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Where did what we eat at the holidays come from?

I want to share with you two stories that I found beautiful: the origin of sweet bread and vithel toné.

Health and Esthetics

Do you know what is the origin of what we eat at the holidays in Argentina? Why did they become classic? I think there is no one to argue that it is European cuisine that prevailed in our customs. Both sweet and savoury recipes have mostly Italian, French or Spanish origin. That is why, in addition to adopting Santa Claus, so warm at that time of year, we have also adopted all the calories of the northern hemisphere. Knowing that in Argentina the climate at that time is different, so and we all eat garrapiñadas, nougats, puddings, confitries of all kinds, sweet bread. And in what it does salty, vithel toné, chicken, pork, lamb, roast strip. I could say that the only thing different is the type of cooking: we use the grill more to make the asadito. But what I want to share with you are two stories that I read and seemed beautiful to me. Here they go.  Sweet bread  Sweet bread goes from breakfast to dinner. It is more than 500 years old and there are no coincidences about its origin. It is said that he was born in Milan in the 15th century, at the court of Duke Ludovico, and it seems that the recipe was the fruit of the forbidden love between Ughetto — a breeder of the duke's hawks — with Adalgisa, a young daughter of a baker. The man helped his beloved in his nocturnal chores at the bakery and once, on Christmas eve, he improvised a bread with corinth raisins, sugar, orange blossom water, butter and polished fruits that conquered the palates of the area that, from that moment on, every year began to cry out for this recipe. The success of this bread expanded beyond the village and became popular. But there is another story: it is said that on the same stage and by the same time, the duke's cook accidentally burned a dessert and, as a solution, offered a bread that Toni, his assistant, had prepared a few hours earlier. This recipe surprised everyone and became known as the Pan de Toni, predecessor of the panettone by all known that also came to these pampas, where in season of holidays it is consumed day and night, even as mate mate. In Latin America, this culinary tradition landed with the arrival of the first Italian immigrants who crossed the Atlantic. Today it is an undisputed part of the Christmas table in Argentina, Brazil, Venezuela, Peru, Ecuador and Bolivia.  Now it's up to vithel thoné  In the fish is not much discussed, but the sauce varies from cook to cook: than anchovies, than tuna (or both), with capers, without capers. But where does such a dish come from? The Vithel Toné is fine Italian: its original name is vitello tonnato, which means “tuna calf”, because in its preparation it carries meat and the sauce contains egg yolks, tuna, milk cream and, if we want to give it a stronger flavor, anchovies and capers. I read that this preparation was confused with a French dish, but no, it is well Italian, from the Piedmontese region, another legacy of immigrants. In Argentina we have incorporated it because it is a cold preparation and we are in summer, but in Italy it is not so common on their tables because they are in winter, (and they are more sensible than us when choosing Christmas dishes). I also think it helps quite the fact that it is not so difficult to do. Either way, I think many generations will continue to prepare and delight with sweet bread and vithel toné. Let's enjoy!

Publication Date: 20/12/2018

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