White Pinot Noir

From the Willamette Valley, a unique expression from the Willamette Valley Vineyards founded by Jim Bernau and Don Voorhies.

This white Pinot Noir, is harvested at the peak of ripeness. The juice was fermented in stainless steel tanks and neutral French oak barrels, and aged on its lees. The wine expresses creaminess, a rich mid-palate and a balanced acidity.

ENOTURISMO: IN TOSCANA SI CELEBRA DANTE “IN VIGNA”

Torna dal 29 al 30 maggio il celebre appuntamento per i wine lovers, in Toscana un omaggio a Dante

“Dante in vigna”: con Cantine Aperte riparte l’enoturismo toscano

Una campagna promozionale è già on line su sito e social di MTV Toscana per un anno intero di appuntamenti in Toscana dedicati al vino che avranno Dante come filo conduttore, dai picnic alle degustazioni, passando per concerti e letture tra i filari di brani del Sommo Poeta

 

Dall’Inferno al Paradiso. E’ proprio il caso di dirlo, con il ritorno dell’enoturismo toscano che quest’anno avrà come filo conduttore le celebrazioni dei 700 anni dalla morte del Sommo Poeta. Dante in Vigna è infatti il leitmotiv scelto da Movimento Turismo del Vino Toscana per celebrare le attività che da maggio a dicembre porteranno gli appassionati a tornare in cantina. E la prima occasione sarà proprio il ritorno di Cantine Aperte, il celebre appuntamento per i wine lovers che dal 29 al 30 maggio tornerà anche nelle cantine toscane. «E’ stata una decisione che abbiamo dovuto prendere all’ultimo momento date le normative Covid, ma ce l’abbiamo fatta – spiega il presidente del Movimento Turismo del Vino Toscana, Emanuela Tamburini – in realtà non ci siamo mai fermati e proprio per quest’anno abbiamo pensato di promuovere tutti i nostri eventi dedicandoli a Dante, in vigna ovviamente, continuando la collaborazione con la Scuola Internazionale Comics di Firenze».

 

Dante in Vigna. In occasione dell’anniversario della scomparsa di Dante Alighieri, tutti gli eventi promossi dalla Cantine di MTV Toscana saranno come detto legati al tema di Dante e dando vita al più grande evento diffuso di Dante in Vigna. Si tratta di una campagna che parte dalla Toscana per raccontare la vigna e Dante in occasione di questa importante ricorrenza. Da degustazioni abbinate a letture di brani della Divina Commedia tra i filari a eventi legati al vino rosso che rappresenta l’Inferno, rosa il Purgatorio e bianco il Paradiso. Inoltre pic nic, trekking e attività per i bambini. Una campagna con video emozionali sta per partire sui canali on line e non solo di MTV Toscana. Inoltre continua la collaborazione con la Scuola Internazionale Comics di Firenze che per l’occasione ha disegnato la grafica dell’evento, a partire dal logo fino all’immagine simbolo che vede Dante ispirarsi ai suoi testi tenendo in mano un calice di vino toscano.

 

Cantine Aperte e Vigneti Aperti sotto il segno di Dante. Sono i due eventi che caratterizzeranno l’enoturismo in Toscana. In particolare il format di Cantine Aperte, ormai un must, tornerà in presenza (nel 2020 non c’era stato per la pandemia) dal 29 al 30 maggio. In questa occasione le cantine organizzeranno programmi speciali. Vigneti Aperti è invece la novità dell’anno, pensata soprattutto per dare la possibilità di spalmare le tradizionali attività nel corso di tutto l’anno. Dal 1 maggio fino a novembre infatti le cantine socie del Movimento Turismo del Vino Toscana organizzeranno eventi di vario tipo. I programmi di tutte le iniziative presto on line sul portale www.mtvtoscana.com

 

L’Associazione Movimento Turismo del Vino Toscana è un ente non profit che raccoglie circa cento soci fra le più prestigiose cantine del territorio, selezionate sulla base di specifici requisiti, primo fra tutti quello della qualità dell’accoglienza enoturistica. Obiettivo dell’associazione è promuovere la cultura del vino attraverso le visite nei luoghi di produzione. Ai turisti del vino il Movimento vuole, da una parte, far conoscere più da vicino l’attività e i prodotti delle cantine aderenti, dall’altra, offrire un esempio di come si può fare impresa nel rispetto delle tradizioni, della salvaguardia dell’ambiente e dell’agricoltura di qualità.

 

Montalcino (Si), 7 maggio 2021 C.s. 03

Improving the extraction of the phenolic compounds and aromas

Cryomaceration is a winemaking technique where the grapes are stabilized at low temperatures, provides acceptable, well-balanced, better-rounded wines, with a stronger body in the mouth. Therefore, by means of this process, a final product can be obtained with better characteristics than the wines made with traditional processes

One of the most important techniques used during wine-making is cryomaceration. It consists in submitting the mashed grapes to rapid cooling, up to 281-283 K (46.4 – 50 fahrenheit), and maintaining this temperature for several days, in order to improve the extraction of the compounds contained in the grape skins, such as phenolic compounds and the primary aromas. Low-temperature pre-fermentative maceration is frequently used in elaborating white wines to encourage contact between grape skins and juices in order to extract the greatest amount of aromas and their precursors, both mainly located in the skin of grape berries.

Wine prepared with grapes by the use of cryomaceration show more aroma intensity, stability of taste properties of the wine than wines prepared traditionally by maceration without cooling. The use of cryomaceration presents white wines showing high stability to oxidation and typical intensive varietal taste and aroma. Cryomacerating process is used by the winemaker to enhance the varietal character of white wines. This procedure provides, acceptable, well-balanced, better-rounded wines, with a stronger body in the mouth. Therefore, by means of this process, a final product can be obtained with better characteristics than the wines made with traditional processes.

Source: http://www.ejbiotechnology.info
https://scielo.conicyt.cl/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0717-34582011000600008

Wine ingredients on the label: how will consumers react?

A study concluded that the real impact on the ingredient labeling process will be determined by how the media will report the issue.

by Emanuele Fiorio

Since 2017, the European Commission has been asking that the wine ingredients be listed on the back of wine labels.  The World Health Organization also wants labeling as part of its plan to reduce the harmful use of alcohol. As a first step, the European Commission asked the wine industry to present a proposal for self-regulation.

One of the critical points will be the question of what an ingredient is actually. For example, is a processing aid an ingredient even if it is dispersed? This is one the of the questions that make the inclusion of ingredients on the label a thorny topic within the wine industry. Recently the debate has exploded both within European bodies and in the international media.

But what do consumers want?
As Wine Business International reports, Evelyn Pabst and Professor Dr Simone Loosedue, researchers from the University of Geisenheim in Germany have designed a study , in collaboration with Italian and Australian colleagues, to examine how consumers react to the inclusion of ingredients on the label.

They recruited 745 Australians, 716 Germans and 715 Italians and presented them with three different types of labels.

A label presented sensory information on wine, ingredients, price. Another offered sensory information, food pairings, calories and added sulfites.The last label had no sensory information, but a complete nutritional table showing data such as calories, fat, carbohydrates, sodium and so on, plus a complete list of ingredients.

Consumers were not shown the front label, to make sure they weren’t influenced by the brand information.

The results differed from one market to another. The Germans and the Australians were more influenced by sensory information, while the Italians from the regional origin. They were also more interested in nutritional information than their peers in Australia and Germany.

Either way, the report ended that “if consumers are not actively confronted with the issue, the lists of ingredients for wine have a very low influence on the selection of wines”.

The researchers also wanted to test how the media debate on the ingredients of wine can have an impact on purchasing behavior. They divided their consumer groups into three. The first received a negative article that spoke of chemical additives and accused the wine industry of deceiving consumers; the second received a positive article entitled “how different ingredients bring benefits to wine” and nothing was shown to the third group.  What the researchers found was that consumers pay much more attention to the ingredients after being exposed to a media debate on the subject and are less concerned with sensory descriptions.

The researchers concluded that ingredient labeling is unlikely to have much impact on consumer behavior. The real impact will be determined by how the media report the issue. “The short-term effects of widespread negative media coverage should not be underestimated,” the report concluded.

Given the problems associated with creating a list of ingredients for wine, the labeling legislation could be very long. But the issue is already affecting the wine media and the wine industry must think about how it will react when it spreads in the traditional media.

Source: https://www.winemeridian.com

Alchemical Properties of Food

Food classified according to its Elemental Nature

Alfalfa is associated with earthly providence because its roots penetrate so deep into the dirt. Adding fresh alfalfa sprouts to a meal is thought to ground etheric energies and increase the physical sustenance of foods. Alfalfa tea is a stress-reducing infusion that works by calming nerve endings to relieve the pain of arthritis and neuralgia. [Earth ++]

Allspice is made from a plant native to tropical America and got its name because its aroma and flavor resemble a combination of various cooking herbs. Considered a lucky spice, it is said to promote health in an individual and prosperity in a family. Allspice is burned as incense to attract money. [Fire +]

Almonds are sacred to the gods Thoth, Hermes, and Mercury and are said to bring wisdom and prosperity by stimulating intuition and insight through the Third Eye Chakra. Magical wands are often made of almond wood. [Earth ++]

Amaranth is an ancient Aztec grain with a strong nutty flavor. The tiny grains add a peppery taste that enhances other grain dishes. The Aztecs considered the spicy grain a powerful source of earth energy. [Earth +++]

Anise calms and soothes the body and mind. Anise seeds contain a form of plant estrogen, and the aromatic tea made from them deepens meditation. [Air ++]

Apple, known as the Fruit of the Gods, is a very powerful source of spiritual energy that encourages balance and harmony. The Wiccan Feast of Apples is celebrated on Samhain (Halloween), and in ancient Greece and Rome, apples were eaten at Diana’s Festival (August 13). If cut horizontally, the apple reveals the pentagram pattern, which is considered the gateway to occult powers as well as symbol of the quintessence. The Egyptians offered apples to their highest and most powerful priests, whom they considered guardians of hidden knowledge. In the Middle Ages, sliced apples were used to foretell the future and eating them regularly was said to enable a person to live over 200 years. Modern clinical studies have proved that eating apples reduces cancer risk. [Air +++]

Apricots have been grown on the mountainous slopes of China for over 5,000 years, though the fruit is much more difficult to grow in temperate regions. Apricots carry feminine spiritual energy and are used to sweeten someone’s disposition or instill romance and passion in a relationship. Extremely rich in vitamins and minerals, apricots strengthen the immune system and have more of the antioxidant carotene than any other fruit. [Air ++]

Artichoke is the large flower bud of a wild thistle plant. Artichoke encourages personal growth and protects a person from negative elemental energies. Artichoke bottoms were once thought to have such a sexually stimulating effect that young women were warned against eating them, else they give in to temptation. [Air +]

Asparagus was one of the few vegetables introduced into the New World by colonists from Europe, where its use dated back to the days of the Roman Empire. The phallic-shaped plant has always had a reputation as a potent aphrodisiac, which was one of the primary reasons people ate it. The strong odor produced in the urine after asparagus is eaten betrayed many unfaithful husbands who believed in the vegetable’s licentious powers. In the Victorian era, mothers made a point of teaching their daughters how to recognize its distinctive smell. Asparagus is also a diuretic and eases stomach and intestinal disorders. [Water +]

Avocado is thought to promote physical beauty, and avocado oil is used in cosmetics to this day. The Aztecs ate the lush fruit to become passionate and aroused lovers. [Water ++]

Baking soda or baking powder adds expansive, raising energy, though when used without the proper grounding, the cooking ally can result in disappointed expectations. [Air ++]

Bamboo shoots are sacred to the Polynesian moon goddess Hina and add a feminizing influence to the consistency and flavors of food. [Water ++]

Bananas carry contradictory meanings. Because banana trees promulgate through ground shoots and not by fertilization, their flowers (the banana bunches) are sterile, and each tree dies as soon as it bears fruit. For that reason, bananas represent the futility of material possessions, and Buddha is often shown meditating under a banana tree. On the other hand, the banana’s phallic shape represents male heroic energy, and men in Pacific Island nations eat them to become sexually charged. At one time in Hawaii, women were forbidden to eat the male fruit on pain of death. [Air +]

Barley is the oldest of the Seven Sacred Grains of mankind and was cultivated in Jordan around 10,000 BC. The grain was sacred to various gods throughout India, Greece, Scandinavia, and the Middle East. Esoterically, barley is a gentle, nurturing force that stimulates the Heart Chakra and is used to ease a person’s emotional burden by turning harsh feelings into love and warding off any negativity that originates from other people. Barley grass juice is considered an effective psychological grounding agent and physical energizer. [Earth +++]

Basil was sacred to the Greeks, and women were not allowed to pick it. The herb soothes anger and hard feelings by encouraging feelings of love and is thought to simultaneously simulate the Heart and Sacral Chakras, thereby harmonizing stressful emotions while releasing sexual energies. Basil adds an outdoorsy, mint-like flavor to dishes, and is best used raw. It also strengthens the immune system and is known to kill germs. [Fire +]

Bay Leaves are sacred to the Hindu creator god, Vishnu. They were known as laurel leaves to the Greeks and were believed to increase psychic powers. Priestesses of Apollo chewed the leaves and inhaled their smoke to induce a psychic state of mind. Five leaves to a teapot make an infusion that alleviates indigestion and clears the sinuses. [Fire +++]

Beans were thought to contain the souls of the dead in ancient Egypt and Greece, and it was taboo to eat them or crush the plants. According to legend, Pythagoras met his death when he refused to escape his assassins by cutting through a bean field. Because they contain the wisdom of ancestors, beans promote correct decision making and are used in the divination of future events. In modern times, however, beans have become a staple of the human diet. Soybeans are considered the most perfect of all beans and are sacred in Japan. Soymilk is made by soaking whole soybeans in water; miso is a fermented soybean paste used to make sauces and broths; tofu is a protein-rich coagulation of soybean extract. Lentils are disk-shaped beans from India. Aduki beans from Japan are one of the most digestible varieties, as are the tiny but flavor-rich mung beans. Kidney, navy, black, and pinto beans are staples of the typical Western diet. Peas are a type of sweet bean that bring luck in love and finance. According to folklore, shelling peas by hand will bring profits to your business, and if an unmarried woman finds a pod containing exactly nine peas and hangs it over her door, the next eligible man to walk in will become her husband. [Air +++]

Beef was sacred to the Egyptian mother goddesses Hathor and Isis and was thought to excite those who ate it, causing them to enter blissful states. It has even been suggested that the Catholic Church encouraged the eating of Water Element meat like fish to foster calm docility and counter what they perceived as the inherently aggressive and excitable qualities of red meat. [Fire +++]

Beer is an ancient grain beverage first made from the fermentation of partially germinated barley in water. Both the Babylonians and the Egyptians became skilled brewers, and the oldest known recipes are for making beer. Malt is the name given to the germinated grain, and hops are flowers that give beer its bitter aftertaste. Esoterically, beer is the union of Earth and Water and carries traits of both elements. On Samhain (Halloween), Celtic warriors fought contests over who could drink the most beer, thinking the contest would make them immortal. Ale was considered sacred to the Scottish god Shoney and was the first mass-produced beer. It is made by the rapid fermentation of malt at high temperature. [Water +++]

Beets incorporate higher passions into physical matter and stand for the love of beauty. The red roots were sacred to the Greek goddess of love, Aphrodite. Beets stimulate the Heart Chakra and beet juice is used to write the name of the desired person in love magic. Beet greens are very high in vitamin C and can be used in salads. [Earth +++]

Blackberries or brambleberries, currants, and raspberries promote wealth and protect from evil. The protective thorniness of their deep-rooted bushes is the plant’s alchemical signature. Blackberry pies are baked for the Wiccan celebration of Lughnasadh (August 2) to protect crops and encourage a bountiful harvest, and blackberry tea is said to protect the stomach from disease. Raspberries alleviate watery complaints such as diarrhea and painful menstruation. [Earth +++]

Blueberries embody the esoteric principles of calm acceptance, peace, and a protected environment. For centuries, witches have eaten blueberry tarts when under psychic attack to protect themselves. [Earth ++]

Brazil Nuts bring good fortune to love affairs and are sometimes carried as lucky talismans. [Earth ++]

Bread is sacred to the Egyptian mother goddess, Isis. Egyptians were accomplished bakers over 6,000 years ago, and the word “pyramid” is derived from the Greek word for the pyramidal stack of bread molds placed in Egyptian ovens. In esoteric terms, bread is a sacred carrier of earth energy that assumes the characteristics of the grains, nuts, and herbs used to bake it. While bread is considered the staff of life, it is considered bad luck to position a loaf upright because that invites the powers of the underworld to surface. The first yeast probably came from unused bread dough that fermented. Unleavened bread is free of yeast and is therefore considered purer than normal bread and more suited for ritual use. Pita bread and crackers are just two examples of the wide variety of unleavened breads. Whole grain breads contains the amino acid tryptophan, which boost levels of mood-elevating and soothing brain chemical serotonin. [Earth +++]

Broccoli is a type of cabbage grown for its flower heads. It is sacred to the god Jupiter, and the Romans believed it increased physical strength and leadership qualities. A chemical in the vegetable is known to retard cancerous growths in the body. [Water ++]

Brussel Sprouts are a type of cabbage cultivated since the 1600s for their ball-shaped buds. The vegetable is said to encourage the qualities of stability and endurance. [Water ++]

Buckwheat is not wheat but another grain more similar to rice. The mellow tasting food represents wealth and protection of property. Witches formed circles of buckwheat flour to create a protected space in which to perform their rituals. Thus buckwheat has always been associated with property rights of one kind or another. Kasha is roasted buckwheat; groats are the split raw kernels. Buckwheat tea has been shown to reduce swelling and edema. [Earth +++]

Butter is the churned cream of milk and was part of the Mesopotamian diet around 3500 BC. The ancients considered it a miraculous and sacred food, because it was a solidification of the nurturing properties of milk. Butter adds tenacity to all types of food and is used to soothe troubled relationships. [Water ++]

Cabbage is one of the oldest vegetables known to man, and the alchemists considered it the First Matter of foods. Today, there are over 400 varieties growing all over the world. Green or red “head” cabbage is popular in the West, while the broad-leafed varieties are popular in Asia. Esoterically, cabbage has a strong lunar presence and allows one to tap into existing bodily energies by stimulating the Base Chakra. In fact, several Greek philosophers claimed to live to a very advanced age by eating only cabbages. In Medieval Europe, good neighbors brought newlyweds some cabbage soup on the first morning after they were married, and cabbage was the first thing planted in their gardens to insure that their love took root. The fertilizing powers of cabbage were considered so powerful in France, that a whole folklore grew up around rumors of spontaneous “cabbage patch babies” that appeared from nowhere. [Water ++]

Cake is a type of bread made with flour, eggs, butter, and sugar. Cakes are thought to be easily enchanted and can convey both positive and negative psychic energy. Because they carry spells, cakes became associated with rites of passage such as christening, birthdays, and weddings. [Earth ++]

Capers are the tiny flower buds of the caperbush that have been pickled. The spice has been used as a flavoring for hundreds of years, though its popularity is due in part to the belief that capers promote lustful feelings and can cure impotency in men. [Fire ++]

Caraway seeds are used for protection and to dispel negative influences. The seeds are thought to attract loving, protective energies and discourage theft. In Europe, sachets of caraway seeds were placed in children’s beds to protect them from harm. [Air ++]

Cardamom, also known as amomum, is a zesty flavoring made from the seeds of an Asian plant. The spice eases upset stomachs, and it is often added as a flavoring to coffee or cocoa. Because of its superb aroma, cardamom was burnt as an offering to the gods and became an ingredient in many perfumes. The alluring power of cardamom is said to increase the strength of marriages and all types of unions, and the ground-up seeds are used to make love potions. It was also used as a sore throat and cough remedy and to expel intestinal worms. [Fire ++]

Carrots carry masculine energy that is said to increase fertility and dispel illusions. [Fire +]

Cashews are used in magical spells to increase income and money. In cooking, they are added to dishes to raise their energy levels. [Earth ++]

Catnip is sacred to Bast, the Egyptian cat goddess, and is said to increase joy, acceptance, and life force. Catnip is used to make a bedtime tea that encourages wonderful dreams by soothing frazzled nerves. The tea also relieves bloating and fights stomach nausea from colds and flu. Catnip increases menstrual flow and should not be taken by pregnant women. [Water ++]

Cauliflower is a variety of cabbage plant cultivated for its distinctive bouquet shape. The vegetable became popular in ancient Greece, where it was eaten to release feminine energies and initiate lunar cycles. Collard greens are the outside leaves of cauliflower and are used in salads or steamed and eaten hot. [Water ++]

Caviar is the eggs of the sturgeon, an ancient fish whose bony body plates make it look all the more prehistoric. Nonetheless, the Romans considered sturgeon the best tasting fish in the world and always served it on a bed of roses. Originally, caviar was a poor man’s food but it gradually grew into a gourmet’s delight that is one of the world’s most expensive delicacies. Caviar is equated with the idea of “pearls thrown before swine,” which can be appreciated only by those with “higher palates.” [Water ++]

Celery stalks are used to ground unspoken passions and induce lust. While the seeds aid in concentration and produce mental clarity, they have a simultaneous calming effect on the body and are known to lower blood pressure. [Air ++]

Chamomile was used by the Egyptians, Greeks, and Vikings as a whole-body healer. The herb has a purifying and calming effect and is burned as incense to deepen meditation. The tea makes a soothing tonic for the nerves, and gamblers who wash their hands in the tea are said to reap more winnings. The tea also eases menstrual cramps, and herbalists sometimes prescribe it to women for infertility. It is also a remedy for asthma, gallstones, diarrhea, toothaches, and middle ear infections. [Water ++]

Cheese is one of the oldest human foods. Pots for separating curds from whey have been found dating back to 6000 BC. Cheese was sacred to the Greek god Apollo and symbolizes things coming to fruition. In cooking, cheese is used to raise the vibrational level of meals, adding a positive or joyous energy. [Air +]

Cherries have long been associated with feminine energy and divination and are used in spells throughout the world to attract suitors and discern the future. The cherry is a cousin of the plum and has been known to mankind since Neolithic times. The fruit is diuretic, easily digested, and it is recommended as an acceptable sugar for diabetics and a cure for gout. [Air ++]

Chickens are said to promote well being and were sacrificed in ancient sunrise rituals to ensure a good day. The Egyptians consumed chicken and constructed oven incubators to hatch the eggs. The fowl was routinely sacrificed to the gods of the Romans, and the patterns left when chickens pecked grain were used to foretell the future. The chicken is a sacred bird in some parts of Indonesia and Africa and is still sacrificed in Voodoo and Santeria rituals. Chicken soup has long been associated with physical well being. [Fire ++]

Chicory is the wild ancestor of endive. It was cultivated by the Egyptians and exported to Rome during Cleopatra’s reign. Slightly more bitter than endive, it is also used as seasoning in salads and soups. Ground roasted chicory makes a good tonic and coffee substitute. [Fire +]

Chili Peppers are the fruits of tropical shrubs and carry creative energy. Chili peppers turn from green to yellow to red as they ripen, and both hot and sweet varieties promote vitality and growth. For full esoteric benefits, chilies should be eaten fresh, pickled, or slightly roasted ? never steamed. [Fire +++]

Chives were used fresh by the ancient Greeks in cooking and healing. In the Middle Ages, they were prescribed for melancholy and became part of exorcism rituals. The oniony herb is also said to help break negative habits and protect a person from evil temptations. Scientific evidence has shown that chives increase the metabolism of fat in the body and lower cholesterol. [Fire +++]

Cilantro or coriander encourages people to fall in love, and mixing the powdered seeds in warm red wine makes a powerful love potion. Eaten raw, cilantro is a stimulant said to increase intelligence. It also contains a diuretic that reduces blood pressure and eases headaches. [Fire ++]

Cinnamon comes from the fragrant bark of an evergreen tree of the laurel family and is thought to increase spirituality and psychic insight by stimulating the Crown Chakra. The tree must grow for eight years before its thick bark is mature enough to be harvested. Cinnamon oil was used in the mummification process by the Egyptians and was applied as a holy anointing oil in ancient Hebrew rituals. Cinnamon was also sacred to the Greek god of ecstasy, Dionysus. When it is burned as incense or added to foods, cinnamon raises spiritual energy to a higher level. The spice is recognized for its healing properties and is used as an antiseptic and painkiller. It is also known to stop diarrhea, lower blood pressure, and increase insulin production. [Fire +++]

Clover is a tangy field grass sometimes added to salads. Red clover makes a pleasant-tasting herbal tea that soothes the nerves and fortifies the blood. Some studies suggest clover slows cancerous growths. [Earth +]

Cloves are the dried flower buds of a coastal tree. They are used to attract love and money and for psychic protection. The Chinese called them “birds’ tongues,” and Europeans referred to them as the “grains of paradise.” Cloves are said to help one penetrate illusion, and the Romans burned them as incense to keep others from making up lies or gossiping about them. Cloves were used in the Middle Ages to fight the plague and cure impotence, and today herbalists prescribe them as a natural pain reliever and anti-inflammatory agent. [Fire +++]

Cocoa is made from the dried, semi-fermented seeds of the cacao tree. The seeds are ground and roasted to make chocolate. The Mayans and Aztecs believed the beverage was of divine origin and drank it with extreme reverence. In fact, beans from the cacao tree were considered so valuable that the Mayans used them as money. Chocolate raises emotional energy and induces ecstatic feelings of love by stimulating the Heart Chakra. That belief is the origin of the custom of giving boxes of chocolates to women to win their favor. Carob is a naturally sweet bean from an evergreen tree that is roasted, ground, and used as a chocolate substitute. Carob maintains good health and protects against evil forces. [Fire ++]

Coconut has long been part of chastity and purification rituals, and many Pacific peoples hang coconuts in their homes for protection. Eating coconut is said to increase diversity and open one up to positive spiritual influences. Coconut milk is sacred to the Greek goddess of wisdom (Athena), as well as Ganymede, the youthful cupbearer of the gods. [Water ++]

Coffee has been drunk as a tonic in Arabian lands since 800 AD. The beverage adds energy and mental acuity to a meal and counters the effects of overeating. Coffee was thought to make people so clear-headed that totalitarian rulers in Constantinople forbade its consumption, and even in modern times, coffeehouses are sometimes associated with freethinking and radical people. [Fire +++]

Comfrey belongs to the forget-me-not family and was carried by travelers in the Middle Ages to protect them against getting lost or robbed. The root is still used in spells to attract money. Tea made from the leaves relieves diarrhea, while tea from the roots makes a remedy for coughs and chest colds. [Water +]

Cookies are associated with nurturing love and invoke maternal instincts. Like cake, the carefully crafted morsels are said to carry the psychic energy of the baker. [Earth ++]

Corn symbolizes the eternal return of life and the abundance of nature. As one of the Seven Sacred Grains, corn (or maize) was first cultivated in Mexico around 6000 BC. The Mayans used the blood of their enemies to fertilize cornfields, and their king willingly drew blood from his earlobe and penis to be sprinkled among the corn saplings. Corn was sacred to the Aztec god Quetzalcoatl, and the Aztecs tried to attract rain clouds by tossing corn pollen into the air. Today, the Hopi and Zuni tribes still use sacred blue corn in their fertility ceremonies, and in the southeastern United States, red corncobs were sometimes burnt under the bed of a woman in labor to help speed up delivery. [Earth +++]

Crab was considered sacred to the Greek god of enlightenment, Apollo. It is said that eating the meat of a crab helps ground spiritual energy in a person and make it available for practical use. [Water ++]

Cranberries provide protective energy and fight off negative influences. In modern rituals, the juice is sometimes substituted for wine. Some evidence suggests the deep red berries prevent bladder infections. [Water ++]

Cucumber promotes chastity and hinders lustful behavior. Conversely, if the dried seeds are consumed by a woman, it increases her fertility. Cucumber peels are said to diminish headaches if placed on the forehead and relieve the pain of arthritis when wrapped around inflamed joints. [Water ++]

Cumin has the Gift of Retention. It is said that any object that carries cumin seeds cannot be stolen, and at one time, European wives fed their husbands cumin to keep them faithful. Cumin was also sprinkled on the floors of homes to ward off possession by evil spirits, and in northern Italy and Germany, the seeds were added to loaves of bread to keep forest sprites from stealing them. [Fire ++]

Curry powder is actually a blend of ginger, turmeric, cardamom and other spices which imparts the characteristic flavor and aroma of the curry plant (Murraya koenigii). In India, the dried plant is burnt at nightfall to keep evil spirits away in the darkness. It is also sprinkled on stored food to keep molds from growing. Curry powder has been shown to increase metabolism, help breathing, and reduce cholesterol. [Fire +++]

Dandelion is sacred to the Greek lunar goddess Hecate. The root is used to call forth spirits to fulfill wishes and foretell the future. When the root is roasted and ground like coffee, the infusion not only increases one’s psychic powers but also is said to open a doorway through which all-knowing spirits from the Other Side can travel. Young dandelion leaves also make a delicious salad, and the tea is taken as a tonic for liver problems. [Air +++]

Dates are the fruits of a kind of palm tree that has been cultivated in Africa for over 7,000 years. Dates were considered sacred in Babylon and Greece, and the Hebrews made syrup from them as an offering to God. The fruits were also used by ancient Persians to celebrate the death and resurrection of Zoroaster, a Christ figure who dates back to 500 BC. Dried dates are considered fruits of the spiritual realm and are symbolic of the eternal resurrection of the soul. To live off dates is to be free of worldly concerns, though paradoxically, such a diet is said to make one extremely potent sexually. [Air +++]

Dill is an annual plant of the parsley family and was considered sacred to the Egyptian god Horus. Both the dried plant and seeds are used as spices that stimulate the Sacral Chakra. Dill’s active, dominant presence stimulates sexual desire if smelled or eaten, and combining dill with such phallic symbols as pickles only increases the effect. The Romans fed dill to gladiators to give them courage, and placed in a cradle or crib, the plant is said to protect children from harm. It is also used to combat urinary infections plus quell hiccups, flatulence, and indigestion. [Fire +++]

Echinacea root was used by Native American shamans to strengthen their connection to the spirit world. They believed it increased the likelihood that their spells would work and also used it treat burns and snakebite. Ancient Chinese healers used it as an antibiotic. Today, it is widely used as an immune booster to fight infections and protect from colds and flu. [Earth +]

Eggs invoke primordial mysteries. Several psychologists have noted that our feelings about eggs predate any religious or magical tradition. Eating eggs was taboo in many cultures, and they were considered sacred in Teutonic, Mediterranean, Middle Eastern, and Indian societies for many centuries. Hard-boiled eggs were viewed as culinary magic in the Middle Ages, and insecure monarchs frequently ate eggs them because they were poison-proof. Brown eggs are considered more esoterically potent, and most Europeans still prefer them. Today, mass produced hen eggs provide a base food for creative diversity in cooking and are indispensable in many recipes. [Water ++]

Endive is a long-leafed member of the chicory family that supposedly causes lustful thoughts in those who eat it. The ragged leaves are also worn as a talisman to attract lovers, though the spell loses its strength after three days. [Fire +]

Eucalyptus trees originated in Australia but are now grown worldwide. Tea made from the leaves is a stimulating tonic that relieves bronchial problems and coughs. The antiseptic oil is used as a soothing stimulant in aromatherapy. [Water ++]

Eyebright brewed in a tea heightens mental acuity and sharpens psychic insight. A hearty cup of the herbal tea is recommended whenever an important decision has to be made. [Fire ++]

Fennel was considered sacred to the Greek god of ecstasy, Dionysus, and was a part of the Dionysian mysteries. The plant’s stalks were fashioned into long scepters with pinecones on top that were carried in ceremonies. For personal use, fennel is infused into a delicate, spiritually purifying, physically healing tea that eases nausea, relieves gas, and helps arthritic conditions. The multifaceted herb is still fed to cows to stimulate milk production. [Fire +++]
Fenugreek is sacred to the Greek brother-gods Apollo and Hermes, and has been used in the Mediterranean for millennia. The herb is said to facilitate commerce and increase wealth, and some European households kept a half-full jar of fenugreek open to attract money. Fenugreek tea controls blood sugar, lowers blood pressure, and has an anti-inflammatory agent that is reputed to fight ulcers and precancerous lesions. [Air ++]

Figs are one of the most ancient foods and had an important role in the Mediterranean diet for millennia. Egyptian priests bit into a ripe fig at the conclusion of consecration ceremonies. The Greeks considered them the ideal food, and figs were never harvested until a priest declared them ripe. In Asia, the Banyan fig tree is sacred to Buddha and is said to have its roots in heaven. Figs symbolize the rewards of meditation. The fruits are actually flower cases that contain both the male and the female flowers during fertilization. After fertilization, the flower cases swell with seeds and ooze sweet nectar. The word “fig” actually comes from the Arabian word for testicles, though esoterically, they are thought to embody only the highest powers of fertility and love. Growing a fig plant (such as Ficus carica or Ficus benjamina) indoors brings good luck and abundance to the room in which it is placed. Having someone bite into a fig while you are holding it makes them instantly infatuated with you. [Air +++]

Fish were considered sacred by nearly every ancient or primitive culture in the world. They are associated with the powers of the unconscious and fertility. The astrological sign of the fish, Pisces, denotes this fecundity. It is a double symbol made up of both the male and female principles. After his resurrection, Jesus ate honey and fish, which represented his purification and rise from the depths of darkness. Salmon is noted for its reproductive energy and is sacred to the Irish deity Murigen. [Water ++]

Flour exposes the hidden characteristics of the grain or nut out of which it is made. Gluten flour is a type of flour with all the starch removed, leaving only the high-protein gluten. [Earth +++]

Game fowl like geese, ducks, and pheasant were worshipped in most ancient cultures. The Egyptians believed that the soul of the universe was a goose whose egg hatched the sun. The soul of the pharaoh ascended to heaven in the form of a goose, and geese were sacrificed and eaten at fall and winter solstices in every part of the globe to guarantee the return of summer. Because of their regular migration patterns, most wild birds were considered part of the sacred cycle of nature and were often used in divination rituals. The Chinese devoted considerable effort to perfecting duck recipes and believed eating the fowl encouraged fidelity and faithfulness. [Fire ++]

Game meat such as deer, elk, antelope, and boar was thought to carry special powers by the Egyptians, Greeks, Romans, and Native Americans. Brazilian natives and other indigenous peoples believe they acquire the characteristics of the game they eat and are careful to eat only swift, intelligent animals. The idea of eating cattle or sheep would seem ludicrous to them. Game meat is a powerful reservoir of animal powers, though the more domesticated, processed, and cooked the meat, the more diluted the primal energy becomes. Some psychics believe that the danger with eating any red meat without appropriate ritual is that the animal forces are not properly assimilated and end up causing aggressive diseases such as autoimmune disorders and cancer. [Fire +++]

Garlic was known and used at least as far back as 3000 BC. In early antiquity, it was sacred to the goddess Hecate and left at crossroads as a sacrifice to her. The pungent cloves were also used for protection against evil and to break curses and hexes, and psychic cooks rub garlic into pots and pans to remove negative influences that might contaminate food. When eaten, garlic stimulates the immune system to protect the body, although it is said to induce lustful behavior in some people. Garlic is a proven antibiotic, cholesterol reducer, blood pressure reducer, and general heart remedy. [Fire ++]

Ginger is the dried peeled rhizome of a plant native to tropical Asia. Pacific islanders chew raw ginger and spit it towards oncoming storms to turn them away or on diseased areas of the body to cure people. It is frequently part of love spells and is used to add power to other rituals. Ginger seems to release vital energies in the body and is used to cure motion sickness, hangovers, headaches, and nausea of all types. Adding cinnamon to ginger enhances its healing properties. [Fire +++]

Ginseng increases endurance by stimulating the Base Chakra and is prescribed by herbalists to increase one’s life force and sexual drive. In the Orient, the root is considered magic and is carried to attract love and money. Ginseng tea is taken to increase stamina and virility in all areas of one’s life. [Earth ++]

Golden Seal comes from the yellow root of an American weed of the crowfoot family. Native Americans used it as a cure-all for a wide range of diseases. The tea acts as a purgative cleansing agent that is known to kill many of the bacteria responsible for stomach upset and diarrhea. [Earth ++]

Gota Kola is taken as a tea to increase psychic sensitivity during meditation. In Asia, Gota Kola incense is often burnt prior to meditation. [Air ++]

Grapefruit is derived from a bitter citrus fruit known as the pomelo, which was cross-pollinated with the orange to make it sweeter. However, the grapefruit was not recognized as a distinct species of citrus fruit until the nineteenth century. The tangy fruit increases metabolism, which is why it is often eaten after breakfast and used for bodily detoxification. [Fire ++]

Grapes carry spiritual energy and increase mental fertility, opening us to meaningful dreams and visions. Eating grapes or raisons is said to increase a woman’s fertility. See Wine. [Air +++]

Gravy smoothes transitions by adding the mellowing or Water Element characteristics of the food out of which it is made. In alchemical cooking, gravy is used to control the aggressive qualities of meat dishes. [Water +++]

Guava fruit encourages romantic fantasy. Eating the fruit is said to allow people temporary relief from worldly concerns. [Air ++]

Hazelnuts are sacred to the German god Thor, and according to folklore, hazel twigs placed in windows protect homes from being struck by lightning. Hazelnuts stimulate the Third Eye Chakra and are sometimes eaten to increase intuition prior to divination rites. Besides promoting wisdom, the versatile nuts are also used to increase fertility. [Earth ++]

Hibiscus flowers are thought to promote lust. Egyptians believed that red hibiscus tea induced licentious cravings, and for many centuries, women there were forbidden to drink it. [Water +]

Honey is one of the oldest foods known to mankind and was gathered well before the cultivation of land. The nectar was sacred to many gods, including the Egyptian sun god Ra and the Greek earth goddess Demeter. Honey is synonymous with happiness and fulfillment, and it is added to food and beverages to emphasize the good mood associated with it. It is used to treat indigestion, colds, flu, and headaches. [Water +++]

Horehound is an aromatic herb used to protect against sorcery. Even today, the dried plant is scattered during exorcism and purification rituals. As a tea, horehound has a stimulating and healing effect on the mind and body, clearing away all types of toxins. Cough syrup is made from the green leaves. [Air ++]

Horseradish carries a strong masculine energy that vitalizes and purifies both body and soul. Dried horseradish root is still sprinkled in the corners of European homes to diffuse evil forces. [Fire +++]

Huckleberries are said to bring good fortune, protect property, and keep negative influences at bay. The plant is called upon in dream magic to make wishes come true. Tea made from the leaves or berries relieves digestive problems. [Earth ++]

Hyacinth is a beautiful flower that is said to promote dependability and constancy in people. It is an active ingredient in many friendship teas and love potions. [Water +]

Iris (Iris foetidissima) is a symbol of resurrected life force. In Egypt, it was sacred to Osiris and Horus and the oil or dried flowers were sometimes used between the folds of wrapping cloth on mummies. Planet: Venus. [Water +++]

Jasmine is an evergreen rambler that produces sweetly scented white flowers. It is the dried flower petals that make a delicious aromatic tea that relieves tension and depression. It was introduced into Europe in the 16th century and quickly became a mainstray of alchemical preparations. [Water +++]
Jelly and jam carry the joyful essence of the fruit from which they are made. [Air +]

Juice makes the characteristic energy of the fruit or vegetable from which it is made more readily available for assimilation. Fruit juice was considered an ambrosia sacred to the Greek cupbearer god Ganymede. [Water +++]

Kiwi is the small, dark-brown fruit of a subtropical vine. The hairy, egg-shaped fruit has a green pulp with a tart strawberry flavor. Kiwis are considered by some native cultures to be plant testicles, and like strawberries, are eaten to encourage physical love and zesty romance. [Earth ++]

Lamb invokes sensitivity and caring. Slaughtering lamb is symbolic of the sacrifice of life force for a higher purpose. [Fire ++]
Lavender is an aromatic flower used to make a delicious tea that calms the nerves. One teaspoon per pot of tea is the normal potency. [Water ++]

Leeks are related to onions and are used to drive away evil and impurity. People who eat leeks at the same table are said to form a lifelong bond. [Fire ++]

Lemongrass tea is drunk to develop psychic powers. According to folklore, lemongrass planted in a garden or yard repels snakes because of its powerful etheric properties. Lemon verbena is a relative of lemongrass that is also drunk as a tea. [Air ++]

Lemons are another citrus fruit that did not become widely known until the Middle Ages. They soon became very popular and were thought to encourage longevity and faithfulness. Lemon pie fortifies fidelity, and lemon slices on a stranger’s plate or under his chair guarantees his or her friendship. Lemon juice is a powerful cleaning agent and is used to wash magical implements of all types of toxicity. A cleansing tea is made from dried lemon peels. [Fire ++]

Lettuce was sacred to the Egyptian fertility god Min, because the local variety was phallic-shaped and oozed a milky secretion. In most other cultures, lettuce is associated with female or lunar goddesses. Esoterically, lettuce invokes feminine energies for protection and psychic centering. It was called Sleep Wort in the Middle Ages, because people believed it enabled them to sleep better. Iceberg lettuce is a head lettuce, while romaine and red varieties are leafy and carry more Air Element. [Water ++]

Licorice root is said to make people who eat it more potent lovers. It is known to soothe sore throat and elevate blood pressure, which is why modern herbalists prescribe it to help people stop smoking. [Earth ++]

Lime cleanses the palate and refreshes the soul. It is used in purification and healing rituals. [Fire ++]

Linden tea is a pleasant tasting tea made from the flowers of the linden tree. The tea is very popular in Europe, where it is used to relieve indigestion and insure a good night’s rest. [Water ++]

Liquors unite the feminine powers of water with the earthy essences of various fruits, vegetables, and grains by invoking a fiery “spirit” that we now call alcohol. Mead was the first liquor and is made by fermenting honey in water. The making of mead was a ritual act in most ancient cultures and some archeologists believe its invention marked the passage of mankind from a wild to a civilized culture. The distillation of wine to produce alcohol was discovered by the Arabian alchemist Geber, and his methods were diligently applied by European alchemists. Many of their alcoholic elixirs were thought to possess magical properties, and the process of distillation itself was considered so powerful that it was licensed by the government in most countries. Whisky is a liquor distilled from the fermented mash of wheat or rye; gin is distilled from malted barley and flavored with juniper berries; vodka is distilled from grain or potato mash; rum is distilled from fermented molasses and sugar kane. Tinctures are made by steeping herbs or flowers in alcohol and then filtering out the liquid. In India, alcoholic liquors were sacred to the powerful guardian god Varuna, who is worshipped by Hindus during periods of drought. The tradition of serving flavored liquors to houseguests after dinner is said to insure their safety and health. To this day, the Chinese believe that people become intoxicated because they do not know how to cope with the powerful spiritual forces in alcoholic beverages. [Fire +++]

Liver is the seat of passions and the soul. The purest liver is foie gras or liver from the noble goose, which some connoisseurs swear is a voluptuous delight. Mammalian liver conveys raw courage and power, and the ancient Chinese even devoured the livers of their enemies to assimilate their strength. Liver is high in iron and is associated with fighting implements and the gods of war. Romans used the livers of sacrificed animals to predict the future. [Fire ++]

Lobster is sacred to Ares, the Greek warrior god. It is considered a source of barbaric and chaotic forces that must be carefully controlled and sublimated through the soothing, feminine influence of butter and selected herbs. [Fire ++]

Lotus Root looks like a delicate, eight-spoked wheel. It is the root of the water lily plant and is considered sacred in China. The green vegetable is often used to flavor soups and stews. [Water ++]

Mango is sacred to Buddha, and it is considered one of the most spiritually charged and elevating fruits. [Air +++]
Maple Syrup is associated with long life and abundance. Maple leaves are used in many love and money rituals. In general, natural syrups carry the powers of the tree or fruit from which they are derived. [Water +++]

Margarine is a popular butter substitute that carries the characteristics of the vegetable oils from which it is emulsified. Because lecithin is used in the manufacturing process, margarine is high in phosphorus and stimulates the brain. [Water +]

Marjoram is added to foods to strengthen the bonds of love. The spice is also sprinkled in the home and garden to protect against evil. Tea made from the dried leaves fortifies the mind and relieves pain the in head area such as toothaches, headaches, and sinus pain. [Air +]

Melons come from the same family of vines that includes squash and cucumbers. The first wild melons were extremely bitter, and it has taken millennia of selective cultivation to produce the sweet varieties we know today. In the Middle Ages, melons were still viewed with suspicion; it was believed that eating them would make you more vulnerable to the plague and other epidemics. During the Renaissance, the cantaloupe was developed at special monasteries for consumption only by the popes, and melons gradually became more fashionable in Europe. Watermelon is the oldest edible melon and was sacred to the Egyptian god of chaos, Set. [Water ++]

Milk represents goddess energy and is a basic foodstuff that adds feminine nurturing qualities to many dishes. [Water +++]

Millet is one of the Seven Sacred Grains. Wild millet was part of the Balkan diet as far back as 6000 BC, and Japanese farmers grew it around 5000 BC. The tiny yellow seeds have a slightly nutty flavor. [Earth +++]

Mint leaf has been used in healing potions and teas for thousands of years. It is used in stomach tonics, and leaves of mint were once put in milk to keep it from curdling. Mint is also said to protect travelers and attract money. Peppermint raises spiritual vibrations and is used in purification and healing rituals. It transforms negative energies into healthy influences by stimulating the Solar Plexus Chakra. [Fire ++]

Mushrooms have been described as vegetable flesh, and like animal flesh, they are eaten to acquire strength and courage. Clinical studies show they boost the immune system and have anti-viral and anti-tumor properties. Because they appear overnight or grow from putrefying organic matter, mushrooms have many superstitions associated with them, and few ancient cultures admitted to eating them. In fact, the mushroom is one of the few foods not mentioned in the Bible. Moreover, many mushroom species are poisonous or produce psychedelic effects that were used by shamans and priests who wanted to keep them secret. [Earth ++]

Mustard was sacred to Aesclepius, the Greek god of healing, and was used to treat a variety of ailments. Mustard also increases alertness and opens higher mental channels, allowing one to become aware of hidden threats or evil influences. The Greeks crushed the seeds and made a paste with wine vinegar they called “must,” hence the modern name. Italian peasants sprinkled mustard seeds on doorsills to protect their homes, and Hindus believed that eating mustard seeds would allow them to travel out of their bodies to gain awareness of the whole universe. Mustard greens add a hot, tangy flavor to salads. [Fire +++]

Nettle comes from the dried Roman nettle plant. The plant is known for its tiny stinging hairs, and the spice adds an aggressive, biting flavor to foods. It is sacred to the Hindu god of fire, Agni, and the German thunder god, Thor. The tea is used as a blood tonic and detoxifying agent that also lowers blood sugar. The dry herb is a natural antihistamine and decongestant, and people suffering from arthritis rub it directly on inflamed joints for relief from pain. [Fire +++]

Nutmeg is the dried fruit of the tropical nutmeg tree. Said to promote health and fidelity and attract good fortune, nutmegs were stuffed into Egyptian mummies and carried as lucky charms in Europe. The dark-red powdered spice can be made into a paste to treat boils, sties, and canker sores. As a tea, it eases rheumatism and neuralgia. The dried outer covering of the nutmeg is ground into a spice called mace, which is sacred to the Greek god Hermes. [Fire ++]

Oats was probably the last of the Seven Sacred Grains to be cultivated by man. For centuries, oats were believed to cause mental and physical disorders. In the Bible, wild oats were called “tares,” which had to be separated from wheat before it was made into flour. After being cultivated in Europe around 100 AD, oats came to symbolize prosperity and sustenance, and the grain became an important part of many money spells. During the Middle Ages, oats were thought to attract vampires, and farmers who grew the grain also had garlands of garlic wrapped around their doors and windows. North American wild rice is really not rice at all, but an aquatic form of oats; groats are split raw oat kernels. [Earth +++]

Oils carry the essences of the vegetable or nut from which they are pressed. Olive oil dates back at least 5,000 years, and the versatile oil was burned in lamps, used in cooking, and applied as an ointment in purification rituals. Even today, in North Africa, the plough is smeared with virgin olive oil before it cuts the first furrow of the planting season. The ritual is designed to ease the pain of mother earth before she is raped and fertilized by man. Soy oil has been used in Asia for 4,000 years, and peanut oil was used by the Aztecs. Sesame oil also dates back to ancient times, however corn oil was first produced in the 1960s. Like olive oil, canola oil is a source of mono-unsaturated fat that is thought to promote good health. Extra-virgin oils are from the first pressing of the foodstuff; virgin oils are a blend of different pressings to produce a predictable flavor; pure oils are refined oils that are augmented with some extra-virgin oil to add flavor. [Water +++]

Olives represent spiritual goals and integrity. They were sacred to the Egyptian supreme solar god known as the Aten. The olive branch is a symbol of divine favor; the cross of Jesus was made of olive wood. Eaten whole, olives contribute to sexual potency and fertility, and Greek brides often wore crowns of olive branches to ensure successful pregnancy. Red pimentos are slices of a mild chili pepper inserted into pitted olives to increase their powers of love. [Air ++]

Onions were worshipped in ancient Egypt for their ability to absorb impurities, and the Egyptians even swore to onions when they took oaths. American colonists hung onions over doorways to protect their families from infectious diseases, and onions are still used in exorcism rituals. Esoterically, onions stand for both physical and spiritual health and protection. Scallions and shallots are green onions with long stems and bulbous roots. Leeks are also a kind of onion. [Fire +++]

Oranges are derived from a mystical fruit called the citron. It was known to the ancient Chinese and in Sumeria became sacred to Enlil, the god over earth and air. Citrons were used in ancient religious ceremonies for their invigorating fragrance, and they are still grown for perfume oil in Corsica. Oranges reached China about 2200 BC but were so rare they were given mostly as tributes to emperors. The Chinese eventually bred their own variety, the mandarin, but oranges were not introduced into the West until Rome started importing them from Palestine around the year 100. In Europe, oranges became known as the Love Fruit because they were thought to encourage love, health, and happiness. In nineteenth-century England, giving oranges as gifts was considered a very generous and thoughtful act. During the California Gold Rush, a miraculous sweet orange without seeds that became known as the navel orange was imported from Brazil and became controversial because of philosophical questions about how it reproduced. The loose-skinned tangerine variety was developed in Tangiers, Morocco, and also proved popular in the United States. All varieties of oranges provide purifying energy for both body and mind. In some Wiccan rituals, orange juice is drunk instead of wine, and orange peel tea is said to keep one from getting drunk or muddleheaded. Marmalade jam has the same effect. The vitamin C in citrus fruits raises the brain’s level of norepinephrine, which increases energy while reducing irritability. [Fire ++]

Oregano is a piquant member of the mint family. It brings out the essential flavors of foods in the same way it clears congestion in the lungs ¾ by encouraging basic fluids to flow. Oregano is also used to combat nausea and heartburn. [Fire ++]

Oysters were the favorite shellfish of the ancient Romans, who believed they were a powerful source of sexual energy. The oyster is hermaphroditic and its genitalia alternate between male and female. During the female phase, the oyster carries eggs that can be fertilized by sperm from another oyster or by sperm produced when it changes sexes again. Oysters stimulate the Base Chakra, the seat of our personal and sexual identity. Clams or mussels are not hermaphroditic and release both eggs and sperm into the water to be fertilized. Another way clams are unlike oysters is that clams have a footlike structure that enables them to move around. Because of their proliferation and abundance, clams are also believed to be a source of sexual energy. [Water ++]

Papaya served to a loved one intensifies his or her feelings of devotion. Tea made from dried papaya leaves soothes the stomach. Both the fruit and leaves contain the digestive enzyme papain. [Water ++]
Paprika is made from a sweet chili pepper. Mild paprika is ground from the seeds only and carries creative energy. Strong paprika is ground from the whole dried pod and brings out the deeper flavors and energies of the food to which it is added. [Fire ++]

Parsley is a biennial plant with dark green foliage that has been considered a protective and purifying herb for over 2,000 years. The custom of placing a sprig of parsley on plates of food was begun by the Romans to guard against poison and spoilage. Parsley was also thought to stimulate the appetite and put people in a good mood. The Romans also tucked sprigs of parsley in their togas for protection against accidents. German mystic Hildegard von Bingen created a popular tonic made of parsley sprigs, wine, and vinegar that was credited with many miraculous cures during the Middle Ages. The herb is a powerful diuretic and anticancer agent that can also be infused into a cleansing tea. [Air +++]

Passion Fruit is used in the tropics for securing friendship and winning love. [Water ++]

Pasta is a flour paste that is molded and dried into a variety of shapes. Asians were making rice and wheat noodles at least as far back as 700 AD, but pasta as we know it took root in Italy starting in the 1300s. Pasta is a powerful accumulator of psychic energy, and food psychics believe its various shapes determine how much psychotronic energy can be projected and stored in it. The least amount of energy is carried by stringy kinds like spaghetti and fettuccini, while the most is carried by the twisted tortellini or hollow macaroni and rigatoni shapes. For psychic purposes, the stuffed pastas like cannelloni, ravioli, manicotti, and lasagna are considered breads. [Earth +++]

Peaches are a feminine symbol of love, spiritual fertility, and wishes come true. Serving peach pie to someone helps win his or her love and attention. In Asia, the peach is a symbol of virginity, and the blossoming of the peach tree is a sign of spring and youthful purity. Magic wands made of peach wood are used in exorcisms. [Air ++]

Peanuts provide the reality-based, aggressive energy associated with masculinity. Peanut shells have even been described as vegetable testicles. [Earth ++]

Pears initiate lustful passion by stimulating the Sacral Chakra, and the fruit is associated with Venus, the goddess of love. In the Middle Ages, it was believed eating a pear would immediately induce sexual arousal. Surprisingly, pears were unknown in most ancient cultures, and it was not until the Romans that they were cultivated. [Air ++]

Pecans are included in most spells that seek to increase money or prosperity. Keeping pecans at work is said to ensure that you will not lose your job. [Earth ++]

Pepper is made from the crushed peppercorns of a tropical vine. Black pepper comes from immature peppercorns that are baked. White pepper comes from ripened corns with the skins removed by soaking. Green pepper is the fresh corns preserved in vinegar and spices. These kinds of peppers are used for protection and to banish evil influences. Red pepper or cayenne pepper is from the dried, ground chili pepper Capsicum frutescens, which has been used for culinary and medicinal purposes since the early Peruvians. It is used to break hexes and promote fidelity in family members. Within minutes of eating red peppers, the body releases gratifying, morphine-like endorphins into the blood stream. All the powdered peppers are known to break up congestion in the lungs and sinuses, relieve allergies, and increase metabolism. [Fire +++]

Persimmons stimulate the Base Chakra and are credited with healing problems of sexual identity. According to folklore, if a girl truly wishes to become a boy, all she has to do is eat nine unripe persimmons directly from the tree. Within two weeks the changeover will be complete. [Water ++]

Pineapple was brought from the New World to Europe in the sixteenth century and was thought to resemble an oversize pinecone, hence the name. Pineapple juice is drunk to ensure chastity; eating the fruit brings luck and prosperity. For those reasons, pineapples are traditionally used in spells for the protection of a person’s possessions, including one’s spouse and children. Pineapples are known to contain a very powerful digestive enzyme and are part of many popular weight-loss diets. [Fire ++]

Pistachios are an antidote to spells and curses. Arabs eat pistachios to bring them “back to earth” and break love spells. The tasty nuts were even fed to zombies to break their trances. [Earth ++]

Plums and prunes are said to inspire constant love when served to someone you desire. The Dakota Indians stuck wild plum stalks into the ground to attract favorable attention from the Great Spirit, and the Egyptians and Greeks considered plums relaxing to both mind and body. [Air ++]

Pomegranate is sacred to Persephone and Ceres, gods of growth and fertility. Pagans regarded the fruit as a symbolic womb, and the red juice of the pomegranate is used as ink in modern magical rituals. Eating a pomegranate with a desire strong in mind is considered a magical act that will grant your wish. [Earth ++]

Poppy Seeds are added to food to induce calmness or deepen feelings and are part of many magical formulae. In Europe, poppy seeds were dipped in gold and worn as lucky talismans. To become invisible, according to one recipe, soak poppy seeds in wine for fifteen days and drink the wine over the next five days while fasting. [Air ++]

Pork indicates profuseness and carries a kind of dramatic energy that intensifies a meal. It has always been the meat of the masses, looked down upon by high society and religious authorities. In modern times, pork chops have gained prestige as the “other white meat,” though bacon and ham are both still associated with the lifestyle of commoners. [Fire ++]

Potatoes are a very recent addition to mankind’s menu. The tubers are members of the deadly nightshade family, and for centuries, they were thought to be poisonous, cause leprosy, and carry other infectious diseases. It was actually against the law to grow potatoes in France, and the Germans used them only as animal feed. But in the late 1760s, church and government leaders began to promote the potato as a solution to the devastating famine caused by the Seven Years War. Before long, potatoes were a staple of the Western diet. Today, there are over 3,000 varieties, including such unexpected family members as the purple-skinned eggplant. Potatoes are powerful reservoirs of primal energy, and poppets (little dolls) are still fashioned from potatoes as a focus for materialization magic. However, they are still viewed with suspicion by many psychics. The “sleeping prophet” Edgar Cayce warned people to eat only the skins of potatoes and throw away the white pulp. [Earth +++]

Quince is an apple-shaped fruit of the rose family that is associated with love and happiness. It was used in ancient ceremonies to worship Venus, the goddess of love. The Romans served quinces to their lovers to encourage fidelity, and newlyweds shared a quince to ensure their marital bliss. [Air ++]

Radish protects from the Evil Eye. It turns into sexual energy when eaten and stimulates the Sacral Chakra. [Fire +++]
Raspberries induce stamina and vigor, and at one time, the leaves were carried by pregnant women to help them through childbirth. The tea acts as a blood tonic to treat anemia and stop diarrhea. [Earth ++]

Relish amplifies the characteristics of the food on which it is used. Sweet relish enhances passionate feelings, while dill relish adds preservative energy to unspoken longings. [Fire ++]

Rhubarb increases willpower and reduces worry. Rhubarb pie served to a lover places him or her under your power. Chard is rhubarb leaf, which is used sparingly in salads. Rhubarb is also known to alleviate stomach problems. [Earth +]

Rice is one of the Seven Sacred Grains and was first cultivated in China around 4000 BC. At first, rice seemed an inexhaustible source of food, but over the centuries, it has become increasingly difficult to grow. That development is said to be a punishment to mankind for his ingratitude for the gift of rice. Rice still indicates fertility and abundance, which is why it is thrown after betrothed couples at weddings. Basmati is an aromatic and chewy rice from India. Brown rice is an unpolished form in which the germ, bran, and nutrients have been retained. White rice or sushi rice consists mostly of starch and is used only as a flavor absorber and texturizer. [Earth +++]

Rose Hips tea is a natural remedy that is high in vitamin C and is drank to boost the immune system. The refreshing tea is served in most European restaurants during the cold and flu season. [Water ++]

Rosemary is a very slender leaf resembling pine needles. It was once known as Elf Leaf and used to attract happy feelings, and in the Middle Ages, it was presented as a declaration of love. Rosemary retards spoilage in salads and works similarly in the human body. It alleviates depression, eases headaches, increases mental clarity, and is said to preserve good humor and eliminate negativity of all kinds. [Fire ++]

Rye is one of the Seven Sacred Grains and was first cultivated in Europe around 2000 BC. The grain is thinner than wheat and has a robust and tangy flavor that is said to inspire grounded devotion. Gypsies used rye in their love spells and believed that serving warm rye bread to a lover would increase his or her feelings for you. Triticale is rye-wheat hybrid with a less robust taste than rye. [Earth +++]

Saffron is considered the most perfect of all spices. It comes from the stigma of the stunningly beautiful violet crocus flower. During a two-week period in autumn, three stigmas from each flower are handpicked and dried. It takes 225,000 stigmas from 75,000 flowers to produce just a pound of the herb. Eating saffron dispels depression and eliminates psychological inertia, and it was once thought that you could die of “excessive joy” by eating too much of it. Drinking the tea is said to bestow the gift of clairvoyance and greatly enhance the body’s healing powers. Yellow safflower is often used as a cheaper substitute for saffron, but true saffron has a deep red color and imparts a golden yellow hue to the food to which it is added. The alchemists considered saffron the gold of the plant kingdom and believed it carried the “signature” of the great transmuting agent for which the alchemists spent their lives searching. According to legend, Hermes created saffron when he accidentally wounded his friend Crocus, whose blood dripped to earth and sprouted as the flower that bears his name. Saffron was sacred to the Egyptian supreme god, Amen, and the Egyptians grew it in their sacred gardens at Luxor. Persian priests were said to have controlled the winds with saffron, and Persian women attached balls of saffron to their bellies to facilitate safe pregnancies. Saffron was also sacred to Eos, the Greek god of the morning light, and the spice has been described as the dawn’s light solidified. In the Middle Ages, it was sprinkled over the beds of newlywed nobility to ensure a fruitful marriage. Alchemist Roger Bacon believed that saffron delayed the aging process, and some modern psychics believe its odor and taste release the transcendent essences of childhood. [Fire +++]
Sage is a powerful protectorant and healing agent and was sacred to the supreme gods, Zeus and Jupiter. Today, its healing energy is said to originate from the Virgin Mary. According to Medieval folklore, all you have to do to become immortal is take a little sage each day, especially in the month of May. Toads love sage and are said to be attracted to the plant’s primal power. The most powerful sage is picked on the summer solstice at the first ray of dawn, though an old superstition says that you should never pick your own sage but always buy it from a stranger. Sage opens one’s artistic faculties by stimulating the Throat Chakra. It is known that the herb kills bacteria, prevents spoilage, aids digestion, and reduces high blood sugar. It is also a remedy for angina, edema, and night sweats. [Air +++]

Salt represents grounding, protection, and earthly purification. Most salt comes from the primordial sea and was used for thousands of years to preserve food. Salt has always been treated with reverence and was sacred to the Egyptian gods Osiris and Set. Salt spilt from its shaker signifies a breaking of its protective power, which is the why a pinch of salt is thrown three times over the left shoulder to dispel any evil spirits that lurk there. The alchemists saw salt as the creative female force of matter, as opposed to the destructive male principle of sulfur. In both ancient and modern religious ceremonies, salt symbolizes the resurrection of soul. It is used in baptisms to eliminate any vestiges of previous sins. [Earth +++]

Sassafras tea is made from the bark of a tree native to Mexico. The tea is used to ease rheumatoid arthritis and heal skin disorders. The flavorful tea is also said to attract love and money, especially if a little cinnamon is sprinkled on top. [Water ++]

Sausages and hot dogs carry the power of the meat and herbs out of which they are made, although sausages of all types represent zestful, male energy. [Fire ++]

Sesame seeds are sacred to the elephant deity Ganesha and are eaten to increase one’s basic life force, which the Hindus believe is the hidden creative energy that accumulates at the bottom of the spine. At one time, it was thought that sesame plants grew near secret treasures or concealed doorways, which is the origin of the magical command, “Open Sesame.” Tahini is a thick cream made from ground sesame seeds, and gomasio is crushed sesame and sea salt. Both are widely used in vegetarian cooking. [Earth ++]

Slippery Elm tree bark is used to make a tea that fights inflammations of the mucous membranes and eases sore throats. The tea is also said to bestow persuasive powers while stopping people from gossiping about you behind your back. [Water +]

Soup blends the inherent energies of the meat, vegetables, and herbs out of which it is made. Soups are considered nurturing because they supply the fluid and minerals necessary to flush out the body’s waste products. Okra is the green pod of a tall African plant that is sometimes added for flavoring and to release masculine energies in the inherently feminine soup. Soup was sacred to the Welsh goddess of inspiration, Cerridwen. [Water +++]

Sprouts bring a vitalizing energy to salads and sandwiches. Used fresh, they add both nutritional and esoteric essences to foods. Alfalfa seed and beans such as lentils, soy, garbanzo, mung, and aduki are the best tasting sprouts. [Air ++]

Squash are gourds that grow on vines and are part of the melon family. The fleshy rinds of many squash are edible, and pumpkin is the most eaten squash. Hollowed-out pumpkins with scary faces are used to frighten away evil forces on Halloween night. Zucchini is a green-skinned summer squash that is popular with many chefs. [Earth ++]

St. John’s Wort was believed to possess magical properties in the Middle Ages. People hung it inside their houses to protect themselves from vengeful acts of god or attacks by demons. It is named after St. John because bright red spots appear on the leaves around August 29, the day St. John was beheaded. The herb contains hypericin, a proven antidepressant, and relieves anxiety, tension, and insomnia. The flowers of the herb are infused in olive oil to make a pain-relieving massage oil. [Air ++]

Strawberries were not cultivated until the 1600s and soon became a sensation in Europe. They were usually dipped in wine before eaten, and strawberries in cream were originally reserved for women and children only. French King Louis XIV became addicted to strawberries, and even though his doctors forbade him, he continued to indulge his taste for the delectable fruit. The king even sponsored a competition for the best poetry about the strawberry. Strawberries are sacred to the Scandinavian fertility god, Freyr, and are served to promote physical love and zesty romance. Strawberry leaves are placed on serving plates or carried for good luck. The dried leaves make a mildly laxative tea. The word “strawberry” refers to the bed of straw packed around the plants to protect the berries from touching the dirt. [Earth ++]

Sugar is sacred to the Hawaiian god Kane and is used to dispel evil influences and preserve or enhance the qualities of many foods. Only raw cane sugar is used in making spells, since refined sugar has lost much of its magical power. Molasses is the liquid from the pressing of ripe sugar cane in the refining process. At one time, in an effort to protect refineries, selling raw cane sugar was illegal in the United States. Because of its protective signature, sugar embodies the feminine characteristics of the Water Element. [Water ++]

Sunflower was sacred to the Greek deities Helios, Demeter, and Apollo. It is seen as a blending of heavenly and earthly powers, and is associated with the Crown Chakra. The nutritious seeds carry masculine energy and are eaten by women who wish to conceive. Juice from the stems of sunflowers is used as an ointment to increase one’s integrity and virtuousness in magical spells. [Fire +++]

Sweet Potatoes are the tubers of a climbing plant that grows in the southern United States. Yams are the club-shaped rhizomes of an entirely different plant that grows in the West Indies. Both foods look and taste similar and represent gentle nurturing that adds a softening influence to meat dishes. [Earth ++]

Tarragon is a pungent bright-green perennial related to wormwood. The leaves have been used as a pickling spice since the Middle Ages, when people believed it dispelled negative influences. [Fire ++]

Tea was considered an elixir of immortality by Chinese Taoists in 500 BC, and Asians have always treated its preparation as part of a sacred ceremony. Tea is thought to combat drowsiness while encouraging a Zen-like meditative state that allows one to “return to the Source.” The typical Asian tea is made from the leaves of a white-flowered evergreen plant, though the green tea is thought to be more beneficial than darker roasted varieties. It is known that green tea contains antioxidant polyphenol compounds that prevent cell damage. [Water +++]

Thyme is the leaf of a bushy, low-growing perennial that promotes good health on all levels of being. The Greeks associated it with vigor and recognized that it helped elderly people think better. Thyme is an antibiotic, cures indigestion, encourages deep breathing, ensures recuperative sleep, and enhances psychic powers by calming the nervous system. The delicious tea is often drunk after a meal. [Fire ++]

Tomatoes were called Love Apples when they were first introduced into Europe from the New World and were used to solicit romantic attention. Europeans also placed them on windowsills to repel negative energies. It seems that nobody thought of cooking with tomatoes until the nineteenth century, and today, the once lowly tomato is the basic ingredient of many sauces, soups, and salads worldwide. [Water ++]

Truffles are fragrant, round fungi that grow entirely underground. Dogs and hogs are trained to sniff them out, and the delicacy commands a high price when it can be found. It was once believed that truffles were created when lightning hit the ground, and they became prized for their aphrodisiac powers. [Earth +++]

Turkey meat carries a proud energy that can be adapted by the knowing cook. The bird is associated with family traditions and holiday celebrations. Turkey meat is rich in the amino acid tyrosine, which increases motivation and levels of attention. [Fire ++]

Turmeric is the root of a plant related to ginger that was used for centuries by Hawaiian priests in purification rituals. In Europe, it was associated with magical power because of its deep golden color and peppery flavor. Turmeric has been used since the Middle Ages to treat jaundice and liver infections, and it also contains an anti-inflammatory ingredient that fights arthritis and heart disease. [Fire ++]

Turnips are used to ward off unwanted presences. In Europe, carved-out turnips with a burning candle inside were used to scare off evil spirits on Halloween. Similarly, serving someone turnips will cause them to leave you alone. Parsnips taste similar to turnips, though they have a more slender bulb. Kohlrabi is a type of turnip that grows above ground. Rutabagas are also related to turnips. [Earth +++]

Uva ursi is a low-growing evergreen with dark green leaves. The name is Latin for “bear’s grape” and refers to the small red berries that bears love to eat so much. But it is the leaves that humans use for their therapeutic action. Uva ursi acts as a diuretic and urinary tract antibacterial agent, and has been used to treat disorders of the spleen, liver, pancreas, small intestine, and prostate. [Water ++]

Vanilla is a bean that comes from the pod of a tropical orchid that was first cultivated by the Aztecs. The flower has almost no odor, but its seeds give off a wonderful fragrance that can actually be intoxicating in high concentrations. Vanilla is used to increase the midrange or “loving” vibrations both in cooking and in aromatic sachets and has been called the “Middle C” of spices. At one time, just carrying a vanilla bean was thought to tune one’s consciousness to a higher level. [Air ++]

Vinegar is made by fermenting and then distilling dilute alcoholic beverages such as cider and wine. Its mild acidic properties add fiery energy to dishes. [Fire +++]

Waffles and pancakes carry the amiable energies of the grain or nut out of which they are made. They incorporate the essences of a variety of flavorings and syrups. [Earth +++]
Walnuts bestow heightened faculties and invite the dark powers of earth. In the Middle Ages, the walnut tree was once called the Tree of Evil, because witches liked to conduct their rituals under it. An old superstition warns not to carry walnuts with you in a storm because they attract lightning. [Earth ++]

Water is a primary component in cooking, as well in most alchemical transformations. Good chefs insure the high quality of the water they use, and psychic cooks know how to charge water with their directed energy. Water or tea allowed to sit in the sun for 4-6 hours is considered psychically discharged or “balanced.” [Water +++]

Watercress grows wild in the beds of streams and was a favorite vegetable of the Greeks and Romans. It is a pungent plant widely regarded as a carrier of feminine power. In the Middle Ages, watercress was made into a soothing skin ointment. Used in salads or made into a tea, the dark green, shiny leaves are high in vitamin C. [Water ++]

Wheat is the most revered of the Seven Sacred Grains and represents fruitfulness, bounty, and rebirth. Because wheat fields seem to replenish themselves, the golden plant represented a cycle of resurrection into light again. Many funeral rites contain offerings of wheat as part of the ceremonies. Wheat was sacred to the Babylonian god Ishtar, the Egyptian Osiris, the Greek Demeter, and the Roman Ceres. Kamut is an ancient wheat with a buttery flavor and chewy texture that is easier to digest than modern varieties. Spelt is another ancient wheat, though it is not as versatile as kamut. Bulgher is parched wheat in which the wheat berry has been cracked and dried. When cooked, bulgher becomes very fluffy. Farina comes from just the hulled endosperm of wheat. Couscous is a semolina made from the endosperm of crushed wheat. It is used more like a pasta than a cereal and carries the same nurturing qualities of Earth as other varieties of wheat. Sheaves of wheat are a well-known symbol of prosperity. [Earth +++]

Wine is sacred to the Greek god Dionysus, the Roman god Bacchus, and the three major Egyptian deities Osiris, Horus, and Isis. Regarded as the “blood of the vine,” wine is thought to contain a living spiritual presence that encourages harmony with nature and divine love. The royal cupbearer was always considered one of the most important members of the medieval court, and wine became part of the sacraments of many religions. Nearly every monastery or mission ever built had its own vineyard that produced wine for the spiritual use of its members. Spanish alchemist Raymund Lully first made brandy by fermenting wine in horse manure, then he distilled the unsavory concoction to capture its “fiery spirit.” Wines “airy spirit” is released in champagne, the sparkling wine, through a double fermentation process. [Fire +++]

Xuan Fu Hua is an ancient Chinese herb used for centuries to treat bronchitis, wheezing, and watery chest complaints resulting from exposure to cold or dampnes. The bitter herb also has a beneficial effect on digestive function and is used to stop vomiting. [Fire ++]

Yerba Santa is an evergreen shrub that grows in California. Tea made from the dried leaves relieves asthma and hay fever. [Water +]
Yogurt is fermented milk that represents grounded spirituality and inspiration. In the sixteenth century, it was used to treat depression, and a limited diet consisting mostly of yogurt is thought to be the reason some Balkan people live over a hundred years. [Air ++]

Zedoary is a perennial herb with an aromatic yellow root or rhizome, which is used in Indian food as a condiment. Zedoary is similar to Ginger in its calming action on the digestive tract. It relieves gas and bloating, indigestion, and nausea. The root is used in China to treat certain tumors and cervical cancer. [Fire ++]

SOURCE: The Alchemy Lab https://www.alchemylab.com

Traditional Tuscan Recipes – The Appetizers

The Restaurant at the Fattoria del Colle Estate, bears the name of its owner. Donatella Cinelli Colombini. Each dish is prepared with the freshest ingredients the Estate has to offer.

To achieve consistency in the look and taste, time management is essential from the kitchen to the table. And this is why I’ve carefully timed  each course.

Insalata di soppressata, rucola e salsa di aceto balsamico – Soppressata salad with arugula and balsamic vinegar

The term “soppressata” indicates several cold meats which have in common the procedure of being pressed plus they are made with pigskin, trotters, and other poor and fatty parts of the pig. In Toscana the most famous is the Sienese one which has a different cooking method. The soppressata in balsamic vinegar sauce is a starter created by Donatella Cinelli Colombini.

Preparation time: 20 min

Ingredients for 6-8 people:
500 g of soppressata, 250g of rucola; extra virgin olive oil; balsamic vinegar; pinch of salt and pepper. Dice the soppressata, and lightly chop the rucola . Put the two together and add oil, salt, pepper, and balsamic vinegar. Mix carefully and serve at room temperature.

Picchio Pacchio

This recipe originates from Sicily. Brought to Trequanda and the Val d’Orcia half way through the 18th century by Lorena Asburgo, who, after having reigned in Sicily was knighted with the Grand duchy of Tuscany, where many farmers from the isle followed them as they were experts of arid land.
The original Sicilian recipe does not have bread in it, but… “when there is little bread on the table put plenty in the plate” so says a Tuscan proverb.

Preparation time: 30 min

Ingredients for 6 – 8 people:
20cl of extra virgin olive oil, an onion, a stick of celery, a carrot, one peperoncino, 800 g of thinned tomatoes, salt to taste, 4 fresh eggs and 6 – 8 slices of fresh bread.

Method: sauteé the chili pepper, the onion, the carrot and the roughly chopped celery. Pour the white wine in the pan, and leave it to evaporate, then add the tinned tomatoes and a pinch of salt. In each dish place a slice of fresh bread. When the sauce gets dense, sieve it and then put it back on the cooker. When the sauce is well dry, beat the eggs and add them to the sauce. Pour over the bread and serve hot.

Baccalà alla fratina – Codfish Monk Style

A long time ago there were nuns and monks who went begging. They came from far away, on foot and always in pairs. Their baskets were filled by the farmers with tomatoes and onions, flour and plaits of garlic, oil and wine. In the evenings they often stopped to sleep on farms. But, among the beggars unfortunately there were also pretending to be monks and nuns, dressed up as such to get into the kitchens and polish off the food. The use of this trick did not go unnoticed by the farmers, housewives and landowners: for this reason, at Fattoria del Colle the only room with railing at the windows is called “Monache-which means nuns.

Preparation time: (1 day) + 30 min

Ingredients for 6-8 people:
1 baccala/codfish with bones, 100g of flour, 20 cl of extra virgin olive oil, 3 onions, 1 glass of dry white wine, 750g of fresh tomatoes or tinned, salt.

Method: Keep a baccala/codfish soaking in water for a whole day, changing the water often so as to get rid of the saltiness. The second day clean it, cut it into rectangles of about 10 cm in length and cover in flour. In a wide pan heat the extra virgin olive oil and cook the codfish for a few minutes. Once golden remove from the pan and use the oil to fry the finely chopped onion, carrot and celery. When these are golden add the white wine, and when this has evaporated add the tomatoes. When the sauce is ready add the codfish and cook over a low flame for a few more minutes. Add salt and serve hot.

Click Here for The First courses…

Traditional Tuscan Recipes – The First Courses

Pappardelle con sugo bugiardo –
Pappardelle in a deceitful  sauce

From medieval times until half way through the 20th century, game, poultry and pork were the only meats for the farmers and laborers of Trequanda and outskirts. “Pork must be one month old, the goose three and then you will eat just like a king” This is a local saying, but when talking about sauces in this area we mean made with beef.

But since everyone could not afford beef the housewives invented a substitute, where the beef was replaced with sausages and bacon.

Preparation time: 50 min.

Ingredients for 6-8 people:

For the pasta: 1kg of flour, 450 g of water, 4 eggs.

For the sauce: 3 carrots, 1 onion, 2 sticks of celery, a little parsley, 20 cl of extra virgin olive oil, 300 g of pork bacon, 4 sausages, 1 glass of red wine, 1kg of thinned tomatoes, peperoncino and salt.

Method:

For the pasta: mix the flour, water and eggs to obtain a dough, then roll it out until it is 2mm high, then cut into irregular diamond shapes of about 10 cm in length. For the sauce: fry in a large pan onion, celery and carrots finely chopped. Once they have a golden colour add the bacon and crumbled sausages. Add the red wine made of Sangiovese grapes, the tinned tomatoes and a little salt, leave to cook over a low flame. Cook the “pappardelle” in boiling salted water, and then dress them with the sauce adding a little chopped parsley.

Pinci al sugo di nana –
Hand made Pasta with Duck Sauce

Pinci is a long pasta (like a thick irregular speghetto) made with water and flour, made for centuries in the farming families in the countryside south of Siena. At Fattoria del Colle, on Mondays, Orietta Fabi teaches how to prepare them according to tradition. There are many sauces which can dress this pasta: the one which tradition prefers is made with duck meat, called “nana”, in this area. Again in the local slang “picio” or “pincio” means string and the name changes from area to area: in Montepulciano they are called pici, in Montalcino pinci and in Trequanda lunghetti.

Preparation time: 60 min.

Ingredients for 6-8 people:

For the pinci: 1kg of flour, 450 g of water, 1 egg, salt

For the sauce:

1 onion, 1 carrot, 2 sticks of celery, 20cl of farm extra virgin olive oil, some juniper berries, 3 bay leaves, 800g of duck meat with its entrails, 400g of minced beef, 1glass of red wine, 800 g of tinned tomatoes sieved, some parsley.

Method:

For the pinci: Make a dough of flour, water, one egg and a pinch of salt; leave the ball of dough after having kneaded it well, leave it for half an hour to rest. Roll out the pasta until it half a centimetre thick on a rolling-board and cut into strips about one cm wide. Roll each strip between your left hand and the board, pulling the other extremity with your left hand. Keep the pinci covered up with a napkin until it is time to cook them.

For the sauce: in a large pan fry onion, celery and carrot finely chopped; add some juniper berries, bay leaves and peperoncino. Clean and divide the duck meat, chop it and add it to the vegetables together with the minced beef. Cook the meats, adding the red wine and allow it to evaporate. Add the tomato puree and leave it to cook over a low flame for a while. Cook the pinci in boiling salted water and then dress with the sauce and a little chopped parsley.

Ravioli dei pastori sardi nelle Crete Senesi – Shepard’s Ravioli

Leaving Siena one can reach Trequanda across the Crete Senesi, a sea of bare hills which are the paradise of artists and photographers but infernal for the farmers. This land is preferred for advertisements for cars and it is easy to recognize it in the publicity for Porsche and Mercedes.

In the 1960’s many men from Sardinia settled in the Crete Senesi; here they found cheap pasture land and so they brought their flocks.

Preparation time: 60 min.

Ingredients for 6-8 people:

For the pasta: 1 kg of flour, 450 g of water, 4 eggs, and a pinch of salt.

For the filling: 400 g of sheep’s milk ricotta, 50 g of grated pecorino, parsley, 2 egg yolks.

For the sauce: 800 g of tomato salsa, a pinch of salt

Method:

For the ravioli: make dough with flour, water and eggs so as to obtain a smooth and soft ball. Roll the pasta out until it is a large oval 3-4 mm thick and cut into rectangles 8-10 cm long.

For the filling: mix in a bowl the “ricotta”, the grated “pecorino”, a lot of chopped parsley and the egg yolks. The ricotta must dry a little so as to give a dry and compact appearance to the mixture. Fill the pasta rectangles with the mixture, close them and cook in boiling salted water. Dress with tomato salsa and grated pecorino.

Zuppa di pane di Trequanda –
Trequanda’s Bread Soup

Vegetable soup with bread is common all over Tuscany, but it’s ingredients change from area to area. In Trequanda it is unique because of the presence of “prosciutto” among the ingredients. Today it is very difficult to find a real Sienese “prosciutto”, salty and fatty, but for the perfect result of this recipe it is essential. The only alternative is to use salty prosciutto and salty bacon together.

Preparation time: 50 min.

Ingredients for 6-8people:

1 onion, 1 carrot, 1 celery stalk, 200 g of tasty Sienese prosciutto, 30 cl of extra virgin olive oil, 1/2 l. of white wine, 1black cabbage, 1kg of beets, 400 g of tomato fillets, 1/2 kg ofwhole white beans, 1/2 kg of sieved white beans, 6-8 slice of bread.

Method: Fry in plenty of oil the onion carrots, celery and prosciutto diced. Cook for about 30 min and add occasionally some white wine: add the black cabbage cut into strips and the beet. Leave to coop for a further 10 minutes before finishing with the tomato fillets diced. Add the whole white beans and the ones that have been sieved. Prepare in the earthenware pot called “coccio”, the toasted bread broken up. When the soup is completed pour it into the pot adding a little extra virgin olive oil.

Click Here for The Main courses…

Traditional Tuscan Recipes – The Main courses

Pollo in arrosto morto – Roasted Chicken

Roast meat is “morto” when it cooks slowly on the hob in a deep pan with a lid. This recipe, which is very tasty and with a long cooking time is symbolic of Tuscan cuisine.

To begin with the chicken is browned, and then it continues to cook slowly where the aroma will spread pleasantly and permanently all over the house.

Preparation time: 1 hour 30min

Ingredients for 6-8 people:
29 cl of extra virgin olive oil, 2 free range chicken, 2 garlic cloves, 2 cups of chicken stock, 5 leaves of sage, salt and pepper; 2 glasses of dry white wine, 2 cups of chicken stock, 1 twig of rosemary.

Method:
Put the chicken, well cleaned and without its entrails in a pan with a little oil. Stuff it with lard, garlic, sage, and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Brown the meat over a lively flame without a lid for a few minutes. Pour in the white wine, and leave to evaporate, adding the chicken stock. Add the rosemary and finish slowly cooking for 30 min with the lid on.

Carne avvolta – Rolled Beef

This recipe dates back to the times when the threshing of the wheat was a feast. The meat was food for the rich whereas eggs and omelets where for the farmers.
To produce and transform the wheat farmers’ families exchanged labour and so the housewives cooked for thirty or forty people. No family wished to cut a poor figure even though they were poor: “No meat means no feast” says an old Tuscan proverb. So to save on the quantity of meat used it was served wrapped around omelets.

Preparation time: 60 min.

Ingredients: 1kg beef pocket, some sage, 2 garlic cloves, 20 cl of extra virgin olive oil, salt, a glass of red wine.

Method: Open a beef pocket and stuff it with sage, garlic and lard. In a large frying pan fry the garlic with some of the sage. In another pan prepare the spinach quickly with some extra virgin olive oil and garlic. Beat the eggs together with the parmesan and make some omelettes with the spinach just prepared. Once the sage is golden add the beef pocket and leave to cook occasionally adding some red wine. When the meat is cooked, leave it to cool so that it does not break in filling it. Put the omelettes on the meat and ties it with some kitchen string. Warm in the oven before serving.

Salsicce con le pulezze –
Sausages with tender Turnip Leaves

There are more meals than days say a wise proverb, so as to underline that it is important not to go hungry but that variety was also necessary. The “pulezze” are the tenderest leaves from the turnips. At the table turnip evoked contrasting feelings. It is said that one of Donatella Cinelli Colombini’s ancestor from Montalcino had a pious wife who was fanatic about turnips, attributing to them detoxifying virtues. She often prepared them, but her husband dressed them with a blasphemous rhyme: “…said Jesus to his disciples: don’t eat turnips as they are for the ox and St. Peter said loudly: Damn the turnips and those who cook them!!!”.

Preparation time: 40 min.

Ingredients for 6-8 people: 2kg of tender turnips, 20cl of extra virgin olive oil, 12-12 sausages, 4 fresh tomatoes, salt

Method:
Clean the turnip leaves and boil in a small amount of salted water. Roast the sausages in a pan with extra virgin olive oil for 15 minutes. As soon as they are ready, remove them and put the turnip leaves in the pan. Add the tomato and salt. Cook for a few minutes, then put back in the sausages, and finish cooking.

Tagliata di bue chianino all’uso della Val di Chiana –Sliced Beef Steak Val di Chiana style

Those who ask for a “fiorentina” steak in Siena might get thumped, because here the steak is “chianina”. The “chianino” ox is unique because of the white coat and for it’s large size. Some sources say it was present in Tuscany during the Etruscan and Roman periods, and in triumphant occasions used as an offering to the Gods.

It’s use in the kitchen is pretty recent, since until a few decades past, the “chianino” ox, precious for it’s strength was used in the countryside, in place of a tractor. At Fattoria del Colle these strips of steak finish their cooking on the serving tray with boiling extra virgin olive oil over them, in the typical Val di Chiana way.

Preparation time: 20 min.

Ingredients for 6-8 people:
2,5 kg of chianino ox ribs; 50 cl of farm oil, some twigs of rosemary.

Method:
Grill a large beef steak for a few minutes. Cut it into strips of about 1/2 cm width and put them in the serving dish. Dress with salt and rosemary. Put the extra virgin olive oil to boil in a pan. When the oil is boiling pour it with a ladle over the meat in the dish.

Timballo di Cenerentola –
Cinderella’s Timbale

Helle Poulsen Tesio is the tutor at the cooking school at Fattoria del Colle. Her origins are Danish but she is Italian for love, and Tuscan for her cuisine. Helle has written, along with her husband Alfredo Tesio, nine books on the food and wines of Italy.

The timbale was created for a presentation of the wine Cenerentola DOC Orcia and was prepared to accompany powerful and modern wines. There are several phases to this recipe.

For each of these we will describe method and ingredients for 4-6 people.
Preparation time: 3 hours

1) For the timbale

Ingredients:
200g of freshly made “lasagne” pasta, 200g of “tagliolini”, 1 shallot, 100g of sausage, salt and pepper, fresh thyme, 10cl of white wine, 200g of béchamel, 50g of grated parmesan cheese, 50g of “mozzarella” diced, 50g of diced butter.

Method:
Boil freshly made lasagne pasta for about two minutes, drain and leave to cool in cold water. Then line with half the pasta a greased baking tin. Clean the mushrooms and cut them into small pieces; clean and chop the shallot, open the sausage and cut it into pieces. Cook mushrooms, shallot and sausage in a pan for 10 minutes. Season with salt, pepper and thyme, adding wine and leaving it to reduce. Cook the tagliolini in boiling water for minutes. Drain and dress with mushrooms, sausage, béchamel, parmesan and mozzarella, and at the end a little black pepper. Put the dressed tagliolini at the bottom of the baking tin on top of the lasagne. Cover with more strips of lasagne and then on top little pieces of butter and some grated parmesan.

2) The Pumpkin sauce

Ingredients: 1 onion, 500 g of yellow pumpkin, 1 garlic clove, thyme, salt and pepper.

Method:
Peel and chop the onion. Peel the pumpkin and cut it into pieces. Cook the onion and pumpkin in a pan, adding some water and letting them dry a little. Put the pumpkin in a blender so as to get a smooth mixture, then put it in a pan with some warm oil, garlic and thyme to add flavour; leave to cook for 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.

3) The Fried sage

Ingredients for 4-6 people:
Fresh sage leaves, 1 egg, 75g of potato starch, 75 g of flour,10cl of beer, 20 cl of extra virgin olive oil.

Method:
Beat the egg with the potato starch and the flour and add the beer to the mixture. Dip the sage leaves in the batter and fry in hot oil so that they become crisp, lay on sheets of kitchen roll.

4) The Basil flavored oil

Ingredients:
Basil, 10 cl of extra virgin olive oil, 1 garlic clove, 1 teaspoonful of salt

Method:
Soak in boiling hot water the basil leaves and peeled garlic for a few seconds. Drain the basil and put it straight into very cold water. Dry the leaves on a sheet of kitchen roll and chop in the mixer with oil and garlic so as to obtain an emerald green dressing.

5) The Preparation and decoration:

Cook the timbale in the oven at 200 °C for about 20 minutes and decorate with chopped pistachios.

Presentation:
Serve with the warm dressing and fried sage leaves and chopped pistachios. Finally pour over a little basil flavoured oil.

Terrina di cinghiale e bue chianino – Wild boar Tureen

Fattoria del Colle was once a hunting area and those who visit Fattoria Colle, which is open every day all year round, can see the objects used a century ago exhibited in the bakers room and in the traditional kitchen. On the estate today there are no longer any hunters but there is still a preference for dishes prepared with game and for walks through the woods. For these we have especially created two itineraries with explanations on signposts.

Preparation time: 2 hours 30 min

Ingredients for 6-8 people: 6-8 bowls, 500 g of boneless wild boar, 250 g of minced chianino beef; 500 g of porcini mushrooms, a garlic clove, some parsley; half a glass of brandy, 2 eggs, some juniper berries, salt and pepper. In winter lay the tureen on: 800 g of chicory, and 1 glass of red wine. In summer; 500 g of rocket, a little extra virgin olive oil.

Method:
Chop the wild boar, being careful to cut the leaner bits into slithers, add the wild boar to the minced beef, and to the porcini mushrooms which have previously cooked in a little oil, with garlic and parsley. Add a little brandy, the eggs, salt, pepper, and the juniper berries, and mix all together. Put into the tureens and cook in the oven in bain-marie for 1 and a half hours at 160°C. Leave to cool, and serve warm on a bed of chicory which has been cooked in a pan with oil and red wine and salt, or serve cold on a bed of rocket and dressed with extra virgin olive oil.

Pollo in gelatina di Vin Santo –
Chicken in Vin Santo Gelatin

This is a Tuscan interpretation by Helle Poulsen Tesio of the classic chicken in gelatine. It is a long recipe but quite easy in method.

Preparation time: 3 hours.

Ingredients for 4-6 people:
500 g of chicken breast, 100 g of ham (in one piece), 50 g of chicken breast diced, 100 g of beef mince, 1 egg, salt and pepper, nutmeg, 1 slice of white bread with no rind soaked in milk and wrung.

For the filling: 1 shallot, 50 g of black olives, 50 g of pepper, 1 tbs of extra virgin olive oil, 1 tsp of Vin Santo, 1 l of vegetable stock (to cook the chicken)

For the Vin Santo gelatine:
10cl of Vin Santo, 1 tbs of brandy, 15 cl of vegetable stock, 3 sheets or 6g of fish glue.

For the decoration:
200 g of lettuce, 50 g of black olives, 50 g of pepper, mayonnaise, freshly ground black pepper.

Preparation of the meat:
Cut the chicken breast in thin pieces. Put them between two pieces of baking sheet and hit with a meat pounder. Leave them on the baking parchment so as to form a layer of chicken meat.

Filling:
Dice the ham into pieces 1x1cm. Mix the mince meat, salt, pepper, nutmeg, egg, and bread once it has been soaked. Add the diced ham and chicken. Clean and chop the shallot. Cut the olives into 4 after having removed the stone. Dice the pepper into 1x1cm pieces. Put the olives, shallot, pepper and pistachios in a pan with oil, cook for two minutes. Add the Vin Santo and mix together all of the filling. Spread the filling in the middle of the pounded chicken breasts and roll it all up using the baking parchment to help. Tie is up with kitchen string at the sides and extremities. Cook the rolled up meat in the stock for about 40 minutes.Let the meat to cool. Sieve the stock which is to be used for the gelatine. Put the fish glue to soak in cold water for 10 minutes. Heat the stock until it boils, wring out the fish glue and dissolve it in the stock. Add the Vin Santo and the brandy and put the gelatine in a cool place to solidify.

Presentation:
Wash the lettuce and put it on a serving dish. Dice the pepper and cut the olives into four. Add the pepper and olives to the lettuce. Cut the rolled up meat into slices and put them on the salad. Dice the gelatine and decorate the slices of chicken. Decorate with mayonnaise and some ground black pepper

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Traditional Tuscan Recipes – The Desserts

Torta Chianina – Chianina Style Cake

This is a chianina version of the Zuccotto from Florence signed by Orietta Fabi and Arianna Ranocchia.

Preparation time: 3 hours

Ingredients for the short crust pastry for 6-8 people:

300 g of icing sugar, 600 g of flour, 3 eggs, 300g of butter, a pinch of salt.

Method:

Make a well with the sugar and flour. Add the eggs and room temperature butter and knead until you get a smooth and compact dough. Leave in the fridge for 30 minutes. Roll out the short crust pastry and line two round cake tins.

The custard and chocolate custard:

Ingredients for the two types of custard for 6-8 people: 500 g of milk, 150 g of sugar, some vanilla beans, 4 egg yolks, 70g of flour. All the same ingredients plus 3 tbs of unsweetened cocoa for the chocolate custard.

Method:

Boil the milk in a pan together with 80 g of sugar and some of the vanilla beans. Mix the egg yolks with the remaining sugar and the flour. Add the hot milk. Boil the custard for 2 minutes while it all blends. Pour the custard into a stainless steel container and leave to cool. Repeat the process adding 3 tbs of cocoa to make the chocolate custard.

Sponge:

Ingredients for 6-8 people:6 eggs, 180g of sugar, 75 g of flour, 75 g of potato starch, a pinch of salt.

Method:

Put the eggs into a mixer and beat with sugar, for at least 15 minutes until the mixture has body, is frothy and is light yellow in colur.Remove whisks and add the flour, the starch slowly over the mixture using a sieve, and mix slowly using a wooden spoon, so that it does not undo the whipping. Pour the mixture in the center of the mold which has previously been greased and lightly dusted with flour and even it out, lightly hitting the tin on the table once it is full. Put in the preheated oven at 150°C for about 40 minutes. Once removed from the oven leave to cool on a rack.

Preparation:

Cook the two short crust pastries in the oven for 25 minutes set 180°C. Once the pastries are ready, spread the custard on top of one of them. In the meantime cut the sponge into thin slices, soaking with coffee and water and put them on top of the custard, leaving the edges empty. Put the chocolate custard on top. Cover with other slices of coffee soaked sponge, and more custard on top. With the second short crust pastry cover the cake. Glaze with a beaten egg yolk. Pull a fork along the surface. Bake for 20 minutes at 170°C.

Ciambellone con pere e mele – Ring Cake with Pears and Apples

The farmer’s cuisine had very few cakes. Dry biscuits in winter, and these ring shaped cakes in summer were the last to be cooked in the oven where the bread had just been baked. The fruit cakes reached the table along with tarts, meringues and almond biscuits when families celebrated with friends and relatives.

Preparation time: 60 min.

Ingredients for 6-8 people:

3 apples, 3 pears, 3 eggs, 150 g of sugar, 200 g of flour, 120 g of butter, a hand full of pine nuts, a hand full of raisins, 1 sachet of baking powder.

Method:

Peel and dice pears and apples. Beat eggs with sugar in a bowl. Add the flour and warm butter. Mix until you get a smooth mixture. Add the pine nuts, raisins, and for last the powdered yeast and the chopped fruit. Grease a tin with butter; pour the mixture into it and bake for 50 minutes at 180°C

Latte in piedi – Upright Milk

At the beginning of the 20th century fish gelatin was imported into Toscana. This in fact helps give stiffness and body to soft desserts and so gives the possibility of creating new dishes of surprising appearance. For this reason this dessert has a curious name as it is a Bavarian pudding in a rural version which Arianna Ranocchia has brought back to its old splendor.

Preparation time: 60 min.

Ingredients for 6-8 people:

1 litre of whole milk, 1 vanilla bean, 6 eggs, 200g of sugar; 2 or 3 sheets of fish gelatin, 6-8 molds.

Method:

Put the milk in a pan with a vanilla bean making sure the milk does not boil. Beat the eggs together with the sugar in a bowl. Put sheets of gelatin in a bowl with some cold water. Pour the beaten eggs in the milk, cook for two minutes without boiling and then add the gelatin. Put in the molds and decorate as desired with icing sugar, cocoa or fruit syrups.

Wine and flavors of Trentino



A trip to Vineards, nature, relaxation and great food – If this is what you like, welcome to Trentino!

Everything you ever wanted to know about the cheese called Puzzone di Moena or about the apples of Val di Non and, why not, on the renowned high altitude bubbles of Trentodoc spumante. And much more, about products you never thought you’d find here, such as small berries, honey, Trentino Lucanica sausage, and a good grappa to top it off.

A rich selection of places where you can enjoy the flavors of Trentino and many recipes for you to try. Many establishments where you can go to sleep but only after having a good meal!

Flavor itineraries to be travelled along lakes, through vineyards and up and down the Dolomites, and vacation ideas made of true experience. And finally, a calendar of tasty events for all seasons, such as those linked to the summer mountain pastures, to the world of wine or to apple picking. Discover: Trentino and discover Producers, Products and Itineraries…

Source: Trentino Sviluppo S.p.A. P.I. 00123240228