Olio2go:  Internet Purveyor of Italy’s Finest

OliveOilTimesCover

Celebrating our 15th year of selling Italy’s authentic olive oils to discerning consumers! We’re thrilled to have been interviewed by the Olive Oil Times for our role in bringing authentic Italian extra virgin olive oil to the U.S.

Here’s our mini FAQ:

Olive Oil: The juice pressed from fresh olives. The quality is depends on the ripeness and condition of the olives at the time of pressing. Olives that are just ripening and have no bad fruit, when crushed promptly, produce the highest quality olive oil, extra virgin.

Extra Virgin Olive Oil: Acidity level below 0.80% and a professional organoleptic taste test indicating no faults. This is the best quality of olive oil, and those with the lowest acidity levels are considered Super Premium.

Olive Oil Benefits: Many of the known and researched benefits of olive oil are tied to the Mediterranean Diet and issues related to Inflammation (The Zone Diet). The FDA allows a health claim to be included on the labels of olive oils.

Italian Olive Oil: We’re passionate about Italian olive oils because of the craftsmanship and care – and centuries of traditions. To us, others are fine, but Italian olive oils are the best. While any olive oil bottled in Italy can carry the Product of Italy label, we work with carefully selected producers to ensure authentic production and quality.

Crush Dates and Labels: It is important to read an olive oil label, but we recommend that you read it carefully and with thought. A Tuscan olive oil will simply be labeled as Raccolto 2013, because Tuscan olives are only harvested between late October and early December each year (with slight variations for weather conditions). You may also be interested to learn more about organic certification and labeling for olive oil.

How do Italian Extra Virgin Olive Oils Differ? Northern olive oils tend to be exquisite and less intense than those from other regions. Tuscan selections tend to be intense and flavorful and peppery; those from Umbria are slightly rounder than the Tuscans in flavor. Those from Lazio (the region of Rome) bring forth essences of green, while those from Puglia (the heel of the boot) finish with a strong pepper kick. The extra virgin olive oil selections from Sicily are grassy and some offer elements of tomato. There are many differences, but that’s the quick list of characteristics.

Cooking with olive oil: This is a favorite topic and we look at it simply. The producers do not buy olive oil to cook with. They use what they have carefully nurtured and crafted. A home, we keep 2-3 bottles in the cool, dark cupboard and choose the bottle with the least if we need a couple of tablespoons to roast vegetables or sauté chicken cutlets.

How to Store Olive Oil: In a cool, dark place. We do not recommend a refrigerator as some may get too cold. (And the refrigerator test is not valid).

For more information on quality extra virgin olive oil, we recommend the Olio2go Olive Oil FAQ and this piece on the Anatomy of a Great (Olive Oil) Label.

Sign up for our email list to stay up to date on new olive oil arrivals and the latest in olive oil news.

 

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FarroSalad_Large

 

This can be served warm as a side dish or cooler as a salad. This makes a large family or party sized dish. With the nutty grain and addition of fruit (raisins) this dish brings forth Sicilian style, making a Sicilian olive oil the perfect choice. As always, our salad recipes are guides – your tweaks and adjustments may be marvelous improvements.

 Ingredients

Farro Perlato from La Valletta

1 lb. Brussels sprouts

1/2 lb. Baby Carrots

1/2 jar Villa Cappelli Sun Dried Tomatoes (10 oz jar), slivered

1/3 C Raisins

1/3 C Sun dried tomatoes, slivered

Extra Virgin Olive Oil (Sicilian preferred)

Cattani Organic White Balsamic Vinegar

Vincotto Fig Vinegar

Salt

Pepper, freshly ground

Note: Our farro package contains 3 cups of dried farro. When cooked, this yields ~8 Cups. You can cook the whole package and freeze the portion not needed immediately. It defrosts well.

Start cooking the farro. Prepare the vegetables. Cool the farro, add the roasted vegetables, sundried tomatoes, raisins, and dressing.

Cook 1.5-2 C Farro by placing the farro in a pot, covering it with 1” of water. Bring to a boil, then lower the flame and simmer for 20 minutes. Drain and proceed.

Roast vegetables:

Preheat oven to 450F.

Trim ends and cut carrots lengthwise.

Trim and halve Brussels sprouts. (Quarter large Brussels sprouts).

Drizzle with 2-3T olive oil and roast at 450F for 20 minutes.

Dressing: Recommended proportions: 1:1:1

– 1/3C full and fruity Sicilian extra virgin olive oil. Olio2go Suggests: Primo, Ravida, Planeta

– 1/3C Cattani Organic White Balsamic Dressing

– 1/3C Vincotto Fig Vinegar

Toss together. Let flavors marry for 20 minutes, then serve.

Zurich2013_Six

Dateline Zurich:  12th International Olive Congress Zurich Olive Oil Awards were announced in late April and we are please to announce that we have six of the selections in stock.

The Zurich Awards are very selective, with only five (5) Gold Awards granted. Of the five, two were Italian oils — but other “sibling” selections from producers whose oil we carry at Olio2go.  Those were selections from the producers, Titone and Cetrone.

Zurich granted eight (8) Silver and 16 Awards. We have Silver and Award winners in stock (if we could, we would rename “Awards” as Bronze).

Silver Award Winners:

Frantoi Cutrera Gran Cru Nocellara Etnea

Frantoi Cutrera Gran Cru Nocellara del Belice

“Awards”:

Frantoi Cutrera Primo DOP Monte Iblei Gulfi

Frantoi Cutrera Gran Cru Cerasuola

Frantoi Cutrera Gran Cru Tonda Iblea

Titone Bio DOP Valli Trapanesi

Ravida

All of these selections are from Sicily!

Certainly, Frantoi Cutrera has some magic in winning awards. You will find their oils on may award lists. We recommend the Tasting Set Sampler or the full Connoisseur’s Set.

The full Zurich Awards list can be seen here.

Olive Harvesting in Sicily

Olive Harvesting in Sicily


The olive harvest is underway and visits were made to Planeta, Ravida and Gianfranco Becchina’s estate this week. The Becchina estate in Castelvetrano is the home of Olio Verde and Olio Verde al Limone. The Planeta estate is in Menfi, as is the Ravida estate.

Take a look at this photo of the workers picking the olives at Planeta’s grove, a tradition that dates back centuries.

Imagine that you spent your lifetime tending the family’s groves… toiling to prune, worrying about the weather, keeping pests at bay, and in the end, each and every year, producing an olive oil that met the high standards of the family and the regional consortia. At some point wouldn’t you want to know if your oil could compete with the best across Italy or throughout the world?

Of course you would.

So, you enter your magnificent oil in one of the top competitions, in Zurich, Los Angeles, Verona, Perugia or Trieste. And, if all goes well, years of toil will be rewarded.

All will be even better if there’s a way to reach consumers of great olive oil—the wonderful consumers, reading this, who enjoy the best in the world of olive oil.

Over the years we’ve built relationships with these top producers and with other importers. We’ve carefully selected oils that represent the best of Italian extra virgin olive oils. We have a wide range of “winners” in stock right now. (There’s no other retailer in the U.S. with as large a selection of Italian extra virgin olive oil award winners!)

Fresh Award Winners, Currently in stock:

Titone Biologica DOP Valli Trapanesi

Alina, La Pennita in Brisighella

Crudo Extra Virgin, Schiralli

Monti, Giovanni Querci, Fattoria di Monti

Cutrera Primo DOP Monti Iblei Gulfi

DeCarlo Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Planeta DOP Val di Mazara

Marfuga L’affiorante

Principe di Mascio DOP Colli Assisi – Spoleto

Agrumato Lemon Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Fratelli Colletti Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Colli Etruschi Extra Virgin Olive Oil

We will be modifying this list as soon as additional award winners arrive in our warehouse. As soon as they are in the warehouse, links will be added.

Olio Capitale, Trieste, March 2012

Winner – Medium Intensity Titone Biologica – DOP Valli Trapanesi
Semi-Finalist Olivastro, Quattrociocchi, Itrana Monocultivar, Fruttato Medio
Semi-Finalist Cetrone Intenso, Az. Agr. Alfredo Cetrone

SOL at Vinitaly, Verona, March 2012

Gran Menzione (Medio): Cetrone Intenso from Azienda Agricola Cetrone Alfredo

Gran Menzione (Medio): Frantoio Franci, Le Trebbiane

Gran Menzione (Intenso)

Azienda Madonna dell’Olivo – Raro – Sold out!

Gran Manzione (Intenso): Azienda Agricola Mandranova, coming soon

Gran Manzione (Intenso): Olivastro, Az. Agr. Quattrociocchi

Gran Manzione (Intenso): Rosso, Az. Villa Zottopera

Gambero Rosso presented at Vinitaly, March 2012 (Verona)

“Tre foglie d’oro 2012”

Raro – Madonna dell’Olivo , Campania, SOLD OUT

Selezione Alina Monocultivar Nostrana di Brisighella – Tenuta Pennita, Emilia Romagna

Cetrone Intenso, Monocultivar Itrana – Alfredo Cetrone, Lazio

Olivastro Monocultivar Itrana Bio – Americo Quattrociocchi, Lazio

Crudo Monocultivar Ogliarola – Schiralli, Puglia

Planeta DOP Val di Mazara, Sicily

Titone Biologica DOP Valli Trapanesi, Sicily

Gran Cru Monocultivar Nocellara Etnea – Frantoi Cutrera – Chiaramonte Gulfi (Rg), Sicily, coming soon

Rosso – Villa Zottopera – Chiaramonte Gulfi (Rg), Sicily

Monti – Giovanni Querci Fattoria di Monti, Tuscany

Villa Magra Gran Cru – Frantoio Franci, Tuscany

Marfuga L’Affiorante Monocultivar Moraiolo, Umbria

Principe di Mascio DOP Colli Assisi Spoleto, Umbria

Ercole Olivario, Perugia, March 2012

Alfredo Cetrone di Sonnino, Lazio, 2nd Place, Intensely Fruity

Primo DOP Monti Iblei – Gulfi, 2nd Place, DOP Intensely Fruity

Los Angeles International Olive Oil Competition, April 2012

Agrumato Lemon – Silver, Delicate

Crudo Extra Virgin Olive Oil – Gold Medal

Cutrera Primo DOP – Best of Class, Gold Medal

Fratelli Colletti – Silver Medal

Olio Verde – Silver Medal, Robust, Nocellara del Belice

Planeta DOP – Silver, Robust

Titone Biologica DOP – Gold Medal, Medio Fruttato

Rosso, Villa Zottopera – Gold Medal

Zurich – International Olive Oil Award

Titone Biologica DOP Valli Trapanesi

Cutrera Primo DOP

Slow Food

Colli Etruschi Extra Virgin Olive Oil, Lazio

Titone Biologica DOP Valli Trapanesi, Sicily

Olio Slow:

Tenuta Pennita – Monte Poggiolo Selezione Alina, Emilia Romagna

Olivastro Biologica, Americo Quattrociocchi, Lazio

GRANDE OLIO:

Frantoio Franci – Villa Magra Grand Cru, Tuscany

Marfuga – L’Affiorante, Umbria

Alfredo Cetrone – Cetrone Intenso, Lazio

Madonna dell’Olivo – Raro, Campania – SOLD OUT

…. all at www.olio2go.com !

Titone Biologica DOP

Awarded Best Extra Virgin Olive Oil of the Year

 

Big news in the world of Extra Virgin Olive Oil!

Italian producer, Azienda Agricola Biologica Titone, has been awarded Best Extra Virgin Olive Oil of the Year by Marco Oreggio and his publication Flos Olei 2012, in an announcement made The Olive Oil Times. In a twist of dates, this award announced in October 2011, is for the Titone Biologica DOP 2010 bottling. If you’d like to taste such a notable award winner, you’ll find it at Olio2go. This is a terrific, organic-certified, olive oil from the Trapani area of Sicily.

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.