Wine and drunkenness in ancient Rome (dissertation)
Damien Martin, "When to Say When--Wine and Drunkenness in Roman Society," (Ph.D. dissertation, University of Missouri, 2010).
Emilio Lavazza, coffee roaster, diesEmilio Lavazza recently died at age 78. The coffee roasting firm Lavazza (founded in 1895) is the sixth largest in the world. It provides 48% of Italy's retail coffee market and is a major supplier around the world, from Brazil to India. Lavazza has become identified with quality espresso. For more, see here.
Chocolate at Principe (article)
Xan Rice, "Life, Liberty and Fine Chocolate: An Italian Entrepreneur Pursues Simple Perfection on a Tropical Isle," Utne Reader, May-June 2009, pp. 53-56. Reprinted from New Statesman, January 15, 2009. Discusses Claudio Corallo who has a cocoa plantation on Principe, the twin isle of Sao Tome. Previously Corallo had grown coffee in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (Zaire) and now grows coffee on Sao Tome. He now is thinking of making rum too.
Upscale Italian-based coffee shops in the USA
The Italian-based coffee house chain called Lavazza has a few coffee shops operating under that name in the USA. Now it has added a secondary chain called Espression. For more, from a Chicago vantage point, see here.
Local beers of Italy
The New York Times explores the local beers of Italy here.
Was emperor Marcus Aurelius addicted to opium? (article)
F.P. Retief and Louise Cilliers, "Marcus Aurelius se siektegeskiedenis en dood: was hy 'n opiumverslaafde?", Tydskrif vir Geesteswetenskappe 47/1 (2007): 56-65.
Lavazza, the world's largest independent coffee company
Mark Baker interviews Guiseppe Lavazza in the (London) Independent, April 20, 2008. The Turin-based company produces nearly half of the coffee consumed in Italy. Although it is mostly a firm that sells coffee brands, Lavazza (founded in 1895) has begun to acquire some retailers, such as the the Baristra coffee house chain in India and the Fresh & Honest vending chain, also in India. For more, see here. According to Wikipedia, sixteen of the twenty million coffee-buying families in Italy purchase Lavazza brands.
Ernesto Illy, espresso evangelist, dies at 82 in Trieste
Ernesto Illy, chairman of Illycaffè from 1963 to 2004, died recently. His expensive coffee is noted for its quality. The Illy name is not Italian. His father, a Hungarian chocolate maker, moved to the former Habsburg port city of Trieste after World War I and founded Illycaffè in 1933. For more, see here.
Despite its name, frappuccino not part of Italian coffee house culture
Sarah Allen, editor of Barista Magazine, hopes that the return of Howard Schultz as CEO of Starbucks will stop it from becoming a high-class McDonald's. As she points out, the most profitable item on the Starbucks menu, the frappuccino, owes nothing to the Italian coffee house culture that Schultz wanted to bring to the USA. For more, see here.
With the help of Calabrian crime families, do Europeans consume more cocaine than Americans?
Arguably, more cocaine now is consumed in Europe than in the United States, and the European cocaine trade is controlled by a loose Italian confederation of southern Calabrian crime families known as the Ndrangheta in alliance with the Colombian syndicate that produces the drug. For more, see here.