Washington Post Online

Washington Post Online

We’re thrilled with today’s mention ~ Olive Oil with Pedigree ~  in the Washington Post food blog, All We Can Eat!

It was so fun to be interviewed by Jane Black, and even better to see the story in pixels.

She did a great job with our focus on the best Italian extra virgin olive oils and pantry products. Kudos to San Damiano, Olio Beato, Olio Verde, Marfuga L’affiorante, Villa Cappelli and Casa Forcelli Mostarda!

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The March 2008 Food & Wine magazine caught our attention with a great cover and “An American Chef’s Easy Italian Recipes”.  The story begins on page 28 with “How to Cook Like You Own an Italian Villa”, a quick gastronomic tour of Umbria with Matt Molina, of LA’s Osteria Mozza….associated with La Brea Bakery, Nancy Silverton, Mario Batali, et. al. There are nine recipes, and eight of them use Extra Virgin Olive Oil.

Here are Olio2go’s Umbrian recommendations for the olive oil paired with each recipe:

A fine Umbrian extra virgin olive oil

A fine Umbrian extra virgin olive oil

Salt Roasted Shrimp  — Canonica Verde Novello

Umbrian Lentil Stew with Olive Oil Fried Eggs — Il Frantoio Amelia

Pan Seared Pork Chops with Green Peppercorn Sauce — Sportoletti Organic

Balsamic-and-Rosemary-Marinated Florentine Steak — Marfuga L’affiorante

Giant Grilled Hunks of Bread — Canonica Verde Novello

Watercress, Avocado, and Walnut Salad — Sportoletti Organic

Olio Verde from Sicily -- the first of the year!

Olio Verde from Sicily -- the first of the year!

We’re received word that Italy’s 2008 olive harvest has begun at Azienda del Carmine in Marche, Marfuga in Umbria, and Gianfranco Becchina’s estate in Sicily.

Here’s a great post from the blog Lucy’s Kitchen on her recent visit to the home of Olio Verde, where the harvest began on October 6th!

So often at Olio2go, we’re asked pressing questions about olive oil. We have a FAQ and you can read it here.

Olive Trees on a Warm Winter Day

Olive Trees on a Warm Winter Day

These are the Quick Notes.

The earlier the olives are harvested, the less oil they yield. That early oil tends to have peppery characteristics from the “verge of ripeness” of the olives. Early harvested olives yield lower acidity levels than later harvested olives. The early harvested oils also hold the highest levels of the beneficial polyphenols — and associated health benefits.

The early harvest, early bottled, quick shipped olive oils are bottled as Novello oils. We’re planning to carry a half dozen this year. It’s likely that we’ll have three “brands” by early December. Those will be Olio Verde Novello, Tenuta di Capezzana Olio Nuovo, and Canonica Verde Novello. Last year, we had early shipments of Marfuga L’affiorante, Santisi Novello, and Olio Beato Organic New Harvest. The links here relate to the current products. The novellos will be listed on our web site as they become available.

Crossing borders, I like to think of the Novello oils as wine fans think of Beaujolais. It’s the first of the season and definitely worth celebrating.

When do they harvest?

We’re eagerly awaiting news of the harvest. Azienda del Carmine (home of the famed Olio del Carmine and Ascolana) has shared that they are planning to begin the harvest around 15 October. They have even invited our customers to visit the estate to share in the harvest. From Liguria to Sicily, the harvest will take place between October and January, based on the micro-climates of each hillside. Frost is an enemy to the process so those in the coldest microclimates will begin the harvests first, to ensure the crop is harvested before it is “too late”.

And what does cold pressed mean?

In Italian, the phrase “spremitura a freddo” means cold pressed. Through the pressing process, the temperature is monitored to make sure that it does not increase (friction causes heat…) as an increase in temperature can affect the acidity level of the oil. Every Italian extra virgin olive oil is cold pressed.

And, with that, other work is pressing in!