Author Archives: Fallon Staropoli

Halloween in Spain

Usually in the blog, we’re covering topics about Spain or getting in-depth about items on our menu. Since it’s October, we thought we’d do something a little fun and apropos to the season. We’re going to talk about Halloween in Spain! Although Halloween is huge in the United States, not every country celebrates it. But there are quite a few that have caught on and go all out for the holiday.

Queimada

First, let’s talk about Spain. Why? Just look at our menu! We’re all about the Spanish cuisine, drinks, and tapas. Do you think Spain celebrates Halloween? If you said no, think again! Halloween has a few names in Spain: Noche de los Muertos (Night of the Dead), and, in the north, Noite dos Calacus (Night of the Pumpkins). According to an article on Matador Network, people all over Spain will celebrate Halloween. The Northern region of Spain celebrates Halloween a little differently than other areas. This is due to Celtic influence and traditions. In the northern areas, some locals will light bonfires, carve pumpkins, and drink queimadas which are alcoholics drink made of unground coffee, sugar, lemon rind, and aguardiente. Though it is made with alcohol, much of it is burned off. Consuming this drink is symbolic, as it is the act of burning away bad luck.

As in most towns in the US, Halloween is very much a holiday for children. Though in cities, you will find adults donning costumes and going out on the town. The big difference between the US and Spain, is that in Spain trick or treating occurs at shops and restaurants rather than homes. In Spain, Halloween is less about the commercial side (buying costumes, getting candy) and more about celebrating and honoring the dead. Also unlike the US, people in Spain tend to dress up as ghosts, zombies, and other monsters, rather than pop culture icons like Batman or Betty Boop.

Halloween in Spain is followed by Dia de Todos los Santos (All Saints’ Day). This is a public holiday where families visit the graves of loved ones. On this day, mass is held three times.

We hope you will come visit us during Halloween! This year it lands on a Saturday, which means you won’t feel guilty staying up late. Get some tapas to share with the table, like Roasted Red Pepper Iberico Rolls or Andalusian Garlic Shrimp. Then grab a pitcher of Lamoraga Sangria to share! Celebrate Halloween at Lamoraga!

 

The Origin of Happy Hour | Lamoraga Naples

origin of happy hour

We know you enjoy a good happy hour (c’mon who doesn’t!?). You get drinks and appetizers for a great deal, just by showing up at a certain time. Happy hour has become a staple in the United States. Workers all over clamor to their favorite spots after work to enjoy some drinks, relax, and talk with friends. Have you ever wondered what genius invented happy hour? Well we’ve been thinking about it and want to fill you in. So next time you’re enjoying happy hour with us, you can impress your friends with the happy hour origin story.

The Basics
Happy hour is the practice of serving specials during a certain time of day. This time of day varies (usually 3pm-8pm) but it’s generally an off time for restaurants and bars. Happy hour is a great way for businesses to get customers in the door during times when they are slow.

The Origin of Happy Hour
You may think a clever marketer invented this special. It actually started out in the 1920s after WW1. It’s an American naval term which refers to a certain amount of time in which sailors can enjoy entertainment during long days at sea. This was usually wrestling or boxing.

During this time back on land, America was going through Prohibition. From 1920-1933 it was illegal to manufacture, transport or sell an alcohol. But this didn’t stop many Americans. Instead they headed to speakeasies or homes in the area to drink illegal beverages. Usually they did this before dinner. Soon people started to refer to this fun drinking time before dinner as happy hour.

It is believed by some that an article in the Saturday Evening Post from 1959 first mentioned happy hour and introduced it to the public. By the 1970s and 1980s, restaurants and bars all over started creating happy hour specials.

Some states don’t take too kindly to happy hour though. There are 23 states that have banned restaurants from selling “alcoholic beverages during a fixed period of time for a fixed price”. The term has even been banned in Ontario Canada.

Next time you and your coworkers are looking for a respite after a long day on the job, come on over. Our happy hour runs from 3-6pm Monday-Friday. You can enjoy $5 tapas, $7 cocktails, $5 sangria, $5 draft beer, and $6 glasses of white or red wine. You can’t go wrong!

What is Gazpacho? | Lamoraga Naples

lamoraga naples gazpacho blog

Source: Wikipedia

If you’re a Lamoraga Naples regular, you’ve seen our gazpacho section on the menu. We offer three delicious options: Tropical, Andalusian, and Cherry. Our Tropical selection includes chilled almond, garlic, coconut soup from Andalusia, topped with iced pineapple coulis. Our chilled cherry gazpacho comes with feta cheese snow, anchovies, pistachios and basil oil. And our Andalusian variety is a chilled traditional tomato gazpacho with a delicate tomato foam. If you’re indecisive, you can get our sampler which includes all three flavors.

Now onto the real reason you’re reading this blog, you want to know what gazpacho is! Simply put, it’s a soup made of raw vegetables, and is served cold. It’s a popular dish in Spain and Portugal, especially during hot summers. The main soup bases include tomato, cucumber, stale bread, garlic, olive oil, and salt. But can include a variety of other ingredients like watermelon, seafood, grapes, avocado, and more. Gazpacho has come a long way since its inception. Originally, it was a blend of stale bread, olive oil, garlic, and liquid such as water or vinegar. It also included vegetables and almonds.

To make this soup, you typically wash and peel the vegetables, and chop them up. You can puree the vegetables in a food processor or other machine. If you plan to add bread, you should soak it first. Blend all the ingredients together, then add flavor enhancers like salt, vinegar, water, olive oil, and more. You can garnish with vegetables like diced tomatoes, or items like basil, or nuts.

Across Andalusia, you will find each region has its own special gazpacho. Red ones include tomato, white include no tomato but rather dried fruits, and green have some green spices.

The town of Rota has a style of soup similar to gazpacho called Arranque roteño, which uses less water and bread than gazpacho when the city experiences a drought.

In Extremadura, gazpachos are thick and known as cojondongo. They are made of breadcrumbs, oil, garlic, vinegar, and topped with chopped peppers, tomato, and onions.

In La Mancha, they create a Gazpacho manchego which is a meat stew served hot. It can include small game, birds, rabbit, and other meats. 

In Castilian, the summers are very dry and hot. Gazpacho made in La Moraña often has large vegetable pieces floating in the soup.

An interesting Spanish saying shows just how much the people of Spain love their gazpacho. “De gazpacho no hay empacho”. Meaning you can never get too much of a good thing or too much gazpacho.

We hope you come get your fill of this delicious cold soup along with your next meal at Lamoraga Naples!

artisanal cheese

Lamoraga Guide to Artisanal Cheese

If you’ve come to visit us at Lamoraga, you’ve likely seen someone order our popular Artisanal Cheeses or Meats and Cheeses assortment. “What is that?” You’re probably thinking, what exactly is an artisanal cheese, where did they originate, what are the different types? We’ll help give you the insider info on this growing culinary phenomenon.

First off, let’s discuss what makes a cheese artisanal. Most likely you’ve heard this term, especially when referring to food or crafts. For a cheese to be called artisan, it must be produced by hand using traditional craftsmanship. A major difference between mass produced cheeses you may find on grocery store shelves is that artisan cheeses are often aged and ripened. These techniques give the cheese a wide variety of flavors, smells, and textures. This differs greatly from the store-bought cheese which is usually mild in flavor as it is meant for a general palate. artisanal cheese

One example of artisan cheese is called farmstead cheese. This type of cheese is made with milk from a variety of animals like cows, goats, or sheep. This milk must come from the producer’s own herds to be called farmstead. But this doesn’t meant that all artisan cheeses must use milk from just one farm, they can mix milk from multiple farms.

For now, the most widely acknowledged definition is from the American Cheese Society.

” The word ‘artisan’ or ‘artisanal’ implies that a cheese is produced primarily by hand, in small batches, with particular attention paid to the tradition of the cheesemaker’s art and thus using as little mechanization as possible in production of the cheese. Artisan, or artisanal, cheese may be made from all types of milk and may include various flavorings.”

Because of this handmade process to make the cheese, you will find many artisanal cheeses to be more expensive than the grocery store brands. But those involved in the craft enjoy this as a labor of love.

In January of 2014, the FDA was suggesting banning the use of wooden shelves to age cheese. This practice has been done in the cheese-making industry for centuries. But in June, the FDA released a statement to not ban the shelves, though it will be working with cheese makers to figure out which types of cheeses can safely be made using the wooden shelves.

Alright, now onto the juicy part! We’ll go over just a few of the more popular cheese types you may not be aware of. Head to your stores and see if you can try them out.

Bergenost
Texture: Semi Soft
Source: Cow’s milk, Norway
Flavor: Smooth and mild, hints of sour
Hint: You can even find it at Trader Joes

Brie de Meaux
Texture: Soft-rippened, creamy, smooth
Source: Cow’s milk, France
Flavor: Buttery, sweet, undertones of mushrooms, truffles, almonds
Aroma: Rich
This pairs well with Champagne, or a red Bordeaux or Burgundy wine.

Paneer
Texture: Chewy, crumbly
Source: Cow or water buffalo, India and Bangladesh
Flavor: Milky
Aroma: Fresh, milky
This is a typical cheese in Indian dishes like Sandesh. It is sometimes even used in dessert.

Burrata
Texture: Creamy, stringy
Source: water buffalo, Italy and US
Flavor: buttery, milky
Aroma: Fresh, Milky
This is a mix of cream and mozzarella. It’s great with salads, bread, prosciutto, tomatoes.

The Lamoraga Guide to Paella

paella

If you’ve had the chance to dine at Lamoraga, you’ve seen likely seen someone order our delicious Paella if you haven’t ordered it for yourself. Paella is one of Spain’s most well known dishes, some even refer to it as Spain’s national dish. Our Seafood Paella consists of saffron rice and a selection of fresh seafood. This is one of the best known types of paella, the other two are Valencian and mixed.

Valencia is the region of Spain where Paella is said to have originated. It appeared at around the mid-nineteenth century near a coastal lagoon in Valencia. A food historian has said this about paella: “[it] symbolizes the union and heritage of two important cultures, the Roman, which gives us the utensil and the Arab which brought us the basic food of humanity for centuries.” 

The word paella is Valencian-Catalan and comes from the Old French word “paelle” which means pan. Valencians use the term “paella” for all kinds of pans. In many other parts of Spain, the word “paellera” is used for the type of pan used to cook paellas. Valencian style consists of white rice, chicken, rabbit, butter beans, runner beans, tomatoes, paprika, saffron, salt, water, and olive oil. Optionally people added in snails and duck.

The seafood variety is just that, using seafood instead of the meat and beans present in the Valencian style. Mixed paella features ingredients from both: seafood, meat, sausage, vegetables. The most popular around the world is the seafood variety.

There is even a world record surrounding paella (seems like there’s a world record for everything!). A restaurateur in Valencia created the largest paella, feeding 100,000 people.

Alright, enough reading! Come visit us for lunch or dinner and try this Spanish tradition.

A History of Sliders | Lamoraga Naples

sliders naples

Who doesn’t love a good slider? They are the perfect food to eat at the bar, during happy hour, or to share with friends. Those tiny burgers are juicy, tender, and just the right amount. Where did sliders come from? Who decided to take the burger and make it mini? Well you’re about to find out!

What is a slider?

Contrary to popular belief, a slider is not necessarily a mini burger. A slider is any sandwich that is served on a small bun. This can include chicken, seafood, anything! The term slider, some say, is because these little sandwiches just “slide” down your throat. But there are some food critics out there that believe the term slider is being misused. Adam Kuban, Editor Emeritus for the website Serious Eats, wrote a piece titled “A Mini Hamburger is Not a Slider”. In the article he stated,

“A slider is something very specific. It is not just a mini hamburger. It’s a thin, thin slip of beef, cooked on a griddle with onions and pickles piled atop patty. The steam from the onions does as much cooking as the griddle. The buns are placed atop the onions, absorbing the pungent aroma and flavor.”

Most are not as critical as Mr.Kuban when it comes to sliders. So whether you want to call your little burger a slider or a mini burger, you won’t get much resistance. That is, unless you happen to be friends with a picky slider critic.

Who invented the slider?

Many believe that White Castle was the first. Their mini burgers, nicknamed sliders, were one of the first on the market. They even copyrighted the name “slyders”. It’s not certain if there is anyone else claiming to have been the first, so for now White Castle claims the invention of the slider.

For all the controversy surrounding sliders, there is no argument over which restaurant has the best in Naples. Lamoraga’s sliders use the finest meat, and are cooked to perfection. Our Iberian Pork Slider is a pork patty wrapped in bacon, topped with grilled onions and a teriyaki aioli. The Beef Slider is topped with havarti cheese, arugula, and au-jus aioli. And if you can’t choose just one, then get our Slider Selection! Come get your slider fix at Lamoraga Naples.

 

A Guide to Tartare with Lamoraga

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If you’re a fan of cooking shows like Top Chef you will probably have heard of steak or tuna tartare. The judges love it, chefs love it, but what is it? First off, any tartare is finely chopped, raw meat. So tartare can be any meat: tuna, salmon, beef. The name is actually a shortening of the French term “a la tartare” which means “served with tartar sauce”. Tartare can still mean served with tartar sauce for some dishes like fried fish.

Some tartare recipes call for flavorings like Worcestershire, and other extras like scallions, chives, shallots, and more. The beauty of this dish is in the different ways a chef can take the flavor. Regions as various as Africa and Europe have their own versions of tartare. A creative chef can really put their touch on this dish. At Lamoraga, our tuna tartare includes diced ahi tuna with avocado, mango, and crispy plantain. Our steak tartare includes beef tenderloin, toast points, and a mustard emulsion. Two delicious takes on arguably the most popular tartare options.

Regions across the world use their own culture to inspire their dishes. In Mexico, chefs may marinate the meat in lime juice, in Canada they may use bison meat, while in Nepal they might use buffalo meat. Tartare is truly a world cuisine inspired by the chef’s creative passion and the culture.

Lamoraga features world cuisine at its finest, including items like Spanish tapas, and carpaccio. Enjoy cuisine that will transport you to that country. Bring your friends to enjoy drinks and a great meal at Lamoraga!

 

Lamoraga Cava Guide

cava

You consider yourself a fan, maybe even an aficionado, of wine. Red, white, sparkling you know the best types. But have you tasted Cava?

Cava is a sparkling wine, typically from the Spanish region of Catalonia. To be labeled Cava, a wine must be produced in a particular way and in particular regions. The popular grapes used to produce this wine include macabeu, parellada, and xarel lo. You may think of Cava as the “Spanish champagne”. This is true, but it is actually not permitted under European Union law to call it champagne as it is not from the Champagne region of France. People get very serious about their wines!

This wine was first produced as early as 1851. It has since grown to become a renown drink throughout the world. The wine is protected by Spanish law to ensure quality. Cava can only be produced in eight wine regions. Although we cannot refer to Cava as the Spanish champagne, it is extremely similar to champagne. This drink is created with various levels of sweetness. Some include from the driest (extra brut) to the sweetest (dulce).

To produce this beverage, you start by harvesting the grapes and creating white wine. Next you blend the wine with licor de tirajo, a mixture of yeast and sugar. This causes fermentation in the bottle, which can last up to nine months. During this stage, bottles are turned, sometimes by hand.

Experience Cava at Lamoraga

Intrigued by this Spanish beverage? You’re in luck! At Lamoraga we carry three varieties of Cava. These include Jaume Serra “Cristalino” Brut Cava, Anna de Codorniu Cava Rosé, and Juve y Camps Familia Cava. All three are truly authentic Cavas from Spain, so be sure to try a glass on your next visit! Cava is a great drink to toast at the holidays or just to enjoy with your meal.

 

Types of Spanish Liquor with Lamoraga Naples

Lamoraga Naples

Every country has some well-known liquor it is famous for. Trinidad and Tobago is known for rum, Russia for Vodka, and Mexico for Tequila. Spain too has its national drinks: Sherry and Sangria. Both involve wine, but each has a distinctive taste. They are produced in different regions and using different methods. Below we will explain more about these national beverages.

Sherry

The word Sherry comes from the anglicisation of Jerez, the area in which the grapes are grown. This is a fortified wine made of white grapes. These grapes are grown in Andalusia. Any wine with the name Sherry must legally come from a certain area of Spain.

For different types of Sherry, different varieties of the white grape are used. For sweet dessert flavors, Pedro Ximenez and Moscatel grapes are used. Palomino grapes can make light and dark versions of Sherry, depending how long they age in the barrel. A Cream Sherry is made by blending Oloroso Sherry and Pedro Ximenez Sherry.

Sherry is generally a dry, sweet wine, because fortification occurs after fermentation is complete.  This drink has a high alcohol content (15%-22%) because a grape spirit is added after fermentation. Sherry should generally be drunk once it is bottled, as further bottle aging doesn’t increase flavor. The traditional serving vessel is a copita, a tulip-shaped glass.

Sangria

Sangria is probably Spain’s most well-known export. This drink is made of wine, chopped fruit, brandy, and a sweetener. The fruit can be almost anything: orange, apple, peach, mango. The sweetener is generally honey, sugar, or syrup. The name Sangria comes from the Spanish and Portuguese word for bloodletting, due to the drink’s dark- red color.

This drink is especially popular in the summer in Spain and Portugal. It is often served in a pitcher with a strainer to prevent the fruit from going into the glass. Some countries even sell bottled sangria. In the US, a soft drink called Sangria Senorial has become popular. Due to strict guidelines, any drink labelled sangria must come from Spain or Portugal.


Find the finest Spanish drinks and cuisine at Lamoraga Naples


At Lamoraga Naples we pride ourself on bringing our customers the best Spanish cuisine, whether it is wine, tapas, or drinks. We carry a fully stocked bar featuring many of the Spanish liquors mentioned above. Stop by Lamoraga Naples and try our sangria options like red, white, and sparkling, along with our delicious Spanish tapas. And with your dessert, try our Sherry like the Hidalgo Napleon Amontillado from Spain. We hope to serve you soon. Salud!

A Guide to Dessert Wines with Lamoraga Naples

You love having a glass of wine with dinner, but have you thought about what wines to pair with
your dessert? These wines are meant to be sweeter than the average wine. They become
sweet because fermentation is stopped to prevent the grape’s sugar from turning into alcohol.
Dessert wines don’t necessarily have to accompany dessert. There are many great dessert
wines that pair well with cheeses and fruit. There are many dessert wines other than those
discussed below. Head out to your local winery to taste and familiarize yourself with the different
dessert wines.
Ice Wine (Eiswein)
The term Eiswein means ice wine in German and refers to a flavorful, rich wine. Ice wine is
appropriate because the grapes used are frozen on the vine. This results in grapes with
concentrated juices, high sugar, and acid. The best ice wines come from Germany and Canada.
This type of wine is very rare and expensive because vineyard freezes do not happen every
year.

Dessert Wine

Dessert Wine

Sherry
Sherry is a fortified wine, which are wines formed by adding grape brandy to a wine. Fortified
wines tend to be dry or sweet and high in alcohol content (17-20%). Sherry originates from
Andalusia, Spain, utilizing Pedro Ximinez, Palomino, and Moscatel grape varieties. One type of
sherry is Amontillado. It is mostly dry and can take on peanut and butter flavors. Cream is a
sweet sherry, and is a blend of Oloroso and Pedro Ximinez sherry. Pedro Ximinez sherry is very
sweet and has a brown sugar and fig-type flavor. There are many other varieties of Sherry
ranging from dry to very sweet.
Port
This is another type of fortified wine. It is from the northern region of Portugal near the Duoro
river. Port is made from many types of grapes such as Tinta Roriz and Touriga Nacional. These
grapes are stomped daily and left to ferment in open containers. Eventually the wine is blended
with a grape spirit which stops fermentation allowing the grape’s sugars to become more
prevalent. There are many varieties of ports such as the very sweet Tawny variety. Tawny Port
gets more nut and fig flavors as it ages. LBV Ports are best served young and are sweet.

Enjoy the finest world cuisine at Lamoraga Naples


At Lamoraga, we carry a variety of wines to enjoy with your dessert. Wines like Hidalgo Alameda Cream, Quinta Nova LBV, and Cigar Bar Late Harvest Malbec are on offer. Pair one of these wines with our mouth watering desserts like our Lamoraga Delight, a coconut milk laced bread pudding with vanilla ice cream, or A Piece of Heaven, a Grand Marnier laced frozen soufflé on ginger cookie crumble. Come enjoy a meal with us, and be sure to save room for dessert.