Cappuccino, History And Curiosities
Cappuccino is the Italian beverage for excellence, consisting of Espresso coffee and steamed milk.
Italy is the largest consumer of Cappuccino in the world. This is traditionally eaten during the morning, at breakfast or sometimes in the afternoon, but never during meals.
The Italians in the morning are divided between those who have breakfast with coffee and those who have breakfast with cappuccino, or even both drinks!
But what is the history of cappuccino? Why is it called so?
Its birth is actually uncertain and is lost, as often happens in gastronomic history, between legends, anecdotes and truths.
There are many versions of the origins of the cappuccino. The first attributes the invention to Marco da Aviano, a friar belonging to the order of the Capuchins (Cappuccini). Sent by the Pope to Vienna in 1683, once he arrived in the city, he was served coffee. The religious, however, found that the drink was too bitter and asked to sweeten it with the addition of other ingredients. They gave him milk (or maybe he asked for it), which made the coffee lighter and gave it a color similar to the brown of the Capuchins. It seems that, at that point, a waiter even exclaimed “Kapuziner!”. According to many, the scene took place in the cafeteria of an ex-soldier, Franciszek Jerzy Kulczycki, who had brought with him, on his return from the front, the sacks of coffee abandoned by Turkish troops on the battlefield and had opened the first place that served this drink in Vienna (Austria), the Habsburg capital.
Another legend says that it was Kulczycki himself who named the coffee he served with the term Kapuziner, to which he had added milk, honey and spices to sweeten the flavor.
Obviously, the drink of the time was very different from the Cappuccino as we understand it, because the coffee was prepared with the Turkish method and the milk was not whipped.
So, there are those who believe that the current cappuccino with Espresso coffee and whipped foam has been reworked in Trieste starting from an 18th-century Viennese drink.
There are no certain proofs of his invention, but even if the cappuccino can boast of Austrian origin, it is the Italians who have made it a lifestyle. Today it is the Italian drink par excellence, more widespread than espresso because it has a sweeter flavor, and therefore representative of the Made in Italy gastronomy.
CURIOSITY ABOUT CAPPUCCINO
After 11 AM no!
“Italians drink cappuccino until 11 in the morning” let’s call it legend, let’s call it rumor and yet it’s not entirely wrong. We know that unlike other countries in the world, for Italians cappuccino is a drink that is consumed almost exclusively in the morning, although even on a winter afternoon it has its reason why! Anyway, it is not a custom for Italians to consume it during meals.
THE PERFECT FOAM
The consistency of the foam depends on the percentage of fat in the milk. The foam of whole milk is creamy, dense and velvety, that of partially skimmed milk is less soft. The foam produced by the skimmed milk resembles a meringue and dissolves immediately.
For an excellent cappuccino, use fresh whole milk, or at least partially skimmed fresh milk.
A suggestion for you…try Cappuccino with Canestrelli Cookies!