- THE RECIPE
Pius V’s terse judgement on the “drink of the gods”; the arguments on the prohibition or acceptance of this food during fasting; the idea that it is an all-Catholic food (coffee is supposed to be Protestant); the Jesuit missionaries’ taste for it; and the debate at the Council of Trent. Finally, the chocolate eggs and cribs of our days.
- THE RECIPE: CHOCOLATE AND CANDIED ORANGE CAKE
Pre-Columbian civilizations considered Theobroma cacao divine and used it to prepare a drink comparable to chocolate. The first European to mention the fact was the conquistador Cortés. For a period of time, certain churchmen remained wary of the food, both because of its aphrodisiac character and because of the exploitation of slaves for its production. Thanks to 19th century innovations, chocolate became the most widely consumed product we know.
- THE RECIPE: CHOCOLATE-DIPPED STRAWBERRIES
Studies from Gaslini Children’s Hospital in Genoa, Scotland, France, and the Italian Journal of Pediatrics conclude that young students and children are developing behavioral and regression problems during lockdowns and because of online distance learning. In addition, there is evidence of depression, stress, breathlessness , sleep deprivation, separation anxiety, and reduced interaction with parents. Parents are inclined to accept this "sacrifice" thinking it will soon pass. But it's shameful the mass media are relentlessly reporting this situation as the "new normal."
There is one thing that almost all abbeys produce: honey, the most ancient and traditional sweetener, a mainstay in cookery, in health promotion, and in candle-making, in recipes like those of Saint Hildegard. The bee, compared to the Virgin Mary in the Laus Apium, is therefore dear to monasticism because of the religious quality of its rigorous behaviour and its intelligent and incessant work.
- THE RECIPE: ROASTED PEAR SALAD WITH HONEY AND GORGONZOLA
Beer is believed to be more than six thousand years old. The most ancient remains have been found in Mesopotamia (the oldest recipe we know of is 3,900 years old). The oldest monastery that brewed beer is the Italian Monastery of Montecassino. The monks considered beer an actual medicine. The addition of hops was a monastic invention due to Hildegard of Bingen, while a poem that sings its praises is attributed to Saint Bridget of Kildare.
- THE RECIPE: BEER-BRAISED BEEF
From phytotherapy came elixirs and then digestifs, imbibed for medicinal purposes - until the FDA banned their sale for this use. Fortunately, today Italy is still the country with the highest number of bitters produced in the world. And for this we owe thanks to the monasteries, convents and abbeys.
- THE RECIPE: NOCINO
Singled out is whoever is openly skeptical about anti-Covid measures, others are punished for dissenting with mainstream thought, the manhunt continues for the plague spreader with his nose peeking out of his mask. We are at the mercy of so many Eichmanns, model citizens who think what they must think, obey, and never step out of line, “because so says the law”.