Broccoli “spiert” are the seasonal vegetables that the nature lets grow during this period. It’s a traditional broccoli ecotype that we have always cultivated in our family farm. Our grandparents, and their parents even before, cultivated them and we learned to appreciate them in traditional recipes.

The term “spiert” encloses the whole meaning of this cultivation. From the dialect of the Alta Valle del Sele it can be translated as spontaneous, wild to indicate that this broccoli is a natural fruit of our land. Probably at the beginning it was not cultivated, it grew naturally in the fields. Then someone decided to save the seeds and so began to cultivate it in a regular way.

In our farm, Casa Iuorio, we decided to safeguard this broccoli ecotype from the risk of extinction and we continue cultivating it. Also to valorise the biodiversity of our geographical area. We sow it autumn in the first days of October. The harvest, handmade, starts in January and continues until beginning of April.

Broccoli plants have a full-bodied central part, well protected by large and dark green leaves. We harvest only the inflorescence of this plant but also some of its softest leaves.

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Where broccoli “spiert” are produced

Our farm Casa Iuorio is situated in Palomonte, in the Alta Valle del Sele territory, south of the Salerno province. The valley is characterized by the river Sele, a very rich ecosystem and the Alburni Mountains, very high peaks that in this period are whitened by snow.

Our fields are located in an uncontaminated landscape. Yields are prepared in open field, in full respect of the season and the environment.

Our broccoli cultivated in open field.

Our broccoli cultivated in open field.

Casa Iuorio’s broccoli.

Casa Iuorio’s Broccoli.

Bees on our broccoli flowers.

Bees on our broccoli flowers.

Among the cultivation of our farm there are broccoli. We harvest them in these days and till the beginning of April respecting the seasonality of the raw material.

Our broccoli belongs to a traditional ecotype of the Alta Valle del Sele called in the local dialect “spiert“, that is “spontaneous“, “wild“. A term that represents very well the natural relationship of this vegetable with the land in which we continue to grow it. It’s here that we preserve the seeds and give our contribution in respecting the local biodiversity.

It is an ecotype that over time has found its ideal union with the fertile lands of the Alburni Mountains, where our fields are located. We cultivate them in open-fields, in the middle of the typical Mediterranean vegetation. After the crop, broccoli are processed by hand and placed in the jar, ready to be tasted. Let’s see how.

Preparation of broccoli in oil

Harvested and placed in large baskets, to preserve all their freshness, broccoli are transported to the laboratory, within 24 hours of collection. Here we proceed first to select the best parts and then to wash them. The next step is the blanching in water and vinegar, then the broccoli is left to drain and cool.

A box of broccoli.

A box of broccoli.

Broccoli are selected by choosing only the best parts.

Broccoli are selected by choosing only the best parts.

Washed broccoli.

Washed broccoli.

Blanched broccoli.

Blanched broccoli.

The final steps. Broccoli are placed in jars, previously sterilized, dressed with our extra virgin olive oil, garlic and hot pepper. Without the addition of dyes or preservatives. You havejust to taste and enjoy a product that has authentic and genuine scent.

Extra virgin olive oil, garlic and spicy chilli ready for seasoning.

Extra virgin olive oil, garlic and spicy chilli ready for seasoning.

The cap closes the jar and the oil is ready.

The cap closes the jar and the oil is ready.

Broccoli is placed in the jars.

Broccoli is placed in the jars.

Once opened the jar, add a little oil and keep it in the fridge.

How to use

Our broccoli in oil are suitable to enrich appetizers but also for seasoning pizza or stuffing a piadina a focaccia.You can also combine it as a side dish of meat, fish and cheese.

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The extra virgin olive oil Colline Salernitane Dop is one of the excellent products Casa Iuorio’s pantry.

Tasting it you can appreciate the distinctive notes: the colour from green to straw yellow, the strong taste, the acidity that should not exceed the 0,7%. It is an oil of superior quality, obtained in a large area, dedicated since very long time to the cultivation of olive trees. Walking through the in land areas, the vital presence of the olive groves is noticeable, also of fundamental importance for the stability of the soil.

The Dop certification – Protected Designation of Origin, is an extra guarantee for the consumer, since the companies belonging to the Consortium must observe a precise production specification.

Most studies traced the cultivation of olive trees to the ancient settlers of Magna Graecia. With Romans this cultivation spread even more, to become a characteristic element of the landscape of the province of Salerno. Today the Colline Salernitane Dop is produced in more than 80 villages, from Vallo di Diano to the Amalfi Coast.

Casa Iuorio’s oil is obtained from different olives varieties. They are harvested by hand and pressed within 24 hours, transported to the mill in special perforated chests. They are cold-pressed, at a temperature that doesn’t exceed 27 degrees, so we keep intact the organoleptic qualities of the olives and consequently the benefits of the oil. The acidity analysed this year in our oil is 0.3%. The olive juice extracted is the most faithful expression of goodness that the lands of Salerno are able to offer.

The harvest of our olives.

The harvest of our olives.

Olives from which we get our extra virgin olive oil.

Olives from which we get our extra virgin olive oil.

The mill.

At the mill.

The oil with the typical extra virgin color.

The oil with the typical extra virgin color.

Try it! It will be an unforgettable experience for your taste buds.
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Proposals for a snack with extra virgin olive oil Colline Salernitane Dop

The extra virgin olive oil Colline Salernitane Dop is ideal to dress salads and grilled fish but also soups and legumes. We like to recommend it in a double version to offer an healthy snack also to our children.

  • Bread and oil: it is probably the simplest and most genuine snack. The fragrant oil meets the goodness ofthe home-made bread and also becomes an opportunity to explain to the little ones how their grandparents were having a snack, when sweets were rare and the afternoon break was almost always consumed outdoors.
Bread and oil.

Bread and oil.

  • Home made cake: as per our family tradition, we use always oils to mix doughs for baking sweet or salty cakes. For a good snack we propose an easy and fast donut made with few ingredients but with great nutritional value.
    Here you are the easy recipe: 300 g of flour type 00; 150 g of sugar; 100 ml of extra virgin olive oil; 50 ml of milk; 3 eggs; lemon skin; 1 bag of baking powder for cakes.
Cake dough with extra virgin olive oil.

Cake dough with extra virgin olive oil.

 

Home made cake.

The final result.

Pertosa is a small village in the caves of the National Park of Cilento, Vallo di Diano and Alburni. In fact, this territory in the south of Salerno, is also famous because it has become the origin of the white artichoke, a rare vegetable that identifies its name with one of the village where the cultivation was restarted. Besides Pertosa, white artichoke also grows in the neighbouring areas of Auletta, Caggiano and Salvitelle.

Pertosa’s white artichoke has been included in the list of traditional agri-food products of the Campania Region and subsequently it has also become a Slow Food Presidium. This indicates its important role in safeguarding local biodiversity and the task of those who have accepted the courageous challenge of continuing to cultivate it.

Pertosa’s white artichoke: characteristics

Pertosa’s white artichoke has a very light green colour, tending to silver. It has a round shape, is large and without thorns. The heart has a particularly delicate flavour therefore is special to be tasted fresh or preserved in oil.

Casa Iuorio prepares the pickles of white artichoke following a traditional recipe and using only quality ingredients: extra virgin olive oil, lemon juice and some aromas of our garden such as bay leaves, garlic and chili pepper.

Pertosa’s white artichoke: Casa Iuorio’s cultivation

Because the valuable characteristics of this vegetable, we decided to grow it also in our farm. To start the first crops, we have directly selected the seeds from our trusted Pertosa’s farmers, where we went personally. Our open-fields cultivation, situated in the areas of the Alburni Mountains are particularly fertile and suitable for these crops. Waiting for the next harvest, we leave confident that nature takes its course, as it always does.

Pertosa

Pertosa distant view.

A field in Pertosa with artichokes cultivation.

A field in Pertosa with artichokes cultivation.

Amid the rows of artichokes.

Amid the rows of artichokes.

From 7th to 10th May 2018, Casa luorio will be present at “Cibus”; the International Food Exhibition and the key event of the Italian agri-food sector…

The Anuga Fair “Taste The Future” takes place in Cologne every two years and is recognized as the most important international fair for the food and beverage industry…

Tasting the oil is a true technique and has strict rules to be observed. For this reason, there are experienced tasters titled to judge the merits and defects of each type of oil.

To evaluate the quality of an oil, use a special glass, precisely a blue glass and follow very specific behavioral dictates:

  • Do not smoke in the  30 minutes before tasting;
  • Do not eat in the 30 minutes before the tasting;
  • Do not use perfumes or cosmetics to avoid altering the perception of the smell of oil;
  • Ensure your health: even a simple cold may alter the perception of smell / flavor of the oil. In this regard, it is advisable to test the oil only in perfect health conditions.

This very precious black truffle grows underground in beechwood and oak tree forests in the Upper Sele, in the province of Salerno and precisely in the areas around Colliano to whose name it is linked, Valva and Laviano, It grows at rather high quotes starting in the 800s up to 1500 meters above the sea level, in symbiosis, with oak and beechwood trees, also with carpine, elm, maple and hazelnut trees, in soils poor of lime and rich in humus.

Its dimension can change from that of walnut to a chicken egg, it has a regular shape and has a central dimple. The external part, the peridum, is black and wrinkly with medium size veins, while the internal part is of a yellowish or brownish colour with clear tinges and it has a very strong scent. It matures between October and April, when the harvest starts, the truffle are found exploiting the instinct and olphattive capacity of dogs trained in being able to sniff the truffle, research it and to respond to the truffle collector commands.

The dogs with its nose to the ground, go all over the place until it can find the exact spot the tuber is. Once spotted, it starts digging and its owner who is observing every move, intervenes with a short-handle tool shaped like a pick, helping the dog dig to prevent the fruit from being ruined with the nails dog and also to avoid straining the dog. Once the truffle is extracted, the truffle collector fills the hole up again with the dugout soil; this is a very important operation for the preservation of the productive state of the truffle ground.