"Torrone" Nougat is a traditional Christmas dessert that boasts very ancient origins. It may have been invented in China - where almonds also originated - yet the recipe closest to the modern version comes from the Arab world. The "torrone" nougat known today is actually a variant of the famous "cubbaita" or "juggiolena", an Arab dessert made of honey and sesame, now known as "halva".
There will be no shortage of extra virgin olive oil on international markets and enthusiastic consumers but it will be more expensive than last year – albeit while not reaching the peak prices seen in 2018.
Demand for Italian foodstuffs in Asia is increasing but unfortunately many consumers turn to Italian sounding products when they cannot find the "originals". This emerged from a study by Assocamere analysing 600 products in China (Hong Kong, Beijing), South Korea (Seoul), Japan (Tokyo), India (Mumbai), Singapore (Singapore), Thailand (Bangkok) and Vietnam (Ho Chi Minh City).
In 1990, Italy, Spain and Greece together consumed 56% of olive oil produced worldwide. At the time, except for the United States, olive oil was consequently a product predominantly confined to the Mediterranean area and, even more so, to Europe. Today, this scenario has changed. Only 35% of the production is consumed in Italy, Spain and Greece.
It may seem paradoxical that Indian researchers at the University of Kashmir have explained the virtues of extra virgin olive oil and in particular one of its phenols: hydroxytyrosol. However, it should be borne in mind that extra virgin olive oil is renowned and appreciated in all Asian countries precisely for its nutraceutical properties.
It may sound like a paradox but when we smell the aroma of healthy foods, such as apples, we have the urge to indulge ourselves in junk food. In the same way, in response to the aroma of unhealthy food, our brains direct us towards healthier foods. This emerges from US research published in the Journal of Marketing Research.