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The World Cup Chef’s amarena-flavored childhood

The World Cup Chef’s amarena-flavored childhood

His gnocchi in Mediterranean sauce were one of Gattuso and Camoranesi’s favorite dishes during the 2006 World Cup, the last time the Italian national soccer team won the championship.  

His name is Daniele Persegani, and he was born in 1972.  He is not only one of the official chefs for the Italian national soccer team, but also the presenter of Casa Alice, a very popular program on Alice TV, together with Franca Rizzo. He spent his childhood in the Po Valley, and recalls that ‹‹I lived in a big house with my aunts and uncles, grandparents and parents, like traditional families in the past.  When I was little I used to spend my time in the kitchen of my grandmother’s “osteria”, and she was the first person to introduce me to Amarena Fabbri.  When I was a child, she used to make mulled wine on long winter afternoons with cinnamon, cloves and amarena.  Or she used to collect snow in a glass and add amarenas with syrup, like a kind of slushie for me and my sister.  Every time I open that legendary white and blue jar, which I still have in my kitchen, it takes me back to those moments of pure happiness». Since then he has always loved amarenas and now he has opened his own restaurant with his sister, “Osteria del Pescatore” in Castelvetro Piacentino, where amarenas are still on the menu. ‹‹They are one of the ingredients of our most popular desserts, Vanilla Semifreddo and Tiramisu with Strawberries, but I also recommend them with different types of cheese, in particular with “Formaggio di Fossa” and “Pecorino”». He recently dedicated an episode of Casa Alice to this passion of his.  «I created a series of amarena-based dishes such as savory muffins with ricotta, but the one that people liked best was the custard, almond and amarena tart. Today, several weeks later, people are still asking me for the recipe on my Facebook page».