EuroAdventure15: Olive Oil

(posted by Emily) 

12 July 2015
Casperia, Italy

With nowhere to be until 11 on Sunday, we took advantage of the rare opportunity to sleep in. Of course, it's all relative, but staying in bed till 9 was great. We ventured upstairs to the breakfast room at La Torretta, where we met Maureen, the b&b's owner, and her daughter Jennifer. They had lots of fresh fruits, toast, pastries, juice, coffee, and even soya milk for us to enjoy. The sun-filled room was airy and simple, and we loved the chance to chat with Maureen, who is Welsh, about what brought her to Italy and Casperia. 

The patio off the breakfast room 

Before we knew it, it was time to head down to Vigna to meet up with Johnny. It was funny--throughout our stay in the village, when people asked what we were doing there, all we had to say was, "We're going with Johnny" and we'd get lots of nods and moments of understanding. Everybody knows Johnny, and knows the tourists he brings in to the village. 

We came to Casperia for the sole purpose of going to Johnny's olive oil class. Rick actually discovered the tour last summer when we were in Rome, but it was all too last minute to work out. So, when we booked this trip, it was first on our list. I'm sure Johnny (and Maureen at the b&b) thought we were crazy for booking so far in advance, but we absolutely knew we wanted to come. 

We spent the morning soaking up as much knowledge as we could--learning how to taste the oil, what defects to look for, how to describe the aromas, and how the oils are made. It was fascinating to ask questions and pick Johnny's brain, especially after our trip to the Biolea mill in Crete. 

Lunch was at Vigna, as a part of the tasting--a number of super simple dishes to pair with the oils, to highlight their amazing characteristics. Speaking of which--I still need the recipe for those cannelloni beans, Johnny! :) We had buffalo mozzarella with oil, lentils with oils, cannelloni beans with sage and oil, pesto pasta, and gelato affogato (with a shot of espresso) for dessert. Unreal. 

After our food, we drove out of the village to see the area's ancient olive tree. We stopped for some quick pictures of Casperia, and also some foraging. 

The olive tree here is not as old as the tree we saw in Vouves, but is much, much bigger. It was fun to see the olives growing on the trees already, and also to just chat with Johnny about food and travel while we drove back and forth. 

After showers and some relaxation during siesta time, we walked back down to Vigna for aperitifs and dinner. 

Amazing food yet again--roasted veg, pastas, and chocolate sorbet. Yum yum yum. 

In all, a wonderful day. I asked Rick if it met his expectations, and he says it was everything he dreamed of and more :) 

Gelato Flavor Inventory 
 - dark chocolate x3
 - pistachio 
 - ricotta and pear
 - caffe 
 - tiramisu
 - chocolate
 - vanilla 



  1. It's thrilling to follow your travels, thanks for these wonderful updates! Love the photos!


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