Tag: choose

how to choose the right one for a summer to bite … – Italian Cuisine


Sindria, cetrone, pateca, zipangulu: every region has the word to say it. And besides, watermelon is truly one of the most iconic fruits of the summer. Not to mention its beauty and its photogenicity, the fact that it is an accomplice (almost always) of a balanced diet and that it is thirst-quenching like few foods. In short, watermelon is the queen of summer. It is diuretic and stimulates the intestine, even if this false berry, or peponide, is not among the most dietary fruits and is not suitable for those with irritable bowels, since its fiber ferments. The ideal? Consume it in salads or appropriately made popsicles, generously, but without exceeding. And above all, to choose it well, an exercise that is by no means trivial.

Connoisseur's exercise
In fact it is not easy to recognize the hidden qualities (and the most obvious). The real danger is that it is not sufficiently mature (the same problem that occurs with its "colleague" melon) and the real threat is obviously represented by the fact of not being able to see the content, wonderfully covered by that striped skin that surrounds the pulp .

177220Whole, always
Here are some tricks. First rule, all too obvious (but repetita juvant) is to always buy it whole and never just a slice, even if the temptation to parcelise it is high, considering how cumbersome it is.

The fascination of the opaque
The skin must be firm, symmetrical and free of dents and scars. Be careful because, despite the aesthetic harmony, the dark and opaque skin is a good sign compared to the more gaudy colors. The streaks must be defined and close together, a symptom of thin skin and tasty pulp.

Knock Knock
As with the melon it is good to knock waiting for the fruit to give us the right feedback. Which in the case of watermelon must be a dull and empty sound.

The point of support
Another precious clue is represented by the color of the point where it rested on the ground during maturation, which should be creamy yellow. If it is white or greenish it is the signal instead that the maturation is not complete.

The petiole
Last but not least the last important sign to grasp is in the stalk, that if the fruit is ripe it must be dry and possibly curly. In the watermelon ready to be tasted and bitten it comes off almost alone.

The weight of water
Finally, remember that the more watermelon weighs and the more, in proportion to its size, it will be rich in water, an unequivocal sign of a correct maturation.

Emanuela Di Pasqua
17 July 2019


how to choose the good one. Things to know – – Italian Cuisine


Variety of olives, climate, agronomic techniques and careful processing after harvesting. The factors that influence the good quality of an oil they are numerous and start from the field, a bit like it happens with wine, with which it has many affinities. Unlike this, however, the wordings allowed on the label of extra virgin are few and for the consumer it is difficult to orientatethe products on the market. "For example, you cannot indicate aromatic hints like almond, artichoke or tomato leaf, nuances of taste that vary according to the variety of olive and the territoryHe explains Marina Solinas, quality manager of Pietro Coricelli, one of the largest oil companies in Europe based in Spoleto, in the heart of Umbria. Instead, the legislation allows organoleptic descriptions such as "fruity”,“ Green fruity ”,“ ripe fruity ”, which depend on the variety of olives used and are characteristics of healthy and fresh fruits.

176755This oil is bitter!
Even the bitter and spicy taste can be indicated on the label, with different levels of intensity (intense, medium, light). It may seem strange, but the bitter taste that sometimes is felt tasting an extra virgin olive oil it is not a defect, but a virtue. "These features are due to the presence of phenols, substances antioxidants which are naturally present in olives and in the oil obtained from them"Explains Marina Solinas. "From the nutritional point of view they are extremely benefits for our body, because they help slow down cellular aging and prevent many degenerative diseases". In summary, the spicy and bitter aftertaste coincides with the substances that do well, while the more delicate oils are less rich. Consumers can thus perceive the quality of the oil by tasting it, as is done, precisely, with wine. A fundamental step in choosing a product rather than another.

The enemies of the oil.
The wording "Cold pressing" that we find on the label indicates that the extraction of the oil it took place at a temperature below 27 °, with modern mechanical methods that allow the extra virgin oil to maintain its organoleptic and nutritional characteristics are intact. A quality indicator in the production process is then stored in steel containers, away from light. They are indeed really light, heat and oxygen the great enemies extra virgin olive oil, not only in production processes, but also after purchase. Properly stored, in a dark, cool place (not allowed to keep it near the stove!) And in a closed bottle it remains for a long time: the one impressed on the packages, in fact, is not the expiry date, but preferable consumption.

Made in Italy or not?
The oils we find on supermarket shelves cannot all be Italian, as in our country the quantities produced do not satisfy national consumption. The wording "100% Italian" which is found on the specific label that the oil was obtained only from olives grown, harvested and processed in Italy, even in different regions. Then there are products that derive from the skilful blending of extra virgin olive oils from other European Union countries, particularly suited. Explain Chiara Coricelli, managing director of the family company that has reached the third generation: "In our oils, this does not translate into a reduction in quality, as production is selected directly in the places of origin – in addition to Italy mainly from Spain and Greece – and subjected to strict quality controls, not just those provided for by the regulations, but it must overcome the rigid parameters defined within us as a further standard guarantee to the final consumer. Moreover, this allows to produce different oils from the point of view of taste, as each area has different peculiarities".

176773"Silent" shelves
Unbelievable but true, despite the oil being part of our gastronomic culture has always been little known. "Our sector is penalized by the lack of knowledge of the product on the part of the consumer who, unable to distinguish between the various proposals for extra virgin olive oil, ends up referring only to the price as the main purchase lever"Commented Chiara Coricelli.

"Need make culture about oil in order to give the possibility to choose a product also based on taste or the type of pairing. All this information is missing, since it is not possible to report indications on the labels that may point towards the purchase of one type of extra virgin olive oil over another. Furthermore, it is necessary to review the labeling standard in order to have space for the construction of a real product culture like wine ".

In the Coricelli range of extra virgin olive oils, the Colto, with its ripe fruit, enhances the delicate flavor of white meats, fish and fresh vegetables without covering it; extra virgin olive oil, medium fruity, is ideal as a daily condiment and for all uses in cooking; 100% Italian, the result of extra virgin olive oils originating from Sicily and Puglia, is a fruity green with intense spicy aftertaste, which goes well with dishes that require a strong seasoning, such as meat, grilled vegetables and soups.

Paola Mancuso
July 2019


Melon: how to choose it and keep it – Italian Cuisine

Melon: how to choose it and keep it

Helps you lose weight, prevents wrinkles, facilitates tanning … there are at least 5 good reasons to eat melon in the summer. And there are at least 500 possible gourmet combinations with which to enjoy it, starting with the timeless ham & melon, in an unusual and surprising version.

Usually consumed as a fruit, actually the melon is a vegetable, a close relative of cucumber and courgette, which belong to the same botanical family, that of the Cucurbitaceae. It will be this sort of double identity that makes the melon extremely eclectic, suitable for both fresh and sweet preparations. Starting with the most classic of combinations, the one with the raw ham, with which it shares the destiny of always ending up in slices: sweets for one, sapid for the other, which enhance each other in a great balance of taste.


The netted melon
Among the most common types, netted melon is recognized by the rind covered with lattices, as the name suggests, with or without the typical longitudinal grooves that define the slices. There pulp is orange, generally softer in melons with the signature of the slice and more crunchy in those without. The varieties in fact, cultivated are dozens, especially hybrids derived from Harper (with ribs) and from the Supermarket (without ribs). The haul is cultivated above all in our northern regions and harvested continuously. until the end of September. Its chosen area is the province of Mantua, together with the territories of Cremona and some municipalities in Emilia, where the pride is the Mantuan melon Igp, both in the netted type (80%), and in the type with smooth skin (20%).

The winter melon
The melon "Yellow" or "gialletto" it is also known as winter melon because, despite being harvest in the summer (like the net), it keeps for a long time and is marketed almost until December, without losing color and consistency. Also for this typology the cultivated varieties are different – above all hybrids derived from the Giorillo and the Helios – all characterized by the rind of color intense yellow, more or less wrinkled. There pulp is light (hence the name "white melon") is very sugary, with an almost vanilla aroma. Its area of ​​choice is our South (which prefers it to orange-pulp melons), where it is grown in Sicily (first producing region in Italy, with an area of ​​over 9,000 hectares), in Campania and Puglia.

The green melon
Like the "gialletto", it belongs to the group of so-called "winter" melons due to its excellent shelf life, which can last up to 2-3 months after harvest, and is therefore available on the market until November-December. Originally from Spain, belongs to the type "Piel de sapo" (literally "toad skin"), Due to the wrinkled rind, of an intense green color and furrowed by light streaks, also this starting point for the selection of different hybrids. There pulp is white to greenish, juicy and very sweet. In Italy it is grown in Sardinia, but due to limited quantities, the product on the market is mainly imported from Spain, Brazil and other South American countries.

How to choose and keep them
At the time of purchase, apart from choose firm melons and without dents, other special measures are not essential, because generally the products on the market are ready for consumption and with one shelf-life (ie, shelf life) of 7-10 days. However, in the case of the netted melons with ribbing, the yellowish color means a greater degree of maturation. The melons with white pulp, in particular, they remain in fridge even up to 10 days, in the lowest department, with the foresight of do not keep them with vegetables, because the ethylene emission could deteriorate. Tspray them out of the fridge about an hour before to taste them: they give the best of themselves at room temperature. If you don't eat it all, wrap it in film, keep it in the fridge and consume it within a short time.

Paola Mancuso
July 2016
updated by Aurora Quinto
June 2019


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