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The exclusive flavours of the Festivities: caviar, oysters, and other gastronomic treasures

We explore the culinary excellence of the festive season, from the refinement of caviar to the unmistakable aromas of oysters and delicious Italian gastronomic treasures.

The festive season carries an atmosphere of joy, togetherness and, of course, an abundance of culinary delights. Among the most iconic and indulgent foods that adorn holiday tables, two protagonists stand out for their exquisite refinement: caviar and oysters. 

These culinary treasures not only delight even the most demanding palates, but also add touches of luxury to our festive tables.

Caviar, with its shiny pearls and rich but delicate taste, has been the epitome of gastronomic luxury for centuries. Obtained from the eggs of various species of sturgeon, this sea treasure is often served on small blinis or with minimal touches that enhance the purity of its flavour. The slightly salty, buttery taste is a symphony for the senses, making every bite an experience to remember. 

There are also precise rules for tasting: 

  • The main one concerns the spoon to use to serve caviar, as it should never come into contact with metal, because this alters its flavour. The ideal choice is to use signature mother-of-pearl spoons, but glass or, if there is really no sustainable alternative, plastic are also fine. Nothing suitable? Experts recommend placing it on the back of your hand to let it warm up: you will enjoy it at its best without any doubt.
  • How many grams per person should be served? Usually, a minimum of 30 grams per person to start with.
  • At what temperature should caviar be served? Like practically all quality food, caviar should not be served cold. Best to take it out of the fridge between five and ten minutes before serving.
  • How should it be presented at the table? There are beautiful silver caviar holders (our style expert Giorgia Fantin Borghi has used one in an original way [link al video su come servire i fritti], so you could buy one and use it in many creative ways), but if you prefer a simpler solution opt for a glass boule, filled with ice

All full flavours go well with caviar, so go for butter curls, croutons or blinis also spread with butter, and even boiled eggs, potatoes, or delicious scallops.

Next to caviar, oysters emerge as another favourite culinary delicacy during the festive season. These delicate and refined molluscs offer a unique combination of briny and sweet taste, along with a smooth and succulent texture. Often served fresh with a squeeze of lemon or accompanied by light sauces, oysters provide a touch of sophistication and refinement to any festive feast. Along with chef Stefano Riva, we prepared an oyster with Prosecco jelly, perfect for the holiday season.

While caviar and oysters rule among the delicacies served during the holidays, we cannot forget other gastronomic treasures that add value to our Christmas tables. In Italy, one of the most popular is the truffle that, with its earthy, enveloping aroma, is a favourite among those seeking culinary excellence at this time of year.  Excellent with simple tagliolini, it is also perfect to enrich more complex dishes like some excellent ravioli stuffed with carbonara.

Celebrating with a typical dessert.  One of our Christmas desserts par excellence is unquestionably an artisan panettone, typical of the city of Milan. With its soft texture enriched with candied fruit and dried fruit (but also fine chocolate and a multitude of other creative and less traditional flavours), the artisan panettone enchants palates with its creaminess and complexity of taste.

Caviar and oysters made in Italy

In Italy, caviar production is an excellence that few people are aware of. We are used to associating caviar with countries like Russia or Iran, but we can also boast a respectable caviar production in Italy. In northern Italy, especially in Lombardy and Veneto, there is the largest production of high-quality Italian caviar. Calvisius, Adamas, Cru Caviar and Giaveri are just some of the best-known names of caviar made in Italy.

When it comes to oysters, Italy has some coastal areas where they are cultivated. Among the areas that have been offering the greatest satisfaction in recent years is the Sacca degli Scardovari, in Porto Tolle, in the Po Delta Regional Park, a 54,000-hectare natural river area in Emilia-Romagna. This is where the delicious and fleshy pink oyster comes from.

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Instead, the Apulian oysters from the Varano lagoon in the Gargano National Park have a savoury and intense flavour. This is where the San Michele oyster comes from.

The Orbetello lagoon in Tuscany and some areas of Sicily are also renowned for their production of oysters, and we have the delicious green oysters in Liguria, very fragrant and savoury, produced thanks to the hard work of the oyster farmers of the Golfo dei Poeti, in the province of La Spezia.

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