All Posts from March, 2016

Coca and Cola back on holiday at the Parco San Marco!

March 29th, 2016 | By Paola Mazzo in Parco San Marco, To know more about | No Comments »

Our donkeys Coca and Cola are finally back on holiday with us at the Parco San Marco! The donkey couple have a large meadow, all for themselves with great views of lake Lugano!

IMG_5819Our donkeys Coca (female) and Cola (male) were born in 2006 in the village of Cusino above Porlezza. There are still numerous farms here. Coca and Cola are our guests at the Parco San Marco and certainly the only donkeys in the area enjoying a beautiful meadow, with sea views. Donkeys drink around 8 litres water per day and eat 12-15 kg fresh grass along with 4 kg of hay, but they also love fresh fruit and vegetables.

Donkeys can reach an age of 40-45 years. Donkeys were used as draft and pack animals and have a friendly, patient character. They are very attached to their owners and recognize them from a long distance. In former times there used to be lots of donkeys in Italy. In our region donkeys were carrying corncobs to the mill where they were processed to polenta flour. Recently donkeys have been used as therapeutical instruments (onotherapy): the contact with the animal stimulates sensations and joy. Donkey milk has also been re-discovered for its similarity to breast milk and is in great demand for children with food allergies.

We are engaged in a couple of projects aiming at the protection of the biological diversity of our environment. Biodiversity is a major concern at Coca-Asina-Parco-San-Marcothe Parco San Marco and preservation, adaptation, eco-system, habitat, species or evolution are keywords in connection with biodiversity. They also reflect our way of ‚making tourism’, the respect of the surrounding environment the flora and fauna around lake Lugano, the invaluable natural spectacles we experience every day. We will dedicate a separate blog article to this particular subject later.

Why not pay a visit to the Parco San Marco in the meantime and see for yourself the amazing variety of animal and plant species!

We look forward to welcoming you!

Cola saluta tutti

Written by Paola Mazzo

The Tiramisu of Parco San Marco

March 12th, 2016 | By Paola Mazzo in Parco San Marco, To know more about | No Comments »

Our pâtissier would like to introduce you to an easy and quick recipe to surprise your guests during the next festive dinners or, why not, to prepare for a romantic evening: the tiramisu in a glass.

This famous dessert has its roots in Northern Italy: the regions of Piedmont, Veneto and Friuli-Venezia Giulia all claim the credits. It is known, however, that the dessert is fairly young as it does not appear in any recipe books before 1980, year when the word “tiramisu” was added to an Italian dictionary for the first time. Isn´t this interesting?

image038Preparing this coffee and biscuit-based dessert isn´t difficult at all and takes about 20 minutes plus resting time in the fridge. This means, if you are looking to serve this dessert after dinner it is advised to prepare it in the early afternoon so to give it enough time to set.

If you wish to prepare it using the original recipe you will need the following ingredients (makes 4 servings): Savoiardi biscuits (about 20 pieces), eggs (3), sugar (100 grams), coffee (made using a proper Italian medium sized Moka, with no sugar), Mascarpone (250 grams), cocoa powder (to sprinkle on top), a pinch of salt. No spirits such as Rum or Marsala are involved in the original recipe but if you feel like adding it, go for it!

The shape of the pudding is usually round, our pâtissier uses in fact a conventional water tumbler to serve it, so the different layers can be easily seen. However, you could also use a square or rectangular baking dish, feel free to use your imagination here.

To prepare the rich filling cream, separate the yolks from the egg whites, add the yolks to half of the sugar and beat until light and creamy. Add the Mascarpone to the yolk mixture, stir until blended. Now whisk the whites, just before it reaches the optimal “snow-like” shape, add the remaining sugar and continue to whisk until it holds firm peaks. Once the white are perfectly whisked, add them to the yolks, sugar and Mascarpone mixture. Make sure you do this gently, stirring from bottom to top with a teaspoon so you don´t comprise the fluffiness. Now that the cream is done, spoon a layer at the bottom of the glass, soak the biscuits one at a time in the coffee (making sure it doesn´t get too soaked) and lay them over the cream layer. Once the biscuit layer is done, spoon over some more cream and add another biscuit layer. If you laid the first biscuit layer horizontally, make sure you lay the second vertically (or the other way round). Add one last cream layer, level it and sprinkle cocoa powder on top. Set in the fridge to rest for a few hours and serve with some whipped cream or fresh berries for the wow factor!image036

Written by Paola Mazzo