It’s not so often I talk about food in these blogs, but if you’ve only ever sampled the wines, beers and liqueurs I import from the Campania region of Italy, then believe me you’re really missing something.
The long summer days, the sun-kissed fields and hillsides, the centuries of traditional small-scale farming make Campania’s produce—tomatoes, olives, citrus and summer fruits, almonds and walnuts—some of the best in the world, fairly bursting with Mediterranean flavour, bringing natural Italian warmth to your table.
One of the best bits of my job at Campania Food and Wines is developing relationships with small-scale producers, often family-owned and run, whose passion for growing and preserving local fruit and vegetables guarantees that whatever they sell is the very best it can be, from field to jar or bottle in the blink of an eye.
Such a venture is Fattoria Terranova, its six hectares of land hugging the hillsides overlooking the Bay of Naples and Salerno, farmed and cherished by the Ruoppo family. Many of our foodstuffs come from this idyllic spot because the provenance and care in production is unsurpassed and the quality and flavours are there to prove it.
So – Fattoria Terranova tapenades. (Yes, I know tapenade is a French word, but it bests describes what’s on offer. The Ruoppos call it pâté too.)
There’s a choice of seven: green olive, black olive, sun dried tomato, chilli and the new arrivals, artichoke, asparagus and porcini mushroom. They’re all delicious. Simple as that. Spread them on ciabbata, use them for bruschetta, add olive oil so you can drizzle them on fish and meats or use as a dipping sauce.
One of my customers, Caroline, has recently sampled the black olive tapenade. Here’s what she says about it, between mouthfuls:
“I just love it! The olives are fruity and earthy with none of the astringency of the green variety, but with a delicious umami kick and a saltiness that’s just right. What do I do with it? (apart from eating spoonfuls straight out of the jar!) I have it spread on flatbread as a tasty nibble to go with a glass of wine; for lunch, I cook a little pasta and stir in tapenade, anchovies (also from Campania) and maybe a few cherry tomatoes; for supper, I often use it to top fish, grilled or oven-baked. It’s a great store cupboard ingredient – or fridge, once it’s opened. My final word – yum!”
How creative are you with tapenade? Because that’s our competition. Come up with the most unusual tapenade pairing and you could win four jars of Fattoria Terranova tapenades.
All you have to do is go to the Campania Wines website www.campaniawines.co.uk click on the Twitter icon, follow @campaniawines and post your unusual tapenade pairing starting with the hash tag #competition . It could be green olive tapenade with honeydew melon, or porcini mushroom tapenade with fried eggs. Good luck! The competition ends midnight July 31st 2017.