Olive Oil Gifts


There it was! In Florence, Learning the Secrets of Tuscan Food

I’ll admit, the photo of bottle of traditional balsamic vinegar (from the Modena consortium)** is what first caught my eye when I grabbed the Travel section of The Washington Post on Sunday, November 4, 2012. It called out to me, to cast everything aside, to delve into this view of food as Italian art for the senses.

Our favorite paragraph centers on tradizionale balsamico…

“She explains that traditional balsamic vinegar, not to be confused with what we Americans put on our salads, contains no wine vinegar; it’s a complicated syrup aged for at least 12 years in small barrels and verified by a European consortium. A small bottle of the luxury dressing costs between about $85 and $200 — or more — depending on how long it has been aged, and Florentines pour it over everything from steak to gelato. In addition to tasting the expensive traditional variety, we sip a plethora of more affordable hybrid balsamics and ponder their subtle undertones.”

At Olio2go we have authentic consortia-approved Aceto Balsamic Tradizionale di Modena selections as well as excellent younger selections, such as the notable Campagnia del Montale Anniversary Special Edition.

If, after reading the Washington Post piece, you’d like to know more about the other markets in Florence, Sant’Ambrogio prvides another look at the foods of Florence.

Any stroll through the cobblestone streets of Centro Storico in Florence will result in glorious surprises as you gain a enlightened appreciation for the food culture of Italy. Mercato Centrale has evolved over the years, and while still Mecca for food lovers, some choose to venture to the Sant’Ambrogio market on the eastern portion of the historic area to ship where the locals outnumber the tourists.

 For more even more fun reading on great Italian food, take a look at this piece on our sister store, Piazza Italian Market, in Easton, Maryland.

 

**This photo isn’t show in the online edition, but this is a bottle from the Modena Consortium.

 

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Are you dreaming of Tuscany? We can help with our step by step guide:

1. Order a Tuscan extra virgin olive oil from Olio2go. This week, we’re recommending Pace da Poggio Etrusco from the estate of Pamela Sheldon Johns. We found this post on making olive oil (Pace da Poggio Etrusco!) on one of our favorite blogs, Elizabeth Minchillini in Rome. Take a look at this fabulous verdant green oil. This is the oil in the stainless steel tin available at Olio2go. (Recently when I didn’t have any Sicilian oil at home, I used Pace da Poggio Etrusco for the Lemon, Olive Oil and Almond Biscotti with great results!

2. For added inspiration, add a cookbook, such as Pamela’s newest tome: Cucina Povera.

3. Add 50 Great Pasta Sauces and 50 Great Appetizers to your cart. Check out. (If you buy all four items, we’ll mark your order for free shipping. Use our web form to send a note and we will adjust the pricing before shipping your order. Quantites are limited. Orders must be placed by April 25th at midnight).  

4. Recieve your order, cook a meal, and fall in love.

5. Plan a visit to Pamela’s estate in Tuscany and take one of her tours or workshops!

Pamela Sheldon Johns is a noted cookbook author and we are thrilled to carry the oil from her Tuscan estate, Pace da Poggio Etrusco.

solo-bottle-bagEach year, around this time, brides and moms contact Olio2go to purchase olive oil wedding favors. They can be very specific about the label name, producer, or region of origin. Their word choice indicates they know their way in the olive oil world, appreciate great flavor and authenticity, and respect the craftsmanship of the small producer.

But then we reach a math problem. If a 500 ml bottle sells for $40, what should a 100 ml bottle cost? Unfortunately, it is not 20% of $40. Proportionately, the glass bottle is more expensive, and it costs more proportionally, to bottle and ship a large quantity of those little glass bottles across the sea. To be authentically produced and bottled in Italy, that cute little bottle may well cost more than the bride and mom would like to spend.

This cost per ounce (or cost per milliliter) issue is not limited to olive oil. It is dominant in mass market grocery stores, where the cost per ounce is noted on the shelf label for consumer comparisons.  The small jar of peanut butter costs more per ounce than the large jar. Those cute travel size bottles of shampoo cost more per ounce than the contents of a 16 oz.  bottle.

We will continue to provide pricing, striving to make a match, and will even provide a bottle-your-own kit, as we wish them well ….

Castello del Trebbio from Tuscany

Castello del Trebbio from Tuscany

We’re in the midst of the holiday rush, filling our own shopping baskets as we help our customers fill theirs! 

What have I selected for gifts? Castello del Trebbio, Principe di Gerace Bergamot, and Spice Blends from Canonica Verde (Todi Roasting Blend, Umbrian Spice Blend). My next purchase will include Tommaso Masciantonio’s Trappeto di Caprifico DOP— but I really need to find the right person who will appreciate “the stunning”  ZafferanoTasca Regaleali  is another great favorite olive oil to gift.

In this holiday season, budgets are more important that ever. We have great suggestions for authentic extra virgin olive oil gifts to fit your budget at every level:

 

Gemini Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Gemini Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Under $25
Il Frantoio Amelia, Umbria
Canonica Verde, Umbria

Under $30
Castello del Trebbio, Tuscany
Ravida, Sicily
Librandi, Calabria

Under $35
Panizzi, Tuscany
Zafferano, Abruzzo
Tasca, Regaleali, Sicily
Trappeto di Caprafico, Abruzzo
Olio del Carmine

Top of the Line Single Bottles, Under $50

Olio del Castelluccio, Sicily
Altesino, Tuscany
Villa Zottopera Biologica DOP, Sicily
Melano DOP, Lazio
Avignonesi, Tuscany
Marfuga L’affiorante, Umbria

Totally Tops!
Villa Magra Gran Cru, Tuscany
Gemini, Tuscany and Sicily
Olio de la Marchia, Ascolana, March

Azienda del Carmine, Frantoio and Leccino Gift Set

Azienda del Carmine, Frantoio and Leccino Gift Set

At Olio2go, we’re getting ready for the holiday season. The Novello oils will be shipping to customers in the next two weeks, and the gift packages are being assembled.

Award winning olive oil from Azienda del Carmine in Marche

Award winning olive oil from Azienda del Carmine in Marche

As we approach the holiday season amidst an “unusual” economic time, I can’t think of better gifts than food gifts. Food is a necessity, and nice food makes dining a pleasure. Is that too simple? Fine extra virgin Italian olive oil makes a superb gift for several reasons:

It’s different from wine!
Anyone can give wine. OK, anyone over 21 can give wine as a gift, but wine can also be complicated. Do you know your varietals and vintages? Does the recipient? Does the recipient have a medical or religous reason that prevents them from enjoying a nice Pinot Grigio?

It’s good for you!
It doesn’t feature the sodium or cholesterol burdens of other foods, and can add delightfully to many portions of a meal. It’s the best fat — good enough to have a qualified health claim from the FDA. The simplest appetizer — a loaf of bread and a flavorful bottle of olive oil. Add it to soups or vegetables, add a swirl over a steak, begin or finish a risotto….

Your Recipients will appreciate it!
They may think of olive oil as a splurge rather than a necessity, but they’ll try and enjoy your gourmet gift!

You can order it online and have it shipped! At Olio2go, we’re preparing holiday gift selections to make the Winter Holidays easier for you. It’s perfect for Christmas and Hanukkah, and it’s a terrific hostess gift throughout the year.