Articolo disponibile anche in: Italian
In the main piazza of Greve in Chianti, with a terrace with a beautiful view, the Greve Inn and restaurant, “Da Verrazzano” has been around since the Middle Ages.
As far back as 1400, we have news of the “Locanda del Fossatino” which existed in this same building, thus offering room and board for travelers.
The inn offers typical Chianti cuisine: meat broiled on charcoal in a large, antique oven, Florentine steak, chicken, pigeon, rabbit, ribs and sausage, fried chicken and rabbit, meatballs, brain, vegetables and extra virgin olive oil, Greve cold cuts and cheeses from local producers.
Rossella Rossi has been chef and owner since 1975 and now depends upon the indispensable help of her daughters. Rossella has a lot of energy. She is a woman from the past who will make sure that everything is tasty, good and healthy. The 0 km concept has been around for years at the Locanda di Greve da Verazzano. 40 years of experience, passion and good olive oil!
Rossella, during your professional life, before this experience, what perception did you have regarding high quality olive oil?
“We have been here since 1975, and in these 41 years there has been an evolution of olive oil. Personally, I have always used quality olive oil, always extra Virgin, and it was difﬁcult for me to accept other oils. Until 20 years ago, I used peanut oil for frying, but in the last 20 years we have been using only extra virgin olive oil for everything; for cooking and frying. On the table, we have always had local oil. As soon as we heard about AIRO, we became interested. Olive oil is at the base of Chianti cuisine”.
When did you understand the importance of olive oil in the restaurant business as a main resource and not as a simple accompaniment? And how can olive oil helps give value to your service?
“The importance of olive oil in the kitchen has always been evident, but it has become clear in the last 20 years. The oil gives value to dishes, even though some people in our business show ignorance in regard.” Lately there have been increased cases of fraud in the world of oil. It seems that even the label doesn’t tell the truth”.
So, how can a restaurant which has to consider the right relationship between quality and price, choose a good oil without making an error?
“It is always difﬁcult to buy oil or wine or something else. One must be careful know and trust his suppliers. The label is important, but up to a certain point…”.
When you sell olive oil to your customers, how do they react? Has something changed in the last few years regarding the customer attitude towards this product?
“The Italian customers are more careful. Foreigners don’t understand much about olive oil although they ﬁlle their plate with oil and vinegar…”.
Let us close with a forecast. What future do you see for olive oil in your restaurant and for restaurants in general?
“I don’t know. I have faith and will continue to offer quality olive oil, hoping that my customers will be increasingly informed and willing to spend a euro extra for the use of good oil and good food!”.