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Olive Oil, Ninety Years In The Making

grove-350x262-300x224Connecticut is arguably one-third, Italian. There are so many amazing Italian restaurants in this state of about three million people, and because of that, the olive oil is flowing here in dish after dish. The Chiappetta family of Norwalk, Connecticut is adding to that by importing it from their family farm in San Vincenzo La Costa in the region of Calbria, Italy. The product, and rightfully so, is called Chiappetta Olive Oil.

This all came about after a visit by two Italian American brothers who took a trip with their father back to his native Italy to celebrate his 80th birthday. While there, Pat and frank Chiappetta got the bright idea to bring olive oil to Connecticut, after all relatives were already producing it on the family farm and selling it in Italy. It took about a year after that 2009 trip to their father’s homeland to figure out how to bring it to Connecticut, but now they’re on a roll doing tasting after tasting in small specialty stores who are now carrying their product.

One of those stores is Collyer Market in Westport, Connecticut which is where I chatted with Pat Chiappetta. Mark Sharon and his wife, Reed Collyer own the place, they’ve been in the catering business for years, they’re all about  local and organic eating and thought the Chiappetta Olive Oil, fresh-pressed olive oil from Italy would be great in their store front. Mark and Reed know how to put out a beautiful spread for hundreds or dozens or whatever the event might be, and they know what people like.

Chiappetta Olive Oil is pressed from just one kind of olive, the carolea, and Pat describes it as a kind of “finishing oil” for dipping, salads and meats and fish, not the kind you cook with, for that reason it’s a little pricier than the big gallon containers you pick up at the store. Pat says olive oil is becoming like wine, folks are developing a palette for it, and are sorting out the flavors they like and don’t like. The Chiappetta oil is extra virgin, and cold water pressed, the really good kind.

The carolea olives are only pressed twice a year on the farm in October and December so there is a limited quantity of the product.

Being raised in Indiana, I did not grow up in a household that ever used olive oil, really for anything. Living in the state of Connecticut among so many Italians, for the last 25-years, I wouldn’t even dream of ever being with out it. Now that I know the Chiappettas I’ve entered into a whole new world of olive knowledge moving well beyond those pimento olives I used to buy in the store. Pat tells the story below of how the business off the ground, it’s a cute story, all about family.

Facebook>> Chiappetta Olive Oil


One Comment

  1. Posted November 22, 2011 at 9:44 am | Permalink

    Tried this superb olive oil while visiting Collyer Catering in Westport! Wow, it really makes a difference in subtle flavoring. Perfect time of year to really enjoy a good bottle of oil!