ROBERT MAKŁOWICZ UMBRIA odc.69 „Oliwna Umbria ".


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The partner of today's episode is the company Monini from Umbria, a company dealing in the production and selection of world-renowned oils. So you will not only see a piece of this wonderful piece of Italy, but also find out what the essence of good oil is. [AUTOMATIC TRANSLATION] Umbria is ahead of us, my dear ones.

One of the least tourist-penetrated regions of Italy, because it has no access to the sea, and people like to visit it, provided that they are on the beach on the same day . Most often they like it, but despite the lack of tourism marketing , according to many, it is just a postcard, a condensation of the beauty of the Apennine Peninsula. We have mountains. Covered with a mixed, often deciduous forest, full of oaks. We have early medieval gems.

We have wonderful valleys. We have a lot of crops. We have an unhurried, agricultural life with traditions going back hundreds of years. We have treasures.

One of them will be discussed today. Olive groves. An element as important for the Umbrian landscape as the old fortified cities on the hills or the cypresses soaring towards the sky. Olives have been grown here since Roman times and it is hard to believe, but until the 1920s, refined olive oil dominated in Italy and Umbria and most often it was not sold in bottles, but was simply brought to the market in pots, but in 1920 the son of this earth Mr. Zefferino Monini had a brilliant idea.

Namely, he began to offer extra virgin olive oil on a larger scale . Virgin oil, or olio extra vergine di oliva, and began packing it in bottles. This is how the new olive chapter began, and this is what I wanted to tell you about today. In order to observe the olive harvest, of course, you have to find one.

So, to put it briefly, mid-October. Then it begins. How well are olives picked? Well, either manually or by machine, using such a device.

What kind of harvest depends a little on the topography. If we have a very steep slope, then even if we unfold the mats, and this is necessary, then the olives will fall. Then you have to collect them manually. But what is the most important thing in this case? The most important thing is that only olives harvested by humans go for further processing . Never ones that fall off the tree by themselves, as they are no longer usable. What do they look like? They don't have a different degree of maturity.

See, some are completely green. Some are so blackish and some are mixed. It is kind of blue-blue here. There are also those that have a reddish color.

They will all go to the pressing plant, but they will be healthy. Harvested olives should be delivered to the press as soon as possible. It is very important how they are transported to this pressing plant . See, these are ventilated boxes. Thanks to this, there is air access. If you put olives in sacks, and God forbid into plastic sacks, they would get steamed up there , they would stick.

These trees that you have seen in the olive grove are of the frantoio variety. This is also the name of the olive press in Italian. Pay attention once more to their color. Most of them are green olives.

This color depends on the degree of maturity. And it was the Italians who came up with an excellent and innovative idea, namely one to press oil mainly from green olives, i.e. olives still unripe. Why? Because the olives are still unripe, the oil made of them has that characteristic, spicy, grassy taste and aroma, and also has much more antioxidants.

If we were to make everything from olives only like this, that is, mature or even more mature, already slightly wrinkled, then this oil would not have what I was talking about a moment ago. There are, of course, countries in the world or regions of Greece, Dalmatia, where they prefer to make olive oil. In Italy, this tradition is still valid in Liguria, for example, but not for a long time here.

These harvested olives go to such a machine. This machine not only washes the olives, but also strips them of leaves and twigs. The entire process takes 40 minutes from start to finish and takes place without air access. To be able to talk about cold-pressed oil, the maximum temperature of this process is 27 degrees Celsius, of course, and only cold-pressed olive oil retains the highest values, not only in taste, but also in nutritional value.

The olives came literally several meters from here. This machine picks them up there, and here the gold flows. This is a finished product. The only thing that can possibly be done about it is to subject it to a filtration process, but about it in more favorable sound conditions. This is filtered oil and this is unfiltered oil, and you can see clear differences in their outer coat.

The unfiltered one isn't just transparent. Why? Because such microolive fractions float in it. Well, just those olive particles that are formed during the pressing process remain in it and if we want to get rid of them, we start the filtration process. Which one is better? Well, in order to answer this question, it is necessary to explain in advance how long the oil can be stored, provided that it is well kept. Well, the harvest of olives is made every year, so it would be best to use the oil just in that range.

I harvest it every year, but I repeat it again, if it is well stored and I am talking about filtered olive oil, it will not deteriorate for a year, but its smell and taste will weaken . On the other hand, unfiltered olive oil, which when we immediately take it from the frantoio, i.e. from the press, seems to us to be something brilliant, wonderful and smelling like a perfumery.

When it stands in the bottle, sediment collects at the bottom. Just the residue from these micro-olives. And this sediment after some time, less than a year, starts to ferment.

So the conclusion from here is this. If we are in Italy, if we harvest olives, if we press olive oil, let's buy unfiltered. Let's take it home, but use it as soon as possible. If, on the other hand, we buy olive oil in Poland in a store off the shelf and we have unfiltered olive oil, we do not know who made it.

We don't know how long she has been standing on this shelf. We do not know under what conditions it was stored. This oil is always a better choice, i.e. filtered oil .

I gave myself up and now I have to wet my throat with oil of course. Ladies and Gentlemen, this is the grandson of Zefferino Monini. Also Zefferino Monini, who is in charge of the company today .

Zefferino, what is high-quality olive oil for you? High-quality olive oil is the story of our family, dating back to the times of Zefferino Monini Senior - my grandfather. The tradition was continued by my father, Giuseppe Monini, and today the responsibility for the highest quality of Monini products has been taken over by me - Zefferino Junior. Quality is of fundamental importance.

If you love olive oil, you know very well that its taste, aroma, intensity of aromas, and most of all spice and slight bitterness, are the basic requirements for determining high quality, and high quality directly affects our health, because good olive oil contains nutraceutical substances, i.e. health-promoting substances. . Ladies and Gentlemen, this is about health, but also about taste, and if the taste goes hand in hand with health, we have a perfect product in this category. Thank you very much. By buying 100,000 hectares of olive groves, you can, of course, theoretically become a global olive player, but this is impossible. Well, if only because there are not so many olive groves for sale, but assuming hypothetically that you could even buy such an acreage, you would have to have a huge number of pressing plants, because such a large number of olives if you were to wait in line at one or also even a few to ferment. The olives cannot wait long to be pressed.

But there is another way that the Monini family came up with. Well, thanks to this, it was able to become a global, olive player and deliver its standardized products to the shelves of many countries. What is it about? Well, you don't have to have such large acreages. It is enough to buy olive oil from the best producers, often not too big, and then buy it. Do exactly what, for example, champagne houses. Well, they often have small vineyards.

So they buy grapes and then make champagne out of it, and in this case Monini buys olive oil and then blends that oil. Coupage. Something we also know from winemaking. Well, for example, the negotiators in Bordeaux work the same way .

The idea is to mix or create a blend of different types of oil from different regions of origin, so that you always get a great product. I have something in front of me for tasting the oil. The olive oil is tasted blind.

Why blind? Well, because the color of the oil is not important for its quality. It doesn't matter if it is lighter or darker, what shades of green it has. The taste counts. Color is only important in one case. If we have such reddish reflections in the oil.

This means that the oil is oxidized. Either old, or it was stored poorly, i.e. kept with access to light. Light oil is bad for you.

Therefore, oils are sold, or at least should be sold, in non-transparent bottles . This protects them against sunlight. Well, I have here samples of different varieties from different regions. Coratina. This is a variety of Puglia or Pulii olives if you prefer. And I will show you how you try olive oil.

Of course, if I were an olive tipper here, I would n't see what color she is. I would get such a sample, which is closed. What do you have to do now? Now you have to shake this vessel a bit.

The oil should be about 20 degrees, maybe a little more to taste best. And just like with wine. First the nose.

What do we usually feel in the nose? For smelling oil. No grassiness. The grass is either freshly cut or already old. We feel nut and almond notes. It's all here, but this greenness is dominant . And now ...

Every oil should have, although in a different intensity, of course , we are talking about extra-virgin olive oil, not only grassy, ​​but also bitter and spicy in taste, because this bitterness proves that the oil has antioxidants in it . Polyphenols. If the oil is not slightly bitter then there are no antioxidants. We are not familiar with the bitter taste, because for centuries we associate it with the bitterness of poison, but in this case the spiciness and so much bitterness ... Bitterness. Bitterness is extremely desirable and now ...

Well, I'm still talking, because in a moment I won't be able to. You have to do what you do with wine tasting. Take a long sip into your mouth and inhale. We have taste receptors all over the tongue, and the oil must envelop this tongue in its shroud.

In addition, it is thicker than wine, so more air. This is one of those moments when we not only can, but even have to slurp. Completely unpunished, so if your mom tells you, and you're six years old, "Don't slurp" then tell your mom - "I want to be an oil taster". And then you do it with impunity.

The first taste and now what's in the throat. Yes, it does. There is spiciness. Such pure olive oil.

It could seem too spicy for many recipients . Coratina. That's great for me. But that is why it is also mixed up. Well, of course, oil spits out like wine.

Let me take another sip and not spit it out. And I will continue my story at another table. The local cuisine is the same as this landscape, i.e. rural, simple, unchanged for centuries and based, as almost everywhere in Italy, on the best products. One of the local products known widely throughout the country is lentils and it is based on it that I will now make for you something that you can successfully do in Poland.

The whole thing starts with the frying process and here a myth must be debunked. Well, there are those who say that extra virgin olive oil is not a good product for frying. Well, of course it is not, because we are not talking about the smoke point right now, because this is the moment when the fat just burns and smokes. It is about the so-called critical point, which is something else invisible to the eye, when high temperature causes the production of various harmful substances in this fat . Well, something that theoretically has the greatest resistance to temperature is palm fat, but palm fat is saturated fat, so by definition it does not work well for our body.

Another very temperature-resistant product is peanut oil, but it is also refined oil. We have oil in third place. Of course, extra virgine olive oil is a relatively expensive product, but you can fry it just as well in simply refined olive oil . However, from the point of view of health, it does not matter. Extra virgin olive oil is just as good as non-virgin olive oil in terms of temperature resistance, plus it has a lot of antioxidants in it, so now the oil is in the pan. I took the classico and now the onion is not very hot first , because it is not supposed to brown and right after the onion is here ... It

will be there. Here it is, and soon it will be pancetta, i.e. raw, smoked, ripening bacon. Let's give it a moment. The pieces of pancetta are almost glassy, ​​but nothing is browned yet. Well, that means we're adding more things.

We put the thyme and rosemary aside. He'll be here in a moment. Now finely chopped carrots and celery. This is a must-have in many Italian dishes. Many paste sauces are made this way. Lots of things have onions, celery , and carrots in them.

One more important note. I used virgin classico , because it will stay, because it will be a sauce, so the olive flavor will remain inside. If you just want to fry something and you don't want to taste olive oil , you just take refined oil. Not only because it is cheaper, but also because it is neutral in taste. I care about the olive flavor. Well, at this point, this taste could do without oil.

Now it's time for rosemary and thyme. Remember that local dishes are not over-perfumed. Here, the kitchen is rather rustic modesty, so a little rosemary, a little thyme, I'll also try to tear off the leaves themselves so that you don't have to spit the stems out afterwards.

Okay, a little more. Two bay leaves. They are lying here next to me. And what now? Now add some garlic inside. This could have been done in advance, but I wanted to make sure it wouldn't burn.

Maximum fire and something that comes and goes. It appears, it physically disappears, but its taste remains, which is red wine. So now I pour a solid glass of wine over here and wait for it to evaporate, but I can now, I can in a minute, I will do it now. I add one more thing inside .

Namely, tomato paste. But it is something like a ready-made sauce. In Italy, everywhere, and here and there you can buy something called Le Verdurine. And it is a combination of tomato paste with concentrate, with puree from other vegetables. Well, additionally a note of celery, a note of onion and a note of carrot. It is also a must for making pasta sauces.

And now we are waiting for the wine to disappear and everything will come together nicely. Time for lentils. In many recipes they say that it should be soaked in advance, but see what babies they are. Well, peas, of course, not to soften here, and also not beans, but the lentils will soften, so just add enough to it, remembering that it swells.

And top it up with either water or, if we want the thing to be even better, with vegetable stock. And what now? Well, now we wait until it all softens and, if necessary, add water or broth if we have it. We are on the alert anyway. It's been about half an hour since you discarded the lentils , so check it out. Well, because here will be one more very important ingredient added, but to add it, the lentils should have softened a little. Yes.

She is, I would say al dente, but she will be softer. I also feel that it deserves a little salt, a little. The broth was salted.

Pancetta is quite salty. And quite a lot of freshly ground pepper, but those aren't the things I was talking about for that one more ingredient. These are local sausages. Very important in Italian cuisine, because it is enough to have one such sausage, really one, take it all out of the casings and we have pasta sauce.

It is enough to fry the inside of this sausage with a bit of tomatoes, with hot pepper, in this case we will cut it into pieces and add it so that it boils. These are raw sausages. And now a very important verbal explanation. Virgin olive oil is often spoken in Polish. I also used such terminology so that you would understand me, so that you would know what it is about. Meanwhile, you should really say virgin olive oil.

Well, almost every olive oil is virgin, because the oil is pressed only once. On the other hand, if this virgin olive oil, pressed for the first time, has disadvantages, then it is deprived of its color, taste and smell in the process of refining it. And then we have refined olive oil. The one that is perfect for high-temperature frying , but is still left with the virgin olive oil after this process, the pulp remains. Such an olive pulp.

And it can be pressed again. And this is where the originating product is called olio di sansa di oliwa in Italian , meaning the olive oil is pressed for the second time. Hence our terminology. Extra virgin olive oil and virgin olive oil, but it really is virgin olive oil and all the rest.

Since we are in Italy, greenness, lettuce is an extremely important element of the table. A mixture of various lettuces, tomatoes, radicchio wrongly called [radiczio] in Poland, the freshest, but you need to make a vinaigrette for that. Vinaigrette of the best olive oil.

Well here, because we have a lot of other flavor components, so I used, as you know, Classico, which is not as intense in flavor as this olive oil. This is DOP, or Denominazione di Origine Protetta, or Protected Geographical Origin. Olive oil only from Umbria. Extremely intense, and here it will play the main, flavored violin, because only lemon juice, salt, pepper, olive oil and greenness, so vinaigrette. I have already explained this to you many times. The most archaic one without vinegar.

Only lemon juice instead of vinegar. I'm gonna dissolve the salt in it and then pour the olive oil over it to get a smooth emulsion. The paws, the paws are really clean, the point is for the pips to stay here.

Wek. It is precisely about achieving this perfect emulsion. It is not just an aesthetic thing. The point is for it all to cover the lettuce evenly. So there would be no lemon or vinegar and olive oil separately. It must be unity.

The salt has dissolved and the emulsion is smooth. We are about to finish. Ready, mixed lettuce, also seasoned with pepper.

And that's also done. The lentils have absorbed all the liquid. I will give it to you as they would have served in Umbria, which is rather on a deep plate. In a deep plate, not on a flat plate, and that's not all. Because you have to finish the work. They have to be finished according to the logic of this earth and according to the logic of this kitchen.

And I'm not talking about cleaning the plate if we have a drip. I'm talking about it now. Namely, many of the dishes here are treated in this way. Granfruttato yet.

And my dear, we have a kind of tutto completto. We have all the beauty of this land here. Yes Yes. Your eyes are not deceiving you. It is a Roman arch, because everything we saw that this microworld was rolling within fifteen kilometers to the top of this place.

This is Spoleto. An extremely ancient city, and we will enjoy it for a while longer. Life here goes on an unchanging, set rhythm. People, whether they are growing olives, growing chickpeas or lentils or anything else, when the sun, as it is now, is leaning towards the west, they drink their first aperitivo. Because the dinner time is coming, and in this world, as we know, there are important, more important and most important things , and cibo buono, that is, good food is the most important thing.

And the most important news for you. We are not parting with Spoleto and Umbria yet.

2021-12-12 15:53

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