October 2013


Colatura di Alici from IASA

It could be said that anchovies are polarizing – in a love them or hate them gastronomic way. Yet, anchovies and anchovy sauce are all the rage. National “news” publications: The New York Times, Los Angeles Times, and the Wall Street Journal have all covered this flavor sensation.

Anchovies are often added to pasta or vegetables in the southern lands of Italy. A classic preparation includes vegetables sautéed in olive oil, garlic, and dissolved anchovies. Or garlic, anchovies, capers, and a dash of spicy red pepper! With IASA Colatura di Alici, you can sneak in a bit of anchovy flavor without stocking anchovies in the kitchen. That’s the way some of us have been known to train the palates of family members! Also known as Garum, this fish sauce, Colatura di Alici adds that quick hit of umani — that hard to describe “extra” flavor sensation.

Colatura di Alici is a product of authenticity and tradition from Cetara, near Salerno in Campania. To watch a video on how the artisans create Colatura di Alici from Cetara in Campania, click this link.

Here’s a review of notable recent writing on Anchovies and Colatura di Alici (Anchovy Sauce).

Chicago Tribune Article on Venice includes references to Colatura di Alici on the Cicchetti of Venice

SFGate’s restaurant review of A16 delves into the menu: “roasted broccoli with Calabrian chiles and colatura di alici, a traditional Campanian condiment made of anchovy”

Ready for a midnight – or midafternoon snack? Stock up on good butter and good bread before viewing this New York Times video on Anchovies!

A recent edition of the LA Times features Nancy  Silverton’s Master Class on Anchovies.

We are re-sharing our friend, Vincent Scordo’s, review of Colatura di Alici and our own post, Acquired Tastes?

Here’s a fresh recipe from Elizabeth Minchilli’s beautiful blog: Pasta with Zucchini and Colatura.

Enjoy this video of Mimmo Corcione’s pasta dish with fried zucchini, sauteed spinach and spaghetti with Colatura: Spaghetti con Zucchine Fritte e Colatura di Alici di Cetara.

Ready to purchase Colatura di Alici — or Spicy Anchovies? Start here.

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This can be served warm as a side dish or cooler as a salad. This makes a large family or party sized dish. With the nutty grain and addition of fruit (raisins) this dish brings forth Sicilian style, making a Sicilian olive oil the perfect choice. As always, our salad recipes are guides – your tweaks and adjustments may be marvelous improvements.

 Ingredients

Farro Perlato from La Valletta

1 lb. Brussels sprouts

1/2 lb. Baby Carrots

1/2 jar Villa Cappelli Sun Dried Tomatoes (10 oz jar), slivered

1/3 C Raisins

1/3 C Sun dried tomatoes, slivered

Extra Virgin Olive Oil (Sicilian preferred)

Cattani Organic White Balsamic Vinegar

Vincotto Fig Vinegar

Salt

Pepper, freshly ground

Note: Our farro package contains 3 cups of dried farro. When cooked, this yields ~8 Cups. You can cook the whole package and freeze the portion not needed immediately. It defrosts well.

Start cooking the farro. Prepare the vegetables. Cool the farro, add the roasted vegetables, sundried tomatoes, raisins, and dressing.

Cook 1.5-2 C Farro by placing the farro in a pot, covering it with 1” of water. Bring to a boil, then lower the flame and simmer for 20 minutes. Drain and proceed.

Roast vegetables:

Preheat oven to 450F.

Trim ends and cut carrots lengthwise.

Trim and halve Brussels sprouts. (Quarter large Brussels sprouts).

Drizzle with 2-3T olive oil and roast at 450F for 20 minutes.

Dressing: Recommended proportions: 1:1:1

– 1/3C full and fruity Sicilian extra virgin olive oil. Olio2go Suggests: Primo, Ravida, Planeta

– 1/3C Cattani Organic White Balsamic Dressing

– 1/3C Vincotto Fig Vinegar

Toss together. Let flavors marry for 20 minutes, then serve.

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We’re always pleased when a reputable news organization does an accurate story on olive oil. NPR just ran an updated story on olive oil and we’re here to support most of what they had to say.  To Get the Benefits of Olive Oil Fresh May Be Best. You can listen to the story and read associated content (and see pictures here).

What we liked:

Accurate information on fresh olive oil, storage, and how soon to consume a bottle once opened.

What we didn’t like: 

The named California producer, label photo included, that shows a best-by date more than two years from harvest. Yes, we understand that the oil may be well stored under optimal conditions, but when we find this oil in the grocery store, under harsh lights, it’s doubtful that it has lasting power to reach that long best by date.

If you are seeking the Antioxidants (polyphenols and hydroytyrsol) as mentioned in the story, you can read our blog post on polyphenols here, and on the Olio2go site, you can find them here.

Some cultivars will hold their flavors longer than others. We always recommend that you store your bottles in a cool, dark place, and once opened consume within four months.

A reminder on our mission:

It is our goal to sell out of each harvest’s oil as the new oils arrive. While many selections will have even longer best by dates, it is our goal to provide you with the freshest Italian extra virgin olive oil, with each turn of the harvest.

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It took us too many years to read Bill Buford’s Heat. We’re not huge fans of the Food Network shows, so reading about a chef, just because he’s on TV, isn’t quite to our liking. What incited this reading of Heat? The references to Dario Cecchini (of Macellaria Cecchini) and Italian culture. Dario is the famed Dante-quoting butcher of Tuscany — a larger-than-life character in the Chianti. You can visit him in Panzano, but read the book first!

On page 147, there’s this amusing look at the eaters in the food regions of Italy: “…a northerner was called a “polenta eater,” mangiapolenta, just as a Tuscan is a bean eater, and a Napoletano is a macaroni eater, the belief in Italy being not that you are what you eat but that you are the starch”.

On page 216, Dario Cecchini was introduced:  “So I told her about Dario Cecchini: He, I’d become convinced was the person I should work for.  He didn’t know me, and I had no idea if he’d take me on.”  Buford’s story then intertwines connections with Mario Batali, Mario’s father, Armandino, and “food writer Faith Willinger [who] had  discovered fennel pollen at Dario’s, the stuff she secreted in luggage and smuggled across the Atlantic…”

While Bill spends most of his time with Dario learning to cut meat, his take on Profumo del Chianti is revealed: “The next day we prepared salt. We took bags of it, mixed with dried herbs, and put it though a grinder to make a herbal concoction called Profumo del Chianti. The result was indeed aromatic and evocative of summer camp when I was eight, having been finely pulverized, was fluffy and snow-like. For the next six hours, five of us poured fluffy salt….Hadn’t machines been invented to do this sort of thing?”  (p.226).

Grab a copy of Heat and enjoy Bill Buford’s inside look … especially his time with Dario Cecchini. And, when you’re ready, go to olio2go.com for your own Profumo del Chianti.