Category Archives: Food and drinks

Extra virgin olive oils D.O.P.

extra-virgin-olive-oilAbruzzo land of Olive oil

Olive trees were introduced in Abruzzo during the V century a. C., its cultivation and the production of olive oil have been developed by the Romans, as confirmed by various archaeological and historical evidences. Nowadays in Abruzzo there are over 40.000 hectares of hilly land with olive trees. During the centuries the knowledge related to the cultivation of olive trees has been refined and several varieties have been classified and selected: Leccino present all over the Abruzzo territory, Dritta characteristic of Vestine district, Toccolana typical of Tocco da Casauria, Gentile present in the area of Chieti province as well as the Intosso, used to be eaten instead than pressed. Other varieties characteristic of the Chieti area are Nebbio and Cucco, while in the area of Teramo are more present varieties like Tortiglione, Castiglionese, Carboncella. L’Aquila province is less important in terms of production except for the areas of Navelli, Peligna valley and Roveto valley, where Monicella is the main cultivar.Azienda-agricola In Abruzzo there are 9 millions plants of olive trees, producing an average of 1 million and 200.000 quintals of olives, from which are obtained almost 200.000 quintals of olive oil.For this reasons Abruzzo is considered one of the major producers of olive oil. In Abruzzo olive oil is still produced in a traditional way in small oil mill, for this reason Abruzzo has been granted from European Union of three D.O.P.(Denominazione di Origine Protetta) for its extra virgin olive oils. D.O.P. represent a an important quality certification for buyers from all over the world.

Regulation of D.O.P.

D.O.P. sets all the rules for production zones, varieties of olives used, method of cultivation, implant systems, maximum production, period of harvesting, transportation and pressing out methods, chemical, physical and organoleptic characteristics of the oil produced. Only through a strict adherence to these rules is possible to obtain a high level extra virgin olive worth to obtain a D.O.P. nomination. (more…)

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Truffle

truffleTruffles resemble knobbly tubers and have a very pungent smell. Truffles are essentially mushrooms that grow underground in association with certain types of trees, mainly oak, beech and hazelnut. The truffle develops over several months and only when a number of conditions are right, such as the acidity of the ground, surrounding vegetation, temperature and rainfall, will a truffle grow. Truffle gathering remains an ancient and secretive art, practised by a select few. Even in years when conditions are quite perfect, only very small quantities are unearthed.  It is this rarity that accounts for the high prices truffles command. The truffle has developed its very powerful aroma in order to propagate - it is very attractive to animals such as pigs and squirrels which dig them up for food and then go on to disseminate the spores. Female pigs or trained dogs have long been indispensable in finding truffles. Originally truffles were hunted with female pigs as it was thought that the scent from the truffles resembled that of the male pig pheromone. (more…)

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Traditional Abruzzo Delicatessen

ventricina-pasta-pesche

Besides traditional recipes, Abruzzo region has also several distinctive product  that are characteristic of the area. Typical produce of this region is so numerous: From salami and cold pork meats to cheese, from fruit to vegetables, from unusual cultivations (eg. saffron, spelt and truffle) to oil, wines, spirits, pasta. The video below will take you to a special journey through the flavours of Abruzzo!! Hopefully one day you will get the chance to try some of this delicatessen. (more…)

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Basil Leaves

basilHistory of Basil Leaves

Basil plants have been taken from India to the Mediterranean coasts thousands of years ago. Basil has a long and interesting history. The name basil is actually derived from an old Greek word "basilikohn," which translates to "royal." This fact illustrates that basil was held in quite high regard by many ancient cultures around the world, both for its great taste and its health benefits. This high regard for basil continues to this day, with basil being a symbol of love in Italy and one of hospitality in India.

Basil and symbols For the ancient Greeks and Romans the herb was a symbol of malice and lunacy. In French, semer le basilic, "sowing basil," means "raving". Pliny, the celebrated first century AD Roman scholar, considered it to be an aphrodisiac and it was given to horses during the mating season. In Italy, basil symbolized love; when a lady left a pot of it in her window it was a signal that her lover was welcome. (more…)

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