History of Italian Cooking

When many people think of Italian culture, they think of cuisine. Some of the most popular dishes are pizza and pasta. However, the world of Italian cooking is more than that, and the history of Italian cooking is very diverse. Different regions of Italy have developed their own styles of cooking centered around local ingredient, and other influences throughout history have influenced Italian food.

Culinary History

The history of Italian cooking actually goes back over two thousand years. It flourished during the Roman Empire. During that time, food preparation was very important, though much of the earlier art of cooking has since been lost. After the Roman Empire fell, Italian food started to become more diverse. The different city states throughout the area started to develop their own ways of cooking, as well as their own distinct flavors that came from the foods that grew in the area. Meats, cheese, and even the wine became distinct.

Regional Diversity

The diversity of the history of Italian cooking can be traced back to the different areas where it was conceived. The north utilized Tuscan beef, while in Marches the black truffles became popular. Many Italian cheeses, such as provolone and mozzarella, were developed in the south. Citrus fruits were used in the south as well. Breads and pasta differed from region to region as well.

The south used more pasta like the hard-boiled spaghetti, while in the north softer egg noodles were popular. Milan was known for its risotto. Naples, on the other hand, became known for its pizza. The coastal regions became known for their seafood dishes. Anchovies, lobster, sardines, and swordfish became incorporated into much of the history of Italian cooking.

Outside Influences

Another factor of the history of Italian cooking was the influence of other cultures on the cuisine. Ancient Greek cooking was integrated as part of the dishes, but the Roman Empire also brought in other flavors, such as wheat wine, and fine spices. Ingredients for Italian cooking came as far as China, contributing to the wide variety of flavors and dishes. The island of Sardinian was influenced by the Mediterranean, while Sicily received many influences from North Africa. The southern parts of the country were also affected by influences from the Arabs, especially when it came to the sweets, such as the popular dessert cassata.

A Continuation

Some of the most popular dishes throughout the history of Italian cooking have seen a rebirth. For instance, some believe that pasta was actually brought to Italy from China during the time of Marco Polo. However, this was actually a rediscovery of a food that had been popular in Roman times. That early pasta is not much different than the ones enjoyed around the world today.

The history of Italian cooking continues to evolve, and today there are still distinct differences between the northern and southern regions of the country. The traditions reflect the deep culture and history that originally inspired them. So every time you cook an authentic Italian dish, you are cooking a piece of history.

Concierge Medicine’s Best Kept Secret, the Price

If there’s one thing we’ve learned in the past several years about concierge medicine through observing this emerging health care market, it’s that people really don’t understand that it’s not about price. We think of these pioneering doctors who carry around a medical bag with a stethoscope inside and who come to the aid of our family and our bedside as visionary physicians who want to normalize their practices and get back to practicing medicine as it was before 1960.

According to data analyzed from nearly 1,000 currently operating concierge practices in the U.S. between 2011 and 2013, we’ve determined the national average annual fee for concierge medical services is between $1,400-$1,700 per patient per year. Large networks of concierge medicine and direct primary care doctors have claimed a significant portion of the concierge doctor market share and thus help to keep prices from inflating too high in major metropolitan markets.I have found that some independent concierge doctors, those not affiliated with the larger franchise consulting companies, who are not part of a large group may charge higher rates, $2,500 and up.

If more people are exposed to the cost value of concierge medical care, it will make a big difference in what they spend. A recent story ina widely popular national newspaper supports this belief. The paper reports that the State of Indiana has a high-deductible plan and another that’s a traditional HMO. People in the high-deductible plan spend thousands less than those in the HMO.

‘The average expense in 2009 for patients in one of these [high-deductible] plans was $6,393,’ the paper writes, ‘compared with $8,570 for patients enrolled in a more traditional health maintenance organization plan.’

It’s also a fact that nearly 60% of concierge medical programs across the U.S. cost an individual less than $135 per month. Some programs cost as little as $10 per month for children. Patients typically receive unlimited access to the doctor at their home, work or the doctor’s office along with unlimited technology visits, such as cell phone, web cam, email and texting. Furthermore, many concierge and direct primary care doctors offer access to wholesale pricing on prescriptions, lab tests, imaging services and medical supplies for pennies on the dollar.

Average Combined Annual Household Income of a Concierge Medicine or Direct Primary Care Patient Is:

  • 34% – earn less than $100,000 each year
  • 39% – earn between $100k-200k per year
  • 14% – earn between $200k-$300k per year
  • 5% – earn between $300k-$400k per year
  • 3% – earn between $400k-$500k per year
  • 2% – earn between $500k-$600k per year
  • 1% – earn between $600k-$700k per year
  • 2% – earn between $700k and above per year

In 2010, I submitted this data to a prominent financial publication and told them that ‘Utilizing a blended rate based upon national averages for current fees charged for concierge medical care, an estimated 9,285,714,286 people could be provided concierge medical care with the 13 trillion dollar debt. Carrying this out 928,571,429 people could be provided this care for 10 years. These figures are based upon information obtained through average pricing surveys conducted from 2009-2010.’

Here’s the upshot: When you combine high-deductible health plan policies with a concierge medical program, you empower people and families to make better decisions about their health care, they in turn receive more comprehensive medical care and then the savings happen and stronger relationships occur between the physician and their patients. One concierge physician said it best when she said that her patients can say ‘I no longer have a doctor who needs to look at my chart to know my name.’

How to Hire a Professional Website Designer

If you're looking to take your business to the next step, a professionally designed website offers you that distinct edge over your competitors. A top-notch website draws potential customers in-and keeps them there. Even though the rise of social media has essentially transformed the marketing landscape, Facebook and Twitter can not compensate for the lack of a quality website. Your website is the face of your business-the first impression potential customers gather about your company. A poorly designed website conveys low-quality products or services, so do not cut corners by designing a website yourself if you do not have the skills. Hiring a professional website designer to boost your company's image (and bottom line) is a smart investment.

When choosing a professional website designer, take the following into consideration:

Hiring Someone Local

There are plenty of start-up web design companies around the world from which to choose, but hiring a local designer offers several advantages.

First, local web designers offer you a quick response. Do not underestimate the possibility of communication breakaround across time zones. Good local designers offer dependable, quick responses to a client's questions. Prompt communication is extremely key to the creation of a great website.

And because they are in the area, local designers can forge relationships with their clients beyond emailing and phone calls. This builds a level of trust between designer and client that can not easily be replicated by a designer and client thousands of miles apart. A local designer is more likely to care about the success of a client's business and will offer better website support to further a client's progress.

Local designers must hold themselves accountable to clients in order to stay in business. It's easy to find out if a local designer is reliable; less so for an overseas designer.

Finally, designers have more control over your site because they know Boise. They know Idaho. They'll be much more effective at designing a website with local demographics and your client base in mind than a designer out of state or overseas will.

Check the Designer's Portfolio

You do not need to randomly choose a website designer when all good designers have their best work on display.

Make sure that they have a web portfolio. Not having one is cause for alarm-either a designer has little experience or does not wish to show off the work he or she has done.

Look through each of the designs and note the designer's range, preferences, and versatility. This way you can picture how your business might be described on a web page.

Visit the websites-looks are not everything when it comes to web design. Get a feel for the interface and how the web pages flow from one to the other. These are vital to user experience-customers that can not figure out how to navigate a web page will quickly give up before reaching the intended page.

Call the businesses and ask how business is going since the website went live. They'll tell you if they're satisfied with the return on their investment based on the metrics of the website's performance.

What framework does a designer use for websites?

There are a number of different frameworks that designers implement-learn which will best fit your needs.

Do they use a content management system (CMS)? A CMS allows publishing, editing, and modifying content through a central administrative tool. This facilitates collaboration and improvements communication between users, allows data sharing and storage, and simplifies report writing.

Can users manage the page without understanding code? This allows clients to participate in the development and management of the website and helps them shape their vision for their business. As long as the CMS is not too technically difficult to understand, clients gain satisfaction from playing a role in the design of their website.

Does the designer provide training? Web design and code are strictly intuitive to the lay person, but a good designer will introduce a client to the basics of CMS so the he or she can independently manage their website.

What's included?

Website design is not just about writing code-a good designer will include a range of services beyond technical skill.

Do they include content writing? While clients know what their business is about, they might not know how best to package their ideas into a web-friendly format. This is where content writers come in. Good copy in any medium can make or break a business, so providing a good content writer can save a client a lot of work.

Is hosting available? A web hosting service is what allows a business to make its website accessible on the Internet. Web hosts provide data space and connectivity to a varying degree. If a web designer provides hosting to clients as an option, this can save clients from the unforeseen costs of using a random host with little data space and low connectivity, which both acutely affect user experience.

Do they provide SEO? Search engine optimization is the secret to drawing more website traffic. SEO terms maximize a website's hits by targeting specific keywords and search terms. A good web designer with an understanding of SEO will provide this service to clients, who may not understand SEO.

Where do the images come from? Any designer should follow copyright regulations on photos and images by using free public images or purchasing good stock photography. Resources like Google Images, Microsoft Office Image Gallery and copying another website's images are just such cases of copyright infringement. Designers that take legal shortcuts and use trademarked images can create a litany of trouble for a business including fines of over $ 500,000.

Additional services

Can they make mobile websites? With more and more people using smart phones to check the internet, the ability to create mobile websites can vastly broaden a company's website reach. Many web designers do not even know where to start with making a mobile-compatible version of a website. This can seriously limit your businesses growth over time as more and more people step away from their computer and use their smartphone and table devices to perform searches online for businesses and websites. A good web designer will be able to make your website fit a mobile device's smaller screen and offer relevant mobile options such as click-to-call ability, coupons, and locations map. A mobile-compatible website design alone can separate you from your competition and give you the ability to dominate an entire marketing platform in your industry.

Website scalability-can it grow cost-effectively? As a business grows, the website may need to be enlarged in order to accommodate growth. Scalability is the ability of a system to increase in order to meet the needs of the business. A good designer will be able to implement a plan for website growth.

The next step for you

A good website designer places on top of current techniques and methods of online marketing. Their job is to provide you with a platform for long-term growth of your company. Investing now in a professional web designer will not only save you money in the long run but also give you the ability to start increasing your profits immediately. The return-on-investment for hiring a great website designer is one of the highest in marketing available today.

Flame Resistant Clothes

There is a wide range of flame resistant fabrics to choose from when making your choice of a flame resistant material. When trying to decide which fabric to buy, there are a lot of factors to consider. It is important to get the right fabric for the job at hand. If the job involves working around flammable materials, buying a firefighting ensemble does not make much sense. The thickness of the material will hinder movement and cause the wearer to become uncomfortable. On the other hand, someone dealing with an open flame on a regular basis will need much more protection than a set of non treated cotton coveralls will provide. Choosing the perfect balance of protection and comfort is the key.

One of the more popular flame resistant fabrics is Nomex. Many people know the Nomex name due to its association with the oil and petroleum, military and auto racing. However, Nomex comes in a variety of thicknesses and textures and is applicable to a wide variety of jobs. The Nomex Industrial line comes in three variations, Nomex IIIA, Nomex AP and Nomex Limitedwear. Nomex AP provides protection from burns that are commonly received as a result of electrical arc fires. It meets Hazard / Risk Category 2 arc protection standards. Nomex Limitedwear provides protection from flash fires and, while it is washable, it is only designed to be worn for limited periods. The Nomex IIIA fabric is the most popular as is has a static dissipative and is available in both a 4.5 oz and a 6.0 oz weight fabric.

Another popular choice is Excel flame resistant cotton and Comfortouch garments. The cotton garments are made of a 100% cotton fabric treated with a phosphonium salt precondensate that has been polymerized with gaseous ammonia or a heat-cured dialkylphosphonamide to provide protection from flame. The Comfortouch garments are made of a blend of 88% cotton and 12% nylon that has received the same treatments as the 100% cotton fabrics. The treatment has little effect on the fabric's texture, breathability, or movement. The cotton fibers are resistant to alkalis and a majority of solvents, but acids can damage the cotton fibers. The nylon fibers allow the Comfortouch fabric to be more resistant to abrasion and will provide a slightly longer garment life.

Other manufacturers offer garments made of identical cotton and cotton / nylon blend fabrics. And although the fabrics have different names, they have received something the same treatment as mentioned above. The blended fabric put out by Indura is known as Indura Ultra Soft and the Banox blend goes by the name Banwear. The available styles of garments vary between the manufacturers, but the fabrics used are very similar.