Plunge your hands into the waters of the lake

A fifteenth-century author described Lake Garda as “a land graced with olive trees, whose olives, when pressed, yield oils that are more redolent and purer than those from Piceno, Ficione, Venapro and even Athens; these are not only [ideal] for dressing salads or frying fish and many other ingredients, but also for making medicines and liniments… and this is especially true in the case of Virgin oil, the name given to the oil obtained from pressing the olives before they are boiled”. Messedaglia claimed that woods of olive trees lined the environs of Lake Garda and though oil was bountiful, the locals preferred to place it on the market, so as to earn a bit of money. Hence the peasants used it sparingly, selling most of the produce, and only keeping the pomace, which was spread on bread and eaten. Luckily nowadays our fortunes have turned, and we can use Garda oil as best we please. Giorgio Gioco, the celebrated chef from Verona, suggests we use it as follows: “Try pairing it with a poor dish, plunge your hands into the waters of the lake, and fish out sardines, alborella, chub and eels, lay them on a bed of embers with scented sprigs of herbs and you will feel the blend, the harmonies of Garda and Mount Baldo”.

 

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