Rice toasting is the first cooking step which is essential for obtaining excellent risotto. This initial phase aims to waterproof the rice grain and keep it compact and whole all the way to the mouth. It’s very short, only 3-5 minutes, on a lively flame but its importance is indisputable. There are various types of toasting, but we only talk about toasting with an animal or vegetable fat to prevent the grains from sticking to each other. Some people use butter to have a tasty and sweet fat to match the rice flavour, but butter is made of low-digestible saturated fats so it’s not very appreciated by today's consumers. Others use extra virgin olive oil to get a lighter risotto and have a higher smoke point, but EVO also brings its herbaceous trait, which is not particularly appreciated in many risotto. Finally there are those who use butter added with a drop of oil basically to raise the smoke point.
A caterer client of mine, who is a great risotto fan, wanted to enhance traditional risotto without neglecting the needs of new lifestyles that are decidedly more interested to healthy food at the table. He asked me about sweet fat like butter and at the same time light as extra virgin olive oil. Knowing the unique characteristics of our goose fat, with a crystalline white colour and extracted by hand from the back of the goose, I suggested to him to toast the risotto with this special ingredient. This is a forgotten fat that combines the rich and sweet taste of an animal fat with the lightness and delicacy of a vegetable oil. If we add to this a higher smoke point than the butter, the toasting becomes a more interesting phase. The low content of saturated fats and the high content of oleic acid (typical of EVO) make the goose fat the perfect fat for the most demanding chefs who do not want to give up the tradition of risotto, but they ask for lighter and more digestible dishes than the original recipe. As you can see, sometimes it takes very little to reinterpret, in a gourmet version, the story of a territory that has mastered the best risotto ever: fresh, light and digestible.
What makes doughs so different from each other? It is not only a matter of flour, water, salt , but also the type of fat.
A bread made with olive oil has unmistakable scents from those of soft milk bread , which are different from a cake with lard or butter. In a few lines we have summarized the world of fats in the tradition of Italian bread making from north to south, not to mention all those vegetable oils that today industries favor.
At what point does goose fat come into the story? Surely it is an ancient tradition that we have forgotten, but which since the Second World War, it was still used in the population of the Lomellina area. They were sweet or savoury, often in the bakery dough the goose fat was added for lack of butter or oil to obtain a product with particular characteristics . Hence it the interesting tradition of breads prepared with goose fat was born.
Goose fat is an ingredient that gives the baked products unique characteristics of lightness, fragrance and a delicate flavour without the classic typical herbaceous vein of olive oil.
The low saturated fatty acids content and high oleic acid content, together with the high melting point makes it the perfect fat to satisfy the most demanding palate and the health- conscious customers of food aspects. If beyond using it in the dough, it is also brushed on the surface before baking, the results can only surprise you.
Curious to propose this noble ingredient in the world of doughs, we have decided to present you the recipe of an artistic and healthy breadstick.
Extra virgin olive oil, vegetable oil, lard, ghe. The use of oils and fats for our recipes is now extremely rich and varied, with its positive and negative aspects.
Haute cuisine has been continuously researching the perfect fat to be able to enhance the preparations sauteed over high heat. Yet it seems there is still much work to be done in several ways: melting point, taste, healthy aspects often all push the chef to change their choices when it comes to fats.
And if instead of a stubborn search of the last industrial product , we took a step back in time to search of a forgotten fat? The goose fat has the ideal characteristics for preparations as the sautéing. Good melting point, clarity, light and pleasant tasting, enveloping the food without covering it , these are just some of the features of this fat.
"When they introduced me to the product, I was pretty hesitant because of bad past experiences related to goose fat " says Morena, Executive Chef " but after having tasted the potatoes and the croque monsieur sautéed in goose fat I had to think again. The flavours are not altered, but enhanced, then the sandwich bread became something heavenly, above the same product brushed with butter."
The incredible lightness of this product enhances the taste of starchy vegetables and enriches the goose preparations like a good sliced goose breast.
The extraordinary versatility of use accompanied by the incredible lightness of melted goose fat make it an indispensable product for the most demanding chefs.
Oca Sforzesca Gastronomist
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