The espresso bean has been enhanced, romanced and restyled into almost every aspect of our lives. You can find it in food (Black Bean and Espresso Chili), wine (Barista Pinotage), art and design and the machines that make it have become haute couture. Espresso accessories range from barista tools including chic knock out boxes for espresso grounds to the sleek design of pod carousels.
We love unique and interesting packaging. It’s a great way to communicate the message and value of your product and is often a statement of art in and of itself. We especially like packaging with images of Italy. Images with a unique style that connects consumers to the Italian lifestyle with an Italian sense of sprezzatura (spretts-ah-TOO-raht) the subtle, confident ability to make whatever is said or done appear to be without effort although the underlying effort requires great mastery. To be able to do this is highly seductive and appeals to the “wants and needs” category of our brains. However Italian sprezzatura is no public relations gimmick but a highly thought out art that conceals the artfulness and makes the outcome very appealing.
We particularly like this design for a portable travel kit of organic cosmetics, a project by Willbe a communication and digital agency group in Turin.
I’ve written about espresso rubs for grilled meat before but I thought I would do a reprise for Father’s Day 2014. After all, Fathers want to be masters of the grill and rubs (wet or dry) always give an extra kick and wow factor to just about any grilled meat. So here are 3 Italian inspired recipes that bring a shot of espresso to the Italian grill for Father’s Day.
- Espresso Jolt with a claim that “this is the best marinade ever used on a steak”
- Tuscan Espresso Burger served with a radicchio slaw
- A Black Espresso Rub recipe adapted from Mastering the Grill
Recipe for Black Espresso Rub
Combine the following ingredients for a rub you can use for meat. poultry or fish. Can be stored in a tightly closed contained in the refrigerator for up to 1 month.
1/4 cup finely ground espresso beans
2 T finely grated lemon zest
3 T sugar
2 t sea salt and 2 t coarsely ground pepper
2 t garlic powder
1 T ground coriander
1 t ground chipotle chili
*traditionally rubs (spices and herbs) were made for BBQ to create a flavorful, crispy crust while a liquid marinade tenderizes because of the addition of an acid (teas, coffee, fruit juices, lemon juice, wine, vinegar) to the rub’s herbs and spices
Pharrell Williams Happiness Song has a lot of people getting happy. Clapping and dancing around the world. And to quote his lyrics – “Although it might be crazy what I’m about to say” – here are 30 seconds of happiness from Italy expressed in a variety of ways.
You’re welcome to add to the list.
- Happiness Italy Floral Sweat pants. Founded in 2007, Italian label Happiness creates high-end fashion mixed in with positive thoughts
- Blossom Deer Head from the Happiness Place. Made in Italy and described as the best DIY project ever;it arrives at your home flat packed, eagerly awaiting to be assembled
- Italian tiramisu “the Italian recipe for happiness”. If nothing else the pictures of this iconic Italian dessert in this food blog will make you happy.
- The Coca Cola Italian food truck with a special table and magical moving cloche full of Cokes and Italian food. It takes food mogul and Mother brand Coca Cola to remind us that eating together is happy engendering and we should do more of it
- Our playlist of Italian happiness songs
From diva to fashionista American’s have borrowed liberally from the Italian language. Opera, al fresco and graffiti sound more romantic and melodious than their English equivalents (work, outdoors and illicitly writing on a wall.) But then again many English words are creeping into the Italian vocabulary and have been for some time. However with the popularity of social media, the Italians have become linguistically expedient and are happy to coopt the language of social networking senza traduzione (without translation).
The web in Italian is the web, Facebook is Facebook and a smart phone selfie is well a “selfie”.