Tag: Woman

The Ascoli olives and the strength of a woman in the operating room – Italian Cuisine

The Ascoli olives and the strength of a woman in the operating room

In Ancona, an avant-garde surgical practice called "awake surgery" and the exquisite olives of Ascoli intertwine in a story that has an incredible

Prepare the Ascoli olives while being operated on by the brain as a wake-up call. The news reported by Ansa quickly traveled around the world, up to the major American television networks. A story that is incredible and that happened in the capital of the Marche, at the Ospedali Riuniti of Ancona. The woman, a sixty-year-old from Abruzzo, prepared 90 stuffed olives in just under an hour, while undergoing surgery on the left temporal lobe, an area responsible for the control and organization of language and complex movements of the right part of the body. It is a consolidated practice called "cutting edge" awake surgery, which allows you to monitor the patient while surgeons intervene on brain functions.

"Everything went well," Dr. Roberto Trignani, head of the Department of Neurosurgery, at the end of the operation, which lasted a total of two and a half hours and which involved 11 people including neurosurgeons, neuroanesthesiologists, nurses, a psychologist, a neurophysiology technician.

Now, the news itself could rightly be relegated to the medical field, if it were not for the great value that the kitchen assumes in the life of all of us. An activity that is part of our culture, of daily life, so much so that it becomes a panacea for the most difficult moments and, as in this case, an indispensable placebo saves lives in the operating room.

So here is what the Ascoli olives are and how they are prepared from the nineteenth century to today.

The Tenera Ascolana, the giant olive

The tradition of stuffed olives in Ascoli is widespread among the provinces of Ascoli Piceno and in Abruzzo of Teramo, where tender olives can be found, a prized variety of giant olives. From noble preparation, today this dish has become one of the emblems of street food. It is a giant ellipsoidal and elongated olive (each drupe weighs 4 to eight grams), with fleshy pulp. The color of the fruit goes from green to straw yellow until it becomes purple with full ripeness. It is one of the four Italian PDOs, but the production is particularly limited and, above all, the tender is difficult to pitting with a knife due to its fragility. Reason why artisan producers apply a higher price for stuffed Ascoli. The food industries offer them in the fridge of supermarkets with fillings of various kinds, but this variety is hardly used in industry, due to the limited cultivation. Furthermore, in Ascoli Piceno, if it is not prepared by hand, it is not a real "fried liva ascolana".

The recipe for Ascoli olives

The recipe for stuffed olives is very old. It dates back to 1800. Preparation takes several hours and each family has its own version. The differences come from the choice of meats, the use of spices or lemon, breading and, of course, the type of olive. In Ascoli, every restaurateur has his own little secret that makes them unique, local delicatessens send them home throughout Italy.


To make 100 stuffed olives (about 1.5 kg of finished product)

1 kilo of “tener Ascoli” olives; 300 grams of beef pulp; 100 grams of pork meat; 100 grams of chicken or turkey breast; a hectogram of grated Parmesan; three fresh eggs; nutmeg; zest of 1/2 untreated lemon; a clove; a stalk of celery; an onion; a glass of white wine; 00 flour; bread crumbs; extra virgin olive oil and salt.


Once the olives have been drained from their brine, one of the main precautions is to keep the olives in fresh water for a few hours with a generous dose of wild fennel (in the local dialect "bastard fennel"). Chop celery, carrot and onion and a clove and just brown them with a little oil in a saucepan. Cut the meat into small pieces, brown it together with the vegetables and lemon zest until golden brown, then blend with the white wine, preferably from the Picene hills (a good Falerio) and season with salt. When the meat is cooked, it must be left to cool and then grind it to a very fine grain with a meat grinder or mixer. Add a pinch of nutmeg, 2 eggs and Parmesan; mix well mixing until a homogeneous mixture is obtained.

In the meantime, pitted the olives with a smooth blade knife: starting from the stalk, cut the pulp from the core by drawing a spiral without ever detaching the blade from the olive, thus obtaining a single strip of pulp. Take the dough and fill the olives by reassembling the original shape of the fruit with the peel. Pass each olive first in the flour, then in the beaten egg and finally in the breadcrumbs. In a large pan, bring the temperature of the extra virgin olive oil (or sunflower) to 170 degrees and immerse the olives by turning them until they are golden brown outside; drain them, place them on a paper towel and serve them still hot.

Alessia Zucchi is the «Woman for Made in Italy – Italian Cuisine

Alessia Zucchi is the «Woman for Made in Italy»

The managing director of the historic Cremona oil mill was awarded for the "ability to innovate and contribute significantly to the growth of the Italian economy"

The "Woman for Made in Italy", this year, is Alessia Zucchi. The CEO of the Zucchi oil mill, a historic company from Cremona, received the recognition from Teresa Bellanova, Minister of Agricultural Food Policies, who rewarded his commitment to spreading the culture of oil and excellence made in Italy. The award was given in the context of the national conference Consortia and Made In: how to convey excellence, which awards seven Italian businesswomen who have distinguished themselves for their ability to innovate and to contribute significantly to growth of the Italian economy.

«Our commitment as a company is not only to promote a correct approach to sustainability issues, but also to spread one conscious oil culture, able to enhance the excellence of our territory while respecting biodiversity and work ethics ", explained Alessia Zucchi, who has led the company for two years. "Seeing this commitment recognized is immense satisfaction, and can only be the drive for the whole Zucchi team to continue working in this direction".

For Alessia Zucchi and her company, this is it the third recognition in a few weeks: the oil mill has been selected among the ten virtuous examples of Why Italy is definitely alive and kicking, promoted by The European House – Ambrosetti, and has also joined the award-winning companies Coop for future – Together for a good expense, conferred by Coop Italia.

The oil mill was born in 1810: it was a family-run artisan business dedicated to extracting oil from seeds for food use. Over the years, the plant has become increasingly modern and the olive oil line has been introduced to complement that of seed oils. The oil mill gave birth to first disciplinary of Sustainability Certification of the entire chain of extra virgin olive oil, guaranteed by the Csqa certification body.

In this way a chain of excellence is guaranteed, traceable and based on respect for the environment, on proper economic recognition of work, on workers' rights. Over the years, the oil mill has also introduced new ones measures to limit the environmental impact of production, for example through the reduction of the carbon footprint, the construction of a cogeneration plant and a rail link for the movement of goods, and, again, the reduction of water consumption.

TEN, in Sicily, solidarity is a woman – Italian Cuisine

TEN, in Sicily, solidarity is a woman

In Sicily, TEN is back, the charity evening dedicated to women's complicity. Promoted by Giuseppe Costa, the second edition has just ended with a fundraiser that exceeded expectations

A charity evening dedicated to female complicity. The second edition of TEN, an annual event promoted by Giuseppe Costa, chef patron of the restaurant 1 Michelin star The Bavaglino of Terrasini, which this year saw the involvement of 9 starred chefs from all over Italy.

Among the tickets purchased and donations from the partners, 47 thousand euros were collected entirely donated to the association Friends Onlus who cares for people with ulcerative colitis and Crohn's disease and their families. The causes that lead to the onset of these diseases are unknown and at the moment there is no cure that allows healing.

TEN wants to be a moment of collective meeting in order to promote and introduce this part of the Sicilian coast, a few kilometers from Palermo, through the typical products of the territory, in particular the blue fish. For the second consecutive year it was the Sea Club of Terrasini that hosted the event: set in a small bay on the Gulf of Castellammare, where one of the most beautiful sunsets in Sicily is contemplated, guests were able to taste the dishes prepared for the occasion by the chefs, each characterized by contaminations of the different regions of origin.

Next to the host, Giuseppe Costa, there were the stars: Martina Caruso of the Signum of Salina, Maria Cicorella del Pashà of Conversano, Iside De Cesare of the restaurant La Parolina in Trevinano, Giuliana Germiniasi of the Capriccio of Manerba del Garda, Rosanna Marziale of the restaurant The columns in Caserta, Maria Probst of La rossa rossa of Cerbaia, Antonella Ricci of the restaurant Al fornello – from Ricci to Ceglie Messapica, Patrizia Di Benedetto of the Bye Bye Blues restaurant in Palermo and the pastry chef Edvige Simoncelli of Idylio by Apreda in Rome.

«Thanks to the public intervened, commented Giuseppe Costa, «and the enthusiastic participation of our supporters, with their economic donations and free supplies of services, the party was unforgettable. I owe a special thanks to the chefs who came from all over Italy who immediately accepted this project with great enthusiasm. The joy and beauty of the entire team's work was felt by all the participants and this year we also managed to raise more funds than the first edition. A spur that fills us with joy and propels us already to 2020 for the next edition of TEN ”.

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