About Usraff ponoc

The Plain of Lucca, between the Tyrrhenian Sea and the Apuan Alps, is a land steeped ingastronomic traditions. This region of famous names from history and literature is where the company originated, among hillsides where Tuscan olives grow in abundance. The Raffaelli family began planting olives more than 100 years ago in order always to have their own high quality oil on their table.

History

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People who tasted it at their home began to spread the word that it was an exceptional product; and so in 1913, they decided to begin selling it locally. Since then the quality of Raffaelli oil has only improved, and not thanks to the introduction of technology. The Raffaelli were careful to ensure that they continued to use the same stone olive presses as in the past, the same terracotta jars and, of course, the same production processes.

A love of things still made with passion, authentic products that bring to mind simple, natural foods.

The table becomes a place of true pleasure, delight and sophisticated experience for the senses. All this as a result of the Splendìa – Raffaelli joint venture. Today the company is an important fixture, for both the market and the region where it is based, in terms of preserving the solid traditions of craftsmanship that are reflected in its products, all of which have been created entirely in the tradition of Tuscan cuisine .

Its products are sold throughout Italy, as well as in various countries across the world from Europe and America to Asia.

In recent years, technology has been allied with tradition, enabling the company to make marked improvements in quality.

In the meantime, the oil is to be found on all the best tables throughout Italy and has been sampled by gourmets all over the world, together with the results of another ambitious project: the rediscovery of the other culinary traditions of the Lucca region, by tracking down old family and country recipes from the Valdinievole (the valley of flowers in Pescia, famous across the world precisely for its flowers and olive groves) and the local specialities so far known only to a lucky few. The result has been product lines such as I Freschi d’orto (Fresh from the Garden), Le Primizie (Early Fruit and Vegetables), sauces and creams mainly in recipes based on wild boar, as well as pasta, cold meats, vegetables and sweets, all prepared in the craftsman tradition. A true gastronomic journey in which all the flavours of the region can be rediscovered unaltered. The Raffaelli brand today embodies the unchanged spirit at the heart of Tuscan tradition, which like the region’s fertile soil is the source of delicious new products. Making sitting down together at table a truly joyful occasion.

Oil, Raffaelli’s Tradition

excellence of tuscanyOil is the leading product in the Raffaelli range, the first the company launched on the market 100 years ago and still its quality trademark. For four generations, Raffaelli has applied the same care and craftsmanship to the production process, from the olives themselves to the bottling plant. The company only produces extra virgin oils, which not only meet all the quality requirements for certification, but are exceptional in terms of flavour and quality, according to the maxim “little but good” established by those who began the tradition. Another way of saying that the olive yield is not as important as their quality and thus the quality of the oil produced.

The fruits are selected and picked by hand during November and December. It is not a simple task: the olives must be picked from the tree at the right moment (when they are beginning to turn red) and taken for pressing within 24 hours, i.e. before oxidisation begins, which could alter the flavour. Timing is particularly important in order to maintain the olive’s organoleptic properties, as the juice is extracted using stone presses and the traditional cold pressing method (at around 27°). The oil is collected from the first pressing only.

Once all the olives have been pressed, the oil is kept at constant temperature in steel vats and, in order to ensure the product is kept in the best possible condition, is only bottled shortly before being distributed on the market. All this enables the level of fatty acids to be kept very low: after pressing, this barely reaches 0.2 (so well below the level of 1 required for extra virgin oils).

The result is an oil with a balanced flavour and the right mix of sweetness and strength. The aroma is intense and fruity.  The clean, rounded flavour is interesting to all areas of the palate, leaving a pleasant spicy aftertaste which goes very well with meat and green vegetables, and also with fish.

Oil & Vinegaroils

Oil from our best olives in our attractive containers. Among the various products, the Extra Virgin Oil from Tuscan Olives, made from the “Frantoio” and “Leccino” olive varieties, picked in the second half of November, stands out as being of the highest quality, as evidenced by its extremely low acidity. It has a fruity flavour and aroma and is green with notes of golden yellow which amply describe the rounded, slightly sweet flavour with a spicy aftertaste. A piquant oil that maintains its lively, fresh taste for the full 12 months after pressing.

Famous throughout the world, the PGI balsamic vinegars of Modena are selected by us and aged in oak barrels, in order to add maturity to a wide range of balsamic vinegars and satisfy all the most sophisticated requirements. Particularly outstanding are the Gold, Silver and Bronzebalsamic vinegars of Modena, produced by ageing concentrated grape must over a low heat in small wooden barrels.

Gastronomy

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A careful choice of freshly picked vegetables, washed and prepared entirely by hand, enables products to be enjoyed later as if on the spot at the height of the season.

The delicious sauces in the range are based on recipes dating from a time when love of the culinary arts and food preparation put the emphasis on simple homely cooking. These sauces are ready to use and need only be heated for around 2 minutes over a low heat in the frying pan to be used to finish cooking the pasta (already sufficiently al dente). They include in particular Pesto, a cold sauce, which for many decades has been one of the best known and best loved Italian specialities across the world. The ready-to-use creams are heated over a low heat with the addition of a little Extra Virgin Olive Oil to make an excellent pasta sauce or spread on lightly toasted bread crostini.

Pasta

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A rich and varied range has been created from the best Italian tradition, from bronze-extruded shapes to pastas flavoured at the time of preparation with the highest quality ingredients. The most innovative of these include cocoa flavoured pasta. This speciality is prepared with the finest quality cocoa powder and has a natural somewhat bitter flavour that goes very well with a first course. It does not contain added butter, sugar or milk. An original pasta dish for special occasions. To bring out the flavour, it can be served simply with garlic and peppers or something more sophisticated such as cream and chopped fresh strawberries.

The range also contains a selection of cereals, vegetables, dried green vegetables and herbs ready for use in flavoursome risottos. Enabling enjoyment at any time of the pleasures of country cuisine and the finest flavours of the season.

Sweets

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Cantuccini Toscani,” crisp, golden biscuits with whole almonds. The name comes from the fact that even the less well-off among the population could enjoy the goodness of these biscuits by contenting themselves with the ends of the cooked loaf, known as “cantucci” (ends of a loaf). Simple, authentic ingredients, flour, eggs, sugar and almonds, that make for a fine traditional food.

The purest honey with fruit. Nothing could be simpler or tastier; a delicious new way to enjoy honey, making it appetising even for those not partial to it on its own. We have added treats for the palate to produce a range full of natural goodness. To be eaten simply with a spoon, on bread or as an interesting accompaniment. Not to forget the unmissable classic Christmas sweet: panettone. A soft mix prepared in the craftsman tradition as it once was in the bakeries of old.  We have added chocolate, candied fruit and raisins to enrich the authentic flavour of this dessert.

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