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Olio2go at Festa Italiana in DC on October 9. We had great fun sampling and tasting with festival guests. JoAnna is shown in these pictures. She helped out at the event and enjoyed speaking to the guests in Italian! We were very busy at the booth and served over 600 olive oil tastes!

Sampled at the show:

Santisi Extra Virgin Olive Oil (Sicily)

Rosselli del Turco Extra Virgin Olive Oil DOP Chianti Classico (Tuscany)

Trappeto di Caprafico Organic Extra Virgin Olive Oil, DOP Colline Teatine (Abruzzo)

and the little gem, Livio Pesle Balsamic Vinegar Wine Jelly (Fruili Venezia Giulia)

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Last week we received our most recent shipment from Italy– a large shipment of olive oil (link) and one secret treat. This shipment was organized in early March, arrived in port in the U.S. on April 4, experienced a delay in customs and then was trucked to our warehouse. During that time, the dollar lost value as the Euro rose from $1.38 to $1.45. That swing adds a challenge to both purchasing and pricing. You can link to all of these new products from here.

We’ve sought oils from favorite producers, recognized award winners, and a few new gems from less-discovered areas. Our new selections include gems from Brisighella to the north and Potenza to the south. The favorties include Ursini Tandem (Abruzzo), Principe di Mascio (Umbria), and three selections from Azienda del Carmine. We are very excited to add Rosso, the Gran Cru selection from Villa Zottopera.

One of the northernmost regions for olive oil production is a small area of Emilia Romagna. The Brisighella region is the home to the Brisighella olive, recognized by the European Union through the DOP mark. The source of most Brisighella olives is located between Terra del Sole and Brisighella, mapped in the Provinces of Forli-Cesena and Ravenna respectively. The oil is of a superior quality, green in color with a golden glint. Our selection is Alina, a 100% Nostrana di Brisighella monocultivar.

Our discovery of Bochicchio, in the area of Potenza, helps us to bring in a new taste experience from little-travelled Basilicata. Basilicata is a somewhat isolated area with only three main rail lines through the region. You could say that it is in the arch of the sole of the boot, nestled between the heel and the toe of southern Italy. The cuisine is spicy with peppers, salumi, sopressata, and remarkable olive oils.

The one secret food in this shipment is Livio Pesle Balsamic Vinegar Wine Jelly. Each time we’ve been able to stock it, we’ve had strong sales with this great burst of flavor in well-designed packaging. The wine jelly was last imported by a much larger (grocery) entity and we’re sure this little gem got caught in the spreadsheets. It’s a unique specialty food item, perfect for customers seeking the finest food experiences. We like this for two reasons. It is a marvelous little gift, and a wonderful token of friendship. And the other, supremely important reason is flavor. This balsamic vinegar wine jelly is packed with intense winey grapey goodness. Place a dollop on a cheese plate and your food compatriots will want to sample it in combination with each cheese presented. This is often purchased by the case (6 jars) as it is easy to keep on hand.

Through our search we look for authentic and spectacular extra virgin olive oils and specialty foods – all from Italy. We truly seek the top representations from each region. While we re-stock old favorites, we also seek out new regional selections. These discoveries often tell us that their placement with Olio2go is their first placement outside of Italy or outside of the European Union.

How do we make these discoveries? On our trips to Italy and also through word of mouth. We appreciate customer recommendations. Some Italian producers recommend us to others. In other cases, producers seek us out because they are impressed by the size of our list and they wish to be carried on the same pages.

We invite you to taste and choose your favorites.

Selections from Lazio and Abruzzo

Merlano DOP, Muraccio, Trappetto di Caprifico DOP Organic, and Olio Sapora Organic

We have found tremendous unsung heros in the olive oil world in the regions of Lazio and Abruzzo. While Lazio may be well-known as the region of Rome, the region’s olive oils do not have the cachet of those from Tuscany or Sicily. Abruzzo is a less-traveled area, and so there are fewer tourists seeking to reclaim memories of their trips.

You are missing something if you haven’t tried an olive oil from Lazio or Abruzzo. Together the two regions span the mid-section from the Mediterranean to the Adriatic.

For traditional recipes from Abruzzi and Lazio, we like the ItalianMade site from the Italian Trade Commission.

Tenuta di Ferento has a Facebook page, and you can “like” them here. A full selection of Tenuta di Ferento’s products may be purchased on the Olio2go web site.

SOL Olive Oil Awards

SOL at Vinitaly

We have or soon will have six of the Award winners from SOL in Verona, Italy. SOL concludes its run today, 12 April.  SOL runs concurrently with Vinitaly, and the extra virgin olive oils are notable oils, often from the same producers as the best wines.

In the Gran Menzion Category for delicately fruity, Colli Etruschi and Vicopisanolio are labels carried by Olio2go. While Vicopisanolio may be milder than most Tuscans, Colli Etruschi wouldn’t be delicately fruity to our palates.

Medio Fruttato include Tommaso Masciantonio’s great oil from Abruzzo, on a ship bound for us at present. Titone from Trapani is in stock and always excellent.

In the Intensely Fruity category, Frantoio Franci’s Villa Magra Gran Cru is always the notable entry from the Franci line. Villa Zottopera makes the list and is inbound to the U.S. as well. Perhaps we will soon also have Frantoio Cutrera’s Primo.

We’re very concerned about the Italian communities hit by the L’Aquila earthquake, and have noted that the  Red Cross site is accepting donations for the communities in the region. The linked page goes shares the stories related to the Red Cross endeavors in Italy.

Red Cross

Red Cross

 

 

You can read the view from Rome on La Repubblica’s web site.

We can share that the extra virgin olive oil producers Olio2go works with are not located in the area surrounding L’Aquila. Our producers in Abruzzo are are closer to the Adriatic, Tommasso Masciantonio, in Casioli near Chieti, and Ursini, in San Giovanni in Venere.

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