A capatosta, is a capatosta*. When an Italian decides that something has to be done in a certain way, it is very unlikely that they will change their mind. Most of the time, this will drive you completely bonkers. Seriously. But when it comes to food, it's different. If they are so stubbornly sure that a recipe, a combination of flavours, a particular job has to be done "that" way, then you better step aside and let it happen. Never be between an Italian and what they have been doing for generations. You can get hurt.
This is the case of Antico Frantoio Muraglia. When we learnt they have been producing excellent extra virgin olive oil for over 5 generations, we knew we were onto something. And when we looked closer, we found excellence at every turn.
Savino Jr, the youngest capatosta and the director of Frantoio Muraglia, tells us: "Olive oil is in the core tradition of Apulia, but to us, olive oil means to love this land and the way we work it. We always believed that if we put our name on our olive oil, it had to be the best out there. The olives have always been from our trees, from the magnificent 40 hectares in the Andrian province, where nature offers the same strength to the 450 year old olive trees that my great great grandfather Savino bought ages ago. I grew up running through these trees, burning the leaves after pruning the branches, picking the olives by hand from the ground, then from the tree itself. Today we still run. The alarm is set well before the sun comes up, and by 5.30am we are all ready at the olive groves. Bread, olive oil and tomato for breakfast, and then on with the harvest. On one side we look at the sea, on the other our olive trees till the eye can see. Here we begin, and here we end our day: with long tables and everyone eating together spaghetti and sausages."
The making of olive oil is not for everyone: it requires passion, resilience, strength. But most importantly love, unconditional love. You will understand now why we wanted Antico Frantoio Muraglia to be the first extra virgin olive oil in our shop. They embrace everything we believe in: excellence, tradition, dedication, day in, day out.
We will get to know them even better in October, when we are going to be sitting at one of those tables, after a long day in the groves. But in the meantime, let their extra virgin olive oil tell you a story. It's a good one, we promise.