Morgan Pasqual was a chef with a restaurant, The 5 Sensi, near Vicenza. Like restaurants all over the country he served an antipasto of local salumi with giardiniera pickles. These sweet and sour, agrodolce pickles make the perfect complement to salumi or cheese – the brightness and acidity really cut through fat – and at the 5 Sensi the reputation of Morgan’s pickles grew so much that in 2013 he took the big step of closing the restaurant to develop La Giardiniera di Morgan, a pickling kitchen, with his wife Luciana,
New Season Intosso Oil and Giardiniera From Malò
Sweet and Sour Pickles The Italian Way
Giardiniera is a mix of different vegetables and we have chosen some of our favourites to sell online; try the vinegar pickles as an antipasto with cheese or salumi (La Giardiniera di Morgan or La Giardiniera di Anna with chilli and ginger). Those packed in oil (La Giardiniera di Giada) are also great as mixed in salads, served with burgers, grilled chicken, in stuffed peppers and roasted fish. Then there are Le Eccellenze; slices of red, Rotondo aubergines. This is a variety found mainly in Asia and tropical Africa and is also known as the Ethiopian Aubergine. Rotonda in Basilicata is the only place it grows in the whole of Europe and it was probably introduced there by soldiers returning from East Africa after the colonial war of the late 19th century. Finally come sweet plum tomatoes from Puglia steeped in olive oil and Madagascan vanilla, such a good combo and great on bruschetta, with fresh cheeses or in pasta.
It’s not an easy thing to make good Giardiniera; keeping the crunch (the vegetables are steamed) and the fresh flavour of the vegetables, ensuring the right level of acidity is really hard so we are really happy to be working with Morgan and Luciana; the best salumi and cheese need the best giardiniera di accompany them. It feels like a good fit.
New Season Monocultivar Intosso Oil from Caprafico
The Intosso olive tree is found exclusively in the foothills of the Maiella mountain range of Abruzzo. It is a small tree unusually tolerant of snow and cold temperatures and extremely resistant to drought, struggling to produce any fruit at all at altitudes below 350ms. The fruit it does produce, however, is remarkable; strong in flavour and intensely perfumed but since the 1960s l’Intosso has struggled to compete on the market next to non-native varieties that are more productive and easier to manage. In 2019 the Slow Food movement established a Presidium to support the variety and prevent its gradual replacement by non natives and this year Giacomo Santoleri’s fabulous extra virgin oil is a monocultivar Intosso.
Giacomo’s new season Casino di Caprafico Intosso oil is arriving on Monday and, while we’ve yet to try it, Giacomo is very excited about it. He thinks it’s the best oil he has ever produced, describing it as ‘una medicine molto molto fragrante’. We can’t wait to open a bottle.