Italian Cousins - A celebration of ALL THINGS ITALIAN

Italian Cousins Blog

The Malocchio
keep your keyring close and your enemies far..

Many Southern Italians are serious about their superstitions.
The Malocchio Curse (as it is known in Italy), dates back centuries across Europe and can be placed upon anyone.  The Malocchio (or evil eye) is generally placed when someone is jealous or envious of another persons good luck.  The Malocchio reveals itself as sickness, pain, discomfort or misfortune.

Often the curse is involuntarily placed with an envious gaze or receiving a comment construed as envious or jealous.
Generally, to test for the affliction you put three drops of olive oil, one on top of the other in a bowl of water. If they separate then you have the Malocchio.
If you are afflicted, then you will need to find yourself an Italian strega (witch) to perform a prayer ritual (sometimes wise old nonnas or aunts can perform this as well).
To ensure that our Italian Cousins are well protected from the Malocchio, we have given you a ‘Corno’ keyring in your package.  The Corno was traditionally made from red coral and is a horn shaped protective charm.  For those of you who believe you are quite likely to be cursed then you might also like to learn the hand gesture ‘Mano Cornuto’ (shown).  The Mano Cornuto returns the malocchio curse to giver and is also available as a charm.

Since the Malocchio can be everywhere it is best to take a number of precautions.
·         Spread salt around your new house
·         Give a baby a goldCorno to wear as a necklace.
·         Wear a Corno at all times and keep one in your car.
·         Wear a Mano Cornuto or just use the hand gesture.  (In 1973 the president of Italy shocked the nation by being caught shaking hands with Cholera infected patients and doing the Mano Cornuto behind his back with the other hand)
·         Follow a compliment to your beautiful child with ‘God bless him/her’
·         Hang a bunch of dried red peppers over your stove. They look like red horns and keep your kitchen safe

Posted by Italian Cousins at 10/07/13 11:22   Comments

March 2013 Italian Cousins..What was in the pack

March 2013 - The Mediterranean Diet

2012 Fiano
The first release of our newest variety. Now sold out, but of course we kept a bottle for each of our Italian Cousins. Fiano is a Southern Italian variety that is Fresh and vibrant with a nutty palate and touches of honey.
2011Opera Block Cabernet Merlot
We have recently changed the name of our reserve range from Family Reserve to Opera Block. We are excited by this young but smooth blend. Smooth tannins and bold fruit with a lingering & delicious palate.
2010 Messing About Malbec/Jacquez
This European style red is made from a blend of two of our oldest grape varieties. Both the Malbec and the Jaquez have been growing in our vineyard for over 40 years and this is the first time we have put the two together. Our ’Messing About’ range has enabled Dylan to create new favourites for our customers. Juicy is a great way to describe this blend.
Always perfect with pizza and pasta, put this bottle of Summertime in the fridge or on ice. Serve with great friends.
La Molisana Whole Wheat Fusilli
One of the greatest benefits of the Mediterranean cuisine is the fibre rich foods. Changing to whole wheat pasta is a change that we have been reluctant to make, but look forward to hearing some feedback!
Raw Materials Black Lentils
Low in calories and high in protein, lentils make a great soup, side dish for chicken and pork or a nutritious vegetarian main. In Italy if you want to ensure prosperity in the New Year, you must eat lentils on New Years Eve.
Raw Materials Chickpeas
These Australian grown chickpeas are perfect in soups, stews, salads, curries and much more. A simple Chickpea soup made with carrots, onion, celery, a spoonful of tomato paste and macaroni is a Puglisi family favourite. Make your own hommus or falafel for high protein, high fibre, low GI snacks.
Borlotti Beans
You will have no excuse to not make hearty Minestrone Soup this winter. In our opinion Borlotti Beans are the heart and soul of minestrone.
Colavita Extra Virgin Olive Oil
First cold pressed Extra Virgin Olive Oil in a reuseable crock.
Barrel Room Homemade Passata
Home made by our BarrelRoom Café chefs just for our Italian Cousins. Use this passata as the base for your next pasta sauce. We hope you can taste the difference. There are plenty of seconds tomatoes available on the Granite Belt during summer. Have your bottles ready so that you can take advantage of your next visit to the region with a boot full of ripe tomatoes (and a few wines).
Rizzoli Anchovies in Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Rizzoli have been producing Anchovies for over 100 years. They are matured in wooden barrels, fleshy in texture and delicate in flavour. Perfect for our Bagna Cauda recipe.
Recipe Cards(to add to your recipe card-holder)
Pasta e Fagioli. There are numerous names for this simple, inexpensive, homestyle meal including ‘Pasta fazool’ and ‘Pastafasulu’.
You might remember its reference in the Dean Martin song ‘That’s Amore’. Simple and hearty, the epitomy of satisfying vegetarian cuisine, full of legumes and served with a dash of olive oil.
Bagna Cauda. This is a rich and intense fondue style dip. Try as an entrée at your next dinner party.
Your Special Gifts
Italian Parsley. Access to fresh parsley is imperative in an Italian kitchen. We wish you success in growing these seeds and enjoying the flavours and fragrance year after year. Chop fresh parsley and blend with finely diced lemon to make a gremolata as the final addition to a rich osso bucco just prior to serving.
The Mediterranean Diet. Read with a glass of red wine! Learn to live like the people in the many countries surrounding the Mediterranean. Enjoy life, eat the best quality food you can afford and reap the benefits for you and your family.

Posted by Italian Cousins at 24/04/13 3:34   Comments



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The Ballandean Estate family would like to share with you what makes being Italian so special.  Join the family and enhance your life with sensory packages, blogs and connections with all things Italian.

Italian Cousins is an Italian Food, Wine, Cultural and Educational Experience.  It arrives at your door every four months as a package of food, wine, goodies and surprises!  Italian Cousins communicates with you throughout the year All Things Italian through blogs, emails, facebook, links and gives you the opportunity to journey to Italy bi-annually.

Cousin Benefits:
Every 4 months Italian Cousins brings you: 

  • 6 Premium Ballandean Estate Wines perfectly matched to our delicious recipes
  • Handmade pasta and other tempting goodies
  • Authentic Italian cooking Ingredients
  • Collectible recipes from our family recipe books
  • Surprises (we love to surprise family)
  • An exclusive invitation to our annual Scampagnata (Italian Picnic)
  • 10% off wines purchased at the Ballandean Estate Cellar Door
  • 10% off a la carte dining in the Barrel Room Cafe
  • First Access to our Italian Cousins - All things Italian Tour of Italy (approx every 2 years)

When do I receive it and what does it cost?

Italian Cousins arrives at your door every March, July and November and costs $199 per package + $8 freight per package.

Your credit card will be charged on the first monday of the month.

Call toll free  1300 791 641  1300 791 641