We arrived in Amelia on November 17th after taking a train from Rome to Terni and renting a car. It was an incredibly warm and picture perfect day as we drove through the autumn coloured countryside
When we arrived at the olive mill, frantoio, we were greeted by Francesco and his parents Anna and Vincenzo. They had already pressed the olives from their own trees and were now in the middle of pressing the olives from neighbouring farmers who seemed to be arriving non-stop. I could see our visit had not come at the most convenient time for them but you wouldn’t have known from the hospitality we were shown. Aside from showing us in detail the steps of pressing the olives, we were treated to a fabulous lunch in the frantoio, which happens to boast its own private kitchen. Anna prepared us lunch that was mostly cooked in a huge open fireplace beside our table. The meal consisted of pasta, sausages, grilled meat, bruschetta, salad and pastries. This was all washed down with their own wine and limoncello. Several dishes showcased the fresh olive oil, which was drizzled freely. Yum!
I can definitely say that this year’s oil is delicious. According to Francesco it was a hot summer and the oil is of excellent quality but the production volume was far less than last year. I found it to have loads of grassy fruity flavour. This is typical of good Umbrian extra virgin olive oil.
The Suatoni family speak very little English and my Italian is even more challenged; however, they had a charming new English speaking helper, Riccardo, who was able to bridge the gap for us. In the past Rachel has been along on these trips and I could get by with her excellent Italian translations.
We took loads of pictures and Ricardo was kind enough to take us to another farm where his family were still picking olives. We had a go at it and soon realized that it is back breaking work. It made us more respectful of the amount of labour that is involved in each harvest.
We had a wonderful day in Amelia and wished we had much longer to stay and soak in the smells and ambiance of this pristine Umbrian town. Our visit renewed our sense of connection to this wonderful oil which has become the number one staple in our kitchen. We are proud to be able to share it with our customers in Canada and the United States. Stay tuned because Rachel will be expanding the American side of Amelia Oil in the new year.
We’re so happy the ‘Lemon Tart’ is enjoying her Amelia Oil. Have a look at the Lemon Tart blog to see what she has to say about us.
We always love to hear what yummy things you cook or bake with Amelia Oil. Send us your tasting notes and recipes to ameliaoil(at)telus.net. We would be happy to post a link to your blog.
We talked to Francesco this week and he has sent off the 2009 Amelia Oil. He can’t wait for us to taste this incredible oil, which he described as “truly exceptional.”
We expect our shipment to arrive in late February and we need to make room. We’ve decided to put our 5-litre tins of 2008 Amelia Oil on sale at 25% off (was $124.99 now $93.75).There is a limited supply so order now on line to take advantage of this great deal.
Rebecca and Rachel will be at the Marché de Noël at the Centre Culturel Francophone (1551 W. 7th Ave. Vancouver) on Saturday, December 6 from 10am-3pm. Come by and taste some of the best extra virgin olive oil from Umbria, Italy. Amelia Oil makes a wonderful holiday gift for culinary-savvy hosts and friends.
We look forward to seeing you this weekend.
You can now pick up our super fresh olive oil at Township 7 winery in Penticton while you are tasting and shopping for some of BC’s best wines.
Of course bringing a bottle of wine to a dinner party is always a lovely idea, but why not bring a bottle of really great olive oil. For the same price as a decent bottle of vino you can give a gift that will last more than just one evening. Foodie friends will surely be impressed and they will think of you each time they reach for their bottle of Amelia Oil to garnish grilled vegetables or dress a salad.
You can order Amelia Oil on line or give us a call to arrange pick up in West Vancouver or the Westside. We can even send your gift of oil along with a card directly to your friends.
Hopefully everyone is enjoying the summer and using lots of Amelia Oil on their grilled vegetables and meats:) We have both 2007 and 2008 extra virgin olive oil from Umbria, Italy in stock. You can order on line or give us a call to arrange pick up www.ameliaoil.com
If you are looking for some culinary entertainment and a good outing, don’t miss Chefs to the Field out at Terranova Farms in Richmond. Chefs from all over the lower mainland will be competing for the “green cuisine” award and raising money to support the Terranova Schoolyard Society. The event will take place on Aug. 10 from 11am-4pm at Terranova Farms.
Many thanks to Barbara-Jo for hosting our little olive oil tasting at her Books to Cooks store on W. 2nd Ave. last Saturday. Thanks to all the people who came out, tasted and bought oil. It was great to meet you and we hope you enjoy your oil.
Don’t forget that you can order our oil on-line at www.ameliaoil.com. Watch this blog for other olive oil events. A presto.
Rachel and Rebecca
On Saturday, June 14, 2008 we will be at Barbara-Jo’s Books to Cooks on W. 2nd Ave. in the afternoon. Please come by to taste our olive oil, say hello and check out all the wonderful books. We look forward to seeing you there.
I arrived on Wednesday evening with the warm spring sun setting behind the green hills and casting a golden light on the hill town of Amelia. People were lighting their fireplaces in preparation for the evening meal and to fend off the chilly night air. The smell of wood smoke wrapped around me, taking me back to the years that I spent here. I felt like I was coming home.
Unfortunately the good weather did not hold; the weather at Easter is notoriously unpredictable and unsettled in Italy and this year the holiday is earlier than usual. This is a particularly bad year–it has only stopped raining for a few brief moments in the last few days. Although this has not made for the most pleasant holiday, it is good for local agriculture. Umbria had a very dry year and a lot of rain is needed to fill up the very meager aquifers. As I look out at the rain, I try to think of the positive effects of all of this water on the olive trees.
All I can do for now is take my place by the camino, stay warm and enjoy Mario’s wonderful cooking alle braccia (all finished with a lovely drizzle of olive oil).