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Welcome to News From Italy, my blog about our Italian Adventure. Although this blog has now ceased publication I will be continuing to blog and I am sincerely hoping that my many followers here will move with me to Travel Tales blog to follow my next adventures wherever they may take me. The links to my other blogs are:-

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Saturday, December 5, 2009

Olive Oil Tasting

On Sunday evening last week Viv and Nick came round to join us for the official tasting of this seasons Olive oil. David had arranged a blind tasting of four oils, which we had fun sampling and trying to guess which ones they were. The choices were this years oil, first and second batches, last years oil from Vetralla and a sample from a small bottle that we had been given as a gift from the mill. The latter was actually the most tasteless and I was a little concerned it might have been our Vetralla oil but thankfully it wasn’t. The two pressings of this year’s olive oil were absolutely delicious as we had hoped they would be. The only difference between the two is that the first press, earlier harvest which has had longer to settle by a couple of weeks is also more peppery.


We had a very enjoyable evening as David had prepared, with a little help from me a delicious supper. After the oil tasting we had Calabrian cheeses with honey, pear jam (homemade) and walnuts (homegrown), also fennel(Annunciata and Bruno’s), orange and walnut salad as starters. Since living here I have developed a liking for walnuts and I even managed to eat a little fennel as it worked well with the orange flavour.

The next course was roast chicken, roast rosemary potatoes, green beans, carrot and turnip mash with gravy. A flavoursome roast indeed which we simply followed with fresh fruit from the garden in the form of persimmon and kiwi. The persimmon has a strange taste, difficult to describe, a cross between tomatoes and oranges but with a dry aftertaste. Definitely an acquired taste but we all ate at least some and the kiwis were scrumptious and cleared the palate perfectly afterwards!


After supper we played word games around the kitchen table as no sitting room ready to relax in just yet.


  1. this is so amazing. i have words and the fact that you played word games makes me giddy ... so much fun!!

  2. Hi Linda,
    I'm very impressed, as a now landless former organic farmer, I love to see folks growing their own delicious food. I do miss it a bit but now have time to enjoy other people's triumphs.

    I saw your note on Lesley's face book thingy. I know we will meet some day.

  3. Gina: Penso 'love' non 'have' Yes it was fun, but really we should have played in Italian not English!

    Small world that you know Lesley, yes it would be fun to meet one day.

  4. Diana and Guido: Sorry I did not make it clear that the second part of that comment was for you.

  5. Thanks for stopping by my blog and leaving a post. I would be thrilled to have you link to my latest post on Best of Italy. I'm really enjoying reading your blog too. You're living the life I dream of. Best wishes. I'm now a follower of your blog!

  6. Hey, that sounds a really super evening! How lovely to be able to do that. I've never had persimmon - it sounds interesting. And the fennel - interesting that you should say it works well with the orange, as I don't like anything with aniseed flavour. Perhaps I should venture out of my comfort zone and try it!!! I too love walnuts - I've got a super recipe for a starter salad using pears and walnuts and a certain cheese whose name escapes me (!). Very tasty.

  7. I'm glad your oils turned out well this year. And that pear jam sounds delicious!

  8. Thank you for your visit, Linda. I'm going through your posts and I must say you live the charmed life we all dream of. I read a lot about Italy, especially about foreigners who've taken root in that bountiful land, and I always come away feeling captivated. I like especially this sense that your lives are so intricately connected to the earth, the seasons, the fruit of the land. I love pomegranate, and persimmon. And I read that fennel and apples is also an interesting combination. Enjoy your la dolce vita, and may you keep sharing your Italian adventures with us.


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