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Caviar? The Italian one is at the top … – Italian Cuisine

Caviar? The Italian one is at the top ...

Not at all Iran or Russia: today the caviar that is most popular is the one made in Italy. Our country is the leading European producer of aquaculture caviar and accounts for 30% of world production. But in Italy there are few sturgeon eggs left, because 90% of them are sold abroad.

In short, in addition to the traditional balsamic vinegar of Modena and Parmigiano Reggiano, Amarone and Culatello di Zibello, caviar is also holding high the flag of the finest Italian excellences. This is not surprising, given that caviar was already present (and much appreciated) in the banquets of the Renaissance courts, as attested by the recipe books of the time.

The breeding saved the sturgeon from extinction

In 2020, the production of caviar in Italy was 50 tons (source: Associazione Piscicoltori Italiani), which is almost double that of Russia and eight times that of Iran. How did this happen? Because, over the years, sturgeon fishing has been replaced by breeding, necessary to avoid the disappearance of this species, which in 1998 was included in those in danger of extinction. Intensive fishing had, in fact, drastically reduced the population of sturgeon in the Caspian and Black Seas and since 2006 wild fishing has been banned. In parallel, aquaculture has developed, which has grown and specialized, managing to safeguard many species of sturgeon and prevent their extinction. The Italians have focused big on this activity, indeed they were among the first in the world to believe in it and invest in it. Today there are about twenty sturgeon farms in business, located between Piedmont and Veneto, and most of the companies also deal with the production of caviar.

Journey among Italian producers

The largest sturgeon breeding center in Europe is located in the province of Brescia. It is that of Agroittica Lombarda, which started this activity in the late 1970s by exploiting the excess heat produced by a steel mill to heat the groundwater in which to grow the sturgeons. In 1992 the first made in Italy caviar arrived on the market, the Calvisius Tradition, characterized by large eggs and a clean and round taste. From there, the company never stopped: its caviar has conquered the world and production has increased, reaching over half of the national one. The caviar is obtained from different species of sturgeon (from the beluga to the white Pacific one to the Adriatic sturgeon), all raised in the company's sixty hectares of tanks, and is also sold in large-scale distribution under the Cavalier Caviar Club brand.

Moving to Veneto, from Breda di Piave, in the Treviso area, comes Caviar Giaveri: obtained exclusively from its own farms, where there are a dozen different species all of Russian origin, and processed on the farm, it is characterized by the manual selection of the eggs. and processing according to the Russian “malossol” method. In the Cremona area, in the spring waters of the Tormo river natural park, sturgeons grow from which the Adamas brand caviar is obtained, and of which the company controls the entire supply chain. The jewel is the golden caviar, obtained from the rare albino sturgeons (acipenser ruthenus) that are raised indoors or in sheltered places. With a golden color and a delicate taste, it is mainly used as a decoration in haute cuisine.

In Cisliano, in the province of Milan, Pisani Dossi produces Siberian and Osetra sturgeon caviar. In Cassolnovo (Pavia) there is the Ticino Sturgeon, which raises four species of sturgeon (all certified by Friend of The Sea and bearing the "Parco Ticino – Controlled Production" brand), whose caviar is sold under the Ars Italica Caviar brand. In Mantua, the Naviglio Agricultural Company has been breeding sturgeons in the waters of the Mincio since 1973 and obtains the three types of caviar under the Penseri brand: the Baerii with a strong taste, the more delicate Transmontanus and the unmistakable Beluga.

The type of sturgeon makes a difference

Of the approximately 30 known and widespread species of sturgeon from North America to Japan, from Eastern Europe to China, there are three most used for the production of caviar. The most widespread is the beluga (acipenser huso): a large fish (over a thousand kg!), long-lived and predatory, which produces very large eggs (about 2-3 mm in diameter), soft and compact, of a color ranging from light to dark gray, to intense and glossy black. Due to its extremely delicate and buttery flavor and its “melt-in-the-mouth” consistency, beluga caviar is the most requested and appreciated, and also the most expensive.

Then there is osetra caviar (also called oscietra or asetra) and it is obtained from two species of sturgeons (acipenser fueldenstaedtii And acipenser sturio): they give small, hard-boiled eggs, with a silky and creamy consistency, an intense and elegant flavor (with hints of hazelnut) and a color that changes from light gray to brown. The clearer it is, the more valuable it is.

The third species is the sevruga (acipenser stellatus), the smallest of the sturgeons (about 25 kg in weight), which gives a small caviar, whose color goes from gray to brown and the clearer it is, the more valuable it is. Compact and crunchy, it is definitely tastier and gives a marked sensation of the sea.

Watch out for salt (and service)

The Italian companies adopt the Russian technique called “malossol”, ie with a low salt content (less than 4% of the weight of the caviar), reserved for high quality eggs both in terms of freshness and degree of ripeness. This is why made in Italy caviar has a delicate taste and is relatively sweet, so much so that it can be tasted naturally, without the need to accompany it with buttered croutons, sour cream or eggs to cushion the salinity, as was done in the past. Today, to fully appreciate it, just serve it very cold (two or three degrees below zero), picking it up with a non-metallic spoon (otherwise the taste changes) and accompanying it with boiled potatoes or blinis. But caviar also makes a great impression on risotto and spaghetti, and also with delicate fish. Starting right from the sturgeon.

Manuela Soressi

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Top Italian Restaurants: the best of our cuisine in the world – Italian Cuisine

Top Italian Restaurants: the best of our cuisine in the world

They are the daily ambassadors, in 100 foreign cities, of the tricolor "way of food" and have resisted even a very complicated 2020. Gambero Rosso has reviewed 700 in its international guide and awarded the best seven. here they are

We are at the forefront to support the universal value of Italian gastronomic culture: The Italian kitchen, since last July, it has promoted a great choral initiative to nominate "Italian cuisine" as an intangible heritage of humanity to Unesco. He did so – not only symbolically – by entrusting the direction of the individual numbers to Massimo Bottura, Davide Oldani, Antonia Klugmann, Carlo Cracco, Niko Romito, Antonino Cannavacciuolo. Because it is through our cooks, especially those in the front row, who must pass the fundamental concept: we are number one, for the ability to interpret our products and create universally enjoyable dishes. Without contamination of any kind and respecting the best Italian spirit. Very difficult because theitalian sounding it is a widespread phenomenon at all latitudes and there are thousands of places in the world with flags, signs and tricolor menus, but a mediocre culinary proposal, sometimes unworthy. Especially on pasta and pizza.

Big names

This is why the work of Gambero Rosso remains meritorious and for the fourth consecutive year – through the digital guide Top Italian Restaurants – closely monitors the evolution of our cuisine abroad, narrating the virtuous work of restaurants, trattorias, bistros, wine bars, pizzerias that do not disappoint. In total, the inspectors led by Lorenzo Ruggeri have selected over 700 premises in more than 100 cities in the world. And like the guide to restaurants in Italy they awarded the best with land Three Forks (18), Three Shrimps (13), Three Cloves (15) and Three Bottles (19). At the top there are several important names: Umberto Bombana in Hong Kong, the Cerea in Shanghai, Luca Fantin in Tokyo, Niko Romito in Shanghai, Ciccio Sultano in Vienna, Massimo Bottura in Dubai, the Iaccarino in Toronto, Giovanni Passerini and the pizza chef Gennaro The other dough master Ciro Salvo was born in Paris in London.

The Cerea higher and higher

Crossing the evaluations and without taking into account the pandemic situation, those who want to eat well Italian style must focus on Paris (growing), New York (confirmed) and Singapore (trend). But the seven special awards went to people or locals in other cities. The Pizzeria of the Year, for example, is located in the shadow of Tokyo Tower: it is Peppe Naples is about by Giuseppe Erricchiello, a highly talented and tenacious pizza chef, while the Restaurant of the Year rewards the experience of the Cereas, who are able to offer an exceptional quality standard in China. From Vittorio in Shanghai it allowed the Bergamo family to reach seven Michelin stars: the three from the parent company in Brusaporto and the two from the restaurant at the Carlton in St. Moritz, were added, since last October, by two from the first restaurant in China. That's not all: in a few months the Cereas will open a bistro in the new Ucca museum, also in Shanghi.

Cooks from every region

The Chef of the Year is another son of Bergamo: Mario Gamba, patron of Acquarello in Munich, which has been offering creative cuisine since 1994 and is working with excellent delivery. The destination of the award for the Wine List of the Year was surprising: it ended in Bordeaux, where in the delightful bistro Temptations, Johanna and Giovanni Pireddu offer an author's cellar, entirely made up of Italian labels. Not bad in one of the great French wine areas. The Emerging Restaurant is instead Mono to Edinburgh, a contemporary format that strongly focuses on vegetarian recipes, essential flavors and a healthy and targeted contamination. Two young Lombard chefs drive it, Andrea Pruneri is Simone Croci. The awards for the Opening of the Year went to the Sicilian chef Accursio Lota, who inaugurated the Trattoria Choirs Pastificio in San Diego. Finally, the Guardian of Tradition Award for the restaurant From Emma to Montreal: a cuisine made of gestures, traditional and genuine flavors just like Emma Risi, who moved to Canada in the 1992 bringing with it – in addition to the Roman accent – recipes that have never changed. Her dishes are simple, authentic and tasty: but above all perfect, because to defend Italian cuisine they serve Massimo Bottura as much as a cook who is faithful to her culinary homeland.

Six Italians at the top of the world guide of "green" restaurants – Italian Cuisine

Six Italians at the top of the world guide of "green" restaurants

Good news from the most important specialized guide in the world: for the "We're Smart Green", our country makes good vegetarian or vegan cuisine. Awarded the Lume di Taglienti as best local, 31 recommendations from one to five radishes for our green restaurants

We have always had the certainty that the greater attention to vegetables by almost all Italian chefs not only met with increasing consensus from the public, but had raised the general level of Italian cuisine. Now the applause also comes from guide We're Smart Green which rewards restaurants in which the creative use of seasonal vegetables prevails, the percentage of fruit and vegetable dishes on the menu, the minimization of waste and in general a strong focus on eco-sustainability. The idea came from the Belgian chef Frank Fol, former owner of the starred restaurant Sire Pynnock and now "green consultant": reviews the places around the world recommended for their approach to garden products. The 2020 edition, recently presented online, has 964 in 43 countries on five continents. And Italy made a big leap forward in the ranking. There are six clubs who captured five radishes – the top – and another 25 were ranked one to four.

Piazza Duomo in fourth place

There is a fact that is particularly pleasing. In the list there are historical or trendy names of our cuisine, but also lesser-known places, in the province or managed by enthusiasts who are not part of the "good circuit". In the top ten there are obviously Piazza Duomo in Alba led by Enrico Crippa (Green Award in the 2019 edition and fourth overall) e Joia (which in 2018 had won the Best Veggie Restaurant Award and tenth) by maestro Pietro Leemann in Milan. But also two other Italian candidates for the awards (The Madernassa in Guarene with the young Michelangelo Mammoliti to lead the kitchen, and the Montali Country House in Tavernelle di Panicale, in the province of Perugia). «Although they have not won, they perfectly reflect the philosophy Think vegetables! Think fruits! of the We're Smart Awards ", explained Franck Pol. Also awarded Luigi Taglienti, who received the recognition Best Vegetable Restaurant of Country together with twelve other illustrious colleagues, selected for as many countries. Too bad that his local, Lume in Milan, has not yet reopened its doors. The last "five radishes" is the very classic Arnolfo in Colle Val d’Elsa, led by Gaetano Trova, in 21st position.

All radishes

Here are the other winners. With four radishes: Il Margutta (Rome), St. Hubertus (San Cassiano, Bz), Krèsios (Telese Terme, Bn), La Montecchia (Selvazzano Dentro, Pd), Villa Feltrinelli (Gargnano, Bs). With three radishes: Avignonesi Le Capezzine (Valiano di Montepulciano, Si), Le Calandre (Sarmeola di Rubano, Pd), Exki Italy (it is a chain), I Portici (Bologna), Accursio (Modica, Rg). With two radishes: Osteria Le Logge (Siena), Osteria Perillà (Rocca d'Orcia, Si), Sadler Restaurant (Milan), Taverna Vesuviana (Nola, Na), Villa Crespi (Orta San Giulio, No), Chi Burdlaz Garden (Rimini), From Gorini (San Piero in Bagno, Fc), The National (Vernante, Cn), The Poor Devil (Poggio Torriana, Rn), The Vegetarian (Florence), Magnolia (Cesenatico, Rn). With a radish: La Grotta (Montepulciano, Si), Osteria La Porta (Monticchiello di Pienza, Si), Seta del Mandarin Oriental (Milan), Al Fornello da Ricci (Ceglie, BR).

# 1 is in Luxembourg

Finally, also mark the three best green restaurants on the planet, according to the guide: the Luxembourgish The Distillerie of the patron Rene Mathieu ("A pioneer of natural cuisine who knows how to tastefully evoke the ingredients of the fields and woods around Château Bourglinster", the motivation of the guide), the Belgian Vrjmoed in Gent with chef Michaël Vrijmoed and the Dutch Bord'eau in Amsterdam, led by Bas van Kranen.

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