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Luigi Caricato

Luigi Caricato

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The Origin of the World

We report the editorial by the director Luigi Caricato which appeared within the number 12 of OOF International Magazine Enjoy the reading. When everything began, civilization was born. Through the myth of Pallas Athena, the olive tree is its most significant and eloquent symbol. In the dispute between […]

Luigi Caricato


Covid-19 – before and after

We report the editorial by the director Luigi Caricato which appeared within the number 11 of OOF International Magazine. Enjoy the reading. Some time in mid-February, a few days after the ninth edition of the Olio Officina Festival had finished, I suddenly became aware that profoundchanges were taking […]

Luigi Caricato


What’s changing

We report the editorial by the director Luigi Caricato which appeared within the number 10 of OOF International Magazine. It’s evident how the world has changed, alongside the expectations for 2020, after the terrible emergency of Covid-19. Enjoy the reading I think 2020’s a great number, because it’s […]

Luigi Caricato


‘Tis all a festival

Synopsis and history of Olio Officina Festival’s eight editions (plus one more in the pipeline)

Luigi Caricato


The great challenge

The promise we make on the cover of issue 9 of OOF International Magazine – to provide a selection of recipes revolving around olive oil and vinegar – might sound overly optimistic. The challenge it expresses is however consistent with our vision: that of bringing seasonings and dressings […]

Luigi Caricato


More olive trees, so as to protect our identity

As a boy, I was very struck by a brief yet extremely powerful and effective essay by a great Italian writer, Giovanni Arpino – whose work, as often happens when we shuffle off this mortal coil, has gradually fallen into oblivion, without this in any way undermining the […]

Luigi Caricato


A new paradigm

Interview with Pasquale Forte: “Nothing is the same any more. Consumers have changed, but so have their philosophy and approach to life. Today they want to live through their emotions: smelling, tasting, trying. Advertising is a serious job. In order to be influential, it is vital to develop new messages"

Luigi Caricato


You have to experience the oil

Interview with Gian Franco Carli: Our oil is “made by the people who bring it, brought by the people who make it”, without using middlemen. You have to experience the product. You have to immerse yourself in it. To the point of saturation. Penetrate through to its heart. In fact, if you can’t manage to crystallize what you want to tell consumers in one single idea, one single topic, you can’t be creative. A good rule is to always tell the truth, and if possible the whole truth. Because in the long term, only the truth will win over people’s trust. And what other purpose should there be for advertising, if not to encourage and establish trust?

Luigi Caricato


Advertising, not propaganda

Interview with Massimo Occhinegro. The success or failure of an olive oil launched on the market depends on the business choices we make. Advertising is very useful, because through its repeated series of messages it helps consumers understand an extra virgin olive oil’s value and individual qualities – note the plural, since they really are numerous and varied. Although it has been produced for millennia, the oil obtained from olives remains a food/condiment which in many ways is still unexplored, waiting to be discovered. Today’s consumers should only be made aware, but never forced into making a choice.

Luigi Caricato


Tradition must not become a merely onanistic exercise

Everyone is so intent on evoking existing traditions because they are incapable of creating new ones. Such insistence on the past strikes me as pure onanism. It is true that the past has important, fundamental lessons to teach us, but, as the writer Giuseppe Pontiggia rightly argued, the […]

Luigi Caricato


Rock star treatment for olive oil

There’s a lot more to advertising than thinking up a slogan and filling a blank space. It’s the search for someone to interact with, someone who’s ready to understand what is special about us, about what we do or what we make. If advertising were merely a slogan, […]

Luigi Caricato


There’s no universal blend

Interview to Fabrizio Fusi, founded two companies Castel del Chianti and Fiorentini Firenze: "You have to aim for an oil that’s as harmonious as possible. Everyone always wants an oil that’s not too fruity, not too bitter and not too pungent. A mild oil raises fewer issues with a consumer, but the milder an EVO is, the more criticism it will encounter during panel tests and in any case, it will have a shorter shelf life"

Luigi Caricato


Turkey aims to increase olive oil production

A country in great evolution, with a high and consistent demand for sustainably sourced olives and olive oil. Turkish exporters require stable production. The aim is to focus on new export markets like the Far East and South America. Demand is also increasing in the USA. There is another goal not to be neglected: to increase the average per capita domestic consumption of olive oil to 5 kgs. Interview with Davut Er, chairman of Aegean Olive and Olive Oil Exporters’ Association

Luigi Caricato


The gnosiological aspect of blending

We may have managed to tame the wild olive over the millennia and transform it into oil, but making oil as nature intended is no longer our task these days. For that matter leaving an olive oil’s distinctive style to chance is not a viable solution. It’s better […]

Luigi Caricato


What happens when oil meets food?

These days, compared to the past, we have an extra guarantee, without doubts or conflicting opinions as far as oil is concerned. Giant steps forward have been made in the production of quality extra virgin olive oils with inimitable, true-to-type sensory traits. There has been unparalleled and unprecedented […]

Luigi Caricato


All the secrets of oil

Interview with Valentina Cardone, Chemiservice. No efficient olive mill can exist unless it relies on a lab that can explore extra virgin olive oil thoroughly, including in sensorial terms. Freshly-produced oils are no longer classified only based on homemade screening of their acidity. Increasingly often, oils are taken to laboratories for analyses that, although fewer than analyses envisaged by law, are sufficient to assign oil to a quite well-defined product category

Luigi Caricato


I taste, you taste, we taste

Tasting is crucial. It allows becoming familiar and discovering oil in depth, so that the different ways in which it can be used are interpreted correctly: raw, cooked or as a liquid to cover products in preserves. There is actually no other solution, because tasting is the only […]

Luigi Caricato


The future is among us

Those who have never met me may think that I have nothing to do with milling art and science, even though I deal with olive oils as a writer and a publisher. The opposite is true. I cannot claim I was born inside an olive oil mill, but […]

Luigi Caricato


Being olive oil tasters

What kind of tool is the olive oil panel test? Has it been useful, 25 years after its institution? Does tasters and panel heads training work or does it involve any gaps? We have talked about all this and much more with the President of Società Italiana per lo Studio delle Sostanze Grasse (Italian association for research on fatty substances), Professor Lanfranco Conte

Luigi Caricato


Antico Borgo, the scent and flavours of the Frantoio, Moraiolo and Leccino trine

A Tuscan PGI oil made by Terre dell’Etruria, a farming cooperative society that has invested all it has on its members, expertly helping and guiding them towards quality and success. The most impressive features of this extra virgin oil, flavour apart, are its remarkable quality/price ratio and extraordinary yield

Luigi Caricato


The right price for oil

It is unwise to be overly thrifty when choosing what olive oil to buy. Rather than the apparently lower price, one should consider the best quality-price ratio and the flavouring efficiency of the oil. There is a problem however: although it is deeply rooted in our culinary tradition, we are still incapable of discerning good from bad oil.

Luigi Caricato


My name is Italo

An extra virgin olive oil from Abruzzo, made from blending oils of five olive cultivars, including the widely acclaimed Dritta. A soft oil, full of fruity attributes that give it body and personality. Versatile, with a great quality-price ratio and excellent dressing efficiency, it bears the signature of Fattoria del Torquato

Luigi Caricato


No fear of new experiences

A new magazine is always a compelling challenge. Even more considering that paper publications are experiencing a difficult moment due to several reasons. However, one cannot give up. We have to act and play our role in the process. OOF International Magazine plays a renewed role in shaking […]

Luigi Caricato


Salvagno’s outstanding Grignano single-varietal oil

In Italy, and more precisely in the countryside surrounding Nesente Valpantena, near Verona, the feather in the cap of this ancient oil-making family is an extra virgin oil of which only very few bottles are made, because it is produced from a variety of olives growing only in a very limited territory. A unique and truly-deserving sensory experience.

Luigi Caricato


A delightful Tunisian oil

Imperialis is the oil that stole the limelight at the 2017 Le Forme dell'Olio Award. Its producers are the Bichiou family from Hammamet, who sell it under the Tanit Mediterraneum brand. We were pleasantly surprised by its taste. An extra virgin olive oil both powerful and elegant, made from Chemlali and Chetoui olives

Luigi Caricato


The importance of prevention

For many years now I have been highlighting the health benefits of extra virgin olive oil, of which the general public seems to be mostly unaware. I have written a book on this subject, edited by Tecniche Nuove, and have been organizing for the last seven years the […]

Luigi Caricato


Oil and potatoes

There are many types of potato, just like there are many kinds of oil. Is it not so? Here are some suggestions for pairing potatoes and oil. And a piece of advice for whoever believes that all potatoes – and oils, for that matter – are the same. The truth is otherwise. Some varieties have a tender texture, others instead can be firm, waxy or floury. And there are also the so-called new potatoes

Luigi Caricato


Something new

Is it still possible to invent something new? To amend and remodel existing things and ideas, or possibly even to radically reformulate them?I believe it is. Innovation runs after us and we cannot escape our fate. It is in our DNA, on the other hand, to strive to […]

Luigi Caricato


Why do we feel so threatened by innovation?

There is a European oil producer, the nationality of whom I choose to conceal, who has a name for bottling and selling excellent extra virgin olive oil. Recently this person tweeted a message that gives us pause for thought. I quote the tweet as it was posted, without […]

Luigi Caricato


Without olive trees there is no future

Enough of this geriatric approach towards olive tree cultivation. We need renovation. How can we possibly conceive a sector operating at a loss? If there is no profit, olive cultivation makes no sense. At Olio Officina Anteprima in Alghero, the protagonists of the event were the “Captains Courageous”, oil masters Domenico and Pasquale Manca. With them, the most distinguished Italian authorities discuss the newest trends in olive tree cultivation

Luigi Caricato


The 2016 olive season in Italy

We do not expect it to be a memorable harvest. Quite the opposite, and many farmers are rather concerned. The olive fruit fly has wreaked havoc all over Italy, from north to south. Yet, compared to the disastrous 2014 season, there is a greater degree of optimism, because at least nobody was caught unprepared

Luigi Caricato


Just call it Vù

This is the name, youthful and jaunty, that Frantoiani del Vùlture has given to its Vùlture PDO extra virgin olive oil. A special gourmet edition of this oil is also available. Its birthplace is on a group of hills of volcanic origin found in Basilicata, a small region in southern Italy

Luigi Caricato


Too much emphasis is placed on the role of labels

Labels can be helpful, because they provide useful and important information, but they are not as fondamental as we are often led to believe. Too much emphasis is placed on the almost salvific role of labels in protecting the consumers, but it is time to stop endorsing such […]

Luigi Caricato


Summer, time for salads

Choosing the best dressing requires a good knowledge of oils. The correct combination always requires a bit of study and application

Luigi Caricato


The ABCs of extra virgin olive oil

Nobody was born an expert. Proper use, as condiment and during cooking, is crucial. Suggestions on the choice, the preservation of the quality, the risk of deterioration, the correct use. A short but fundamental handbook to avoid mistakes

Luigi Caricato


Comparing oils in an honest manner

Nowadays we are witnessing a new trend: comparing olive oils, examining their attributes and features to rank their overall quality. There is nothing wrong with this, as long as this sort of appraisal is carried out in a straightforward and scrupulous manner. The most common mistake, often concealing […]

Luigi Caricato


A gold-worthy, low-acidity oil

At an oil tasting session during the 2016 Olio Officina Festival, we were very favourably impressed by Sagra Oro, a low-acidity extra virgin olive oil. This sapid, harmonious and very palatable oil is extremely versatile, has all the bearings of a great personality, as well as a delightful balance of bitterness and pungency

Luigi Caricato


The almond note, the harmony and the overall sweet impression

Its name is Selezione Oro (Gold Selection), and bears the signature of Luigi Santagata. Selezione Oro is one of the extra virgin oils produced by a company near Genoa that has been operating in this field since 1907. At the head of the enterprise are siblings Federico and Cristina, the fifth generation of an internationally acclaimed family of oil-makers.

Luigi Caricato


Olive oil and the catering industry

The oil-restaurant combination would appear to be a sure bet, but it is not always so. Although olive oil appeals enormously to the consumer, professional caterers, for some seemingly unknown reason, greatly underestimate its importance, and what is most disappointing, they pay no attention to its countless facets […]

Luigi Caricato


The 2015 season in Italy

After last year’s disastrous season, this autumn’s crop should be extremely good. Although it is still early to accurately predict production levels and quality, the general outlook is positive

Luigi Caricato


Oils for salads

In Italy, every town has a typical dish. This article traces a route throughout the various regions of our country, indicating both the typical salads served there and the oils drizzled over them. In certain cases, the dressings employed are not derived from olives, but from other fruit growing in the territory, such as walnuts in the Aosta Valley and hazelnuts in certain parts of Piedmont

Luigi Caricato


Frying, in all its forms

Frying is a cooking method dating from the dawn of human civilization. Back then, Man discovered that the chemical and physical nature of fats caused a rapid accumulation of heat, with stunning results in term of crispiness and flavour

Luigi Caricato


The perfect oil for a perfect dish

Guidelines for the pairing of olive oil. As usual, there are no universal truths, because what really counts is personal taste. However, you can avoid making serious mistakes by following a few simple rules

Luigi Caricato


Supporting a good cause: heroic olive farming methods

High-altitude oils, namely those obtained from olive trees growing on hill- and mountain sides, which are therefore quite difficult to tend, have high production costs, and in this respect they are similar to those made from olives growing on centuries-old, tall trees. In Italy they are a significant […]

Luigi Caricato


The perception of quality

Much has been said about how our knowledge of extra virgin olive oils has increased among its consumers, and consequently, how we are now able to discern their true quality. But is it really so? Perhaps only in part

Luigi Caricato


The definition of smoke point

Nowadays, the concept of smoke point is considered outdated, but in the past, it was considered a key parameter for frying, and despite everything, it is still taken into account. But what exactly is it? And what are the best oils for cooking?

Luigi Caricato


What is so special about Italian oil?

Always and forever at the forefront, for the last two thousand years. Always in the limelight, through thick and thin. We never lost our vocation for olive cultivation and oil production, and this is why Italy is considered as the oil country par excellence

Luigi Caricato


Describing sensory quality

Everybody keeps saying “it’s excellent, excellent”. Isn’t it so? We must trust their word. A select extra virgin olive oil can stir powerful emotions in us, and we must urge the consumers to perceive this unique, outstanding, quality. Are we sure that everybody gets it? Are we capable of communicating it properly?

Luigi Caricato


Oil and the catering industry, so much laziness

The oil-restaurant combination would appear to be a sure bet, but it is not always so. Although olive oil appeals enormously to the consumer, professional caterers, for some seemingly unknown reason, greatly underestimate its importance, and what is most disappointing, they pay no attention to its countless facets […]

Luigi Caricato


Oil at the chemist’s

Extra virgin olive oil is a preventive healthcare product. It is functional food and mothers, for instance, should only choose the best oils for their children

Luigi Caricato


The oil made by Roberta Maccioni

This is an oil that bears the hallmark of its place of origin, namely Montalbano, in Tuscany. It is made with the greatest care, and deserves to be tasted raw, drizzled over a variety of dishes, although it is also ideal for cooking

Luigi Caricato


A historic oil

This extra virgin olive oil, produced in northern Italy, in the environs of Lake Garda, bears traces of an illustrious past

Luigi Caricato


The price no longer

If on one hand we should be happy that nowadays more people appreciate olive oil, on the other we should be aware that much remains to be done with regard to its quality. Some just go for extra virgin olive oils without thinking too much. Well, if for […]

Luigi Caricato


Blends in ten steps

Great extra virgin oils originate from the ability to combine various batches of oil. Blending nowadays is the talk of the town, but only few have mastered this art. It is an essential, pivotal operation that plays a key role in characterizing a complex and heterogeneous material such as olive oil

Luigi Caricato


Oil is good for the skin

It’s good, it’s good. The good thing about olive oil is that it is rapidly and completely absorbed by the skin. Unlike other vegetable oils that only act as moisturizers, olive oil also has nourishing properties. We should therefore re-acknowledge the benefits of dousing our skin with oil. As occurred during the Olio Officina Food Festival

Luigi Caricato


Oil in sauces

Oil in sauces is fundamental. Only a small amount is needed, just enough to give them strength and character, without modifying their flavour. In order to avoid an unbalanced product, we should always look at the character of our extra virgin oils

Luigi Caricato


Beyond the label

The new frontier of food? Eyesight, sense of smell, taste. When choosing what to consume, we cannot rely on the label alone, but must go one step further. The label is only an indication. Useful, very useful, no question about it. It is certainly a key element, but […]

Luigi Caricato


Salutaris Olive Oil

The Buonamici family has a farm in Fiesole, Tuscany, on the hills surrounding Florence. Their mission is to achieve quality, and the result of their work is an extra virgin olive oil with a high content of natural antioxidants and vitamin E

Luigi Caricato


The essential vinegar glossary

Following is a brief guide to the most common terms regarding vinegar. An indispensable glossary for whoever wants to enter into this fascinating but little-known world

Luigi Caricato


A sky with olive trees

How many of us have gazed up to the sky, looking for answers? Have you ever seen the clouds conversing with the branches of olive trees?

Luigi Caricato


Selezione Primavera (Spring Selection)

The bottle is wrapped in gold foil, so as to protect the oil inside. This is typical of many oil companies in Liguria. In this case we have an extra virgin oil made by Ranieri, an ancient olive mill in Chiusanico, near Imperia

Luigi Caricato


Free acidity

A lesson on oil. Not everybody knows the actual meaning of one of the most important parameters measured in olive oil. Yet often it is conspicuously reported on the label, as if it were a unique virtue, the key feature of a superior oil.

Luigi Caricato


Dreams always come true

Dreams always come true, if we cultivate them with care. When in 2012 I inaugurated the Olio Officina Food Festival with – I confess – a certain degree of trepidation, I was certain that I would win my personal bet. I soon realized that I had chosen the […]

Luigi Caricato


Pure Moresca and Verdese extra virgin oil

In Italy, in the Sicilian town of Noto, Felice Modica, owner of the Bufalefi olive mill, produces an oil from local cultivars that though not overly popular, give rise to a product of extraordinary quality.

Luigi Caricato


Beauty oil

Oil made from olives, and extra virgin oil in particular, has a great appeal for the cosmetic industry. It is therefore present in many beauty creams and products. This is a good sign. We must pay great attention to the label however, because what really matters is the percentage at which it is present.

Luigi Caricato


The suspended olive tree

It is not a museum like most others. In Tuscany, Italy, a new, futuristic concept of a museum has seen the light. A plant sinks its roots into an ancient cistern, taking up the nutrients in an unusual manner. The signals of its “nervous” activity are constantly monitored and recorded. The visitor can even perceive the plant's most intimate emotions.

Luigi Caricato


Consumers like it sweet

Sweet oil is a technically incorrect term, but sums it up perfectly. In the past, oils were mostly sweet, leaving a soft sensation in the mouth; bitter, piquant notes were usually very faint, if not wholly absent. The consumers seemed to appreciate the sweetish flavour that is typical […]

Luigi Caricato


If made well, oil is good regardless of its origin

Her greatest dream is that extra virgin olive oil will become popular all over the world. For Maria Flora Monini it is necessary to invest in advertising. Promoting not only the brand, but also the culture of a product.

Luigi Caricato


Vinegar? A stimulant for our nervous system

It is not merely an ingredient for our salad dressing. Its properties should not be belittled. Both healthy and reinvigorating, vinegar is by all means a real tonic

Luigi Caricato


Olio Turri’s blog, a happy exception

Very few oil producers run blogs. Turri's, with its minimalistic design, is both simple and elegant. It is also available in English: posts are published at regular intervals and dispatched through newsletters

Luigi Caricato


Oil, the basic facts

Although little used, there is a fundamental tool that can be employed to protect oneself from suspicious oils: one's nose. Once you learn the basics of oil sampling, you will be able to find the right oil at the right price.

Luigi Caricato


A glass of good wine can help

In the past, wine was refused to young people, because it would only serve to add “fire to fire”, and this “burning energy” would only hinder them in everyday life. Plato too believed that boys should abstain from all use of wine until they reached the age of eighteen. Nowadays we all agree that drinking with moderation is the best solution.

Luigi Caricato


Agridè, well-rounded and velvety

Do you know the Italian Terra di Bari PDO olive oil? And more specifically, the Bitonto production area? The olive oils made here are well-rounded and soft, but still preserve their intense aroma of Coratina olives.

Luigi Caricato


Sagra olive oil now speaks Chinese

This ancient brand owned by the Fontana family is now in the hands of the Chinese company Shanghai Yimin Foods. The Salov entrepreneurs, headquartered in Lucca, are still present, but only as minority shareholders.

Luigi Caricato


We are here

The beginning is always an important moment. So we hope that Olio Officina Globe will start off on the right foot. For all those who are already familiar with the Olio Officina project, both in Italy and abroad, we would like to explain that our new-born is the […]

Luigi Caricato


It’s an espresso

Are you sure that you can discern the true quality of a cup of coffee? When it is good, it should be sipped slowly and peacefully. Espresso coffee, the quintessential Italian beverage, should be savoured unsweetened, so as to fully appreciate its aroma.

Luigi Caricato


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