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NOCINO: Italy's Captivating Spirit
July 2017 Issue | Vol. 5, No. 11                                       MAKE YOUR OWN WITH WILD ARIZONA WALNUTS!


















 
 
 
 

Executive Chef
OCEAN PRIME | PHOENIX, AZ
JAGGER GRIFFIN

Pastry Chef
MOUNTAIN SHADOWS
 PARADISE VALLEY, ARIZONA

SEAN BECK

AAA 4-Diamond
Executive Chef 
HOTEL VALLEY HO, SCOTTSDALE
RUSSELL LA CASCE

Mixologist at Dust Cutter
RENAISSANCE PHOENIX DOWNTOWN
TONY ESCALANTE


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M.F.K. FISHER
Food writer extraordinaire

     
Hearth '61
with Executive Chef Charles Wiley
MOUNTAIN SHADOWS
Paradise Valley, Arizona

     
Domaine de Cala Rosé
CHEF JOACHIM SPLICHAL

     
VIVA XXXII Tequila
Democratizing Luxury


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DIY Nocino | Make Your Nocino From Arizona Walnuts When President Theodore Roosevelt approved the Federal Reclamation Act in 1902, damming Arizona’s irascible Salt River topped the list of funded irrigation projects. The project commissioned the construction of a cyclopean-masonry dam—the world’s largest and last one built—to capture the runoff from the Mazatzal and Sierra Ancha mountains that roiled the river as it tumbled through the desert canyon between them. The goal? To “reclaim” the arid lands for farming in the Salt River Valley, which includes Phoenix and the surrounding cities. In other words, the Theodore Roosevelt Dam has enabled farm-to-table to exist in the desert. When the project started in 1905, Arizona became an instant job market. Laborers poured in from all over the world; largely the United States. History takes particular note of the Apache who built the Apache Trail—the still-traveled road that teeters across the Superstition Mountains over which supplies were hauled—and Italian stonemason immigrants from New York City and neighboring Globe, who expertly crafted the huge blocks of stones used in the classic Greco-Roman style construction. The multi-year project gave the workers, who lived in camps along the river, a chance to settle in. Make themselves at home in this wild and rugged environment where temperatures ranged from below freezing on winter nights to 115-degrees on summer days. The Italians certainly did. Although government-funded projects typically prohibited alcohol on or near the worksite, archaeologist found wine and bitters bottles from Italy in two areas. Because of the harsh working conditions, the feds looked the other way as Italian saloon owners from nearby Globe and Phoenix brought spirits to their campatriots. Maybe they even brought a bottle or two of nocino, that unsung Italian liqueur made from unripe walnuts, spices and citrus.