Tag: time

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.

Once upon a time there was the croissant … – Italian Cuisine

Once upon a time there was the croissant ...

Since its origins, there has been no diet that takes into account the heady fragrance of a freshly baked croissant … the kind that smear our hands a little and envelop our palate with a puff-flavored goodness

The post Once upon a time there was a croissant … appeared first on Sale & Pepe.

America Anno Zero: for the first time Vanity Fair US and Vanity Fair Italia together – Italian Cuisine

America Anno Zero: for the first time Vanity Fair US and Vanity Fair Italia together for an issue on the United States on the eve of the vote

On the eve of the presidential elections on November 3, to understand the complex phase that the United States is going through and try to imagine the future of this immense country (and the world), Vanity Fair Italia and Vanity Fair America collaborate together for a special issue.

«For the first time in the history of this magazine, with Radhika Jones and the US editorial staff we have created a severely clear portrait of the United States of today. A country struggling with historical changes and revolutions that question the foundations of its history, its democracy and even its dream, the American Dream. On the cover, we have chosen to put her, Jane Fonda, an icon, an activist rather than an actress. 82 years old, a force of nature, a woman who has never stopped fighting and who perfectly embodies the doubts, questions and actions of an entire nation ", explains Simone Marchetti, director of Vanity Fair Italia.

For its part, Radhika Jones, director of Vanity Fair America, writes: "When Simone Marchetti asked me and the Vanity Fair America team to help him curate an issue on America in 2020, we jumped at the opportunity. We are used to writing about politics, about celebrities, about the world of entertainment and technology. But the collaboration with Vanity Fair Italia, which this year did such an important and engaging job, helped us to better understand what America represents and where it is headed ".

The interview with Jane Fonda reveals the background of the actress's commitment, who has always put her "body" at the service of the causes she believes in, from rallies against the Vietnam War to ecological battles in front of the White House in her Fire Drill Fridays, inspired by Greta Thunberg. Fonda reflects on Biden and Trump and the challenges any President will face after the vote.

Radhika Jones He then paints a beautiful portrait for Vanity Fair Italia of his hometown, New York, at the time of the pandemic. A wounded metropolis but ready to rise again, which suffers but which does not stop looking up, a city that has made resilience its strong point.

The issues that have access to the election campaign, climate change and social conflict – the tones of which have been exacerbated even more by the pandemic – are addressed in an article by the writer Daniel Duane, which bends how and why the fires that are ravaging California arise and how scientists can fight them, and in an exciting essay by the intellectual and journalist Ta-Nehisi Coates, which addresses the social conflicts that gave birth to Black Lives Matter and the birth of an anti-racist majority intent on creating a more inclusive world.

Still on this theme, a series of portraits frames seven visionaries who help understand how a movement like Black Lives Matter is born, a new generation of artists and activists who laid the foundations for global protest in defense of social justice. You go to the director Ava Duvernay to the writer Colson Whitehead, and to the journalist Isabel Wilkerson.
A reflection on the role of Silicon Valley and on the risks and manipulations of digital platforms, recalling the scandals that followed the previous American elections, makes it Anthony Breznican, journalist, novelist and correspondent for Vanity Fair America who interviews Jeff Orlowski, the director of the documentary The Social Dilemma.

The expert Dave Cullen instead it tells the story of the activist Gabby Giffords, essential to understand why the issue of gun control entered the agendas of American politicians in 2020, and how we came to talk about it.
And there is also a reflection on the show, the raw material of Vanity Fair. Richard Lawson, Vanity Fair America's leading critic for everything related to film, TV and theater, wonders: if a former reality TV star managed to become President of the United States – read Donald Trump – what is the weight of Hollywood stars in the life of the country in the Covid-19 era? All the other colleagues of Vanity Fair America then point out which books, films, documentaries and TV series are the key to understanding their country today.

Vanity Fair Italia also asked overseas colleagues if the American dream still existed. The answer was yes, and it's called Canada. To explain why it is the journalist Sonia Saraiya, in a funny article that is also the story of her marriage.

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