When it comes to green luxury foods, locale is a big deal. Connoisseurs know that just as wines produced in regions like Bordeaux or Burgundy each have their own unique characters, olive oils are also distinctive products of their environments. While it’s easy enough to compare, for example, a Tuscan and a Sicilian olive oil, the Nudo Company takes this concept one step further by intimately acquainting customers with its individual groves in the foothills of the Italian Sibillini Mountains.
Nudo’s signature product is an olive tree adoption kit. For around $130, you can sponsor a tree in the grove of your choice. For example, you could consider a Leccino olive in the farmhouse field called Il Fico, or perhaps a Pendolino olive in Il Sogno if you prefer a more rugged environment.
Your one-year subscription includes an introductory olive oil sample, an informational booklet, a shipment of artisanal flavored oils in the fall, and all the cold-pressed oil from your tree (about two liters, packaged in an attractive and eco-friendly tin) in the spring. In addition, subscribers are invited to write for seasonal updates on their trees, and even to visit the farm (and yes, hug the trees) if they are so inclined.
The oil itself is a far cry from the ordinary bottles you would find on most grocery store shelves, both ecologically and aesthetically. Nudo oils are all made from cold-pressed, organically grown olives on an artisanal-scale farm (“This is the first year we will be officially organic, which is very exciting” says founder Jason Gibb. This three-year-certification process has been in the works since the earliest days of the farm.) The company is also carbon positive, meaning that it maintains enough unfarmed forest to offset more carbon emissions than it creates, and this environmental value is passed on to customers.
Nudo also offers a selection of specialty oils accented with other local ingredients. This line includes oils from milder autumn olives, stone-ground with chilies, lemons, and mandarin oranges for a trio of unique flavors. A convenient way to experience the range that the BBC’s Good Food magazine called “the finest flavored olive oils” is with the Quattro Stagione sampler, including 250 ml of each of four varieties for around $43.
While the Nudo products are available at a number of stores throughout Europe, customers in other locations will probably find their online shop to be most convenient. While you’re there, you can read more about the company and check out bonus features like a grove map and photos of the trees up for adoption. Buon Appetito!
By Laura Gyre