Food Notes


Texts by Elena Moretti

Developed for demanding, health-conscious consumers, these products are gluten- or lactose-free, they are made with easy-to-digest grains, or they are low in fats…but they all meet the highest standards of taste and wholesomeness.
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Saving almost lost varieties inspires virtuous niche products. These makers look for forgotten fruits and vegetables, and revive “abandoned” crops that yield surprising harvests- and products!
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Creativity and the desire to make a special product – for real connoisseurs – lead to original combinations of flavors and innovative delicacies, from sweet to savory
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Excellent products that are also good for society and the community: this is the philosophy of some very special names participating in TASTE N. 12
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Mauro Allemanni’s pastry shop has expanded and enriched its product range to include items where IGP Piemonte hazelnuts play the leading role. So we have nocciolotti: soft baci - kisses - filled with raspberry jam, and the crisp baci Mauro. Cakes: from the soft classica made without butter or flour, to the hazelnut cream torta del pozzo, to assaggiami a hazelnut and raspberry jam tart made with Tritordeum flour. Tritordeum is an easy-to-digest cereal that is also used to make the latest addition to the company family; Krumiri Mauro a specialty of Monferrato prepared with Madagascar Bourbon Vanilla.





The AGRUMATO® brand was created to define a product type never existed before and now includes innovative Christmas cakes called Pan’ Di Olio: a line of “healthy Panettoni”  that are easy to digest, with low fat and cholesterol content, no lactose or milk derivatives. Mother dough and carefully selected ingredients bring us Pan’Agrumatoin lemon, orange, citron and tangerine versions, and orange whole wheat; Pan’ di Fragola – strawberry, and Pan’di Uva – with Montepulciano d’Abruzzo grapes.





Torrefazione Lady Cafè is a craft workshop dedicated to coffee. In addition to roasted coffee beans,  there are some great product innovations, Verde Caffè line, a selection of health drinks made from ground green organic Mexico Altura Bio coffee beans, certified by ICEA an organization that tests products to guarantee that they are good, wholesome and healthful. Green coffee beans are rich in  chlorogenic acid, a powerful antioxidant and metabolism booster. It is ideal for a diet fat-burning and low cholesterol diets.





In 2014 Giovanna and Paolo opened a bakery in Verona to make gluten-free goods. Their mission was, and is, to bring taste, elegance and variety into foods for people with celiac disease. The line of craft products ranges from sweet to savory with gluten-free, egg-free, milk-free and totally vegan goods. Ever since the beginning, Brio products have been characterized by carefully selected ingredients such as organic flours and mother dough, and methods that comply with the most stringent safety standards.





The Biscottificio is carrying on the tradition of Prato’s almond biscuits (also known as cantucci or cantuccini) that are packaged in a classic blue bag. The firm was founded in 1858 and  has been run by the Pandolfini family since the early twentieth century. The Pandolfinis developed the cantuccini made with dark chocolate and sold in red bags. Another traditional product is the Biscotto della Salutehealth biscuits – available in three versions: Ricetta Originale (original), Integrali (whole grain) and Senza Zucchero (sugar-free).




For over 100 years, this firm has been producing milk and transforming it into the noblest of cheeses: Parmigiano Reggiano DOP. This is one of the very few firms that are truly an example of vertically integrated production. This leads to outstanding products such as the Parmigiano Reggiano DOP Millesimato Grand Cru, made with milk cows that had calved not more than 100 days earlier, and the first-ever strictly Kosher Parmigiano Reggiano DOP, and Senza, made with vegetable rennet and free of preservatives, additives, lactose and gluten As to nutritional values, Senza is a protein-rich cheese (nearly 30 grams per 100 grams of product), without any carbohydrates or sugars.



Cantina Marilina an organic and vegan winemaking company at Noto, between the Noto and Eloro DOC areas. Historic, autochthonous vineyards, alberello training system, drying in the sun, maceration on the skins, fermentation and refining in cement vats with natural yeasts. These non-industrial wines are not refrigerated but slightly filtered with natural products. Cantina Marilena makes three lines of organic wines and for nearly two years now has been producing vegan wines where there is no trace of any animal-origin substances such as the most widely used “clarifiers”egg white, casein, gelatin and isinglass.





Chox is innovation through subtraction: chocolate that is emulsified with water, containing very few ingredients, simple processing and basic, sustainable packaging. It speaks to the growing need for genuine, healthy, low-calorie foods: excellent raw materials, very little brown sugar, no palm oil or hydrogenated fats, and no gluten, flavorings or food-colorings. Chox does not contain preservatives: its aroma lasts thanks to vacuum packaging and cold. Chox is a cream that comes in glass jars; Quadra is a “brick” to cut with a knife; Streusel is a cream on crisp shortbread made with rice and almond flour – that means that it is gluten-free; Arancia is topped with candied oranges, Amarena has candied black cherries, and Caffè has a dough made with ground coffee.





It was for Christmas 2016 that Fraccaro Spumadoro began making Panettone Bio Senza Glutine – gluten-free organic panettone. It is made only with select organic ingredients, natural yeast and according to the traditional recipe for the classic Christmas cake: it was created for people with celiac disease or gluten-intolerance. This extraordinarily tasty and soft Panettone is made with organically farmed rice flour, potato flour, cornstarch, butter, eggs, raisins and candied fruits. And there will be new products for Easter 2017, such as the gluten-free Colomba Classica.





PRI.MA. (from the words prima and materia) was established in Puglia in 2015  by a pastry chef and an entrepreneur active in the herbalist-wellness business. The encounter between the two – and their histories – gave rise to a line of 32 essences obtained with an innovative process of extracting essential oils from fruits, flowers, spices and medicinal plants. Pepper, lime, cinnamon, and ginger are just a few of the essences to experiment with in the kitchen. The products are perfect distillates of flavor and wellness because PRI.MA. contains only the natural virtues that withstand cooking temperatures so that flavor and wholesomeness remain intact.





Verrigni pasta has evolved since 1898 – while made according to the early traditions. The big innovation was to flank traditional bronze extruders with others made of gold: contact with the precious metal gives the five “gilded” varieties better consistency. Then came the work on shapes (Quadrati – squares) all the way to the Spaghettoalvolo: a high-quality spaghetti that only needs 3-4 minutes of cooking time. Now there is also the Sine Gluten – gluten-free line a response to needs of consumers who are gluten-intolerance, and the special Kamut® line made with a grain that is easily digestible and tolerable even in cases of severe hypersensitivity to gluten.




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The  firm, located in the heart of Sicily, was founded in the early 1950s, and it has always been in the vanguard of the movement to save varieties on the verge of extinction such as the black lentil, the Leonforte broad bean and many other legumes from the Ennesi hills. Then there are the area’s fruits: apricots, almost forgotten citrus fruits such as the arance amarebitter oranges, and the pesche nel sacchetto – peaches in a bag, that are individually bagged while still on the tree. Using these and many other fruits, the firm makes outstanding preserves that contain only fruit, sugar and lemon juice.





The story of Agricola Paglione is a family’s story. In 1994 Beniamino Faccilongo and Maria Costanza Albano had a simple idea: to maintain the “just-picked” qualities of their tomatoes intact in their preserves. So today, Agricola Paglione is a farm that protects varieties that would have otherwise been lost: Prunilli, an autochthonous tomato from Lucera, and Roma, the key products in the Senza Sale – Salt Free line. There are monovarietal extra-virgin and table olive oils: Nasuta, Peranzana, Coratina, Leccino. Two different versions of the DOC Cacc’e Mmitte di Lucera wine, plus “L’ecleticco” an orange wine, and “Componimento n. 1”  an IGP barrique wine from Puglia





In the second half of the nineteenth century, an already old recipe that belonged to the Premiato Laboratorio Chimico Farmaceutico del Cav. Umberto Rosati, in Ascoli Piceno, led to the creation of Anisetta Rosati, a digestive elixir that was often mentioned in the newspapers of the day. It’s uniqueness comes from diligent distilling in a double-boiler, slow evaporation and careful selection of the most fragrant anise seeds (Pimpinella Anisum L.). After growing for six months on the sundrenched lands of the Piceno hills, the seeds are hand-harvested during the night of the last full moon of summer.





The “Besio” label has been a synonym for quality and candied fruits for more than a century. The firm was founded in the city of Savona in 1860. Ever since then it has been producing candied bitter oranges – called chinotto in Italian, - a fruit that has been grown in the province of Savona since the seventeenth century. The chinotto-based products (in maraschino, or marmalade or in syrup) along with chickpea meal and pesto are among the few, items that are entirely Ligurian – from the fruit that is grown and harvested on a dozen small farms in the province to the strictly in-house processing. 





Rice has been grown at Cascina Oschiena since the sixteenth century. Cascina Oschiena rice that has been certified as a Friend of the Earth is grown in a protected biodiversity environment that has been recognized by the European Union as a Special Protection Area. More than 3000 trees and shrubs have been planted, and wet zones have been created for biodiversity. The rice products are: Arborio, Carnaroli, Carnaroli Brown, Apollo, Selenio Originario, Venere and  Ermes Brown. In 2016, Cascina Oschiena began growing the ancient  Farro Dicoccum (spelt) that is planted around the rice chambers left uncultivated as part of the Blacktailed Godwit Project (the blacktailed godwit is a migratory bird with a long, tapered beak).





Rinci is a company dedicated to excellence. Rinci’s products include organic fruit compotes, sauces and Spaccasassi sott’olio – rock samphire in oil  – a traditional preserve from the Conero district. The plant, which is better known as sea fennel, is an aromatic plant with nutritional value that grows along the Mediterranean coasts. If, on the one hand Rinci makes traditional condiments such as barbecue sauce with new flavors, on the other the company experiments with new and usual combinations…to make elegant mustard sauce, the bold spicy sauce, an original sea fennel pesto and other innovative marvels of flavor.





The “Case di Latomie” farm is located near Catelvetrano and is only 7 km from Selinunte. One of the success factors of “Case di Latomie” Centonze olive oil is its unexpected sweetness even though it is pressed from Nocellara del Belice olives that are famous for their slightly bitter, spicy taste. In 2015, the Centonze farm was declared a “Slow Food Presidium of Extra Virgin Olive Oil” - "Presidio Slow Food dell'Olio Extra Vergine di Oliva".





Innovation and tradition come together in a product of excellence. Since 1930, on a farm not far from the ancient Greek colony of Paestum, Santomiele has been growing and processing the finest variety of figs, “cultivar dottato”. In 1999 the workshop was moved to the old hamlet of Prignano Cilento, and added chocolate-making to its repertoire. Everything is done using strictly artisanal natural processes and first quality raw materials typical of the Mediterranean biosphere – and flavors such as Bergamotto delle Calabria – Calabrian Bergamot , mandarini del Cilento – Cilento tangerines, or cedri di Sicilia – Sicilian citron  add embellishing notes to the chocolates.





The family-operated farm, Sapori Vesuviani, managed with love by Pasquale Imperato, is situated on the slopes of the volcano in the Parco Nazionale del Vesuvio where the typical product par excellence is the tomato known as Pomodorino del Piennolo del Vesuvio D.O.P.  The farm specializes in saving the typical farm products of the Vesuvius area and then processing them. The farm produces Pomodorini del Piennolo del Vesuvio D.O.P, Albicocca del Vesuvio – Vesuvius apricots, vegetables, jams, canned fruits in syrup, vegetables preserved in olive oil , fruit juices, ready-to-use sauces and purées, and it is committed to creating a short, farm-to-table chain. 





Azienda Agricola Valier has belonged to the family of the same name since 1484, when Venice expanded its dominions to the mainland. The first planted walnut grove in Italy is here. With its long experience in growing walnuts, and thanks to careful studies of the fruit, Azienda Valier makes the most of walnuts in every season. It is the first and only farm in Italy that utilizes the green nut that is harvested in June before the shell is formed. The main products are: Crema di noci Verdi – green walnut cream; Noci verdi candite – candied green walnuts;  Noci verdi candite ricoperte di cioccolata – chocolate-covered candied green walnuts; Noci verdi sott’olio – green walnuts in olive oil, Sciroppo di noce verde – green walnut syrup.





Zolla 14 is an organic and biodynamic farm located in the heart of the Marca Trevigiana area. Eleven hectares of land are devoted to growing 8 varieties of apples and respecting biodiversity . The fruits are hand-harvested and are transformed into clear AURO apple juice. Another jewel is RARO beer made with IGP Radicchio Rosso di Treviso Tardivo IGP – an Italian chicory – that is refermented in the bottle for 12 months – this beer won the Oscar Green Nazionale 2016. The 12th edition of TASTE will mark the debut appearance of IULIUS, a nectar made of 4 varieties of white peaches to mix with EGLE cider or Spumante metodo classico for the simplest and most elegant cocktail of 2017.




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Andrea Magi is a man who approaches his work like an alchemist, he enjoys thinking up new methods for ripening his cheeses and new processes; he selects places with unique microclimates or lets his products ripen in caves, in terracotta jars or oak barriques, in travertine basins or between wooden boards wrapped in the leaves of aromatic plants. And, like all true alchemists, he combines intuition with patience. Production is limited and each cheese has a unique flavor: the “young” pecorino cheeses include l’affienato”, “Croccolo”, “Mascalzone”, “Gioia del Pastore a Latte Crudo” [made with raw milk]”; among the prize-winning blue cheeses we have “BRIA Cacio di pecora” and BRIA Cacio di mucca”, “Pinetta”, “Pino”, “Saverio”, “Gobbo di Picche” and “Muffato”.





Autore products are the “children” of an old Campana tradition for making craft chocolate that originated at San Marco dei Cavoti. Everything is made strictly by hand and the classic croccantinos – almonds or hazelnuts with caramel and covered with dark chocolate, – and the honey-and-raisin, honey-and-fig, gianduia, coffee gianduia, coconut and mint  croccantinos have recently been joined by tangerine, pistachio-and-salt, and white chocolate-with-currant, small (minuto) croccantinos. The spreads are also fantastic: hazelnut or dark chocolate with crunchy grains, white chocolate with pistachios and hazelnut with olive oil.





The new and rising star is Fabio Barbaglini’s Duck Foie Gras Torchon. A top quality, natural, artisanal product without preservatives. Skill, technical ability and extraordinary passion are the ingredients that go into this exclusive foie gras: a delicacy with a unique and delicate flavor. For nearly twenty years this foie gras was made only for restaurants, but now you can enjoy this delight at home with friends and family at any time. This edition of TASTE will feature the debut of the Duck  Foie Gras Torchon with candied citron and Sarawak white pepper.





Romagna is renowned for gastronomic excellence – from Sangiovese and Albana passito wines, to formaggio di fossa, “sweet” salt from Cervia, mostarda di Cesena, IGP balsamic vinegar from Modena and acacia blossom honey. As they searched for something that would give their chocolate an unmistakable identity, they thought of combining excellence with excellence and finally giving Romagna “its very own” craft chocolate. This led to the development of some of the most astounding products: chocolate bars with salt, chocolates with formaggio di fossa  and Albana passito, spreadable creams and pralines for the most demanding palates.





This firm is located on a hill above Fabriano (province of Ancona) in the green hinterland of the Marches. Giorgio Poeta (born in 1984) makes the world’s only acacia blossom honey that is aged in French oak barrels. His method creates a perfect blend: the acacia blossom honey with its delicate fragrance and flavor is enriched with the balsamic and acid aromas that come from the oak barrels. Its pale yellow color shifts to an intense ruby red and you can taste unique notes of leather, tobacco and a slightly burnt touch. This honey, that is used by the best chefs world over, has its own special “companions”, an acacia blossom honey with infused with star anise, a very special mead (the oldest fermented beverage in the world) and an equally unique Barriqued Mead.





In 2005, Morgan Pasqual and his wife, Luciana, combined their creative instincts and founded La Giardiniera di Morgan®. Over the years they developed a specialty product – in jars for each member of their family. After the Giardiniera di Morgan, a crisp, fresh and innovative combination of pickled vegetables, came the Giardiniera di Luciana: by the mom who wanted to restore balance and “round the corners”. For Giovanni, their imaginative and exuberant youngster they created a recipe that is “gentle” and aromatic thanks to its unique combination of vegetables and fruits. At Taste they will present their Quail Eggs and their new product for 2017 – a tasty surprise for people who love sweet and sour.





Mo’Bufala: the brand name says it all, by borrowing a dialect word to stress the dual bond with the area. Pugliese buffalo mozzarella, made with local buffalo milk and local labor. Everything local – made in Puglia. The priority is the zero-kilometer factor, and short post-milking processing times. This mozzarella has already obtained the Prodotto di qualità PugliaPuglia quality product – mark. The product range goes from Organic Mozzarella to Lactose-Free Mozzarella





Lumaca Madonita is Italy’s biggest snail farm and nearly 90% of its yearly output of 20 tons is destined for the world market. The firm was founded in 2006 by three young farmers from Campofelice di Roccella who wanted to raise snails with an innovative method that would be natural, productive and ethical. Their goal is to offer consumers a high-quality product and to train others who want to use the “Madonita method”.





Lomellina, in the Province of Pavia, has been known as Salame d’ocagoose salami – since the eleventh century. It was a passion for “genuine goose salami” that prompted Oca Sforzesca to reinterpret an ancient tradition to offer refined, light products made only with lean goose meat – and only certified Italian meat! – without any pork. These healthful gourmet products that are also halal certified, are for the modern, discriminating, health-conscious consumer who enjoys the pleasures of good food.Oca Sforzesca proudly presents “Salame cotto d’oca di Vigevano" –  Vigevano cooked goose salami – stuffed into goose skin with hand sewn seams and other  delicacies like Galantina d’oca con pistacchio di Bronte – Goose Galantine with Bronte Pistacchios DOP, Salame d’oca con tartufo nero -  cooked goose salami with black truffle and Salame d’oca con fegato d’ocagoose salami with goose liver.





Salted, but also “crisp” or “ground”, then there are the “Granella di cucunci” and “Foglie di cappero” – caper leaves in oil, and the latest, crumbly and irresistible “Capperi Spaziali”. Bonomo & Giglio Srl changed the history of Pantelleria’s most famous and traditional product. Under the “La Nicchia Pantelleria” label Bonomo & Giglio offer the best of the island of Pantelleria, selected on their own land and processed with simple, natural methods – but with absolutely new accents. The latest addition to the family: “Capperi Spaziali”. Medium-large size capers that are freeze-dried intact to give raw fish and meat dishes innovative consistencies and sensations that will truly astound.





The firm, on the island of Burano, is operated by one of the last eight families of moeche fishers. Moeche is the name of the typical crab that lives in Venice’s lagoon. Legend has it that only the Burano fishermen know the secret of how to recognize the mature crabs that can become Moeca, that shed their shells twice a year and stay soft – a delicacy to fry and enjoy down to the last morsel – every bit can, and must, be eaten. Andrea Rossi is both fisherman and producer, it is his desire to acquaint the world’s gourmets with this gastronomic jewel.





Today, Borgolab believes in its latest creation: "Plume de fruit", a story that more than any other embodies the company’s philosophy. It’s the story of high quality fruit that is dried at very low temperature; it is light (as a feather!) and yet the flavor is intact, without preservatives or added sugar. Plume de Fruit is the brand that seduces the senses: all in a colored feather to enjoy as is, or in yogurt, in a risotto, with a cheese platter…or any way that tickles your fancy!.




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32 Via dei Birrai


After having introduced the first beer bottle with a Braille inscription on the glass, in cooperation with the glass manufacturer Verallia, 32 Via dei Birrai is launching a project to benefit the school for visually impaired children established by the Fondazione Luca Guderzo Onlus school founded in 2016. The craft micro-brewery of Pederobba is definitely committed to charity.





The “most wanted” panettoni in the world? These cakes are made in a very special craft bakeshop that is situated in the Padua prison where inmates prepare and bake panettone, colombe and other delicacies under the supervision of the master pastry-chefs from Officina Giotto. These highly acclaimed, top-quality products are in great demand throughout Italy and abroad. The cakes are made with enormous skill using natural ingredients – no preservatives at all! Each panettone requires more than 72 hours to make, including 24 hours for rising. The bakeshop also produces biscuits, grissini, focacce and there is a brand new workshop that makes chocolate and ice cream.





San Michele Arcangelo, dedicated to a love for people and the products of the land,  was established in 2007, amidst the fragrant hills that separate Corridonia from Monte San Giusto, in the province of Macerata. The 48 hectares are devoted to growing wine grapes and olives, fruits and vegetables, and then come the preserves made only with organic brown sugar and organic lemon; the canned fruits in organic brown sugar syrup; artichokes selected from the local ecotypes preserved in olive  oil; purées and sauces made without preservatives. Processing, based on traditional methods, takes a long time and is done on a truly “human scale”. San Michele Arcangelo has its roots in social commitment, it was founded to offer underprivileged people, typically those with therapy or drug rehabilitation backgrounds, the chance to reintegrate into society.





San Patrignano is a free drug rehab community founded by Vincenzo Muccioli in 1978. Originally a small plot of fertile land on the Adriatic Coast, today San Patrignano extends over 300 hectares. Pork-butchers, dairymen, planning experts have conveyed their skills – the fruits of their long experience – to the Community’s youths. Commitment plus a passion for good things give rise to cheeses made with fresh milk –including the DOP Squacquerone; processed meats free of lactose, nitrites and nitrates made from Mora Romagnola hogs raised in the semi-wild state and now recognized as a Slow Food presidium, plus baked goods made with mother dough.