`Rome Event to Launch Seventh 'Flos Olei' Guide

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Rome Event to Launch Seventh 'Flos Olei' Guide

Nov. 23, 2015
Luciana Squadrilli

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The annual pre­sen­ta­tion of Marco Oreg­gia and Laura Marinel­li’s Flos Olei guide, now at its 7th edi­tion, is an impor­tant ref­er­ence book for the sec­tor, offer­ing a wide overview of the busi­ness while fea­tur­ing new pro­duc­ing coun­tries every year.

Arme­nia is the 49th coun­try to be included, for the first time, in the 2016 edi­tion soon to be launched in Rome on Novem­ber 28. Once again, the ele­gant halls of Westin Excel­sior Hotel on via Veneto will be the loca­tion.

Once it only regarded a few pro­duc­ing coun­tries, but today things have changed and knowl­edge has spread, let­ting other coun­tries achieve out­stand­ing results.- Marco Oreg­gia, Flos Olei

Intended as an oppor­tu­nity to spread olive oil cul­ture to pro­fes­sion­als and the pub­lic, the Flos Olei event will not only focus on the morn­ing launch of the guide, but also on cre­at­ing busi­ness and learn­ing oppor­tu­ni­ties through B2B meet­ings and guided tast­ings. This year’s pro­gram also includes cook­ing mas­ter­classes fea­tur­ing renowned Ital­ian and for­eign chefs and experts.

Atten­dees will be able to taste many of the extra vir­gin olive oils fea­tured in the guide hail­ing from around the world and a selec­tion of Ital­ian wines and food. A smaller room will host guided tast­ings led by Marco Oreg­gia and Laura Marinelli, while a ded­i­cated space with a cook­ing sta­tion will host classes with chefs and pas­try-chefs on how to use extra vir­gin olive oil to cook or sea­son spe­cific ingre­di­ents, from salmon to choco­late.

These are not intended to be cook­ing demos to show off the chefs’ skills,” Oreg­gia pointed out, but edu­ca­tional moments to out­line the prod­ucts qual­ity and char­ac­ter­is­tics.” Well-known chefs from Italy and abroad will illus­trate sim­ple recipes match­ing them to dif­fer­ent oils and com­pos­ing an over­all menu.

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Sal­va­tore Tassa, acclaimed chef/owner of Colline Cio­ciare near Rome, will pre­pare a Salmon Gin Tonic appe­tizer; Paolo Dal­i­can­dro, chef and teacher at the A Scuola con lo Chef Roman cook­ing school, and Philippe Tresch, chef at the Ital­ian restau­rant La Perla in Lucerne, Switzer­land, will both use pasta (egg pasta and durum wheat pasta) for their recipes; Tus­can butcher Simone Fra­cassi will show how he pours extra vir­gin on his fan­tas­tic tartare and bat­tuta” (a dif­fer­ent kind of raw meat prepa­ra­tion) while Michele Mar­tinelli, chef at Locanda Mar­tinelli near Livorno, will offer an unusual tast­ing: Cioc­còlio, choco­late pra­line with an extra vir­gin fill­ing.

The 2016 Flos Olei guide fea­tures 49 coun­tries, 500 pro­duc­ers and 692 extra vir­gin olive oils. In this year’s Best 20” list, for the first time, Spain over­took Italy achiev­ing eight awards includ­ing the Farm of the Year (Castillo de Canena) and the Best Extra Vir­gin Olive Oil of the Year (the excel­lent Finca La Torre Selección Organic).

Italy, which in past guides received at least ten awards, received seven this time.

The surge of qual­ity oils from Spain has been reflected in Oreg­gia’s guide over the last three years, both in the num­ber of awards and the num­ber and fea­tured farms (from 30 to 106). Not only are the top oils hail­ing from tra­di­tional pro­duc­ing regions such as Andalu­sia, but Castilla La Man­cha and Navarra are increas­ingly rep­re­sented. Chile, Por­tu­gal, Turkey, Slove­nia and Argentina also made the top 20.

Lithuan­ian com­pany Ital­iško Sko­nio Gur­manai was awarded Importer of the Year, while the Cristina Tili­a­cos Award went to the Ital­ian com­pany Mori-Tem, for cre­at­ing tech­nolo­gies for olive press­ing.

The Flos Olei guide,” Oreg­gia said, demon­strates that qual­ity extra vir­gin olive oil has no bor­ders. Once it only regarded a few pro­duc­ing coun­tries, but today things have changed and knowl­edge has spread, let­ting other coun­tries achieve out­stand­ing results.

Croa­t­ian Istria has been prov­ing very suc­cess­ful over the last years, with a very good aver­age qual­ity even though this year it received no awards, while Greece sur­prised us react­ing to the ardu­ous har­vest and to the eco­nomic cri­sis with a deci­sive turn­ing point towards qual­ity and for­eign mar­kets.”

Oreg­gia sees his guide as an instru­ment for those who want to develop a bet­ter under­stand­ing of the extra vir­gin olive oil indus­try: The aver­age qual­ity has showed a steady growth, but we still have to face seri­ous prob­lems of ter­ri­to­r­ial and cul­tural iden­tity: the guide aims to offer a decod­ing’ tool to the sec­tor’s dif­fused con­fu­sion.”

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