Tag: choose

Traditional sausages: learn to choose and match them – Italian Cuisine


Guided by a skilled hand by the Spreafico family, the Marco D'Oggiono ham factory has been producing excellent products for over 70 years. To be enjoyed alone or in delicious fingerfood.


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Marco d'Oggiono, who was he? Without sin of irreverence, it must be said that the name of this Renaissance painter born in the town of Oggiono, is not so well known to most: yet he was one of the favorite disciples of Leonardo da Vinci and his paintings are kept in large museums.

Just to pay tribute to his most illustrious fellow citizen, the Spreafico family has baptized Marco d'Oggiono his ham factory: and tasting the excellent charcuterie that they produce for more than 70 years, with passion and craftsmanship, we can say that the result is worthy of the master to whom they have dedicated it.

Today to drive the sausage factory are the three brothers Spreafico, Agnese (guest of our studio), Giulia and Dionigi: they were their parents, in 1945, to found the company, focusing on that raw ham that is still their flagship, but which is not at home in Brianza.

Essential, for the perfect natural seasoning, is the position of the ham factory in Lariano triangle, between the two branches of Lake Como. "Here, says Agnese," the fresh air of the hills intersects with that of the lake (the Lario and three minors), it is never very dry or humid, and allows us to use very little salt ". It is no coincidence that the pride of the raw ham Marco d'Oggiono it's the exceptional sweetness, a lot appreciated by emblazoned restaurateurs and chefs, with which the sausage factory mainly works.

But to savor it you can make a visit to the farm, where many excellent salami are sold: like the classic salami Brianza, but prepared with meat from Italian pigs of the raw prosciutto dop dough; the new Celtic Line (see recipes), with a smoke so delicate as to be perceived as a nuance of taste; cold meats to be cooked, including the awarded liver mortadella and the cotechino vaniglia from Brianza, with a spicy fragrance. And then bacon, speck, bologna, cup. A true example of high craftsmanship.

Agnese Spreafico (left) with Chiara Caprettini, blogger and writer, author of the dishes

Texts by Marina Cella
Recipes and preparation of Chiara Caprettini
Video Diego Stadiotti

Raw ham Marco d'Oggiono

Produced only from thighs of heavy pig of the Po Valley, with little sea salt and no preservatives, seasoned naturally in ventilated rooms (16-22 months, up to 30). It is soft and fragrant, very sweet and digestible. Appointed Traditional Food Product (PAT) by the Lombardy Region.

Bresaola the sweet Chianina

Handmade, is prepared with cow's tip of valuable Chianina breed. It has a subtle texture, fine fibers that melt in the mouth and a sweet and slightly spicy taste.

Celtic Lard

It is characterized by one light smoked never intrusive. Prepared with heavy pig, is worked dry and seasoned with tenuous herbal scent aromatic.


It's a Italian pork belly, rolled up, cooked and slightly smoked. It belongs to the Celtic Line, the same of lard, characterized by a slight taste of smoke.


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How to choose the oil suitable for different dishes and different preparations? – Italian Cuisine

Not all oils are suitable to be used in cooking, but some are indigestible from raw: here is a vademecum for clarity

It's easy to say oil. On the market there are different types, deriving from different raw materials and with different nutritional properties and use. Not everyone is good to use raw, for example to dress the salad, and not all are suitable for frying.

Which ones to use to do what? Below, a practical and fast vade mecum not to make mistakes and not to spoil a dish, but especially to get hurt in the kitchen.

Olive oil

Olive oil is one of the symbolic products of the Mediterranean diet, which can not be missed on an Italian table. Versatile, in the kitchen is suitable for cooking in the pan or in the oven, also for the frying, given the presence of monounsaturated fats, which make it stable to heat. THE'extra virgin olive oil, composed of triglycerides and free fatty acids, is excellent raw: in addition to being very digestible, a teaspoon to season salad or cooked vegetables is a panacea also for health. It in fact strengthens the immune system and controls the level of cholesterol in the blood.

How to choose the evo oil

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Peanut oil

Made from peanut seeds, it has a low content of polyunsaturated fatty acids and a high content of oleic acid. Compared to other oils, it has a more stable structure and is resistant to high temperatures, therefore it is suitable for fried.

Corn oil

Obtained from corn seeds, it contains polyunsaturated fats, which, when subjected to high temperatures, produce substances harmful to the body. No then use in the pan or frying, yes to the raw one: it is rich, in fact, of omega 3 and omega 6, fatty acids friends of the heart.

Palm oil

Made from the fruits of the palm, it is an intense yellow color and in the kitchen it is very resistant to high temperatures, due to the high content of saturated fatty acids. However, use it in moderation: it is not excluded that during frying the food absorbs an amount of oil equal to the two daily tablespoons of fat recommended by dieticians.

Sunflower oil

Obtained from sunflower seeds, it is resistant to heat (so it could be used in baked dishes), but it is better to use it as a condiment raw, also in order not to disperse with its heat its nutrients, like omega 3 and 6, ideal for protecting the heart.

Soybean oil

Made from soybeans, it is rich in polyunsaturated fats, which oxidize at high temperatures, becoming harmful to health. Use it then raw, a precious source of vitamins and linoleic acid, perfect for toning the heart and keeping cholesterol at bay.

Persimmon: how to choose them and how to taste them – Italian Cuisine

Persimmon: how to choose them and how to taste them

The autumn table has the warm shades of orange and forest green, just the colors of the khaki, certainly among the symbolic fruits of the season and that we find easily in this period at the market. Be careful to call them correctly: in the common parlance they often say "caco" but the correct name, both in the singular and in the plural, is khaki because it is the Italianization of the Japanese name "Kaki no ki", with which the Diospyros kaki, or the persimmon tree. It is a fruit tree native to the Far East, arrived in Europe in the eighteenth century, initially as an ornamental plant and only later cultivated for its fruits, which are rich in sugars, minerals, vitamins (A, B and C) and important amino acids.

Where it is grown
In Italy, persimmon is cultivated mainly in Agro Nocerino (in Campania), in Emilia Romagna, in Veneto and in Sicily. It is harvested in the fall, from the end of October to December and is strictly seasonal because, once ripe, it must be consumed immediately as it deteriorates quickly. Technically it is one berry, has the size of an apple, with peel and flesh of color between yellow and orange very bright, which can be more creamy or compact depending on the different types.

Soft pulp and compact pulp
The most widespread varieties in our country are the Lotus of Romagna, which has a soft and almost gelatinous pulp, and the Vanilla of Campania, from the pulp more firm than that of Lotus and of a more brownish color. Then there is the type of apple persimmon, among which they are particularly appreciated Fuyu, Suruga, O'Gosho and Jiro. Apple persimmons have a thinner skin, lighter color and a very compact and almost crisp pulp, characteristics that make them, as the name suggests, similar to apples. THE apple persimmon they are having a growing success because, thanks to their particular consistency and to a lower sugar content than the soft version; they can also be used in savory preparations. At the supermarket, the different varieties are found at an average price between 2.50 and 3 euros per kilogram.

The right maturation
After harvesting (and even after purchase, if they are not completely ripe), the persimmons must undergo the phase of "Astringency", that is, aging in the box. It is a necessary step because the not perfectly ripe persimmon is rich in tannins that give it a taste between bitter and sour and make it attractive, that is unpleasantly astringent on the palate.
To accelerate the ripening phase, the fruits are placed in wooden boxes or in wicker baskets alternating with apples; the ethylene released by the latter is absorbed by the persimmons, making sure that the tannins are transformed into sugars and, therefore, the pulp becomes softer and pleasantly sweet. Unlike the case of apple persimmons, very poor in tannins, which are consumable even when freshly picked.

How to choose them
At the time of purchase, if you choose khaki already fully ripe, you must check that the fruits are soft to the touch, but completely devoid of dents, and do not have dark spots. This is a very important test because the persimmon tends to deteriorate easily. If, on the other hand, they are lightly unripe, they should be left to mature in a dark and dry place resting on the side with the petiole. In any case, once ready, they must be consumed immediately, or placed in the lower part of the refrigerator, where they are stored for a maximum of three days.

Use in the kitchen
When they are at the right level of ripeness, persimmons are already one dessert perfect to taste simply taking the pulp with a teaspoon directly from the fruit. The particular softness of the persimmons makes them perfect for preparing puddings or sauces to accompany ice cream or desserts like the chestnut mousse with persimmon sauce or the bavarese with persimmon coulis. Less usual but equally delicious cakes is tarts to persimmons. Another classic use of the softer and more gelatinous varieties is the preparation of jams, which require shorter cooking times than those of other fruit. Persimmon persimmon? Why not, try them in the carpaccio of persimmon with spicy gorgonzola, rocket and hazelnuts or in the fontina croquettes with brioche bread and persimmon jam, an explosion of flavor! Apple persimmons are ideal to use to enrich salads; in pastry, however, their consistency makes them ideal for decorations.

Alessandro Gnocchi
October 2016
updated in October 2018 by Claudia Minnella


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