I recently had the good fortune to be on the receiving end of some exquisite products from a company called Nudo Italia, courtesy of the kind folks at YC Media. Nudo is a family-run co-operative between nine small, olive producers in small hilltop village in the Marche region of Italy. Best known for its unique Adopt-an-Olive-Tree program and superior first cold pressed extra virgin olive oil, Nudo also offers and produces a range of artisanal Italian products and hand crafted flavored olive oils.
I was intrigued by the idea of adopting an olive tree and “owning a little part of Italy” (since that’s the closest I will get to owning property there!). The way the program works, instead of just buying their olive oil, by adopting a tree, you can choose a specific olive variety, follow the progress of your tree for one year, support the local Italian family farmer, and (literally) taste the reward of your investment.
Once you adopt a tree from Nudo, you or the gift recipient will receive:
• A personalized adoption certificate and information booklet that describes the tree,
• Four 500ml tins of first cold press extra virgin olive oil from the tree,
• Three 250ml tins of infused extra virgin olive oil (i.e. lemon, chile, orange) in the fall (mid-Oct),
• An open invitation to come and visit, hug or water the tree in person.
The adoption and products cost $109.00 (plus shipping), which, for what you receive, I think is pretty reasonable. A piece of Italy? Priceless!!!
If it’s instant gratification you are after, Nudo also offers a beautiful (and beautifully packaged) range of artisanal Italian products and hand crafted flavored olive oils including fiery chili, luscious stone ground lemon, and mouth-watering mandarin created from Nudo’s from Le Marche olives and Sicilian citrus and herbs each season ($12 for a 250ml tin). To complement these oils, Nudo also sources incredible antipasti from Sicily, sott’olio preserves from Torino and handmade jams and vinegars from local families in Le Marche.
I haven’t yet had a chance to try all the products in my goody box but have already fallen hopelessly in love with the Olive Oil Stone Ground with Real Lemons. According to the website, within hours of being picked, these Sicilian lemons are driven at breakneck speed to our press where they’re stone-milled together with our olives. As for the olives, we make sure we use late harvest ones which have a subtler flavour, allowing the lemons to burst through for their moment in the spotlight. This isn’t like other flavoured oils where an extract is added later. In this, the lemon flavour is deep and fresh. The lemons and olives are truly joined at the pip.
The packaging suggests it’s “ideal drizzled on salads, white meats or fish” but I reckon it is going to be my olive oil of choice for the summer. I already know it will feature in this pasta dish that is a regular in our dinner rotation over the summer and I used it with Les Petits Chefs this week in the salad dressing with lemon juice for a huge burst of lemony flavour. I also used it in a Goat Cheese Salad with Lemon Poppyseed Dressing inspired by one I found over at Healthy Delicious. Oh my. This was absolutely amazing. I used it in both the dressing and to fry the goat cheese rounds and it was one of the best things to come out of my kitchen in recent times.
Now the great news is that as of June, Nudo will ship from the US (vs. Europe), so for those of you who don’t want the commitment of a tree adoption (or are impatient to taste the products!), this means you can now hand pick Nudo’s specialty Italian products to purchase separately. Whether you are looking for a selection of handmade Italian bounty or have a craving for Nudo’s delectable extra virgin olive oil, their products are great as both gifts and pantry additions.
Nudo has also created a number of tantalizing gift sets. These can be purchased for $45 (plus shipping) and wouldn’t they make a GREAT Father’s Day gift???
The Chili Lover Gift Set
o One 250 ml tin of Nudo’s Chilli extra virgin olive oil
o Organic chilli salsa
o Sweet chilli jam
o Handmade penne from a local artisanal producer, near the Nudo groves
o Recipe booklet
Organic Essentials Gift Set
o One 500ml tin of Nudo’s first cold press organic extra virgin olive oil
o Organic Pesto
o Organic Artichoke Hearts marinated in olive oil
o Organic Capers marinated in olive oil
o Organic Sun Dried Tomatoes marinated in olive oil
o Recipe booklet
To learn more about Nudo, adopt a tree, purchase oils or other Nudo products, visit: www.nudo-italia.com