of 1985, on my first trip to Italy.  My first Negroni? I remember it well. It was at the Caffe Giacosa (formerly Caffe Cassoni), in FLorence.  I went in and sat down. The waiter brought me a menu. I already knew what I wanted, as I had read of the Negroni in an Italian travel guide. I knew it was invented here, and that’s what I was going to get. So when the waiter came back, I said, ” Un Negroni pro favore.” The waiter nodded and, replied, “Prego.” A few minutes later he brought me my Negroni, with a few cocktail treats that they serve with cocktails in Italy. I took a sip. Yum, that’s pretty good I thought. That was the first. The first of many hundreds to come. Way back then, very few Americans drank Negroni’s. There were a few. The well traveled, but nothing like today. It really doesn’t make me that happy that everyone and their grandmother drinks them these days. It sort of takes away from their specialness a bit. But what are you going to do” That’s the way it is. They’re still tasty and refreshing to me. Tasty and refreshing? Well yes. Just don’t have Stanely Tucci make one for me. “Yuuk! Not very good. Not a Negrone (the way Stanely makes them). 

 

Sorry Stanley, but you got it all wrong.

 
 
… Daniel Bellino “Z” ….
HOW to MAKE a PROPER NEGRONI
1 ounce Campari
1 ounce Sweet Vermouth
1 ounce Gin
ICE
1 fresh slice of Orange
Preparation :
Fill a rock glass with ice.
Add the Campari, Sweet Vermouth, and Gin. 
Stir.
Add a slice of Orange, and serve.
NOTE :  You can change the proportions a little. Just don’t change them up too much, or you will throw the cocktail out of balance, and it will not taste like a Negroni, defeating the whole purpose of making the drink, as is the case with Mr. Tucci’s recipe. “It’s all wrong. Way too much Gin.”
If you wanted to stick around the prescribe recipe of equal parts of Campari, Sweet Vermouth, and Gin, to make a proper Negroni, you can put in just a little less Gin, but not too much less, or you’ll change the make-up too much.
Also, it is very acceptable to add a plash of Club Sod on top. Just not too much. Make sure it is just a small splash.
Bitters : Campari
Sweet Vermouth Brands : Cinzano, Marini & Rossi, Antica Carpano.
GIN :  Any London Dry Gin. Most popular brands include : Beefeater, Bombay, Gordon’s, Tanqueray, and Hendrick’s.
Final Note : Negroni’s can be made straight-up, or on the rocks, however, 95% of the time, they are                         served on the rocks. 
 
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NEGRONI
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POSITANO The AMALFI COAST
COOKBOOK / TRAVEL GUIDE
 
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CAMPARI

TEE SHIRT

 
 

 

Provolone Capri .. an Aperol Spritz

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View of Marina Grande CAPRI with Sorrento in the distance, from Anacapri

Provolone, for many Italian-Americans it’s their favorite cheese. Case in point, its mine, my favorite cheese, as is with my sister Barbara, we both love it. The love of Provolone is more prevalent with Italians who are over forty years of age. The younger generation is more apt to go for Burata, something that didn’t exist in America previous to the past 15 years or so. Growing up in a 60’s 1970’s Italian-American household there were a few Italian Cheeses that most everyone ate and used in cooking their favorite dishes, put on antipasto platters and in sandwiches. There was Ricotta that went into making Lasagna and Manicotti or Stuffed Shells, Cheesecake, Cannoli, and other items. You normally didn’t eat Ricotta on it’s own as you might Mozzarella or Provolone, the ricotta was usually in cooked dishes, however I always loved taking a couple tablespoons, eating it fresh out of the container, all smooth and creamy. Yum!

For many years Pecorino Romano and Parmigiano Reggiano were the most popular cheeses as they were grated over pasta and used in various recipes. Mozzarella came in third in popularity in Italian-America. Mozzarella is most famous for being a topping of millions upon millions of Pizzas, or in the popular Insalata Caprese, a thing of simplistic beauty and taste. A Caprese Salad looks lovely and fresh and just like an Italian Flag, the colors are the same, the Red of the fresh Tomatoes, the creamy white Fresh Mozzarella, and bright green fresh Basil comprises the classic Insalata Caprese, which of course is drizzled with a little bit of Italian Olive Oil to complete this wonderful dish, that’s simple, yet perfect, and based on the best top quality fresh ingredients. All this being said, using the Mozzarella in this way wasn’t the most popular way of getting this cheese in an Italian household. Mozzarella in Italian-America is most popular when it is cooked (melted) into a multitude of Italian dishes like; Lasagna, Manicotti, Stuffed Shells, on Chicken and Veal Parmigiano, in Baked Ziti and on Pizza. Yes we would have a Caprese Salad now and then, but more often if we were eating fresh uncooked Mozzarella it was usually on a sandwich or in the ever popular Antipasto-Misto platter of which the ingredients would vary according to who was making it, but most often it would consist of Salami, fresh Mozzarella and or Provolone, Roast Peppers, Olives, and fresh Celery.

Provolone, always my favorite cheese when I was growing. It was my sister Barbara’s favorite as well and whenever we went to Barcelona’s Restaurant we always ordered a plate of Provolone along with Mussels Marinara, Baked Clams, and all our other favorites. Yes, Mozzarella was fine, but for my sister Barbara and I it just couldn’t keep up with the big bold flavor of Provolone.

 

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Girl Making My PANINO

   I used to love walking into Belevedere Salumeria around the street from our house. The place had large torpedo-like Provolone (weighing 40-50 lbs.) hanging from the ceiling, along with Sopresseta, Prosciutto, and various types of Salumi. The smells dominated by the Provolone when you walked through the door were intoxicating. My friends and I, when we had a couple extra bucks we would treat ourselves and run over to Belevedere Italian Deli and get an awesome sandwich of Gabagool (Capicola), Salami, and Provolone, one of the world’s great sandwiches. Oh my God it’s making me hungry just thinking of it! I want one now!

So along with those boyhood memories of eating a piece of sharp Provolone off the antipasto platter or on one of those great Belvedere Sandwiches, I now have some more fond memories of Provolone Cheese. They come from my latest trip to Italy. I was down on the Amalfi Coast for the first time in a few years, and got a nice panino at a Salumeria one day. I was looking in the refrigerated glass case of Salumi and Cheese looking over their products. I decided on and ordered a panino made with Sopresseta and Provola Afumicata (Smoke Provolone). The counterman made my sandwich and when I ate that baby, boy the combination was absolutely amazing. I couldn’t believe it. I never had this combination before and I just loved it. Simple, just some Sweet Sopresseta and Smoked Provola, the combination was out of this world. It was simple, but each wonderful ingredient of perfectly cured Sopresseta Salami and wonderful Smoke Provolone on a nice Italian Roll, it just made for a great tasting sandwich. What more can I say? I ended up eating about 6 of those sandwiches from various salumerias on Capri, in Sorrento, and on the Amalfi Coast on that trip. I’d get a sandwich or an Arancini to hold me over between meals, if I was going to the beach or taking a boat ride from Amalfi to Capri, or whatever. The sandwiches were all so very tasty and an unexpected pleasure that I hadn’t expected at all. So now after eating all those tasty Panini I now I go to Faicco’s Pork Store around the block and buy some nice Sweet Sopresseta, Smoked Provola and get a loaf of Italian Bread, and I’m all set, right back there on Capri, eating my special Panino di Provola Affumicata e Sopresseta. This brings me back to Capri, Amalfi, and memories of a trip. A trip of beauty, tasty food, and recollections, the beauty of Capri and the Amalfi Coast, eating Vongole, Pasta, Arancini, and Provolone. I tell you folks, “it just doesn’t get much better than that.”

 

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Panino di Proval Affumicata e Sopresseta, Minori

 

Now talking of these things, the Sopresseta, Provola, Capri Sorrento, and Napoli, I’ve got to bring up one more pleasure of that trip, the Aperol Spritz and Summer on the Amalfi Coast. It’s not that I’d never had an Aperol Spritz before. No, the first time I had one was way back in 1995 in Venice, the place where the Aperol Spritz was invented. I was on my exploratory trip of Venetian Wine Bars (Bacari) when I had my first Spritz. One evening I was walking around doing the Venetian Wine Bar tour. While walking on the Strada Nuova in Canareggio I dashed into a Bacaro I had spotted. I made my way up to the bar and surveyed the scene a moment before ordering. As I stood there I notice people drinking this particular drink. I asked the barman what they were drinking and he told me that it was a Spritz, “Prosecco with Aperol and soda.” OK, I said, “I’ll take one.” The barmen made me one in no-time flat, and that was my first Spritz, and I’ve had a number of them since then. Now getting back to that Summer 2015 on Costiera Amalfitana and the Aperol Spritz, they were everywhere, glasses of Aperol Spritz one after the other, bar after bar, caffe after caffe, table after table, everywhere you looked people were drinking this refreshing cocktail, the locals and tourists alike. Well I’d come back from the beach on my way back to my hotel, and as usual when on the Amalfi Coast when done at the beach for the day, I head to a nice bar or caffe for an Espresso, a glass of local White Wine, a Campari, or some other cocktail. Now all of a sudden it seemed that the Spritz had moved into high gear. The drink was quite popular, and as I’ve said, it was everywhere and everyone was drinking them. So I headed to the Piazza Umberto one day after a day at the beach (Faraglioni) as I usually do. There’s a few very popular caffe’s there, and it’s just a matter of picking one to spend your time at. I chose one of my favorites, the Bar Tiberius. I took a seat at a table outside and waited for the waiter to come over. The waiter came and I ordered an Aperol Spritz. He came back a few minutes later with a refreshing looking Spritz and a little bowl of peanuts for me to munch. Yes, it was good. My Aperol Spritz, Capri, the Piazza Umberto and all that goes with it, like a scene in a movie, set on the beautiful Isle of Capri. And you’re in it. Now that’s something.

So, I ended up drinking a good number of Aperol Spritz’s on that trip. I had them in Capri, Positano, in Sorrento, and at caffé in the piazza in Ravello. It’s a great drink that’s light and refreshing and a great way to start any evening, slow and easy, that’s the Aperol Spritz, it eases you into the evening with its lightness and refreshing taste. Enjoy one some time, I do.

So there you have it, the Provolone of my youth with those great Provolone & Gabagool Sandwiches at the Italian Deli Belveder, the Aperol Spritz, Capri, Napoli, Sorrento, and my Provola Panini on The Amalfi Coast. That’s Italy, Italian-America, Italian Food and memories of this blissful never-ending journey of Italian Food, the culture, people, places, and events. It’s all quite wonderful. Don’t you agree?

 

 

Excerpted from Daniel Bellino ‘s forthcoming book  MANGIA ITALIANO,                                 slated for a 2016 Release?

 

 

 

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