Casa Italia Atletica Brings Italian Specialities To New York
Among those who came to New York was Paolo Caridi, an artisanal pastry chef who uses local delicacies from Calabria to make all of his recipes Casa Italia Atletica, an Italian organization that supports Italian athletes throughout the world while promoting authentic Italian products or the “Made In Italy” concept, held a series of successful events in New York City this past weekend in conjunction with the ING New York Marathon. This “Taste and Beauty Marathon” was part of a three city tour that included Madrid and Barcelona this past year. Since 1998, the objective of the association has been to mix Italian sports, cultural marketing, wine and food and tourism to promote Italy on a global scale.
Thanks to a successful seminar on November 4 at ENIT, the Italian Tourism Board Headquarters, Italian and American Tour organizers got a taste of what Italy has to offer in terms of vacation destinations, trips and tours. Visitors were also able to see and taste products for three days at Alta Cucina where an Italian Village was held with products and spokespeople from different regions and entities. Additionally, some 50 journalists and people from the trade were also able to get a taste of the regions that Casa Italia Atletica was promoting thanks to a splendid seminar by author/journalist Fred Plotkin, a noted “Italianist.” Plotkin has written numerous books on Italian food, wine and opera including “Italy for the Gourmet traveler” and “The Authentic Pasta Book.”
The seminar which was called the “Italy that Still Runs- Genuine Passion,” was sponsored by a number of different regional entities and each sent representatives to speak about the culture of their land. For this occasion, Pasquale Di Lena wrote a book called, “The Italy that still runs – genuine passion”, which was distributed in New York in order to promote healthy living and diet. Among those who came to New York was Paolo Caridi, an artisanal pastry chef who uses local delicacies to make all of his recipes. At the event he made a series of desserts using olive oil and the citrus fruit, the Bergamot, a protected designation of origin (PDO) product which only grows in Calabria. Caridi’s shop is in Reggio Calabria, a town located on the top of the Italian boot which sits on the Straight of Messina. It’s an ancient city with over 4000 years of history. Caridi told the audience during the Seminar on Italian food and wine that he has made it his mission to make people aware of the Bergamot. The Bergamot grows in a small town on the Calabrian Coast called Diamante. Diamante is a mecca for Jewish Rabbis around the religious holidays.
This citrus fruit is very well sought after and it is not unheard of to see bus loads of Rabbis looking to take this fruit back home. Caridi is an Ambassador of the Bergamot which is widely known in the cosmetic industry because of its essential oils. Caridi however uses the Bergamot in its most element form, as a food. He created his pastry shop in 1997 after having worked for others in Italy and around the global for 24 years. He is known as an artist because of his ability to make beautiful forms with desserts such as a lamb for Easter or a doll’s house with furniture and doorknobs made of chocolate.
Caridi decided to dedicate himself to recouping lost recipes. In fact his motto is “Antichi sapori, Nuovi Tradizioni” or Old Recipes, New Traditions. At the event he mad the Torta Aspromonte, a traditional dessert from Reggio Calabria,Mbrigotto which is a sort of panettone. He also makes chocolate cremes and other delicacies such as Cannolis which he brought to share with lucky attendees as we