Unveiling the Health Benefits and Advantages of Extra Virgin Olive Oil

A Versatile Ingredient that Elevates Culinary Creations and Promotes Overall Well-being Olive oil, a cornerstone of Mediterranean cuisine, has long been revered for its health-promoting properties and culinary versatility.

However, recent years have witnessed a dramatic surge in olive oil prices, shaking the industry to its core. This price hike, reaching as high as 115% in some instances, stems from a confluence of factors, including reduced olive groves due to climate change and surging global demand for olive oil products.

The Price Hike: A Cause for Alarm

The staggering rise in olive oil prices has sent shockwaves through the industry, raising concerns among consumers and producers alike. A recent BBC Travel article highlights the gravity of the situation, citing instances where olive oil prices have doubled or even tripled. This price escalation is attributed to a combination of factors, including a decline in olive groves due to climate change, the increasing popularity of olive oil as a health food, and the widespread adulteration of olive oil products.

Protecting Consumers: The Importance of Reputable Suppliers

Given the volatile pricing environment and the prevalence of adulterated olive oil, it’s crucial for consumers to exercise caution when making their purchases. A Guardian report exposes the alarming discovery of over 5,000 liters of adulterated olive oil in Spain and Italy. This highlights the need to rely on trustworthy suppliers like Casa La Torre, which partners with local cooperatives to guarantee their olive oil is 100% Italian.

Extra Virgin Olive Oil: A Symphony of Benefits

Despite the price fluctuations, extra virgin olive oil (EVOO) remains a treasure trove of health benefits. A Health.com article outlines the numerous advantages of consuming EVOO, including its ability to reduce the risk of heart disease, stroke, and cancer. It’s also an excellent source of vitamin E and polyphenols, powerful antioxidants that safeguard cells from oxidative damage.

EVOO’s Culinary Versatility Unveiled

EVOO’s versatility extends far beyond its health benefits. From salads and marinades to stir-fries and baked goods, EVOO infuses its rich flavor and nutritional value into a wide array of culinary creations. Its high smoke point (350-410°F) makes it suitable for moderate-heat cooking without compromising its nutritional profile.

Extra virgin olive oil stands as a beacon of health and culinary versatility. However, the recent price surge and the prevalence of adulterated products demand careful consideration when making purchasing decisions. By entrusting reputable suppliers like Casa La Torre, you can ensure that you’re investing in authentic, high-quality EVOO that will enhance your culinary creations and contribute to your overall well-being.

Traditional homemade focaccia recipe from Puglia

Loved by people of all age from all over the world, how can you say no to the traditional homemade focaccia recipe from Puglia? To help you spend the time at home in a more pleasant and tasty way, we are now sharing the original recipe of the focaccia, an art and a passion for Apulians!

According to the blog Camminvattin the origins of the famous focaccia date back to Phoenicians. Back in 2nd century BC, Cato tells how the Phoenicians used millet, barley, water and salt to make a delicious round dough. The dough was then cooked on a stone with olive oil, spices and honey. Later on, Romans took over the tradition by offering the food in ritual worships to the gods and during banquets accompanied by wine.

Like any traditional Apulian recipe, the secret of focaccia is simplicity, with quality ingredients being the key differentiator. This is exactly why focaccia is so delicious, especially if accompanied by an chilly Peroni!


600gr of flour
1 large potato
boiled and mashed
1 yeast (approx. 40 grams, ideally brewer’s yeast)
1 tbsp salt
3 tbsp of extra virgin olive oil
300gr of lukewarm water (approx. 37 degrees)
1 tbsp sugar

Method (traditional homemade focaccia recipe):

For two medium focaccia (4 people)

Boil the potato, remove the peel and mash it with a potato masher or a fork.

In a bowl or preferably on a wooden base, mix flour and potatoes with your hands.

Make a well in the center and place yeast, sugar, oil. Gradually add warm water and salt, ideally the salt doesn’t have to be added close to the yeast.

Knead the dough for 15 minutes until the dough is a soft and smooth. Create two loaves, make a cross on the top of both loaves and cover them with a tea towel and a blanket.

Leave to rise for at least 2 hours.

After the two hours and once the loaves have doubled, take the baking tray, pour the oil and then stretch the dough with your hands until the dough is stretched evenly. Make sure that the olive oil reached the edges of the dough. It’s important to add lots of olive oil so to give crunchiness to the focaccia.

Once the dough has been stretched, it is time to garnish it. You can add tomatoes, vegetables, mozzarella or keep it plain with lots of oregano or rosemary … be creative and pick the ingredients that you love the most!

Leave the focaccia to rise for another half hour (“double rising” is essential) and in the meantime turn on the oven at 200-220 degrees.

. Bake the focaccia for about 25 minutes. Enjoy your focaccia!

Why not try our taralli recipe too? They are delicious! Follow this link

Taralli: Authentic Apulian homemade recipe

Who invented taralli and where they come from? The origin of the word taralli is still uncertain and open to interpretation. Some people believe it is derived from the Latin word “torrère”, to toast, while others think it comes from the Greek word “daratos” which means similar to bread. While its origin is still uncertain, we know that taralli became hugely popular in the south of Italy back in 1400, in a period when famine was raging in the region.

Puglia.comAccording to the legend, the first tarallo was kneaded by a mother who, having no food to feed her children with, came up with the recipe by randomly mixing together what she had in his pantry: flour, olive oil, salt, white wine. All essential products in Apulian cuisine.

For this reason, in a difficult moment like the one that Italy and the world is facing, returning to our origins, tradition and simplicity becomes a duty more than a choice.

Sneak into your kitchen, roll up your sleeves and master your italian cooking skills by making some taralli. And remember, you can make them in whatever shape you like!


275g Plain Flour

100g White wine

120g Extra virgin olive oil

10g Salt


  • Mix flour, salt and olive oil in a bowl. Whisk together to get a crumbly texture Add the white wine and knead for about 10 minutes until the dough is compact
  • Move the dough to a flat surface and leave it to rest for about 10 minutes
  • Move the dough to a flat surface and leave it to rest for about 10 minutes
  • Remove some small pieces of dough, roll it out to form a long 1cm thick strip (less than ½ inch)
  • Cut the dough into shorter strips and join the ends together to create a donut shape
  • Put the water to boil and simmer 4-5 units at a time. Keep them in the water until they start to float to the top, then place themon a clean and dry tea towel.
  • Place the taralli on a baking tray and bake in a preheated static oven at 190°C until golden brown (approximately 20-25 minutes).
  • Enjoy the taralli!

Why not also try our recipe for our exquisite Apulian focaccia? Follow this link

Visiting Puglia in winter: things to do

Quoting Danielle Pergament, travel writer for the New York Times, visiting Puglia in winter is far better than in the summer. She writes: “Granted, it’s too cold to swim, but the food is tastier, the shops are emptier and the prices are lower. And the lack of attachment to the beach encourages exploration of the area’s inland charms. It’s like discovering an entirely new Italy — or at least an Italy that is only populated by Italians.”

Many talk about pristine beaches, crystal blue water, clear sky and perfect temperatures… not to mention the most ‘instagrammable’ food and the most glamorous parties by the seaside. But one might wonder, what is the real Puglia?

Beyond bulging burrata and fresh seafood, there’s a culture that waits to be discovered and this is why the cooler season, particularly October and November is a wonderful time to visit the region. From history to gastronomy, nature and leisure, visiting Puglia in winter allows travellers to enjoy the region at its fullest by replacing the busy crowds and the long queues with comfort food, cooler weather and more welcoming locals. It goes without saying that overall you will get better value for money.

Local tradespeople and those in the hospitality sector value visitors all the more for choosing to explore the real Puglia and its inland charms during the off-season. There’s lots of activities and places to explore during the quieter months. The list is long so we are only going to name a few, but you can get a sense of what’s on offer and we’ll leave you to choose.

Torre Guaceto, a hidden jewel between sea and nature and a great attraction for sustainable tourism.

A natural reserve and protected area, Torre Guaceto gives visitors a unique opportunity to relax and reconnect with nature. In the area you can observe a great variety of plants and animals.
This includes 20 types of orchidacee and animals such as falcons, black-winged stilts and a rare species of butterfly called Zerynthia cassandra. We also highly recommend to stop for lunch at Ristorante l’Agrumeto, a down to earth but truly authentic restaurant located in the countryside, not far from the reserve. We also highly recommend to stop for lunch at Ristorante l’Agrumeto, a down to earth but truly authentic restaurant located in the countryside, not far from the reserve.

Walking among hectares of olive, almond, prickly pear or cherry trees in the Valle d’Itria is a wonderful way to spend your day.

Similarly to Torre Guaceto, a day in the countryside is a fantastic way to spend your day. Starting from Monopoli you can head towards Castellana Grotte and after that drive towards the ‘Selva di Fasano’. This wide and hilly forest overlooking the Valle d’Itria and the towns and villages within the region is a gift from nature. You can also visit by one of the many masseria – the typical Apulian farmhouse located on country estates and enjoy the most authentic food there.

Touring the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Alberobello: a name that speaks for itself.

Located in the heart of Valle d’Itria, its narrow streets and little shops selling all things conical-roofed make it a great spot to visit in autumn. Located 400m high from the sea, Alberobello in the summer could be really hot, given its location right in the middle of the region. Visiting this part of Puglia in winter is far more enticing and Alberobello is a great day out for a day of fun and culture. Time travel in Conversano, a medieval town that has preserved its history and tradition. Even though this is not always the first town visitors go to see in Puglia, Conversano has plenty to offer and is well worth spending time in. For instance, the history of Conversano and its influential families is a throwback in 15th century and European history. Ferdinand 1st, King of Naples, the battles against the Turks and the legacy that the Spanish kingdom has left in the south of Italy in the years to come is an incredible deep dive into medieval history. The castle of Conversano is a great reminiscence of it. Located on a hill overlooking the city this beautiful piece of architecture was in fact the residence of the Counts of Conversano for almost seven centuries, since Norman times.

How to get to Puglia:

The easiest way to get to Puglia is to fly into Brindisi or Bari (regular flights from major Italian and European cities).

We hope you enjoyed this article.

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A summer world-class music event in Locorotondo

Are you a real music lover? Check out Locus Festival, one of the best music events in Puglia you cannot miss out!

Since 2005, this epic festival brings together international artists for a world-class music event in Locorotondo.

Locus festival defines itself as the “perfect balance between quality and popularity” with a line-up that never fails to disappoint. Alongside with top-notch Italian artists, international artists like Fat Freddy’s Drop, Kings Of Convenience, Robert Glasper, Theo Parrish, Bonobo heated the Locus Festival stage, providing guests an eclectic and unforgivable music experience ranging from jazz to indie to electronic genres. Our favourite artists joining this world-class music event in Locorotondo.

Our favorite artists:

Two acclaimed American artists, Jose James and Lauryn Hill will be headlining the 2019 edition, accompanied by the unique presence of Four Tet, one of the most avant-garde artists in the electronic music scene.

Lauryn Hill: former member of Fugees, Lauryn Hill is the voice behind songs like “Killing me softly” and “Ready or not?” just to name a few. A queen of soul music with a long list of awards and a very controversial history between music and social activism. Una regina della musica soul con una lunga lista di premi e una storia intrigante e controversa tra musica e attivismo sociale.

Jose James: Sensual and energetic as it could be, Jose James love blending modern jazz and hip-hop. An smooth yet deep voice that reminds us of a younger version of lighthouse family but also a melancholic sound from the past, which at times reminds us of Louis Armstrong and Billie Holiday. Una voce fluida e profonda che riecheggia un giovane “Lighthouse Family” con sfumature malinconiche che richiamano il passato, a meta’ strada tra Louis Armstrong e Billie Holiday.

Four Tet: a blissful mix of electronic and experimental music, but also jazz, folk and arab influences, Kieran Hebden (aka Four Tet) is an English musician that broke through the European scene in 2003, when he opened for Radiohead on their European tour. His style is so eclectic that encapsulates a new genre itself, that in fact he dubs himself as “folktronica”. An incredible experience for the ears. Il suo stile è così eclettico da aver creato un nuovo genere definito “folktronica”. Un’esperienza incredibile e puro piacere per l’udito.

Quando? 27 luglio – 14 agosto 2019

Dove si svolge Locus Festival?

Locus Festival si svolge a Locorotondo, una perla nascosta nel cuore della Valle d’Itria. Una vista spettacolare della campagna pugliese, con i suoi ulivi e vigneti racchiude questa splendida città – un’ottima occasione per visitarla è questo evento musicale unico

When? 27th July – 14th August 2019

Top beaches around Bari and Monopoli

To help you pick the best stretch of sand or your intimate rocky cove we cherrypicked the top beaches around Bari and Monopoli that you cannot miss.

Puglia has some of the most beautiful coastline in Italy, however choosing the right spot can be a stressful task when there are so many options! For this reason, we have selected some of the top beaches around Bari to make your experience in Puglia stress-free. All you need to worry about is packing your beach bag and get ready to turn your skin into pure gold!


Arguably one of the best beaches around the area, this is a very popular spot where locals often hang. Wild and untouched are just some of the words used to describe this shoreline, which gives you everything you need. The water is crystal clear and less busy than the average beach, meaning that you can truly relax here. Also, loungers and shade are available to hire at a very affordable rate. In other words you’ll have the best value for money you could possibly hope for. Finally, and a bar that features a mix of typical Apulian dishes. If you love simplicity and nature, this is your cup of tea.

Santo Stefano (Monopoli)

Nestled between two rocky ridges, with a medieval castle overlooking the natural cove, Santo Stefano is a magical place that attracts local and international visitors every year. The water is pristine and this is also thanks to its natural springs streaming from the ground which was used by Benedictine monks in the 14th century. Moreover, the camping area allows adventurous travellers to access the public beach, whereas the privately-owned area ensure you have all the comforts.

Bambu beach (Capitolo)

If you love sandy beaches and you are in for a treat without giving up on your adventurous spirit, this is definitely your must-go spot. A tropical inspired beach resort with tiki influences offers its guests the most relaxing and indulgent experience thanks to its shell-shaped sunbeds, a restaurant, a sushi bar and last but not least a tremendous green/turquoise sea in the beautiful coast line of Capitolo. The icing on the cake? This beach offers plenty of sport facilities ideal for kids and adults. This includes a beach volley court, wind-surfs, canoe and laser-sail boat rental and the possibility to also get an instructor. Time to learn how to ride those waves!


We dare you to find something as unique as the Archeolido, A sandy beach facing the crystallised water that takes thousands of shades of blue from the sky. The old Acropolis of Egnathia, the Ancient city of the Messapii is standing in the background. Archeolido is more than a beach. It’s a place that wants to bring you back to the 2nd century B.C. reviving your passion for the Mediterranean culture and history. In other words, the Archeolido is the place where you can lose yourself between nature and culture with the comforts of a private beach club. The beach is equipped with shades and lounges and the bar offers a great menu selection, using ingredients that have been carefully sourced locally.