From Libellula's Kitchen & Land — Extra Virgin Olive Oil

The Milanese Worker’s Panino - Libellula

The Milanese Worker’s Panino

Life in Milan in the 1960s was booming. With World War II firmly behind them, a flood of farm workers were making their way to Milan, trying to make their fortunes in the big city!And what did all of these bright, eager young workers need?Food!Something quick, filling, and delicious (we’re talking about Italians after all!).A young, enterprising sandwich maker figured that if he came up with a solution, he could boost his business while filling the bellies of the city’s energetic new residents.After a bit of trial and error, he presented the panino to his customers!With lines soon stretching out...

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Olive Oil Brownies - Libellula

Olive Oil Brownies

In the early 1700s, Venetians fell in love with hot chocolate.Cafe tables lining the canals of Venice were dotted with beautiful little glasses of the velvety, rich drink.And the flavor combinations were spectacular!Some cafes specialized in citrus hot chocolate, while others swore by their addition of chili peppers and cloves..Even the Italian court’s botanist, Francesco, created his own unique recipe for jasmine hot chocolate that was so popular and so delicious that he kept the recipe a secret until his deathbed.And it’s not surprising how popular hot chocolate was, because this was the only type of chocolate they had ever...

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The Artichoke King - Libellula

The Artichoke King

In the early hours of December 21, 1935, New York City’s mayor strolled into the bronx market followed by a dozen policemen.Hopping up onto the back of a cabbage truck, mayor LaGuardia turned and addressed the assembled farmers and street vendors.Starting in one week, the mayor announced, New York City will be instituting a total ban on the sale, display, or possession of a “a serious & threatening” commodity.This substance, which had been funding a vast underground mafia network, was the humble artichoke.You see, two decades earlier, a couple of Italian farmers out in California had started growing a crop...

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Violetta's Orange Battle Cake

In the early 1100s, an evil duke named Guido III ruled the small Italian town of Ivrea. Now Guido was your typical cruel ruler; mean to his servants, demanding taxes so high that his townspeople were on the brink of starvation, and handing out harsh punishments to anyone who dared to disagree with him. But one night, Guido took his cruelty one step too far. On a snowy winter's evening, Violetta, the miller’s daughter had just sat down to her wedding feast. Beautiful, brave, and spirited, Violetta was beloved by the whole town. And as such her wedding to the...

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