Today we’re talking about capers from Pantelleria, tiny but very rich in flavour. But there’s more, we’ll also discover caper berries, caper leaves and the caper production farm that brings Pantelleria’s tradition to the world. Ready to go?
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Everything you need to know for an epic barbecue
It’s summer and it’s barbecue season! On the terrace or in the garden, between a few intimate or in a large group, wood or charcoal, steak or bacon, it doesn’t matter: if you want to have a barbecue you must know these tricks.
All the tricks for the ultimate barbecue
If you want to have a perfect barbecue, these are the basics. Then, of course, there would be many other things to add on the cleaning of the grill, the thermometer, the marinade, the number of times the meat has to be turned and so on, but let’s start from the basics.
Rule number 1: only choose meat of higher quality. You can’t lie with a barbecue, especially because the only ingredients are meat, salt and fire. Marinating is a great idea, but it doesn’t change the taste of the meat. So, to put it briefly, if you don’t buy excellent meat you will notice it right away, at the first bite.
Rule number 2: the grill should be hot, while the meat should be at room temperature. Take it out of the fridge at least an hour before you start grilling.
Rule number 3: do not remove all the fat. That’s exactly what gives flavour and softness when it melts while cooking.
Rule number 4: only salt at the end. Salt takes out the liquids, it is in fact used as a preservation method. It takes at least half an hour to be effective and a pinch of salt on your raw steak surely won’t be the end of the world, but if you really want to be sure, just don’t risk it. Always salt at the end of cooking.
Rule number 5: meat isn’t the only option. Since the fire is lit, why not grill some zucchini, peppers or eggplant as well? They’re also seasonal! And what about some bread to make some bruschetta… By the way, did you know you can also grill potatoes?
We talked about how, but not what. So, what kind of meat do you need for the ultimate barbecue?
Steak, the queen of the grill
Steak is the undisputed queen of the grill. You can choose between a T-bone steak, the one with the bone, cut from the short loin and containing both tenderloin and sirloin, or theItalian Rib-eye steak with tenderloin, but if you’re looking for the very best you have to choose the Chianina T-Bone steak.
We already discussed how to perfectly cook steak and how the touch test works, always remember to never pierce the steak and let it rest once cooked.
Our favourite is definitely the Casentino Grey Pork Sausage, rustic, tasty and with the right balance between meat and fat.
Many people pierce the sausages to let out the excess fat and prevent thecasing from breaking. Actually, this happens when the heat is too high or the sausages have been left uncovered in the refrigerator, causing the casing to dry.
If you store them properly, cook them over a medium heat and slightly raise the grill, you won’t need to pierce them and the meat will remain soft and juicy.
TheCasentino grey pork kind, to be exact. Remember the third rule, don’t remove the fat. These pigs are reared in the semi-wild in the Casentino forests and develop an abundant layer of fat as a protection from the cold. It is a good fat, nothing to do with that of animals from intensive farms.
Pay attention to the salt. The meat is naturally very tasty because of the natural feeding of the animals and their quality of life.
Rigatino is the pork belly, and we always opt for the Casentino grey pork kind. It is naturally rich in fat, therefore selecting a meat with special fat is very important.
Rigatino is also perfect for skewers. Try alternating some rigatino, a slice of tomato, a cube of bread, a piece of pepper and a few layers of onion.
Our choice, between taste and awareness
When it comes to pigs, we chose the grey meat of Casentino raised in the semi-wild and free to eat what nature offers. The meat has an intense and deep taste, not even remotely comparable to a supermarket pork.
Steak comes from cattle born, reared and slaughtered in Italy – either in Val di Chiana when it comes to Chianina. Why is the origin of meat so important? For two reasons, three actually.
The first one is taste. A quality meat tastes better. If the animal has a better life and has the ability to move, instead of living trapped in a cage, the meat acquires a better texture and taste.
The second reason is animal and consumer’s health. Over a third of the meat consumed in Italy comes from non-EU farms. Do you know what is given to the cows from intensive farms in Brazil, for example?
The animals live in closed facilities and the risk of disease is very high. They are fed synthetic food filled with silage, pesticides and antibiotics.
And lastly, the environmental impact of intensive livestock farming. The soy produced for cattle is deforested in the Amazon, the greenhouse gas produced by these farms pollutes the air, while sewage causes water eutrophication. And this is keeping it short, but the subject is vast and requires the utmost attention.
In summer, a barbecue is the quintessential convivial moment. How could you resist a juicy steak with its crispy crust?
Choosing meat requires major awareness. A poor quality product isn’t only less good, but it’s also harmful to the planet. This is why it is our priority to promote only consciously-raised meat.
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