`Celebrating the Taggiasca - Olive Oil Times

Celebrating the Taggiasca

By Luciana Squadrilli
May. 27, 2014 13:05 UTC

The charm­ing vil­lage of Taggia, dat­ing back to the Roman Empire and set between the Ligurian sea and the inland of the Valle Argentina, hosted the sec­ond edi­tion of Meditaggiasca on May 10 – 11. Beside its noble his­tory and the beau­ti­ful reli­gious build­ings of the ancient ham­let, Taggia is well known for the excel­lent qual­ity of the olives grow­ing in the sur­round­ings, named Taggiasca after the vil­lage (and known as Cailletier in the near French Riviera).

This is a dual-use cul­ti­var, prized both for the extrac­tion of ele­gant extra vir­gin olive oils with a def­i­nite scent of almond, and as table olives, cured black, that are highly appre­ci­ated in the local cui­sine and by chefs every­where.

Many gath­ered in Taggia for Meditaggiasca, to cel­e­brate this great vari­ety and its oil.

Davide Zunino, the young chef now work­ing at the Restaurant de Paris in Sanremo, but born in Taggia and for­mer owner and chef at Olio Colto restau­rant, pro­posed a smoked bonito, raw cod, litchees, corian­der with hazel­nut and Taggiasca olives soup.

David Zunino

Igor Macchia, chef at La Credenza in Turin, pre­sented a Taggiasca olive oil dip with sea urchins and Parmesan and gin­ger sauce. Andrea Sarri, chef and owner at Ristorane Sarri in Imperia, made the won­der­ful and tasty cap­pel­lacci (stuffed pasta) of pota­toes and mus­sels with fresh broad­beans and peas puree and Taggiasca olives. Guido Alciati, heir of the renowed Alciati fam­ily from Piedmont, pre­pared a guniea-fowl fil­let with anchovies and Taggiasca olives. Davide Canavino, chef at La Voglia Matta in Genova, also used the Taggiasca olives for its coloured and fas­ci­nat­ing dessert, pair­ing it with salad and radish.

Those are only some of the imag­i­na­tive and intrigu­ing recipes that were pre­sented dur­ing the event intro­duced by the Italian jour­nal­ist and food critic Luigi Cremona. He also invited on the stage and hon­ored many local pro­duc­ers like Franco Boeri Roi, Giuseppe Boeri, Vincenzo Garino, Giovanna Orengo, Fabrizio Vane, Cristina Armato, Angelo Lupi, Massimo Santamaria, Sonia Parodi and Monica Fagnani.

Other prod­ucts of the Valle Argentina such as wines and cheeses were also show­cased in the Medieval clois­ter of the mag­nif­i­cent con­vent of San Domenico a Taggia, dat­ing back to the XVI cen­tury, while the culi­nary demon­stra­tions were hosted in its refec­tory. The best local extra vir­gin olive oils made with Taggiasca olives were awarded by the asso­ci­a­tion Oro di Taggia. A spe­cial award went to the Taggia-born food designer Mauro Olivieri, for con­tribut­ing to the devel­op­ment and growth of the val­ley’s image and celebrity through his work and projects.

Once again, olive oil and olives proved to be a pow­er­ful tes­ti­mo­nial and cat­a­lyst for an area that has many oth­ers jew­els to be dis­cov­ered.


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