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It’s been a hard week for a variety of reasons, but there was a little pot of gold waiting waiting for me when I got home one day. There on the doorstep (well actually it was inside because J. had to sign for it) was a tin of l’olio nuovo (“new oil”) shipped to us directly from the grower in Umbria.

I happen to work for a local California grower who makes amazing olive oil, but I have major soft spot in my heart for Italian olive oil. Whenever I’m in Italy I stuff my suitcase with locally produced oil, but with the punitive rates for overweight luggage, it’s not nearly enough. Lucky for me a few years ago we stayed Genius Loci, a charming small inn located just outside of the wonderfully preserved town of Bevagna in Umbria. The hosts are charming, the rooms are beautiful and the location is perfectly situated to explore the rest of Umbria.

I’ve been on the list to purchase the freshly pressed oil from Genius Loci for the last three years. We buy a 5 liter tin and use it daily. It’s grassy and a little peppery and nothing like anything you would purchase at the grocery store. As soon as we received it I rushed out for a loaf of crusty country bread with plans for bruschetta. Sauteed mushrooms, shallots and grilled bread topped with our olio nuovo and we were in heaven!

Thank you Mary, Maurizio, Mar and Michael. We love your oil!

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