Monday, April 30, 2012

Brioche and Chocolate

Brioche with Chocolate

I was buzzing around one of these giant brioche for some months.

Jean Baptiste Simeon Chardin - La Brioche - 1763

You may not know, but at the origins brioche wereof this size, if not huger, as you can see in some pictures from XVIII century. These were the infamous "brioche" that Marie Antoinette wanted the people to eat instead of bread ("S'ils n'ont plus de pain, qu'ils mangent de la brioche"), and in fact they were used just like bread and eaten together with both sweet and savoury food.

(Alessandro Guerani is a professional photographer specialized in food shooting. He lives in Bologna, Italy, and is available for assignments to create the images you always craved. Read the "About me" or contact him using the "Mail me" in the blog menu above.)

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Friday, April 27, 2012

Small Cassata Cakes

cassatine


I know I shouldn't do it, but yesterday I broke my diet. 

It happened when I met this small cassata cakes, almost a single person portion, and I couldn't resist. Cassata is a typical sicilian cake made from ricotta, marzipan (almond meal and sugar) and candied fruits.


(Alessandro Guerani is a professional photographer specialized in food shooting. He lives in Bologna, Italy, and is available for assignments to create the images you always craved. Read the "About me" or contact him using the "Mail me" in the blog menu above.)

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Monday, April 23, 2012

Spring Colors



For just one day allow me to stay away from photographing food.

I really need this little "holiday" between the colors of Spring that bloom as soon as the Sun reappears.


(Alessandro Guerani is a professional photographer specialized in food shooting. He lives in Bologna, Italy, and is available for assignments to create the images you always craved. Read the "About me" or contact him using the "Mail me" in the blog menu above.)

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Thursday, April 19, 2012

Schiacciata Pasquale

schiacciata pasquale


To finish our tour in the Tuscan Romagna, here's the typical Easter cake of these places.




(Alessandro Guerani is a professional photographer specialized in food shooting. He lives in Bologna, Italy, and is available for assignments to create the images you always craved. Read the "About me" or contact him using the "Mail me" in the blog menu above.)

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Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Fiorentina Steak

Fiorentina Steak


We continue our gastronomic tour in Tuscan Romagna and the main course is almost a must: a tasteful and rare cooked Fiorentina Steak, thick more than 2 inches.


I guess no one need special guidance on this recipe, but one thing that really surprised me is how butchers in the area distinguish between steaks from male and female animals, the latter more tender and with a more "delicate" taste. Being an old-fashioned gentleman I obviously chose the male one ;)


(Alessandro Guerani is a professional photographer specialized in food shooting. He lives in Bologna, Italy, and is available for assignments to create the images you always craved. Read the "About me" or contact him using the "Mail me" in the blog menu above.)

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Sunday, April 15, 2012

Tortelli di Patate al Sugo di Nana

tortelli di patate al sugo di nana



I didn't translate the name of this recipe because it's so traditional that, sincerely, would not be the same once spelled in a different language.



Nana, in Tuscan dialect, is that nice bird that, in English, is called a duck.

Although nice Tuscan cuisine, however, make a great sauce with duck, a sauce that pairs perfectly with the typical fresh pasta of the Mugello: Tortelli di Patate (potato filled tortelli).

Tortelli di Patate are big, soft, squared-shaped ravioli made with fresh pasta, stuffed with boiled potatoes flavored with nutmeg and garlic and parsley sautéed together.

It 'a very old recipe, already in XV century a poet in the court of Lorenzo de' Medici praised their qualities. Once their filling was made ​​with chestnuts, replaced only in more recent times (about half of XIX century) with one prepared with potatoes.



(Alessandro Guerani is a professional photographer specialized in food shooting. He lives in Bologna, Italy, and is available for assignments to create the images you always craved. Read the "About me" or contact him using the "Mail me" in the blog menu above.)

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Friday, April 13, 2012

Tuscan Soppressata

Soppressata


Our culinary journey into the Tuscan Romagna from a sausage: the Soppressata.


It is also known as Testa in Cassetta or Capofreddo and is obtained by boiling together the head, tongue and other waste parts of the pork neck, previously cleaned and ​​soaked in water for at least 24 hours.

Once cooked, bones are removed and everything is cut roughly in pieces. Salt, pepper, rosemary and garlic are added to the dough, which is carefully blended, wrapped and let to cool for about a day.


(Alessandro Guerani is a professional photographer specialized in food shooting. He lives in Bologna, Italy, and is available for assignments to create the images you always craved. Read the "About me" or contact him using the "Mail me" in the blog menu above.)

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Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Firenzuola



This week we cross the Apennines Mountains, heading toward south, and enter in the Alto Mugello zone in Tuscany


The Alto Mugello is composed of the municipalities of Firenzuola, Marradi and Palazzuolo sul Senio, and it is also called Tuscan Romagna because this zone is culturally and geographically part of Romagna, but it has been administered by Florence since the end of XV century.


As you could have guessed I particularly like border areas where dialects, culture, traditions and cuisine blend together and create something truly unique and unpredictable eventually.



Coming from the Valley of the river Santerno we cross a bridge over the Fosso delle Canaglie, under which flows a tributary of the river, the Rio dei Briganti, and arrive enter Tuscany in the hamlet of Moraduccio.

The origin of these names ("canaglie" and "briganti" can both be translated as rogues) comes from the fact that the Grand Duchy of Tuscany sent into internal exile here the most "turbulent" characters.


For those who love to bath in the rivers this is a magical, as well as fresh, place  during summer especially near the waterfall created by the Rio dei Briganti when it falls down in the river. If you want to take a walk, you can visit the ancient deserted village of Castiglioncello, which stands on a summit over the river, beside the main road.



Continuing on the statal road Montanara Imolese we finally arrive to Firenzuola, a small town that still retains traces of its ancient walls, the two main gates, Porta Bolognese e Porta Fiorentina, and a lovely arcaded main street. Despite the many modern buildings that testify the devastation suffered by the town during the last world war (it was located in the immediate vicinity of the Gothic Line), it still retains the atmosphere of many years ago with the classic "general stores" where they sell some of everything and people sitting outside bars chatting and watching the strollers.


The only "specialized" food shops are, coincidentally, butcheries (there are two within a few meters) and is easy to understand why. You have try hard to not come out with a pair of Fiorentina steaks, thick at least three inches, as well as other goodies such as Tuscan soppressata, Tuscan ham, garlic flavored sausages, and every gift from God (gifts for carnivores like me of course).


In the forthcoming days I will show you some "traditional" recipes and products of this zone, while in the meanwhile I hope to have inspired you to tour in these places.


(Alessandro Guerani is a professional photographer specialized in food shooting. He lives in Bologna, Italy, and is available for assignments to create the images you always craved. Read the "About me" or contact him using the "Mail me" in the blog menu above.)

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Monday, April 9, 2012

Morandi's Milk



Do not be fooled by the title. The milk to which I refer is not what you have to take for the mother, as sung by Gianni Morandi, but the inspiration behind this photo is from the almost fellow countryman Giorgio.


I don't think I need to introduce Giorgio Morandi, but in case anyone wants to go into him the article on Wikipedia is quite comprehensive.



I love its sophisticated simplicity in composition and tones, which can easily balance the abstraction of forms together with the realism of the objects depicted. A balance so perfect that brings him directly in the numbers of the great painters of the twentieth century: "Nothing is more abstract of reality. "





I hope that the Master could forgive me because I wanted to insert some flowers in my picture, which surely would run against its rigid formalism. But inspirations are a fine start and then you have to follow your own idea and sensitivity. I was intrigued me to insert this organic element opposed to the other, cool  geometric shapes in the scene.


(Alessandro Guerani is a professional photographer specialized in food shooting. He lives in Bologna, Italy, and is available for assignments to create the images you always craved. Read the "About me" or contact him using the "Mail me" in the blog menu above.)

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Friday, April 6, 2012

The Noble Plums

plums


Dressed in purple as ancient emperors and sweet as the summery sun: the plums.


I wanted to end this week with another fruit, though not quite in season in the northern hemisphere. There are a few months to wait before enjoying the ones ripened on our trees, but in these rainy days I wanted to show a messenger of the forthcoming Summer when plums will be there waiting to be plucked.


(Alessandro Guerani is a professional photographer specialized in food shooting. He lives in Bologna, Italy, and is available for assignments to create the images you always craved. Read the "About me" or contact him using the "Mail me" in the blog menu above.)

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Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Manet Strawberries

Strawberries


Browsing through some websites yesterday morning it happened that a painting I didn't know about went under my eyes.



It was similar to Cezanne's still life with fruits, but the hand was clearly different. At that point, intrigued,  I started a research. Google images brought me to some blogs, a blog to another site where Manet was cited as its author. At that point, I continued the search on the art books I own finally I found it!



It was in fact a painting by Manet, made in the last years of his life when his health forced him to work on small paintings with subjects that he could found in his house or out in the garden.
It is conserved at the MET in NY and this is the page about it.




Well, I had just bought  some strawberries, I'm plenty of wicker baskets, I just had to decide how to interpret the subject.


I kept a similar light but I preferred to go on a neutral color palette, to bring out the red of the strawberries, and have a more defined focus so to shift the composition in a vertical format and with a more formal geometry.

The end result is an image that talks about Spring and its fruits, and how any subject, even the simplest, can be enhanced with a little inspiration stolen from the great Masters.

(Alessandro Guerani is a professional photographer specialized in food shooting. He lives in Bologna, Italy, and is available for assignments to create the images you always craved. Read the "About me" or contact him using the "Mail me" in the blog menu above.)

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Monday, April 2, 2012

April 2012 Desktop Calendar



Spring at last! I had enough of snow, cold, scarves and coats.

Sun, colors of green, young flowers, Easter Holidays and here's the desktop calendar of April. Bring out your baskets, prepared something good, sweet and fresh to eat and enjoy a picnic on the grass.

Food~0~grafia monthly desktop calendar is a wallpaper for your PC screen with a food photo and the calendar of the current month.
To set the image as your desktop click on the link at the end of this post with the image dimensions that suit your PC screen and, after the image will load, right-click on it with your mouse (or press ctrl while clicking for some Mac users) and select "Set as Desktop Background..." (or something similar depending on the web browser you're using).


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(Alessandro Guerani is a professional photographer specialized in food shooting. He lives in Bologna, Italy, and is available for assignments to create the images you always craved. Read the "About me" or contact him using the "Mail me" in the blog menu above.)

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