Thursday, July 19, 2012
The Tempest in a Teapot or Coffee Pot
Guest Blogger: Chelsea Pullano
In Act 3 of Shakespeare’s The Tempest, some of the company’s weary travellers come upon a feast laid in the forest. It is the spirits of Prospero, fallen Duke of Milan, who laid this sumptuous meal to taunt his visitors, and while they are struck down by the sprit Ariel before consuming such speech, it can be imagined what delicacies would have been served at the table of the past Duke of Milan. The most important food items in Milan include milk, cream, butter, cheese. Unlike many other Italian cities, the cuisine of Milan features almost no tomato. Many of Milan’s dishes are based around cheeses, particularly mascarpone and ricotta. This can be seen not only in the city’s foods, but in the names of it’s towns, such as Crema and Cremona, which lend themselves to thoughts of cheeses and milks. Rice tends to be more popular than pasta in Milan, largely because rice absorbs cheeses and butters better than pasta does.
Another prominent character in The Tempest is the King of Naples. Naples draws its culinary trends from many different areas that have occupied it over the ages, including the Spanish, Greek, and French. The 18th century is when Neapolitan cuisine first emerged as a distinct identity. Naples is the original home of the pizza, and since 2004 Neapolitan pizza ingredients have been regulated by law, requiring particular types of yeast and flour, natural mineral water, peeled tomatoes or fresh cherry tomatoes, marine salt and extra virgin olive oil. Spaghetti is another popular dish associated with Naples. Sweet dishes are a favorite of the city, including gelato and pastries such as zeppole, babà, and sfogliatelle. Neapolitan coffee is likewise widely acclaimed, and the cuccuma, or the Neapolitan flip coffee pot, was the inspiration for the espresso machine.
And if you are able to catch this production at the Pennsylvania Shakespeare Festival or one of Shakespeare's other masterpieces with super talented directors, producers, actors...
And for more food info, recipes, travel info, join 100,000 worldwide subscribers at www.marialiberati.com and The Basic Art of Italian Cooking by Maria Liberati tm