Considering Oranges

The Orange!
Geoff Dallimore

The orange is an awesome fruit,
Though doomed to live without a rhyme,
Surpassing, truly, the bitter lime,
The flagrant plum, the plump green pear,
The apple crisp; not one will spare
A passing thought for this lonely brave,
This hermit in his flavoured cave.
No rhyme, no friend, no bush, no root:
The orange is an awesome fruit.

What do you think of when you hear the word orange? Color with a wave length of about 590 nanometers? Breakfast juice? The word is derived from Tamil, and it passed through numerous other languages as it passed through numerous trade routes before reaching the English language and America. Sanskrit nāraṅga, Spanish naranja. The earliest uses of the word orange in English refer to the fruit. Before the English-speaking world tasted the orange, the color was referred to as "yellow-red." Words, plants, ideas have always spread through trade routes.

 Oranges are native to China and they were grown in that country as early as 2,500 BC. The Romans imported oranges but after the fall of Rome they were forgotten in Western Europe. The bitter orange, introduced to Italy by the crusaders in the 11th century—were grown in the southern Europe for condiments and medicinal purposes. This is the orange referred to as orange (Citrus aurantium) from the 11th century to the end of the 18th century.
Chinese orange or bush orange as it sometimes called is a small bushy shrub like tree which produces plenty of small lime sized sour highly flavored oranges with very thin peel
The first sweet orange tree (the orange as we know it today) was imported to Portugal in 1635. By 1650 it was marketed in France and Italy and called Portugal or portogallo or sweet China orange. The fruit was sweet and could be eaten fresh out of the hand, unlike other citrus fruits known at the time. Its scientific name became Citrus sinensis (Chinese citrus).The sweet orange was quickly adopted as a delicious and nutritious fruit, considered a highly desired luxury item, and wealthy people grew them in private conservatories, called orangeries. By 1646, the sweet orange was well known throughout Europe.

The actual origin of the orangery is hard pinpoint, however their use came into fashion during the 17th Century in Holland and England enabling those colder regions to grow oranges indoors. It’s likely they actually date back as far as the Roman Republic, where there is evidence of rudimentary conservatory like structures. The first English orangery was built for Sir Francis Carew in 1580, at his home in Surry. 

Spaniards  introduced the sweet orange into South America and Mexico during  the mid-1500's, and probably the French took it to Louisiana. It was from New Orleans that seeds were obtained and distributed in Florida about 1872 and many orange groves were established by grafting the sweet orange onto sour orange root stocks. Arizona acquired the orange tree with the founding of missions between 1707 and 1710. The orange was brought to San Diego, California, by missionaries in 1769. An orchard was planted at the San Gabriel Mission around 1804. A commercial orchard was established in 1841 on a site that is now a part of Los Angeles. In 1781, a surgeon and naturalist on the ship, Discovery, collected orange seeds in South Africa, grew seedlings on board and presented them to tribal chiefs in the Hawaiian Islands on arrival in 1792. In time, the orange became commonly grown throughout Hawaii. The orange had completed it's travel around the world.

Along with words and plants, stories traveled trade routes. Ever wonder why oranges are a Christmas stocking tradition? Many different sources tell a very old story about Saint Nicholas, who was born in a village on the shore of what is now part of Turkey but was then called Lycia around 270AD. He inherited a fortune, but spent his life helping the poor and the persecuted, and eventually became a bishop in the new Christian church at Myra.

Bishop Nicholas learned of a poor man with three daughters who had no dowries and could not marry. Nicholas knew the old man was too proud to accept charity. Some versions say the father was threatening to prostitute his daughters. The next night Nicholas returned and tossed three bags of gold for the daughters' dowries through the chimney which happened to land in the stockings of the three maidens which they had hung to dry in front of the fireplace. (Some versions say the gold was contained in threes socks which he threw through the window.)
The bags of gold turned into balls of gold which began to be symbolized by oranges which at the time of these paintings were costly and luxurious fruits. Bishop Nicholas is often portrayed in pictures wearing red robes and miter and holding the staff of a bishop as well as holding three gold balls, gold coins, or pieces of fruit.

Nicholas lived into his 70s, died of natural causes, was canonized and made a saint.  St. Nicholas became, over time, our good friend Santa Claus. The saint is also known as St. Nicholas of Bari, because his bones were stolen by forty-seven sailors of the Italian city of Bari from his tomb in his church in Myra.

The idea of stealing the relics of St. Nicholas from Myra was proposed by the inhabitants of Bari as an effort to restore prestige to the city. In 1071 the Normans conquered the city of Bari so that it was no longer the capital of the Byzantine Province of Southern Italy and under control of the Turks. 
Cities which possessed the relics of important saints not only were invested with spiritual blessings but blessed with tourists (pilgrims) which led to economic prosperity. During this time the name  “Nicholas” was the most common male name in Bari, second only to the name “John”. The Venetians had their Saint Mark, the Amafi had Saint Andrew so the citizens of Bari designed to steal the relics of St. Nicolas from Myra, not only because he was popular, but also because the Saint’s relics lay on the trade route to the city of Antioch in Syria where the merchants of Bari sailed to sell their grains and buy textiles.
Map of the main Byzantine-Muslim naval operations and battles in the Mediterranean, 7th–11th centuries.
And so the plot thickened - 
Apparently the Venetians were also conspiring to steal these relics as well. So the Barian merchants and sailors hurried to subvert the Venetians plan to also steal the relics of St. Nicholas, made haste to sail and moored in the inlet of Andriake, the ancient seaport of Myra. The Barians disguised themselves as pilgrims and were able to conceal their weapons under their robes as they crept toward the Church of St. Nicholas just outside of Myra. The monks who watched over the Saint’s body guided them to the Saint’s burial place. However, the monks soon figured out that the Barians intended to steal the relics, and so, one of the monks attempted to run off to warn the Myrians, but he was held at the church door by the Barian thieves. Whether or not the Barians were thieves or merely following St. Nicolas's instructions by vision remains open for questioning and depends upon who is telling the story. On 28 December 2009, the Turkish Government announced that it would be formally requesting the return of St Nicholas bones to Turkey from the Italian government. Turkish authorities have cited the fact that St Nicolas himself wanted to be and actually had been buried at his episcopal town of Myra and that his remains were illegally removed from his homeland.

Two young men (Matthew, a Barian, and Alexander, a Frenchman) forced open the slab of marble that covered the sarcophagus and lifted out the bones of St. Nicholas which were floating in the sacred “myrrh”. (another story for another time) Then, Matthew and Alexander handed the bones to the two ship priests, Lupus and Grimoaldus, and the relics were carried away to the ship accompanied by quiet chanting. By the time the townspeople of Myra arrived at the port, the ship was already sailing away. In their haste, the Barians left minor bones behind which were later collected by Venetian sailors during the first crusade and brought to Venice, where a church to St. Nicholas, the patron of sailors, was built on the Lido. 

On May 9th, 1087 the ship carrying St. Nicholas relics arrived in Bari. However, the city authorities, Duke Roger Borsa and Prince Bohemund, were away in Rome for the coronation of Pope Victor III. The thieving party delivered the holy relics of Saint Nicholas into the hands of Elias, Abbot of the Monastery of St. Benedict. Two days later, the Archbishop Ursus, while en route from Canosa to Trani (to set sail for the Holy Land), learned about St. Nicholas’s relics arrival so he decided to come to Bari to procure them for himself as the city authorities were away at Pope Victor's crowning.

The Archbishop decided the holy relics be better safeguarded in the cathedral, and sent his armed guards to collect them. The townspeople, however, were determined to defend the holy bones in order to dedicate a church in Bari to the Saint which was worthy of his holiness and fame. The people’s guards fought with the Bishop’s soldiers, a battle ensued; many were wounded and two or three young men lost their lives. Before the situation worsened, Abbot Elias managed to convince the Archbishop to renounce to his intentions and to donate the Catapan court site for the construction of the new church. Abbot Elias began the building of the sumptuous temple which remains, to this day, a fine example of the grandeur and beauty of Romanesque architecture. More than half of the bones of Saint Nicholas rest inside in an underground crypt.

Under the reign of Charles II the Lame (1285-1309), the Basilica was granted feudal rights which also contributed to its prosperity. The beautiful basilica has able to the withstand political adversity, remaining a busy center for pilgrims from all over the world including the Orthodox. Although this Basilica belongs to the Roman-Catholic church and is managed by the monks of the Dominican Order, priests of different Christian confessions are allowed to offer services in the crypt. 
As seeds, words and stories spread around the world and evolve, the orange has become the most commonly grown tree fruit in the world. It is an important crop in the Far East, the Union of South Africa, Australia, throughout the Mediterranean area, and subtropical areas of South America and the Caribbean. The United States leads in world production, with Florida, alone, having an annual yield of more than 200 million boxes, except when freezes occur which may reduce the crop by 20% or even 40%. California, Texas and Arizona follow in that order, with much lower production in Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama and Georgia.

Unfortunately along with seeds, word, stories and ideas, disease and pests spread following the same routes. Because of the bubonic plague Myra lost one-third of its population to it in 542-3 AD. It wreaked havoc in the area for 200 years, from 542 AD to the last outbreak of this pandemic in 745 AD.  This was the same plague that reduced the population of Europe by about 50 percent by 600 AD and has been seen as the cause of the beginning of the Dark Ages in Europe. Carriers of the disease  traveling along the coast of Turkey were spread by the shipping trades to the west to Europe and to the south in Egypt, and by the return of Christian pilgrims from Palestine.  There have been three major outbreaks of plague. The Plague of Justinian in the 6th and 7th centuries which emptied out Myra is the first known outbreak on record, and marks the first recorded pattern of bubonic plague. Medical geneticists have suggested that all three of the great waves of the plague originated in China. 
C. liberibacter, the bacterium that has all but annihilated Florida’s citrus crop, chokes off the flow of nutrients and are spread by Asian citrus psyllids that can carry the germ a mile without stopping, and the females can lay up to 800 eggs in their one-month life. It was first detected more than a century ago in China and has earned a place, along with anthrax and the Ebola virus, on the Agriculture Department’s list of potential agents of bioterrorism. - See more at:

Much in the same way as bubonic plague, the orange plague called Huanglonging disease, yellow dragon disease or more commonly citrus greening is being spread around the world. There is no known cure for this disease and may result in the decimation of  all citrus trees. The disease, which can lie dormant for two to five years, is spread by an insect no larger than the head of a pin, the Asian citrus psyllid. It snacks on citrus trees, depositing bacteria that gradually starves trees of nutrients. Psyllids fly from tree to tree, leaving a trail of bacterial infection the same way flees leave the bacterial infection known as bubonic plague on mammals. Since the modern world travels further and faster than the ancient world, disease spreads further and faster as well.

1919: First reported in southern China
1921: First report of disease in the Philippines, but it was thought to be related to zinc deficiency.
1928: A disease under the names, yellow shoot or greening depending on region, was observed in South Africa
1937: The first description of HLB in South Africa was assumed to be mineral toxicity
1941-1955: Most extensive work on greening in southern China was conducted 
1960's: HLB first appeared in Thailand 

The psyllids are thought to have arrived through the Port of Miami a ten years ago. The psyllid was first detected in California in 2008 and is now confirmed to be in San Diego, Imperial, Riverside, San Bernardino, Orange, Los Angeles, Ventura and Tulare Counties, resulting in quarantines and restricted areas. The Asian citrus psyllid has also been intercepted coming into California on plants shipped from other states or countries.

California and Florida’s citrus industry (indeed the entire world of citrus) is grappling with this deadly threat. Some countries no longer have thriving citrus industries. Citrus greening has infected all 32 of Florida’s citrus-growing counties. In a 2012 report, University of Florida agricultural analysts concluded that between 2006 and 2012, citrus greening cost Florida’s economy $4.5 billion and 8,000 jobs.The disease is a tree killer. “The long and short of it is that the industry that made Florida, that is synonymous with Florida, that is a staple on every American breakfast table, is totally threatened,” said Senator Bill Nelson, a Florida Democrat who helped obtain $11 million in federal money for research to fight the disease. “If we don’t find a cure, it will eliminate the citrus industry.”  Which means no more orange juice for us, not just orange juice, but limes, lemons, tangerines, all citrus fruit. Will oranges become extinct like the Myraians and Lycia? Will they remain part of a story in our memory like St. Nicholas? or will science be able to find a cure as it did with plague?


Croxetti is a type of pasta consisting of flat medallion or coin-shaped pasta disks stamped by hand or machine with intricate patterns. Croxetti originated in Liguria, in Northern Italy along the border with France, during the middle ages. In the past they were made by local peasants and used by aristocratic families as a display of wealth and status. The family Coat of Arms was carved on one side and a sauce holding decorative symbol, usually cross (hence the name croxetti) was carved on the other. You roll out your pasta a little bit thicker than normal cut it with the disc and then press it between the two parts of the stamp. As you can see the stamp has the cutter built in. It's easy to make a few dozen for a family  meal but since I was making over 400 for a dinner for fifty I had to call in the peasants.
Chef Mimi

Chef Vivi


We had our croxetti stamp made for us with our Turtle "Coat of Arms" by Franco Casoni in Chiavera near Genoa. He also carves mermaids and figureheads for ships and wooden sculptures for churches and civic displays.  It is a pleasure to hold his little work of art in my hand while I am stamping out pasta discs.

We also have a croxetti stamp that we bought online (sorry, I have forgotten where) which has an ear of wheat on one side and a spiral on the reverse. The spiral reminds me of this camp Japanese horror flick translated as Spiral or Vortex. but it really holds the sauce which is the point of the design. My grand-daughters insisted it was not a ear of wheat but a Blue Bonnet cute - little Texan that they are.
  I did not tell them that the spiral reminded me of a Japanese horror flick.

Enjoy this short video of Pietro Picetti making croxeti stamps in Varese, Ligura, Italy
Recently we made chestnut flour croxetti in sugo d'anatrain (duck sauce) for Wedding Oak Winery in San Saba. The fifty diners I mentioned above sat down for four courses prepared by Chef Bubba Frank, Pastry Chef and owner, Mary Stanley and her peasants; and more importantly to taste the great wines made by this two year old Texas winery.
The barrel room at Wedding Oak Winery San Saba, Texas
We think they are on the road to success because they are focusing on grapes that are more appropriate for Texas climate. No cabernet or chardonnay there. Try my personal favorite,  Wedding Oak Bridal Veil, a crisp blend of trebbiano and vermentino.

Never heard of these grapes? Historical references to trebbiano were made by Pliny and Petrus de Crestenthiis in 1303 so it is an ancient ancient grape. Trebbiano was brought to California by Italian immigrants. So the key word here is Mediterranean, hot dry climate. Where is it hot and dry? Central Texas. Trebbiano is the second most widely planted grape in the world. It has good yields, but tends to make undistinguished wine. It can be fresh and fruity, but does not age well so it needs to be blended with something that has more character.

For a white grape, Vermentino never seems to lose its character. It thrives in the heat on the islands of Corsica and Sardinia. It has spread across southern France, where it is called Rolle; through Liguria, the Italian Riviera; Piedmont, which might be its origin; and Tuscany. It is beginning to thrive in the hot and dry climate of Texas. Vermentino contains the flavors and aromas of resin, herbs and something slightly evergreen. Ligurians adore it for their seafood and pesto (one of the reasons we made Ligurian croxetti to pair with this wine dinner). “Eh, chi non m’as postu frucchitta!” (Why? You didn’t give me the fork!)

Vermentino is delicious and reasonably priced and vermentino is easy for Texans to roll off the tongue. Its bright acidity and citrus flavors are perfect for summer alone or blended with the more abundantly available but less distinguished Trebbiano. So if you are near Brownwood or San Saba, Texas pick up a bottle of Bridal Veil at Wedding Oak Winery or try Vermentino by itself or in a blend instead of your usual chardonnay or pinot grigio.

Vermentino is commonly thought to be Spanish in origin. Although it is currently grown in several countries around the Mediterranean, its best known examples come from northern Italy (particularly in the region of Liguria) and the island of Sardinia, where the wines are crisp, citrusy and generally unoaked. It is also the most widely planted white grape on the island of Corsica, where high altitude and hot climate vineyards produce more full-bodied wines with heady floral aromas. On the French mainland (where the grape is known as Rolle), it is found in Côtes de Provence and, increasingly, in Languedoc. Although it makes excellent wine, for many years Vermentino was best known for producing table grapes. The grapes are large with a good sugar/acid balance, making them a perfect choice for sweet snacking. - See more at:

Thoughts Concerning Italy and Innovative Food Production Equipment for Restaurant Production

Perhaps you associate Germany with fine machinery but it is worth the trip to ltaly to learn that Italy manufactures highly engineered machinery for making every day things. “Italians are the champions of special machines,” says Luigi Galdabini, Vice President of UCIMU, the Italian machine-tool association. “We are innovative and competitive, and we are artists, a little bit. Our aim is to be tops in performance, quality, and innovation,” Galdabini says. This is why we keep traveling to Italian trade shows, to discover cutting edge equipment and how to use these discoveries to improve our productivity and for the food, and the wine, and the art, and the architecture, but particularly when the machines are directly connected to food production.

The Turtle Restaurant in Brownwood has been a Slow Food member since it’s founding in 2002. It began with the usual story, owners drive by ranches with goats, sheep and cows, but can’t find any local meat in the market. Making good food is our passion.

During trips to Germany and Italy we got hooked on gelato a/k/a Italian Ice cream. There were no gelaterias in Brownwood. We purchased a Carpigiani Gelato/Ice Cream machine from Ital-tex, near Dallas, in 2003 and took a 2 day class in their office from the Italian gelato consultant, Luciano Ferrari. Luciano gave us some basic recipes designed for the larger Carpigiani equipment and demonstrated some fancy semifreddo. The Carpigiani model I purchased was their smallest machine, it only made “cold process” gelato which is inferior to “hot process” like instant pudding is inferior to creme brulee. We planned an expansion, added gelato cases and a party room to the restaurant. We discovered the Bravo gelato machine and the SIGEP website.

SIGEP is a gelato, bakery, pizza, coffee, chocolate trade show held every January in Rimini, Italy.
SIGEP is the pinnacle of all international trade shows related anything to do with life in those “Italian trade sectors.” Rimini is on the Adriatic sea, in the summer it is a crowded beach resort. During January, except for SIGEP guests, Rimini, home of Fellini, is an empty cold foggy “movie set,”. The town is quiet except for fog horns booming then echoing in the harbor, however this gives us an opportunity to sight see as if we were a Malatesta, without crowds but with attentive personal guides because we are their only visitors.

Rimini was founded by the Romans in 268 BC., the city was ruled by the Malatesta family (1295 until 1500). Take the time to see the Malatesta Temple (Tempio Malatestiano), commissioned by  Sigismond Pandolfo Malatesta. (this portrait is by Piero della Francesca)
in 1447 as a monument to his lover and third wife Isotta degli Atti. Then he had her immortalized in this medal which  Sisimundo commisioned from Veronese medallist Matteo de'Pasti.
The elephant depicted on the reverse was a heraldic symbol of the Malatesta, proclaiming fortitude. Maybe we should have named the restaurant The Elephant instead of The Turtle, also a symbol of fortitude and persistence.
 The year 1446, inscribed in Roman numerals, commemorates the year in which Isotta became his mistress. As a way of ensuring that her fame (and his) endured, he buried medals of them both in the walls and foundations of the buildings he commissioned, imitating the classical tradition of using Roman coins as foundation time capsules;for this reason, many of these medals survive. This design  may have been part of a pair, the other a portrait medal of Sigismondo showing his castle on the reverse.
Under his reign Rimini became one of Italy's liveliest centers for learning and arts. The exterior of the Temple is the design of the architect Leon Battista Alberti who believed that architecture should embody the humanistic qualities of dignity, balance, control, and harmony and that a building’s ultimate beauty equals the mathematical harmony of its parts. The Temple is considered a first in Western architectural history because it’s edifice incorporates the Roman triumphal arch as it’s entrance. The massive central doorway, flanked by two blind arches was influenced by the Arch of Augustus, the oldest (27 BC) triumphal arch in Italy, also still standing in Rimini.
Inside the temple one can view Giotto's Crucifix.
Frescoes by Piero della Francesca and reliefs by Agostino di Duccio. I  just adored the putti. Angelic little naked baby angels every where.
The Malatesta Temple stood as a model for artists and architects of the later Renaissance. Because of these humanistic values, and due to the glorification of Sigismondo Pandolfo himself and his lover Isotta (their initials are woven all over the building), the church was declared by Pope Pius II to be, "full of pagan gods and profane things." Actually it was due to “treachery” that Sigismondo was excommunicated and publicly burned in effigy, the rest was just a long list of politically acceptable excuses to do so. Rimini has an opposing opinion of their protector and benefactor, the last of the family of Malatesta to rule their fair city.

So after spending a few hours considering 1500 years of Italian political and art history, we return to SIGEP.
The length and breadth of the show is equally breath taking. There are five airplane hanger sized halls devoted just to the gelato sector. It takes days just to walk the exhibits and it is impossible to attend all the seminars, demonstrations and competitions making it difficult to choose what to see during the fours days of the show.

First stop for us was the Bravo gelato machine exhibit. We ordered our Bravo Trittico before we went to SIGEP 2007 based on our internet research. Our visit to the show confirmed we had made the right decision. While Italians make industrial sized food production equipment for massive quantities, they also manufacture equipment scaled for small producers. One of the things I like about eating in Italy is that there are so many small producers and so many regional differences in cuisine. Slow Food makes an effort to preserve these differences and pass them on to future generations. Italian food and it’s production is a fusion of history, art and culture over the past centuries. Visiting Italy changed my frame of reference as to what is “old,” what is an old building, how many generations it takes to build a business or an industry, or a country and then how it decays. I began to understand the imperative of leaving a legacy. I am not exactly leaving commissioned coinage in the foundations of buildings though some locals think we are throwing away money, but we are attempting to take the relatively new buildings (1893-1929) of our relatively new town (1870) in a relatively new country (1776) and re-purpose them for use by future generations instead of tearing them down just because they are "old."

The features that drew us to the Bravo Gelato Trittico were it’s multi-use and it’s size. Genesio Bravo asked the questions...”how can I help ice cream makers? How can I make their work easier? How can I make the highest quality ice creams" Bravo founded his company to answer these questions. According to their website “Bravo Trittico machines are innovative combi-machines that heat, cool, freeze, and whisk producing an array of pastry, frozen desserts and savory foods all in less than one squared meter of space. Bravo is the only machine that unites all of the processes involved in the production of high quality pastry, gelato and confectionaries. It comes pre-programmed with 17 recipes and a programmable function to customize.” We spent a day watching demonstrations while tasting gelato and chocolates of every conceivable flavor.

Fall 2008 I spent three days at the Bravo factory situated at the foot of the Berici hills in the small city of Montecchio Maggiore, Italy, overlooking Vicenza, the town where the reknown architect Andrea Palladio (1508 – 1580) worked during the Renaissance. I went to get a better understanding of chocolate tempering using the Bravo machine. Technology is an important assist on the road to local food production. Slow Food and farm to table does not require a rejection of technology but rather an appropriate considered marriage. We replaced a machine that did one thing adequately with a machine that could perform dozens of tasks superbly and simply which fit our scale of production and consolidated them into a small space, exactly as advertised.

Italians value the traditions and produce of small scale production of food, and by 1985 a law defined Agriturismo, and many abandoned buildings and estates were restored. These agriturismi allowed the small farmer to augment income from the farm, and for vacationers to soak in rural life. A great place to book agriturismi on line is  In 2008, we stayed seven days at agriturismo Azienda Vinicola Tenuta Maraveja, a restored antique Vecenzan farmhouse, about a fifteen minute drive from the Bravo factory. We arrived during the middle of the grape harvest yet Gildo Gennari greated us with a bottle of sparkling wine and the warmest hospitality. Our room was very comfortable and attractive. Gildo explained his wine making operation with the help of his brother’s translation, told us about local sites and took us to a new wine sagra in Brendola, then he prepared a barolo rissotto for us to celebrate our last evening before we set off on a grappa tour of the region.

We always stop by the Irinox booth at SIGEP because they are the world leader in shock freezing. When we opened we could not afford an Irinox so we bought a less expensive but less durable model which blew it's compressor twice in 2012. We watched Irinox launch their Multi-Fresh series in 2009. Great idea, painful price. Again the Italians won us over with their multiple use highly engineered equipment. Irinox engineers took the waste heat from the freezer compressor and put it to work under the control of the Multi-Fresh computer center. If you want to upload your own programs for temperature and moisture control for a specific process you can do that though a port. The Multi-Fresh system allows us to save nearly everything we make and process excess seasonal produce so that it remains in the freshest condition possible. Price becomes insignificant when compared to what this machine will do for us and the labor and food cost savings. We expect this machine to last three times our old one purpose blast freezer.
The computer which manages the operation of the Multi -Fresh is pre-programed to blast freeze products, regenerate them as if never frozen, chill or freeze soups, dry pasta, pasteurize and more. It can take you through a full production cycle of croissants from the chilling of dough to the freezing of formed croissants through timed proofing over night. It can cook sous vide. There isn’t room here for me to tell you all that it can do. For You tube videos explaining the entire range of processes go here.

Another SIGEP 2012 addition to our kitchen was the Ital-Mini, a multi-purpose pasta machine based on one of the oldest machines in history, the Archimedes Screw. Basically it's a motor driven Archimedes screw that extrudes pasta dough though bronze dies.
Made by Dominioni Punto & Pasta and now distributed in the USA by R&C Valve Repair in Santa Fe Springs, California, the Ital-Mini is charming with a retro look. You can order it in several colors and display it working within view of the dining room. This machine was designed specifically for a caterer or small restaurant like us. We bought the ravioli attachment to save labor. We extrude long sheets of dough, load them on the attachment, fill a tube with filling and a few minutes later we have piles of ravioli in what ever shape die we installed. This sure beats hours of hand rolling and filling but still tastes as if Mama made it because the dough is freshly made and the ingredients are pure. There were a number of problems to overcome when the machine arrived, starting with not have any instructions, but over time and with the help of R & C Valve Repair we finally managed to get the kinks worked out. We have become a local small producer of food through what we have seen and learned through our trips to Italy and SIGEP using the latest technology designed for that purpose.