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.

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Recipe, Swiss Chard with Balsamic Vinegar

Swiss chard with Balsamic

Surfing the web for divine recipes, we found this lovely combination of Swiss chard, garlic, pine nuts, and balsamic vinegar. Even better, the blog is known as TasteSpotting, and they found this recipe on yet another blog, originating in a Martha Stewart cookbook.

Nonetheless with excellent olive oil and balsamic vinegar from Olio2go, this is noteworthy!  This will become a regular contorno (vegetable side dish) in our cucina! Kudos to Tastespotting for a great recipe. Any of the Villa Manodori selections will be great with this.

Swiss chard with basil and pine nuts is a traditional dish from Lazio. While spinach and chard can be used interchangeably, chard is a bit sweeter.
A grove in Tuscany

A grove in Tuscany

According to Psychology Today, new research shows that the Mediterranean Diet is linked to a lower incidence of Depression!  We feel happier already! At Olio2go, you can enjoy 85+ extra virgin olive oil selections and other goodies from the Mediterranean Diet including balsamic vinegar, fig jam, Genovese Pesto, and Chestnut Honey.

La Cucina Italiana, March/April 2009

La Cucina Italiana, March/April 2009

The March/April issue of La Cucina Italiana features a major article on Balsamics, entitled, The Truth About Balsamico. This authoritative features reviews the lengthy production process and six recipes (fish, live, duck, and veal) over an extensive 10 pages. A notable quote: “Aceto Balsamico tradizionale is the pinnacle of all vinegars: It’s produced by hand in small quantities, using methods that are hundreds of years old, has the consistency of maple syrup and can cost anywhere from $150 to $400 for a 3.4 ounce bottle”.

At Olio2go, we’ll only take issue with the pricing. Our tradizionales are competitively priced and available for $119.95 to $205.95.