How Organic Is Your Olive Oil?
Once in a while people get that restless tingle in their bones and yearn for something different in life. Some go on monthlong vacations; others switch jobs, buy a motorcycle, or take up a new and extreme hobby. Jason Gibb and partner Cathy Rogers went another route: they bought an olive grove.
Ten years ago, the Los Angeles TV producers followed a passion for olive oil all the way to Le Marche, Italy, where they put their journalistic skills to use and immersed themselves in the culture of olive oil making. Working off a love for Italy, its culture, and cuisine, Gibb and Rogers learned the ins-and-outs of olive farming from locals throughout the region. After a couple of years of restoring their land and mastering the basics, they started Nudo, a company producing 100 percent natural and high-quality olive products.
The philosophy behind Nudo is simple: artisanal, quality-batched olive oil that’s created through a thorough and organic process that is carefully overseen by Gibb, a method that he says is not a given with olive oil production. Just by speaking with him, you get a sense that this is no fair-weather diversion for him, and that he very well could know just as much, if not more, about olive farming than those Italians who have been doing it for years. He explains in detail each step of the process, from the pruning and the timely selection of grapes to the pressing. Along with creating olive oil, Gibb and his partner are always putting out new products, such as flavored oils. As Gibb described it, he and Rogers "get quite geeky about all of the different flavors," and are constantly experimenting with new and exciting flavored oils. Something Gibb learned through the process was that most flavored olive oils are made with chemicals, but Nudo’s approach starts at the very beginning, by pressing the olives with lemons or chiles or oranges to produce pure and flavorful oil, which stands with the company’s mission statement.
Along with developing all-natural and organic olive oil — the grove goes under a rigorous inspection each year and is organically certified — Nudo takes small-batch farming a step further with an Adopt a Tree program. As Gibb explains, it’s all about traceability and provenance, so what better way to know where your olive oil is coming from then by adopting your own olive tree? Through the program, one can adopt a tree from one of the many groves offered by Nudo, which include Nudo’s and other small organic producers in the area, and will receive two packages a year filled with bounty created from their tree. The adoption program does more than encourage traceability — it also creates a bond between producer and consumer through photos, adoption certificates, and visits to the grove. Their mastery doesn’t just stop at producing olive oil, and that’s why we at The Daily Meal love them so much. Enjoy these mouthwatering and easy recipes developed by Nudo that highlight the essential cooking ingredient. To learn about Nudo, their organic products, and how you can adopt your own tree, visit their website.
"Quinoa is an incredibly versatile grain that is easily added to any seasonal produce. In this recipe, quinoa is taken up a notch with Nudo's lemon-flavored..."
Fusilloni with Asparagus, Tomatoes, and Basil Olive Oil Recipe
"Easy to make, this pasta is the perfect accompaniment to any barbecue or summer meal. Stocked with fresh asparagus and..."
"The 'smart alecs' might say this is simple — 'just buy it in Italy' — and it is true that Italian fresh spinach holds its form and doesn't cook into a mushy mess like some..."
- Jason Gibb, Founder of Nudo
"Nudo's unique mandarin-flavored olive oil adds a new and exciting flavor to an easy summer couscous..."
Anne Dolce is the Cook Editor at The Daily Meal. Follow her on Twitter @anniecdolce