Tag: discovering

Discovering the oil of the Marche between history, myth and curiosity – Italian Cuisine


Each cultivar produces golden extra virgin olive oils with an emerald reflection with different organoleptic characteristics: fruity, harmonious on the palate, light.


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193217 "src =" https://www.salepepe.it/files/2021/11/statua-leopardi.jpg "width =" 96 "height =" 132That "hedge that the gaze excludes from so much horizon" described by the famous poet from Recanati, Giacomo Leopardi (on the left the photo of his statue in the square of the same name), in his composition "The Infinite" is also the expanse of olive trees that still today embraces the sacredness of Loreto and then plunges into the Adriatic sea where "shipwreck is sweet to me ".

L'olive tree from the Marche region it is also the constituent of the landscape that the writer Guido Piovene designates a synthesis of all the landscapes of the world. But, although many are persuaded that the Romans brought it between Monte Catria and Monte Vettore, it is doubtful that Ancona, a Syracusan colony, dates back to the 4th century BC. and certainly the Etruscans had penetrated, allies or even relatives of the Picenes, well before that beyond the Apennines.

The mythology of the olive tree from the Marche region

The olive tree in the Marche manifests itself in all its character agricultural and mythological value. In fact, it is said that Athena gave it to men as a pact of peace, as medicine, light and nourishment. And perhaps these hills are the territory where the plant took on its sacredness for the Mediterranean, so much so that it was then adopted by Christians and Jews as a symbol of the divine. There is no abbey – and in the Marches there are many of haunting beauty, such as Fonte Avellana in Chiaravalle di Fiastra – where the monks have not marked the territory with the olive tree or have taught the farmers to respect and exploit it. In the Marche region, in fact, the olive tree is the most widespread, so much so that they are beyond 27 thousand companies who cultivate it, covering 7 thousand hectares in the strip that goes from the hill to the sea.

The only DOP of the Marche

The Marches have valleys that run perpendicular to the coast and each has its own cultivar, thus making the territorial differences gastronomic diversity. Just think of the Ascoli style olives, a casket of drupe that hides a treasure of spices, cheese and noble meats, or alle bruschetta and desserts from Macerata based on extra virgin olive oil. But, even if these are the provinces with the highest cultivation density, it is up to Pesaro-Urbino the primacy of denominations. It is in fact a Cartoceto, enchanting village, the only PDO from the Marche region precious, unique testimony of how the extra virgin olive oil of the Marche benefits from the cultivation of the olive tree in medium altitude with the temperature variations that increase the formation of perfumes.

The other cultivars

From Vallefoglia to Lucrezia, going down to Bellocchi up to Fano, the Augustan Fanum Fortunae is a drapery of hills and olive trees. Central-Italic cultivars such as Leccino and the Crusher join in blend with the Ray to give a golden gold with emerald reflections, marked hints of green apple, armellina, mowing with a very slight influence of artichoke. But it is a fruity between light and medium, which stands out raw, especially when it meets the warmth of soups or the Fano-style brodetto, praise to the fish. And, like all extra virgin olive oils from the Marche region, not having a strong acidity, it is particularly harmonious on the palate.

The Marche PGI

And if Cartoceto enhances its olive groves after obtaining the DOP mark, the whole region has bet on the gold of the table, oil, writing 3 years ago the disciplinary of the Marches PGI. In fact, on the territory they are produced on average 38 thousand quintals of extra virgin olive oil, a rarity for three valid reasons: the oil is extracted from 10 cultivars, although there are 34 in the Region, so much so that the production of monovarietal oils; the northern position allows for an endemic olive tree cultivation and this would explain the very low acidity, given that the olives undergo strong thermal excursions and are born in various territories; there is an oil mill for each village, of which 175 are in operation. And to testify to its rarity and exceptional quality is the same story: in Ferrara at customs the oil from the Marche was twice as good as the others, in Venice even a separate register was kept.

From left: the beating of the olives in the Gabrielloni olive grove; ripe olives

The primates of the Marche

The records of the Marche are many and different, but we report at least three: the most important industry of production of olive growing machines in the world; this is where the scientific research of two universities – the Ancona Polytechnic for what concerns cultivation and production and the University of Camerino for the nutritional-pharmacological study – acted as a quality accelerator; was born in the Marche region on oil tourism, since every itinerary that climbs the hills meets extra virgin olive oil as a viaticum.

Harvesting in the Gabrielloni olive grove and washing of the olives

193218 "src =" https://www.salepepe.it/files/2021/11/donne-frantoio.jpg "width =" 116 "height =" 172Marche oil is "woman"

Then there is another peculiarity: the oil in the Marche is a woman. The reason? It was up to the "vergara”(Ie the wife of the sharecropper, the one who administered, the custodian of empirical agricultural science and gastronomy) to hoard. And still today it is women who manage the oil mills, since extra virgin olive oil is considered a value of the countryside. Like the sisters (in the photo on the left) Elisabetta, Sonia and Gabriella Gabrielloni who manage the family oil mill in Recanati.

A cultivar for each village

There are villages like Mogliano and Falerone that have their own cultivar (il Piantone), territories such as the Valle del Tronto that are recognized in the tender and hard olive Ascolana, cities that are characterized as Fermo with an olive, the Sargano, areas like those that from Macerata go to Camerino who live in Mignola, di Raggia, valleys such as the beautiful Esina which is the Rosciola deposit. All these cultivars are the sensory scan of the IGP specification.

Two extraction techniques

There is also another peculiarity in the Marche: here they coexist two oil extraction techniques. In fact, there are those who work with fiscoli (special baskets where the olive paste obtained from the grinding is collected and then stacked and pressed), arguing that in this way there is more roundness of the oil and those who rely on oil mills that look like spaceships, where the extraction takes place by mechanical and centrifugal kneading to avoid oxidative processes and have more fragrant oil.

Oil, the sap of a wise land

A journey into the extra virgin olive oil of these lands is for those who love cooking a master of the senses: it is here that you learn that the spicy of a Rosciola, the sweet of an Ascolana, the fruity of an Orbetana enrich the dish, complete it. , they inform him of themselves. The oil of the Marche it is never a condiment, it is always an ingredient. With the smiles of girls who have returned to the earth because they are fascinated by oil, the expertise of three sisters of the Gabrielloni Frantoio who perpetuate an ancient family tradition, the experience of those who graze – between the end of September and mid-November – the drupes still by hand or with "combs" that respect the plants, it turns out that the extra virgin is there lymph of health: for the antioxidant polyphenols, for the vitamins, for the good fats it contains. And it is the fruit of a wise land: the Marche.

November 2021, curated by Monica Pilotto, text by Carlo Cambi, photos by Francesca Moscheni

Posted on 11/26/2021


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Discovering Chinese sweet soups, between tradition and modernity – Italian Cuisine

A popular Chinese food trend that never goes out of style is traditional sweet soups, from the well-known red bean soup to those with exotic ingredients such as lotus seeds and taro

Can a soup be a dessert? The answer is yes, and the proof is the tong sui, literally "sugar water", or one Chinese sweet soup of Cantonese origin based on water or coconut milk. As with many Chinese dishes, the tong sui recipe has been handed down for generations and sometimes revisited in a modern way, so much so that it has become a popular food trend among tourists and also exported abroad. Although the most famous is azuki red bean, a dish often associated with the Chinese New Year holiday, they do exist many variations of more or less sweet soups. Let's find out what are the main characteristics and the most popular and popular recipes.

Tong sui: from traditional food to food trend loved by young people

There Cantonese sweet soup was born in the post-war period in the provinces of Guangzhou and Shanghai, before reaching Hong Kong. It is here that in the 80's and 90's the first tong sui and che shops were born the original recipe gradually underwent the influence of Western cuisine. Just like the even better known Taiwanese bubble tea drink, Chinese sweet soup has also ended up becoming, in modern times, a widespread street food customizable with different toppings, such as fruit and tapioca balls, and available in an extraordinary and creative variety of flavors and colors. There is, of course, no shortage too specialized shops whose cooks faithfully reproduce and serve the recipes of their ancestors, paying the utmost attention to cooking times and methods, the balance of flavors and the selection of quality ingredients.

A sweet soup for all tastes and all ages

This dessert, looking similar to a soup, it has a more or less thick creamy consistency and is generally served at the end of a meal, in hot or cold version according to the seasons. Among the most famous sweet soups we find, as we have seen, that with azuki beans, prepared with dried lotus seeds, orange or mandarin peel and cane sugar, but also that based on black sesame, the Do you ever know lou, or a sort of cream-colored pudding prepared with sago starch or, alternatively, tapioca pearls, water, coconut milk and evaporated milk. Then there is no shortage of soups anymore sweet and delicate, including one made with sweet almonds, sweet potatoes or taro; those more exotic based on tropical fruit (for example mango and pomelo), red dates or peach gum; those flavored with spices (for example ginger or cumin) or local aromatic herbs and, finally, those that have inside them ingredients salty for us westerners somewhat bizarre, such as turtle meat or dried frogs.
In short, there really is something for all tastes and food preferences, with inevitable additions of superfood ingredients that can range from goji berries to gingko biloba.

Photo: Chinese sweet soup with dumpling_900_Pxfuel.jpg
Photo: Chinese sweet soup with pomelo and mango_900_Kyle Lam Flickr.jpg

Discovering Sutri and its Roman hazelnuts – Italian Cuisine

Ancient village of the Tuscia, with origins dating back to the Bronze Age, Sutri it is within the smallest regional archaeological park in Lazio and stands on a tuff hill framed by Cimino and Sabatino. Here the stratifications of civilizations and dominations have left important traces ranging from the rock tombs to the amphitheater dating back to the 1st century BC, completely excavated in the tuff: it reminds the Colosseum and still preserves the remains of niches, statues, columns. To visit, the Romanesque cathedral, the Church of the Madonna del Tempio and the Grotta di Orlando where, according to legend, the Paladin of France was born.
Inserted in the former Bishop's Palace, the Doebbing Palace Museum in addition to the permanent collection of ancient art and sacred temporary exhibitions, it can be visited until 17 January 2021 From Giotto to Pasolini, conceived by Vittorio Sgarbi who is mayor of the town.

Panoramic view of the company.
Panoramic view of the company.

From a naturalistic point of view, Sutri is famous for its hazel groves that produce the Tonda Gentile Romana cultivar, since 2008 certified DOP: it seems to have existed even before the Romans in the wild, in the undergrowth. "The main feature is the slightly pointed shape while the seed, deprived of the shell, looks like a crunchy fruit, with a refined flavor and persistent aroma", explains Marta Cavazza of the Sutri farm of the same name. «The collection of hazelnuts, both manual and mechanical, takes place from mid-August to mid-November. After selection and calibration, they are packaged in 1, 3 and 5 kg nets and partly destined for shelling and partly transferred to the processing departments. 180 ° toasting follows .
Among the nutritional properties of hazelnut, monounsaturated fatty acids (the same as in olive oil), vitamins K and E, minerals such as potassium, calcium and phosphorus stand out.
Much sought after by the confectionery industry, Roman hazelnuts are used for the preparation of Viterbo and "ugly but good" tozzetti. «A traditional recipe from our company are the Pretzels in which the crunchy taste of the Tonda Gentile Romana is combined with salt and our extra virgin olive oil, with fruity and slightly spicy notes,« adds Cavazza. To accompany an aperitif.

Sutri hazelnuts
Sutri hazelnuts: the Tonda Gentile Romana.

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