Why is it that we just assume the entire world celebrates holidays at the same time – like New Years (think Chinese), Thanksgiving (think Canadians), Valentine’s Day (think Japanese) and Father’s Day? One might think that some traditions are universal – like the value of a smile. Yet as we travel east to west and north to south we realize that, as the Italians would say, il mondo è bello perchè è vario (the world is beautiful because everywhere is different!).
The Russians are the first to celebrate Father’s Day with a hip hip hooray on 23 January. In Italy, as in most Catholic based countries, it is the Festa di San Giuseppe (aka 19 March the holy day for St. Joseph, the earthly father of Jesus) which corresponds to Father’s Day and for many countries (though not everyone!) it corresponds to the third Sunday in June – and this year that means the 17th.
And how do the Italian’s celebrate la Festa del Papà? With food of course and then clothing and not necessarily in that order. In Tuscany – although pretty much everywhere in Italy – they make little rice fritters (sometimes adding raisins, pine nuts and flour…as always it depends on where you are to the exact ingredients.) I have personally fallen for this recipe here:
Frittelle di riso di San Giuseppe Ingredients:
-200 g rice (for milk rice)
-600 g whole milk
-300 g water
-2 egg yolks
-2 egg whites
-80 g butter
-80 g sugar
-zest of one lemon
-zest of one orange
-2 tbsp vin santo
-1/2 tsp of salt
- raisins/pine nuts to taste
-granulated sugar to cover your fritters
Mix milk, water, zests, half of the sugar and butter in a pot and bring to a boil. Add the rice and cook at low heat until all the liquid is gone. Add the rest of sugar and butter, stir well, cover the pot with a lid and keep covered until the next day. ATTENTION: This batter is absolutely delicious at this stage and if left unattended for long periods of time, it will slowly disappear one spoonful at a time – it closely resembles rice pudding.
The next day add the liquor, the yolks and the whites whipped (raisins and pine nuts if you like). If you add raisins, be careful of the oil, as the raisins start to cook they have a tendency to splatter hot oil. The batter should have a thick fritter like texture, if necessary add a little flour to thicken it up. Deep-fry spoonfuls of rice in hot oil until golden brown. Sprinkle sugar and eat.
And with Italian men, you can’t go wrong if after you offer them food, you shower them with gifts of stylish leather clothing. Now is the season to start looking at all the new fashion collections coming out for Spring and Summer. My bet is on a lightweight Italian leather jacket from Florence, this style in particular is a new look that reminds me of the Rick Owen’s clothing line.
My second choice is something that reflect a spring / summer trend perfect for the warmer weather :
The Pierotucci Italian Leather Factory proudly carries on the Florentine tradition of designing, assembling and selling handmade genuine Italian leather bags, jackets and accessories such as wallets, gloves and belts. They are based in Florence and surrounded by the beauty of the Chianti vineyards, the perfume of delicious food and a culture rich in art and craftsmanship.