Puglia olive oil stars in Singapore

Jul 10 2023, 13:52
Vinexpo was a great opportunity for Gambero Rosso to talk not only about wine, but also about extra virgin olive oil. The products from Puglia were the stars of the event.

Vinexpo is without doubt one of the most prestigious international events for the wine world. It was held in Singapore last May, while the next edition will be organised in Hong Kong in two years' time. Gambero Rosso was present with the Tre Bicchieri Tour, but the occasion was a great opportunity to talk not only about wine, but also about extra virgin olive oil. Thanks to the Radici Virtuose project - which is led by three Puglia wine consortia (Primitivo di Manduria, Brindisi, Salice Salentino) with the aim of promoting and enhancing Puglia's agri-foodstuffs in the world - several olive oils were presented during the tasting in one of the Vinexpo pavilions. In addition to the tasting, Gambero Rosso also organised a dinner based entirely on extra virgin olive oil. The location was Buona Terra, one of the most prestigious Italian restaurants in Singapore, awarded the Tre Forchette recognition by the Top Italian Restaurants Guide and led by a winning duo who divide their time between the dining room and the kitchen.

The tasting, with the focus on Coratina

Five olive oil mills, five different extra virgin olive oils, one cultivar in particular, the Coratina. Interest and curiosity were aroused right from the morning, where - next to the tasting counters of the wineries awarded Tre Bicchieri - Vinexpo guests could taste, in purity, the olive oils presented. The first was the unique blend between Coratina and Favolosa, produced by the Congedi company, a family-run business with more than a century of history. A good 48 hectares of land and 10,000 plants, with a production that also includes pasta, wine, taralli and oil-packed vegetables. The other products, as mentioned, were solely from Coratina. The Di Martino company is managed by Maria Francesca Di Martino, who is also President of the Consorzio Olio di Puglia Igp, another partner in the initiative. There are about 28,000 olive trees on the property, divided into five different varieties. Another family-run company is Le Ferre: 4,000 trees and a very wide range, including no less than 25 different types, including monocultivars, blends and flavoured oils. Then there is Guglielmi, a family-run business that boasts around 200 hectares of olive groves in the Andria countryside. Last but not least was Pugliaolive, a large cooperative devoted to quality that brings together no less than 13,000 associate producers, 30 oil mills and a total of 41,000 hectares of olive groves.

The Oil Dinner

Dennis Lucchi at the cooker, Gabriele Rizzardi between the tables. It is one of the closest pairs we know of in Asian Italian catering and together they form a true dream team. Buona Terra has been a Tre Forchette winner for Gambero Rosso for years and succeeds in combining great cuisine, made from Italian ingredients and recipes from our tradition, revisited with flair and creativity, but without ever distorting its origins. The menu proposed for the special Oil Dinner saw the different extra virgin olive oils as protagonists both in cooking and as a final touch, raw, directly on the plate served at the table. The dinner was preceded by a masterclass on the different products, led by Giuseppe Carrus. And here are the various dishes served: starting with cuttlefish and peas, a reinterpretation of the classic Italian antipasto. Then the ever-present pasta, in this case fusilloni with almonds, tomatoes, anchovies, bottarga, sea urchin pulp and citron. There were three main dishes, all the result of the successful combination of sea and land: the scampi were accompanied by black garlic, anchovies, lard and licorice, while the tripe was enhanced by cuttlefish and bacon. Finally the lamb, herbs and artichokes. To finish, prickly pears with strawberries, mascarpone cream, basil and pear granita. Here too, a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil was perfect.


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