In 1982 we were introduced to Aldo Armato by the Anfosso family,our friends and suppliers of Barbaresco (De Forville). Aldo was small in stature and modest in nature but fiercely proud of his long family tradition of producing olive oil from the ancient groves of olive trees (exclusively the Taggiasca variety) planted in the hills above the town of Alassio on the Ligurian coast (just west of Savona). The Armato family has been involved in the olive trade and the production of olive oil for many generations. In fact, one of the tiny hamlets on the winding road near Stellanello (where the bulk of the olives are harvested) bears the name “Armati”, in recognition of the ancestors of the current Armato family that settled there a thousand years ago.
Aldo and his wife, Laura, built their impeccable “frantoio” on the ground floor of their house, a few blocks above the bustling town center of Alassio which sits on the shores of the Mediterranean Ocean. From their tiny “frantoio”, the Armato family provides us with an elegant first cold-pressed olive oil which they refer to as “Sc-iappa” which, in Ligurian dialect, translates as “the ultimate”. In fact, the oil we purchase is from the very first free run juice, the liquid that runs free as the olives are positioned to be crushed by the immense old stone that turns slowly to press the olives and release their liquor. This exceedingly low acid oil offers a more delicate and fruity alternative, almost buttery in texture, to its greener and more rustic counterparts produced from warmer climes around the Mediterranean.
Aldo and Laura’s legacy has been handed down to their daughter, Alessandra, and her husband, Giordano Mazzariol. Alessandra and Giordano form a handsome and dynamic couple whose energy and intelligence effect continuous improvement in the quality that blesses this lovely olive oil. They have combined their talents to extend the use of their locally renowned olive oil to make a series of products that are devastatingly delicious.
Following is a whole pantry of products which naturally derive from their olive oil business. Please take a moment to consider each of the items below and imagine how creative you too could be if you had these wonderful products at your fingertips.