Amarena Fabbri

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The Fabbri Company of Bologna has been making uniquely delicious “Amarena” cherries in syrup for over a century. Only the best wild Amarena cherries are carefully selected and candied in syrup according to Gennaro Fabbri’s original recipe, created in 1905 in the small Emilia Romagna town of Portomaggiore.

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The story of the Fabbri Company begins in that year when Ferrara-native Gennaro Fabbri and his wife Rachele took over an old general store in Portomaggiore, which was in close proximity to a wild black cherry orchard. One day, Rachele picked the cherries and slowly cooked them and semi-candied them in copper pots. She transformed the cherries into a wonderfully delicious treat that soon became known as the Amarena Fabbri.

To thank his wife, Gennaro purchased a ceramic jar from Riccardo Gatti, an artist from Faenza. The unmistakable white and blue ceramic jar has become a trademark of Amarena Fabbri ever since.

The company grew in the 1930s, a decade that marked the arrival of cherries in liqueur and the expansion of the product range to include preserves. Gennaro’s sons, Romeo and Aldo, became increasingly active in the business.

During the post-war years and ensuing economic recovery, the launch of a new product gave Fabbri yet another resounding success: cremolato. The compound pastes in classic and fruit flavors were used to make gelato by simply adding water or milk. The product formed a market niche for Fabbri in which the company remains the undisputed leader.

Fabbri continued producing liqueurs into the 1970s, as well as the other traditional products such as Amarena and fruit syrups. With the increasing popularity of the brand, Fabbri continued efforts to diversify production, adding products for restaurants, cafés and bars to its compounds for gelato, amarena cherries and syrups. In 1999, the company changed its name to “Fabbri 1905 SpA,” commemorating the year in which it was founded.

Today, Fabbri 1905 is run by the fourth generation of the Fabbri family, leading a company of 250 employees that boasts some 17 product lines, 23 packaging lines and distributes products in 110 countries worldwide.

Amarena Fabbri cherries are perfect for topping desserts, yet are equally delicious in savory dishes.

Decadent, delicious and flavorful, Amarena Fabbri cherries are still produced from wild black cherries and are crafted today using the same family recipe developed more than 100 years ago. Amarena Fabbri cherries are enjoyed as a delicious topping for gelato, ice cream, cheesecake and desserts, as well as in a multitude of savory dishes and preparations. They are ideal for mixologists to use in innovative cocktails, especially the famous sparkling Amarena Amore Mio, made with Prosecco.

Whether you are creating a new recipe or simply enjoying them out of their beautiful ceramic vase, Amarena Fabbri cherries will make any dessert or dish a memorable, authentically Italian experience.

 

Fra Fillipo Lippi fresco cycle in Prato duomo; Prato cathedral Part 2

Late last week I had the great pleasure of visiting Prato with a new friend who was born and raised there.  There is nothing like visiting a lovely small Italian town with someone who knows their way around.  My friend showed me things I would have found on my own!

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I wrote a post on the Duomo of Prato, where I discussed the architecture and sculpture.  The Duomo is such a rich repository of masterworks that it needs several posts.  Today I will deal only with the Far Fillips Lippi frescoes created between 1452-66.

Let’s start with this basic premise: these paintings are gorgeous and in excellent condition!  I have waited an art historian’s lifetime to see them and they did to disappoint.

This is the apse end of the basilica in all of its glory.  The Far Fillipo Lippi frescoes are in the chapel in the center:

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These frescoes show the master, Fra Filippo Lippi, at his finest. They were produced slowly and sporadically between 1452 and 1466.

The enormous scale of the choir, and consequently the painted subjects, were a far cry from the intimacy of the Brancacci Chapel.  The cycle has been restored recently, revealing powerful yet sensitive images produced with verve and facility during a late period in Lippi’s development.

The Prato frescoes were both an artistic and a physical challenge for the aging painter, and, particularly in the large scenes on either side of the choir with stories of St John the Baptist and St Stephen, scholars believe that a significant share of the execution may be attributed to workshop assistants.

Below: View of the chapel filled with the fresco cycle

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South Wall

Below: overview of the right (south) wall of the main chapel

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Beginning at top, coming down, we begin with “The Birth and Naming St John”

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The Birth and Naming St John (detail)

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The 2nd fresco down from the top: “St. John Taking Leave of His Parents”

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St. John Taking Leave of his Parents (detail)

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St. John Taking Leave of His Parents (detail)

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Third scene down from the top: Herod’s Banquet

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Herod’s Banquet (detail)

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Herod’s Banquet (detail)

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Herod’s Banquet (detail)

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Herod’s Banquet (detail)

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Herod’s Banquet (detail)

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The Beheading of John the Baptist, scene to the far left of the main fresco

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North Wall:

View of the left (north) wall of the main chapel

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Beginning at top of fresco on North wall: St Stephen is Born and Replaced by Another Child

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St Stephen is Born and Replaced by Another Child (detail)

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St Stephen is Born and Replaced by Another Child (detail)

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2nd Fresco down from top, The Disputation in the Synagogue

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The Disputation in the Synagogue (detail)

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The Disputation in the Synagogue (detail)

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The Disputation in the Synagogue (detail)

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The  Disputation in the Synagogue (detail)

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Third fresco down from the top: The Funeral of St Stephen

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The Funeral of St Stephen (detail)

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The Funeral of St Stephen (detail)

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The Funeral of St Stephen (detail)

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The Funeral of St Stephen (detail)

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The Funeral of St Stephen (detail)

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Scene to the far right of the main fresco: The Martyrdom of St Stephen

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St Alberto of Trapani

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St Alberto of Trapani

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Allora, I have shown you the main paintings within this fresco cycle and explained the location.  Now let me simply share the pictures I took with my phone.  My phone was never pointed at anything more beautiful…and that is saying something!

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An Italian kiss

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When Perugia-born clothing designer Luisa Spagnoli first invented the hazelnut-centred chocolate in 1922, she called it a cazzotto because it resembled a fist. The name didn’t ring right to Giovanni Buitoni, managing director of the Perugina chocolate factory and Spagnoli’s younger lover—Buitoni was 14 years her junior.

The idea of asking a shop assistant for a “punch” just didn’t resonate with the entrepreneur, who was also on the board of directors of the famous pasta brand. Buitoni commissioned futurist artist Federico Seneca to design the packaging and concept, hence the silver wrapping and the tiny slip of paper printed with a quotation about love we still unfurl today.

The box depicting two lovers locked in an embrace was inspired by Venetian Francesco Hayez’s The Kiss (1859), on display in Milan’s Pinacoteca di Brera. All these factors proved a winning recipe; a 1927 advertisement claimed, “In only five years, Perugina has sold 100 million Baci”.

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Francesco Hayez’s “The Kiss” (1859)
For Spagnoli and Buitoni, business was never solely about making money (he was also the mayor of Perugia between 1930 and 1934). The pair looked after their employees in a time when corporate social responsibility was practically inexistent: terraced housing and a swimming pool were built near the workplace; dances, football matches and social occasions were regular occurrences; and a nursery was opened at the Fontiveggi factory during the First World War, so that female employees could bring their children to work while the men were away at war.

In 1939, the chocolates set sail to the States, opening a shop to rave reviews in New York’s Fifth Avenue. Luisa Spagnoli did not live to see the overseas success of her chocolates. In 1935, at age 58, the businesswoman passed away in Paris with throat cancer, Buitoni steadfastly by her side.
The enterprise continues to go from strength to strength. In 2018, Baci Perugina were rebranded. Gone are the entwined lovers, replaced with a scattering of gold and white stars topped with a contemporary logo. Limited Edition, Extra Dark 70% and Milk are minor variations on the original dark chocolate recipe. Looking down from the firmament, Luisa Spagnoli and Giovanni Buitoni, who went on marry the opera singer Letizia Cairone two years after Luisa’s death, surely would be proud to see the product of their love sweetly primed for the future.

This article is from: http://www.theflorentine.net/lifestyle/2019/02/the-backstory-on-baci-chocolates/?mc_cid=1f26260e4d&mc_eid=2a398b6f2f