Tag: oil

Chocolate cake with oil and rosemary – Italian Cuisine

Chocolate cake with oil and rosemary

1) In a bowl, jumbled up the two types of flour, yeast, rosemary and salt. In a second bowl, slam the eggs, add the sugar e you work the mixture with the whisk until the sugar has dissolved completely.

2) Add to the beaten eggs the mixture of flour and oil (one spoon at a time and alternating them) e jumbled up continuously until the dough becomes smooth; then add the rice milk and, lastly, the coarsely chopped chocolate with a knife.

3) Grease a 15×30 cm plum cake mold with oil, line it with baking paper and pour the mixture. Bake at 180 ° for about 1 hour. Check it out cooking by inserting a toothpick in the center of the cake, which must come out dry. Turn out and let cool on a wire rack. Serve the cake cut into thick slices.


Published 01/17/2022


It's time for new oil: 2021 oil guide – Italian Cuisine

AND new oil season. Given the tensions in the world, it would be nice if it were always time for olive trees. For Christians and Jews – we know this since childhood – the twig is biblical symbol of peace and well-being. But the tree is also important for Muslims: in the Koran it is considered a source of light in the heavens and on the earth, specifying that it is neither in the West nor in the East but exactly in the center of the cosmos, where it symbolically expresses the conjunction and the balance between Earth, Heaven and Underworld. None plant is so rooted in history and culture. «The peoples of the Mediterranean – wrote Thucydides in the 5th century BC. – they began to emerge from barbarism when they learned to grow olives and vines ". However, it is not necessary to disturb ancient myths and stories to talk about the miracle ofcooking oil. Meanwhile, because olive juice (this is nothing more than an extraordinary natural fruit juice) is the healthiest of foods, obtained solely and exclusively from the simple pressing of the olive.

new oil
Photo Alessandro Moggi.

The numerous Italian varieties

What makes it exceptional – and always different – are the variety of which Italy boasts the primacy as a demonstration of biodiversity that our long and narrow territory gives us: 533 native cultivars against, for example, just 70 in Spain, world leader in terms of quantity of oil produced, and 52 in Greece, the home of the first olive trees. We have the record in Europe of Dop (42) and Igp (7). Each variety – transformed into extra virgin olive oil – has a clear identity and, we could say, its mission in enhancing this or that dish. As with wine, you should have the practice of combining food and oil well, because the right drop can enhance a recipe or, on the contrary, turn off some flavor.

We see only the most used cultivars. Ligurian oil – il Taggiasco, especially – is very soft, light, ideal for not overdoing delicate preparations. Versatile is the Tuscan Frantoio with a beautiful green color with yellowish notes, with an intense medium-strong flavor that refers to artichoke and thistle on a dry almond base. Tuscan and at the same time Apulian is the Leccino, with vegetal scents and dark color, faint in bitter and spicy flavors; it is recommended on fish and white meats. Let's stay in Puglia with the bitterness, the sensations of toasted almonds and the spiciness of the very common Coratina; ideal on cooked vegetables and meat. In Sicily I have always been in the race Nocellara del Belice in the West and the Tonda Iblea in the East; in both cases it is an exaltation of intense flavors and aromas: wild herbs, sometimes citrusy with notes of green tomato for the Nocellara; harmony between freshly cut grass, artichoke, almond and natural aromas for the Tonda Iblea. Both are extraordinary in enriching first courses or enhancing peasant soups.

What are the adjectives to describe oil?

Round, sweet, harmonious, fruity, are positive adjectives for oil. But we also learn to appreciatebitter and spicy. They are marked flavors only in the best extra virgin, because they show a good presence of polyphenols, the natural antioxidants that are more than good for our body. Bitter and spicy also tell us a lot about the producer's abilities: 1) if it is late in harvesting, the olives will be too sweet because they are excessively ripe; 2) the correct extraction of the oil is carried out with cold milling to preserve the integrity of the olive; 3) in the blends we try to insert cultivars rich in polyphenols.
Quality negative are instead rancid (oxidized because exposed to air), dusty (stale taste), vinous (due to the fermented olives before pressing), moldy (when the olives have remained on the ground for too long).

The 2021 budget

Without prejudice to the skill of farmers and oil millers, what does the 2021-2022 oil campaign? This year too, the quality should be good for exactly the same reason that the quantities in many areas will be scarce: the persistent drought has not made the olives ripen, but has prevented the development of the oil fly and other parasites. Overall the Italian production should grow by 15% (315 million kilos, compared to 273.5 million last year), but with the country split in two: South well, North very badly, so-so Center. Puglia will be the queen of the vintage, with 140 thousand tons, almost half of the national production; Calabria and Sicily paired at 30-35 thousand tons, stable compared to 2020. Basilicata, Molise and Abruzzo are doing well, with double-digit growth. And here the good news ends. The further north you go, the more the drops are consistent: -20 / 25% in Campania and Lazio, -30 / 40% in Umbria and Tuscany, -80% in Garda and Trentino, -40% in Liguria; Sardinia is saved with a -10%. In short, olive growing Italy smiles, but does not celebrate, as does Portugal (a record year). Spain is disappointed, Greece assumes the worst harvest since the war; Turkey is satisfied as in 2020. Morocco and Tunisia, on the African Mediterranean coast, return to the levels of two years ago after the bad last season.

Ancient and new lands of oil

Ficus, Olea and Vitis – handed down by Pliny the Elder – were in the center of the Roman Forum. Two thousand years later, 189 olive trees planted between the Arch of Titus and the Colosseum and grown organically give us thePalatine oil, a very respectable fruity extra virgin olive oil. The new frontiers of Italian extra virgin olive oil are on the one hand the recovery of the ancient territories and, on the other, the planting of new olive groves, taking advantage of climate change. The case of Piedmont is significant: for some years the thermal rise has been pushing many young people to plant olive groves in the areas of Pinerolo, Monferrato and Canavese. The cultivated hectares are still just 250 with a production this year of about 800 quintals of oil from the Leccina, Frantoio, Pendolino cultivars. Picholine, a French variety that resists the cold well, is also being tested.

Cover photo by Sergio Ramazzotti.

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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