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How to taste extra virgin olive oil and why buy various types – Italian Cuisine


A mini guide to the tasting of extra virgin olive oil and how to enhance different types with recipes that will inspire you

Extra virgin olive oil is one of the treasures of our gastronomy that must never be lacking in the pantry. We use it for cook, season raw and complete all dishes that are looking for that extra something that makes them perfect. Like a drop of good and carefully selected oil.

And it is precisely here that the first doubts arise. Which oil should I buy? Did I choose a good product?
To understand it together, we let ourselves be guided by the experience of Olio Sagra, a product that has its roots in the authentic Lucca of 1959. Decades of work, research and consolidated traditions not to be missed. Just like that of taste the oil and try to understand it deeper.

The steps and the rules of the tasting

When: le best times to taste extra virgin olive oil, are those in the morning. You will then have to devote yourself to this operation away from meals and avoid from the day before taking alcohol to eat highly aromatized and spicy foods. Even the use of aftershave, perfumes and tobacco could compromise the result.

Such as: between a taster and the other, let pass a few minutes so that the sensations of the first taste do not condition the next. We recommend chewing a piece of apple or bread to help the mouth to find the right balance between a taste and the other.

The sight: now that we are ready, we proceed to the visual examination. Extra virgin olive oil will result clear if it has been filtered or if it has undergone a natural decantation process. Sara veiled if it is a new and unfiltered oil, while it will appear turbid if characterized by filamentous striations and impurities. In this case we find ourselves in front of an oil that has been badly preserved or produced with insufficient attention and cleaning.
As for the color, we will have to research all the shades that go from yellow to green, alarming us if our extra virgin olive oil is colorless. This is indeed an indication of poor quality or illicit manipulation. In the event that orange appears instead, it means that it is oxidized.

smell: now let's move on to the second phase by preparing our champion in a cup that we will cover with the hand and keep in contact with the palms, subjecting it to slight circular movements. When it is hot (the optimal temperature is 28 ° C) we proceed by inhaling deeply with both nostrils at least three times. In this phase we will look for the olfactory notes of reference and try to perceive the different fragrances and ripening of the olives.

On the palate: here we are at the most awaited phase of our sensory analysis. Pour the extra-virgin olive oil into a small glass (about 15 ml). Let's keep it to temperature of 28 ° C in order to better perceive all the organoleptic characteristics. Let's sniff it and try to steal pleasant and unpleasant olfactory sensations. Take oil now by sucking in air with a suction first slow and delicate, then more vigorous, in order to vaporize it in the oral cavity bringing it in direct contact with the taste buds. Now let's rest the mouth by slowly moving the tongue against the palate.
At this point we inhale again with the tongue against the palate and the semi-open lips. Now expel the oil.
Finally, let's focus on the aftertaste or the gustatory and olfactory sensation that remains after swallowing.

Which one to choose

After tasting the oil, you will have realized that you appreciate some qualities more than others and you have identified a specific type that meets your preferences. Choosing only one oil, however, could represent a limit in the consumption phase. Ideally, in fact, to fully appreciate the potential of a good extra virgin olive oil, we should put it to the test by providing the best conditions. This means that for example a delicate oil is not suitable for the preparation of dishes with an intense flavor, but it is perfect to give freshness to light and balanced dishes. In the same way, an intense oil could be too intrusive if served raw on a steamed fish fillet, while it could be perfect on more complex cooking or regional preparations. Let's see then below 5 types of different oils and to which preparations are combined to the best.

The oils and the recipes

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How to use an extra virgin oil with a vibrant but balanced taste?
Its ideal use is in light dishes that enhance its delicate flavor. The fish for example, it requires an oil that knows how to enhance its taste without covering it. Perfect even when cooked, it gives its best with a small addition to raw at the end of the preparation (just a teaspoon per serving).
The recipe chosen to enhance the extra virgin olive oil Sagra Bassa Acidità is the exotic fish soup.
The ingredients for 6 people: a
spoon extra virgin olive oil Low Acidity, 1kg of soup fish (preferably Cernia), peeled tomatoes, half a kg of cassava, 1 kg of potatoes, half a kg of pumpkin, half a kg of green bananas, an onion, 2 cloves garlic, bay leaves, sage, pepper, salt.
Method: Season fish with oil, garlic and bay leaf. Chop the onion, the remaining bay leaves, the sage and the garlic and brown them in oil with chilli and tomatoes. Add the potatoes, bananas, cassava and pumpkin cut into cubes and season. Add some water to cover the preparation. When the ingredients are about to finish cooking, add salt, add the fish and cook it. You can serve it accompanied by white rice or slices of toasted bread and seasoned with a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil, Sagra Bassa Acidità.

What are the ideal preparations for a organic oil with a strong but balanced taste?
A prized oil such as the Organic extra virgin olive Sagra produced with olives from Organic Agriculture and exclusive Italian production, deserves to be enhanced with preparations that do not alter the taste. We will be able to appreciate it raw on vegetables, white meats and first courses of tomato, but also in fanciful recipes like the fish false based on tuna.
The ingredients for 6 people: a glass of extra virgin organic olive oil, 600 g of tuna, 500 g of potatoes, half a glass of mayonnaise, a jar of anchovies, a jar of capers, 200 g of butter.
Method: pprepare the mayonnaise, boil the potatoes, peel them, pass them through the vegetable mill and season them with the butter. In a bowl put the drained tuna with 5 washed anchovies and blend everything: it should not become a too homogeneous cream. Chop half of the capers with the crescent and add them to the mixture. Add the cream of tuna, anchovies and capers and 2/3 of mayonnaise to the potatoes. Mix gently and in a serving tray give the mixture the shape of a fish. Cover with the remaining mayonnaise and decorate with capers remaining whole or, as desired, with thin slices of radish that recall the scales. Serve cold with toasted bread croutons.

How to use an oil in the kitchen intense fruity?
The 100% Italian extra virgin Sagra is an oil in which you will find a round taste that reflects the characteristics of the typical Italian oil. Produced from olives from our territory, it is perfect to be used every day in the kitchen to enrich the simplest recipes or give an intense note to the traditional preparations like the polenta muffins.
Ingredients for 6 people: a glass of extra virgin olive oil 100% Italian Sagra, 500 g of yellow flour, 2 liters of water, 2 boxes of peeled tomatoes, 3 carrots, one onion, 2 bunches of basil, salt, pepper and Parmesan cheese q.b.
Method: prepair a pomarola with peeled tomatoes, finely chopped carrots, chopped onion, basil and a glass of oil. Bring to a boil and cook for about 25 minutes, adding salt, pepper and a little sugar. Turn off the heat. Once the sauce has cooled, pass it with the sauce and keep it aside. Put the water to boil with salt and oil. When it is boiling, pour the yellow flour into it and, after having melted it, cook for 45 minutes. Meanwhile, butter an oven dish or a baking dish and place small piles of warm polenta, helping with two tablespoons. Season the matuffi thus obtained with the pomarola sauce, sprinkle with grated Parmesan and bake in the oven at 250 ° C. Serve very hot.

In which recipes do you use an oil with a fragrant aroma of ripe olive?
Balanced, delicate, but at the same time complex. Sagra Classico extra virgin olive oil can be adapted to different preparations and is ideal for finishing raw dishes or preparing bases during cooking. It gives the best of itself in simple and Mediterranean dishes as the spelled with tomatoes, zucchini and ricotta.
Ingredients for 6 people: Extra Virgin Olive Oil "Il Classico" Sagra, 200g of pearl spelled, a spring onion, 150g of yellow and red tomatoes, 150g of chickpeas, 2 courgettes, 2 spoons of capers, 150g of ricotta, basil, salt and pepper
Preparation: ccook the spelled in abundant salted water. Meanwhile, cut the onion and fry in a pan with 2 tablespoons of oil. Cut the courgettes into sticks and add them to the pan along with the halved cherry tomatoes. Cook for about 5 minutes, adding salt and pepper. Add also chickpeas, capers and spelled. Stir well, cook for 1 minute and turn off the heat. Serve with crumbled ricotta and basil and season with a little extra virgin olive oil.

What are the preparations suitable for a fragrant and tasty oil?
The golden yellow color with green reflections, the fragrant scent and the balanced taste of Sagra Grandulivo make it the perfect extra virgin for seasonings raw. It gives the best of itself on meat and fish, but it is also excellent on toasted bread that serves as an accompaniment to soups and grilled dishes. One of the perfect dishes to appreciate its qualities, is the veal with pizzaiola.
Ingredients for 6 people: 6 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil Sagra Grandulivo, 900 g of slices of veal, 1 kg of fresh ripe tomatoes, 2 fiordilatte mozzarella, a tube of tomato paste, a clove of garlic, salt, pepper and oregano
Method: Spread the slices on the cutting board and flatten them with a meat tenderizer. Cut the mozzarella into slices. In a pan heat the 6 tablespoons of oil, the clove of garlic and the peeled tomatoes cut into small pieces. Season with salt, pepper and a handful of oregano. Once the sauce begins to boil, throw the slices of meat and turn them occasionally to taste. Cook over a moderate heat until the tomato sauce is a bit 'restricted (about 20 minutes). Cover each slice with a slice of mozzarella, cover the pan, already off the stove and, as soon as the mozzarella has begun to melt, place the meat on the tray, covered with tomato sauce and serve immediately.

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Cooking school: fondue, such as types – Italian Cuisine


Are you really sure you know what fondue is and get to know all the varieties from switzerland to bourguignonne?

For those who sinned in not knowing yet the fondue, here is a simple and clear review. After reading these lines, you will feel like you can not do without them anymore.

The historical and social value of the fondue

The fondue is certainly a traditional dish with a strong social charge, which awakens conviviality and appetite: all seated together at the same table, the meal takes place around a pot placed on a stove, where they are dipped with long forks or with skewers, pieces of meat, vegetables and bread or cheese, depending on the type of fondue. It is a recipe that you decide to make only in the presence of many people, just because it is suitable for being together, the frugal sense of the meal and the old rural tradition.

Swiss and Valle d'Aosta fondue

This is a typical dish of French-speaking Switzerland, very common due to its proximity to Piedmont and Valle d'Aosta. It is prepared with melted cheese, mainly with fontina, Emmental or Gruyere, white wine, milk, butter and spices. It is served in a common container where everyone dips their pieces of toasted bread with the appropriate forks. It is a course that must be eaten absolutely hot, in fact suitable for the climate of mountain villages.

Chinoise and bourguignonne

If the pot is instead full of broth, the fondue is called chinoise, if full of bourguignonne oil. This variant consists of meat cubes, usually beef fillet, cooked individually by the guests in the oil that boils on the appropriate alcohol stove, placed at the center of the table, and then flavored with the different sauces prepared.
Try to make the fondue bourguignonne at home: the pan should be filled with oil about halfway up, put on the gas with the lid and heated well for about 5-7 minutes. Then before bringing the pan to the table, throw a piece of stale bread or a small potato into the table stove, washed and dried very well: these are two small secrets that have a light degreasing function and also prevent the oil from splashing too much. Dip in hot oil pork, beef and chicken and accompany them with various sauces prepared in various bowls. You will be amazed by the delicious taste of this dish, try it! Enjoy your meal.

Are you curious? To learn how to make this and many other recipes at home, take one of our courses!

See the calendar with all the courses!

Texts by Giulia Ubaldi

which types to prepare and how to match them – Italian Cuisine


Bread is the symbol of conviviality par excellence. At Christmas serve it on the table, prepared by you, following our recipes, and matched with the dishes of the Feste menu

On the daily table can never miss the bread, let alone on Christmas, a true moment of sharing and being together with joy. There is nothing that gives more warmth and happiness than the smell of freshly baked bread, so put it in the center table at Christmas it's the right move to start a family lunch with a smile.

But instead of going to the baker early in the morning, why not prepare it at home? Preparing the dough is easy, especially if you have a kneader handy. Know that it takes time, but at Christmas we all slow down, right? Then you need them water, flour, baking powder and a pinch of salt. Pay attention to leavened, to be carried out in an environment between 24 ° and 30 °.

Are you looking for some particular ingredient or a type of bread that will amaze your guests? Below, some tips to prepare and serve the perfect Christmas bread he combinations not to be missed!

Bretzel for appetizers

The Bretzel it is the typical bread of Germany or South Tyrol, with a characteristic knotted shape. To serve on the table on the appropriate wooden support with four arms, it is the bread of conviviality par excellence. To prepare it, you need water, 00 flour, dry beer yeast, butter and coarse grained salt. After having prepared the leavened dough and joined it to the dough, it should be left to rest for a couple of hours. Once ready, it should be divided into small cakes to create cords of about 50 cm each, to be shaped in the shape of a slow knot. After having left them to rest, the bretzels are cooked in boiling water mixed with bicarbonate, until they become shiny. After draining, they should be sprinkled with salt and cooked in the oven at 220 ° for about 20 minutes. Serve the bretzels with the speck and all the sliced, as well as with the classic ones appetizer preparations, like Russian salad, pate, pickles and pickles.

Bread with aromatic herbs or with seeds for main courses

The aromatic herbs are an ingredient that can not miss in the pantry: if you have a vegetable garden available, go out in the morning to pick up a few sprigs of rosemary, still covered with frost: in the bread will give off an intense fragrance, which goes well with i cold cuts and cheeses. Otherwise bought in grocery store sunflower or sesame seeds, rich in vitamins and minerals, to make full of well-being. Combine the bread with seeds also ai seconds of meat or fish, making them even tastier thanks to the herbs' aromas. The bread with seeds it is delicious also cut into slices and toasted, with creams and sauces.

Walnut bread for cheese

After preparing the dough and giving it the shape of a small loaf, fill it with le walnuts, the main fruit of the Christmas table. Chop the kernels and add them to the sunflower seeds, before pouring them into the dough: their delicately sweet taste will make the bread even more inviting. Nuts and cheeses marry to perfection, the bread with walnuts therefore it is combined with gorgonzola, mixed cutting boards, mascarpone cheese.

Panpepato as a dessert

The pappery bread and the sweet bread typical of Christmas. It is called this way, even if there is no shade of pepper: originally it was called Pampapato, in honor of the Pope, for whom it was said it was prepared. From the original cup-shaped shape, to prepare it you need flour, almonds, honey, cocoa powder, candied fruit, cinnamon, minced cloves and dark chocolate, which must be kneaded together for a long time, together with water or milk. Once the mixture is firm, it should be shaped like a cap and fired. It is served at the end of the meal, or as a snack.