Local products20 November 2015

Lavender, delicious in food.

The new the Italian Riviera's Lavender Gourmet Association is born and will work together with the Italian Riviera's Lavender regional project

Lavender, delicious in food.

After a series of meetings, a new Italian Riviera's Lavender Gourmet Association is born and is in charge, together with the Italian Riviera's Lavender regional project, of promoting cultural food-and-wine initiatives, and in particular of creating, deepening and promoting a real culture of Italian Riviera's lavender as an aromatic plant.

Interest in lavender as an ingredient used in the kitchen has increased in recent months by researching traditional recipes but also proposing new dishes such as the baked anchovies presented in October at Laigueglia's fair "The anchovy's jump", a food-and-wine event involving Liguria's and Piedmont's products, in a sea-and-land combination.

In the '20s, '50s and '60s lavender was a source of wealth throughout the Italian Riviera's inland; however, initially due to a major fungal infection to the crops, it was later slowly abandoned. Recently, some municipalities have decided to revive the lavender cultivation as a way to boost economy, tourism, and the whole area in general. The municipalities participating in the Italian Riviera's Lavender regional project are: Albenga, Airole, Armo, Cipressa, Cosio di Arroscia, Dolceacqua, Dolcedo, Mendatica, Montegrosso Pian Latte, Olivetta San Michele, Ormea, Perinaldo, Pietrabruna, Pigna, Pornassio, Prelà, San Lorenzo al Mare, Santo Stefano al Mare, Seborga , Vasia.

Several small companies have restarted production using lavender essence or the plant itself. Essencé, a family-owned company in Pantasina, and Cugge, a company in Agaggio, are examples of this trend. Moreover, food companies such as Cookie Factory Gibelli and Fresh Pasta Factory F.lli Porro have decided to invest in lavender as a precious ingredient in their products. Lavender Rundi, a type of cookie native to Vallecrosia, fresh pasta such as lavender Tagliatelle and Taglierini, lavender chocolates, and lavender chifferi are some examples of the new Italian Riviera's lavender gourmet association's choices.

All cooking enthusiasts, restaurateurs, people involved in the promotion of local products, are invited to participate in the new Italian Riviera's Lavender Gourmet Association.

For information: ordinegastronomico@lavandarivieradeifiori.it.

Deborah Bellotti

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