Natural Edge Olive Wood
My wife, Lisa loves collecting cutting boards. It seems a new one shows up every year or so. For me, it might seem a bit overkill, but I can understand her passion. She just loves the feel of wood under her knife. Well, this olive wood board might be on my list for her upcoming birthday gifts...
I just love the natural, rough edge on the side of this olive wood board--and the size is just right: 16" x 8" x 3/4". The grain and rough edge reminds me of the 2000 year old olive trees we saw growing in Puglia. Click on the photo above or HERE to check it out on AMAZON--well worth the price of $50 for a quality board. And check out our son Lucas standing in front of one of the largest olive trees in Italy...
Honey Pot and Dipper
When I was in Italy, I rediscovered honey. To be honest, I never really like honey... too musky, too sweet. But Italian honey is amazing. You can really taste the difference from one type to another, depending on region of Italy, and often which valley and what flowers the bees were collecting honey from. Some are as thick as butter, while others are thin and flowing.
This Honey Pot and Dipper set is made of Mediterranean olive and is the perfect size for a table for two on your balcony overlooking the Arno... OK, or on your breakfast table. What I really like is the dipper's handle stands upright through the lid's hole. Click the photo above or HERE to see it on Amazon for $46.
Opinel Pocket Knives
While traveling 5000 miles throughout France on a moped years ago, one of the first things I purchased was the tried and true Opinel carbon steel pocket knife, just like Provençal farmers, members of la Resistance, and the Foreign Legion used. For me, it performed equally well as a tool for when my Mobylette got a flat tire, for cutting cheese, tomatoes and bread for lunch, and for a sense of security when camping in a misty Gypsy camp in a deep dark valley of the Gorges du Tarn one night. That knife still holds a special place in my workshop.
In the home, it is well suited to garden work, cutting butcher twine or opening deliveries from Amazon.
I love these updated versions: A boxed stainless steel "original" and the slim, stiletto style--both in olive wood.
For the stainless, boxed Opinel, click its photo above or HERE ($40); for the Slim Opinel, click its photo above or HERE ($45).
Olive Wood Salad-Pasta Spoons
I bought these for Lisa as a stocking stuffer at Christmas and she is in love with them. The grain is wonderful and will get better with age--and the olive oils we use in our recipes. We are finding that they are large enough to use for pasta dishes as well as salads, and having one form helps with spaghetti lifting too. Click the photo or HERE for the to find them on Amazon... a great price at under $18.
To go with the spoons and cutting board above, here's a beautifully rustica bowl with the same rough-finished edge. It's large enough to hold your salads or even pasta creations--about 12" in diameter. Keep the colors vibrant by rubbing occasionally with a light olive oil.
Click on the photo above or HERE to see it on Amazon for $120.
Pen Your Memoirs with Olive Wood from the Holy Land
When I was barely out of photography school, I splurged and bought myself a pen made of wood... in that case, rosewood. I still have that pen, or should I say, my son has it. (I gave it to him a few years ago when he learned to write in cursive style.) There is something romantic and old worldly about sitting down and writing down your favorite recipe for posterity, or just a few lines in a diary--with the feel of wood being aged by the oil in your own hands. This beautiful, handcrafted pen is made from olive wood from Bethlehem in the Holy Land. It's something to treasure for a lifetime. Find it on Amazon by clicking the photo above or click HERE... only $59.
Old World Food Processor:
Mortar & Pestle
When making gremolata (lemon juice, garlic, parsley & herbs), pesto (pine nuts, garlic, basil) or tapanade (olives, garlic, capers), one must remember that they all have something in common: Extra Virgin Olive Oil is used in all of them as a base to marry their ingredients into a thick emulsion. All three are types of pesto... a word taken from the ancient method of making them... by crushing the ingredients into a mash using a mortaio & pestello (mortar and pestle).
This mortar and pestle set is hand-made in Tunisia (a close neighbor of Sicily) with olive wood and would be an addition to any cucina del cuoco. And there's nothing like the texture of a pesto made with mortar and pestle rather than with a food processor. They all taste fresher made this way. Click on the Photo above or HERE to see it on Amazon for $33.
There's nothing like the taste of fresh ground, black pepper... and one made out of olive wood makes it all that much more special. But there's another reason to buy an olive wood mill: the natural oils in the wood help prevent the peppercorns from losing their own natural oils.
Click the photo above or HERE to see it on Amazon for $50.
Click the photo or HERE to see this on Amazon for $100.
This beautiful ceramic spoon rest and 12" olive wood ladle set will look great next to your cooktop. Useful for spreading pizza sauce, ladling pasta water into your sauce pan, or dishing out thick Tuscan zuppa di fagioli. Click the photo or HERE to see it on Amazon ($62)
Compare these to the cheap knockoffs and there's no comparison. The price reflects the quality. And to be clear, there is no such thing as a "Laguiole" brand... it is actually the name referring to the style (shape, design, quality) of knives made in the town of Thiers in the Auvergne region central France. The next time you try making a 4 inch thick, Bistecca alla Fiorentina over an open wood fire, you'll apreciate the feel of these blades. An investment of a lifetime, click the large photo above or HERE to see them on Amazon. ($390)
We appreciate your support! Ciao, Amici!