Last week, an email came in through Foodies100 from Marina Colonna, who produces and bottles extra virgin olive oils and citrus oils from her own olive groves on her family estate in southern Italy. She offered to send me through some samples of her oils and gave me a link to a video to give me a feel for her products. It's ten minutes long but I found it fascinating to see how the olives are harvested (by hand !) and turned into oil. You can have a look for yourselves right here :
Aaah I can almost hear the cicadas singing and smell the limoncello !
But enough dreaming of balmy summer days ... I fired off an email and put it to the back of my mind, thinking there was no way anything would arrive before Easter, so I was stunned when this lovely selection arrived yesterday. I'll be trying them out in recipes over the next few weeks but I wanted to give you a sneak preview.
They look fabulous, all lined up behind the hob on my worktop with their different colours and I'm totally spoilt for choice. Which one shall I try first?
COLONNA PEPERONCINO - “Merken” smoked chilli pepper from Chile is mixed with locally produced chilli pepper and infused in the newly produced Colonna extra virgin olive oil. It is a warm yellow colour with a hint of red and is ideal for anyone who enjoys a slightly peppery taste. Ideal for use on pasta with chilli and garlic, on pasta dishes with tomato or drizzled on bean soups, vegetables and to spice up your favourite dishes.
ROSAOLIVA - Extra virgin olive oil and natural rose aroma. Ideal for rose risotto, the preparation of recipes with prawns, cod and other similar fish as well as in cheesecake, crumble cake and chocolates.
MUSTARD - Extra virgin olive oil and natural aroma of mustard. Ideal for the preparation of steak and other meat dishes and as an ingredient in vinaigrette sauces and dips.
GINGER - Extra virgin olive oil and fresh root ginger. Fine, fresh root ginger from the Far East is milled with our own olives. This unusual union creates a remarkable spicy flavored oil. This oil is excellent for all Asian cookery, curries and rice dishes, as well as for lentil soups and to dress steamed vegetables, smoked meats and fish and it is just perfect with roast meats too.
AROMATICO - Extra virgin olive oil and cardamom seeds. One of our latest creations, this is a blend of olives and toasted cardamom seeds which together yield a delicately scented oil that is equally suited to savory and sweet dishes. Perfect to dress curried rice, steamed vegetables, raw fish, casseroles, bean soups and other pulses. Also great for the preparation of biscuits and cakes.
MIRTO - Extra virgin olive oil and myrtle berries. Fresh myrtle berries from the farm are crushed with the estate’s olives, which yields an oil with a gentle flavour. Ideal for cooking game and roast meat in general.
ARANCIO - Extra virgin olive oil and organic oranges. The delicate flavor of Sicilian oranges pervades this olive oil, created in the estate’s own mill by simultaneously crushing freshly picked olives and oranges.
Golden yellow with a warm perfume of orange, this oil is ideal to marinate raw fish, as a dressing for exotic salads, grilled fish and summer pasta dishes as well as in the preparation of game and other strong flavoured meats and naturally in biscuits and cakes.
BERGAMIA - Extra virgin olive oil and organic bergamot. Following the method that has become a company tradition, Calabrian bergamot are crushed with the estate’s olives onsite to flavor this slightly bitter, though fragrant citrus oil. We suggest using this oil as a dressing for raw fish carpaccio, pumpkin soup, pasta with clams or with fish roe and shell fish salads. It is also ideal for risotto with bergamot, to marinate shellfish as well as in the preparation of dishes using game, baked fish and naturally in crêpes, biscuits and sorbets.
MANDARINO - Extra virgin olive oil and organic mandarins. Milled on the estate together with our own olives, the warm sweet aroma of mandarins is released each time the bottle is opened. Excellent in exotic salads and to marinate raw, smoked and shell fish. It is also ideal in making sweet pastry, in biscuits and cakes.
GRANVERDE - Extra virgin olive oil and organic lemons. Selected estate olives are milled together with the peel of organic lemons to recreate a time-honored Colonna family recipe. Especially suitable for fish, as a marinade for shell fish, raw and smoked fish as well as a dressing for cured and dried meats. It is also excellent as a dip, on steamed vegetables and on pasta. This oil can also be used in the preparation of dishes
with white meat and baked fish.
COLONNA EXTRA VIRGIN OLIVE OIL - I can also try the unflavoured oil to see what I think.
I'll definitely be trying some of the infused oils in cakes and biscuits but I'll be looking for inspiration for the others so share your bright ideas with me in the comments !
for more information : http://www.marinacolonna.it/
Disclosure : I received the products in order to write an honest review. Verdict on the way when I've had a play in the kitchen !
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