Monday was a day filled with excitement as the first 2011 harvest olive oils reached our warehouse. First to arrive? Olio Verde Novello, Capezzana Olio Nuovo, and Frescobaldi Laudemio First Pressing.

We exhaustedly share your excitement as hundreds of bottles are already on their way to our favorite customers.

Stay tuned for more reports on the new arrivals!

P.S. We are taking pre-orders for Las Poderina Toscana (remember the Washington Post article?), Cutrera’s Primo from Sicily, and San Macario from Lucca.

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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.

Take a look at this photo! All of these fresh oils (and the balsamic vinegar wine jelly) arrived this week at Olio2go. These lovely, sublime treats cover a lot of territory. From Alina (a Brisighella monocultivar from Emilia Romagna) in the north to Rosso from Villa Zottopera in Sicily.

To see them all with one click, start here.

In the picture (Left to Right):
Principe di Mascio DOP Colli Assisi Spoleto, Umbria
Ursini Tandem DOP Colline Teatine, Abruzzo
Ascolana from Olio del Carmine, Marche
Azienda del Carmine Boxed Set (partially hidden)
Trappeto di Caprafico Organic DOP Colline Teatine, Abruzzo
Olio del Carmine, Marche
Rosso from Villa Zottopera, Sicily
Alina, La Pennita, Emilia Romagna
Rosselli del Turco DOP Chianti Classico, Tuscany

Front, top to bottom:
Livio Pesle Balsamic Vinegar Jelly, Fruili Venezia Giulia
Trappeto di Caprafico, in party favor bottles
Bochicchio Olio Extra Vergine, Basilicata
Venus Organic, Gargiulo Sorrentolio, Campania

We are kicking off the new year with another taste of Olio Verde, the fabulous extra virgin olive oil from Castelvetrano, Sicily. By now, you’ve certainly heard of Olio Verde, and we hope that you’ve had the great opportunity to try Olio Verde Novello. Through the years, this early harvest olive oil has been a very strong seller, as it always heralds the beginning of the new olive oil season. Certainly many olive oil fans experienced their first lively taste in a holiday gift from Olio2go.

 

The team at the Gianfranco Becchina’s estate Tenuta Pignatellli in Sicily has spent the last few months adding to their web site with a terrific blog with articles on their olive oil production, and it includes appealing recipes, like this one for Pasta with Boiled Cauliflower (and Olio Verde Novello). This simple and easy recipe highlights the pure fresh flavors of cauliflower, olive oil, and pasta in a very appealing week-day recipe.

If you’re planning a trip to Sicily in the new year, we recommend that you make a visit to the Becchina estate. We hope you enjoy their blog and are fans of their stunning Nocellara del Belice monocultivar unfiltered olive oil.

Sirena d'Oro Olive Oil Awards

The first awards of the new season

The first award winners for the new season

Titone and Mascio, Available at Olio2go

Both! We have two award winners!

From Umbria and Sicily, we have two of the award winners from Sirena d’Oro di Sorrento 2010— and they are already in stock at our Olio2go warehouse.  The Menzioni de Merito and Category Finalists are linked for your full review.

Principe di Mascio DOP and Titone Biologica DOP, have both received recognition from the Sirena d’Oro di Sorrento olive oil awards, just announced this past week in Naples. These 2010 Awards are the first for the 2009 harvest extra virgin olive oils.

Principe di Mascio DOP received a Menzione of Merit as well as being named a Finalist in the Fruttato Medio category.  This terrific oil is produced in Umbria, in the area of Colli Assisi – Spoleto.  This is the second year in which we have carried this lovely and well-crafted extra virgin olive oil. You can read more about it and purchase it here.

Titone Biologica (Organic) DOP, also received the Menzione of Merit designation, and was named a Finalist in the Fruttato Intenso category.  Titone has long been among our favorite extra virgin olive oils.  It is certified organic and brings forth the fullest flavors of Sicily. It is from the DOP area known as Valli Trapanesi, far to the west in Sicily. Of course, Titone is available for prompt transportation to your home or office at Olio2go.

Great ideas wth Santisi

Great ideas with Santisi Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Fresh and unfiltered Santisi from Sicily

Fresh Sicilian Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Santisi is an Olio2go favorite and we’d like to share their web commercial with you. You can order Santisi here.

Santisi Olive Oil – Sicily’s Golden Gift.

Our Christmas Platter

Our Christmas Eve platter

This staffer was invited to a New Year’s Eve party, where an appetizer contest was held. I considered options involving our various products. Little toasts with a savory meat and Il Mongetto fig jam? Little toasts with a dab of ricotta, topped with Villa Cappelli Sun Dried Tomato Ketchup? Something greener? In the end, my selection was an “Americanized” Antipasto Platter crossed with a chopped salad. To allow guests to eat from small plates, while standing, thin slices of Asiago were postage-stamp size, and the meats (capicola, sopressata) were match-stick cut, and the prosciutto was in tiny rolls.  And, the best news: it WON the appetizer contest! (The prize? A new apron!)

The platter was first layered with romaine chopped to size, topped with the scattered meats, followed by artichoke quarters, and hearts-of-palm cut to “coins”. A few marinated Sicilian olives were tossed on and a scattering of marinated sundried tomatoes, also cut to match-sticks. Topped with thin slices of Asiago cheese, and a few slices of pepperoni were placed around the edges for color. The SECRET INGREDIENT was added in two ways. First, it was drizzled over the composed platter and then it was mixed into a dressing with a white balsamic vinegar, one clove of crushed garlic, sea salt, and freshly ground pepper.  The SECRET INGREDIENT? Tenuta di Capezzana Novello 2009 Extra Virgin Olive Oil.  The flavor is terrific!

The best and easiest loaf you can make at home.

No-Knead Bread

And if you would love a great bread to go with this appetizer, what could be simpler than a crusty, rustic bread, that takes a minimum amount of work and only four ingredients: flour, water, salt, and smidgen of yeast. 

I’ve heard of No-Knead Bread for a couple of years now, but had not yet stopped to make it. But, shortly before Christmas, famed foodie and Olio2go customer, Gary V. from Binghamton, NY, convinced me to give it a try. We have made a loaf almost every day since this first (successful!) attempt.

We follow the recipe originally published in the New York Times, and watched this easy-to-follow video during the first rising of our first loaf. Several batches have been made with my All-Clad Dutch Oven, and more recently, oval loaves have been baked in the crock of the crockpot, topped with an inverted baking sheet. There’s another batch rising right now.