The recent victory of Soave,in the contest created by the tv program Kilimangiaro,as best “ Borgo d’Italia”(link), rewards a territory that in addition to the beauty of its landscape and the richness of its historical heritage, offers a number of enogastronomic delicacies . Next to Soave ,in its various internationally famous typologies ,there are many products of absolute excellence. From the extra virgin olive oil to cheese,from raw ham to cherries there’s a world to discover and taste!
Extravirgin Olive Oil Veneto Valpolicella DOP.
In our peninsula there are 500 varieties of olives, 100 times more than in any other oil producing Country. The Veronese area also has its autochthonous cultivars thanks to a particularly favourable climate and terroir. Grignano and Favorol are the olives present at least for 50% in the Valpolicella DOP. The rest comes from different varieties like Pendolino, Leccino, Maurino and more.
Of a nice bright yellow with greenish nuances when very fresh , the Valpolicella DOP is slightly fruity on the nose,with some spicy notes ; in the mouth is well balanced , fruity, with a slightly bitter aftertaste.
According to the regulations, olives are harvested exclusively by hand or comb, directly from the plant. The olives are then cold pressed with mechanical procedures on the same day of the harvest to guarantee the oil its high organoleptic qualities. Excellent raw , it is also excellent in cooking and its high resistance to high temperatures makes it particularly digestible. To be stored in dry places and away from light, the Valpolicella DOPis particularly appreciated between 4 and 6 months from the pressing.
The Mora of Cazzano.
The name Mora is misleading because we are not talking of blackberries but of cherries. The Mora of Cazzano ( area particularly suitable for the cultivation of cherries along the Soave Road) is an autochthonous variety. Of a nice bright red , round, medium large size has its pecularity in crunchiness and in the well balanced taste in which the sweetness stands out.
In Soave the cultivation of cherries is placed immediately behind grapes and olives and in spring the blossoming cherry trees , scattered a bit everywhere in the territory , offer a view of great charm and beauty.
Eaten as a fresh product the cherries are also often used for jams. They are available between late May and late July: the cherry market of Montecchia di Crosare is the best place for shopping,but if you want you can contact the producers directly.
Prosciutto Crudo di Soave.
Raw ham is a product that the world envies us and almost every region in Italy has its own variety. Among them Soave raw ham is the most prized mainly thanks to a traditional craftsmanship, an irrepetible climate and a very high quality of the raw material.
The noblest part of the pork legs comes exclusively from domestic pigs , bred in Veneto, Emilia Romagna and Lombardy. Between 12 and 15 kg ,the legs are worked and salted manually according to traditional procedures. The seasoning varies from 12 months for Prosciutto Crudo Soave and a minimum of 16 for Prosciutto Crudo Soave Riserva .
A particular climate favours a slow curing process that gives the final product unique organoleptic characteristics for which it is so much appreciated: sweetness, aromas and a rare balance between fat and lean part highlighted by a soft red color, very inviting. Enjoy it to the fullest with a good glass of Soave (link to the article) : you’ll be won over.
The Monte Veronese cheese.
The Veronese area boasts a noble and ancient dairy tradition ,documented since before the 1000AD. There the famous Monte Veronese cheese originates, produced in 2 different types , both made exclusively with cow’s milk: Monte Veronese ‘whole milk’ and Monte Veronese ‘d’allevo‘.
Monte Veronese latte intero is produced with whole milk. Sold from the twenty-fifth day of production , it is best appreciated very fresh,within a month from its appearance on the shelves. Cylindrical in shape , with a thin crust, a paste that goes from white to straw yellow, presents herbaceous and buttery notes to the nose. The taste is sweet with a slight tendency to acidity. Goes well with sparkling wines and structured whites like Soave Classico. It does not disdain light reds.
Monte Veronese d’allevo is produced from semi-skimmed milk . It should be put on the market at least after 90 days, but it may even exceed 2 years. Cylindrical with a nice intense yellow rind and paste, depending on the degree of ageing , reminds the nose of cooked butter , hay , and aromatic herbs. The taste is intense ,strong: in the mouth there are notes of dried fruit. With time also grows a spicy nuance, very appeciated. Versatile in the kitchen, but also at the end of a meal, it loves structured wines and is excellent with Recioto di Soave.
For any curiosity , you’ll only have to ask at the reception . At Corte dei Soavi Relais we can give you all the information you are looking for and possibly some good advice on where to buy authentic culinary jewels at affordable prices. Buon appetito!