Wednesday, 18 February 2015

Imperia and Milano, Italy - Professional Olive Oil Taster Course - Part 1


Imperia, Italy consists of two districts, Porto Maurizio and Oneglia which lie on either side of the River Impero. 

Porto Maurizio is to the west of the river and is a beautiful port, an hour from Nice, France.


Even in early February the Italian Riviera shows her beauty and signs of spring are everywhere.


On a warm afternoon everyone is out on the patio enjoying lunch and a glass of Franciacorta. (Prosecco's elegant cousin)


The ancient olive tree at the water's edge in Imperia Oneglia is always ready to greet you.


The town square with it's shooting fountain is the central point to meet.

Imperia Oneglia is located 20 minutes walk away from Oneglia. The area is known for the cultivation of flowers in greenhouses and for their olives. It is once again why I come to Liguria. I am lucky enough  to be here to take another course at O.N.A.O.O. which is the Organizzazione Nazionale Assaggiatori Olio Di Oliva. This is an association of unbiased Olive Oil Tasters from around the world. 


A visit to Il Melograno Restaurant (the Pomegrante) never fails. Their pizza is great and the restaurant is always busy.


This was the Furbacciona - mozzarella, salty cooked ham, brie and pear!


or would you prefer a great pizza with pomodoro (tomato) sauce! This is what good pizza is meant to taste like and their house wine is affordable and excellent too.


My first day at school.

The people attending this class were from all over the world. I enjoyed the company of people from Taiwan, Switzerland, Italy, Corsica - France, Norway, Japan, Canada, Lithuania and Hong Kong. These are all people passionate about good olive oil in so many different areas.

Olive oil school is mostly about tasting bad olive oil and learning how to identify subtle defects by the nose and the mouth. We tasted over 30 different samples on this day.

 It is not as easy as you may think.


A dinner at Salvo Cacciatori. An elegant restaurant in the heart of the city always makes for a wonderful evening.


Some glorious anti-pasti. Thinly sliced Parma ham, fried squid,  perfectly tender octopus and potato croquette. Everything done to perfection!


Thinly sliced veal in a delicate jus.


I enjoyed the blue potato gnocchi with artichokes, bacon and slices of Parmesan.


A pineapple flower with mango sorbet and a cold semifreddo with a hot dark and bitter chocolate poured over it!! wow. Great wines and wonderful company made for a delightful evening.


You simply must visit the pretty Crema di Gelato shop near the square. This was a killer coconut gelato.


you will have to try a new one every day!


Honestly, DECIDING is the biggest problem you will have at this shop!



On Valentine's day your selection was even more spectacular than normal!


Perfect little gelato cakes for two! 


Piccardo is a beautiful old Pasticceria that serves great coffee, lunches, pastries and gelatos.


Sit down or stand at the bar to enjoy your coffee. There is no take out here!


Carnival is an opportunity to try BUGIE (boo-gee-eh) A fried dessert with powdered sugar.


Look how pretty my machiato espresso is for Valentine's day.


This is how we ate every day at lunch! Prosciutto and mozzarella.



The typical oil found in Liguria is Taggiasca a mild and buttery oil.


This is also where Pesto is from and this is a typical dish of Trofie (tro-fee-yeh) which is pasta, potatoes and green beans.


Hey, this is a cute Italian boy I fell in love with at lunch. His name is Milo.


Pesto Lagagna which is out of this world.


Orecchiette with broccoli.


A medley of vegetables, eggplant, frittata and mozzarella and tomatoes.


Un cafe to finish...or do you prefer un doppio (a double!)


Breakfast at the Hotel Rossini is always fresh and delicious!




So much to learn.


This is the typical set up for tasting oil. Samples, sparkling water, a spit cup and some apple to cleanse the palette.


Happy Valentine's Day!


When I wake up early I watch Italian cartoons to learn more Italian. Peppa Pig, Olivia or my favorite Calimero la pulcino tutto nero! (Calimero a little black chicken)


This is a great little place on the boardwalk that makes some really excellent pastas


They bring you the pasta right in the pan. This was spaghetti, tomato, parsley, mozzarella and hot chili flakes done to perfect and it is also a  really good value. 


My friends said the pasta vongole...do you think they liked it? YES they did!


A quick stop in Milano demands you see the Duomo.


Right next to the Duomo you need to see the Galleria which is an exquisite building housing some of the finest designer stores and coffee shops.


 Eataly is simply a must for anyone who loves good food!!


 Cacio & Pepe, a Roman dish that is made with 5 ingredients. Pasta, Pecorino cheese, water and pepper (sometimes a bit of butter) makes a great pasta. Although it is a simple dish, it shows the mark of the chef like the simplicity of making a perfect omelette. 


 This is the after photo! Do you think I liked it? YES I DID!!


Eataly has people making fresh pasta of every shape and style.


The finest selection of meats and fish.


An entire case of Parmesan and Pecorino cheeses.


Salumi and cheese.


Some really really excellent breads.


One last gelato. Nocciola (hazelnut) or a nice Mandarin sorbetto?(which I had)


Milano International Airport


 


Even the Milan airport has fantastic food and shopping. You can buy gorgeous designer clothes, premium chocolate, foods like oil, pastas or wine.

 One final stop on my way home at London Heathrow.

 
 

A stop at Fortnum & Mason means a great cup of tea.


and a Blueberry Eton Mess. A dessert of blueberries, chantilly cream and meringues. YUM!


A glass of house champagne at Caviar House & Prunier and my first taste of caviar.


A shrimp salad.


Fish and Chips with mushy peas and of course they are served with salt and malt vinegar.



Bye Europe see you soon!!




































































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