Olive Oil: A Memorable Lunch in Arpino, Italy

There may be nothing like the exquisite taste of a favorite food to bring back a travel memory. Acquiring a fondness in the U.S. recently for Corto olive oil transport wife Mary and I back, at least in our minds, to a 2013 lunch at an olive grove in Arpino, Italy.

Corto, produced in California wine country, is strikingly similar to the Terra di Cicerone olive oils we sampled that day during a festive, multi-course lunch set up by the DiFolco family, fourth-generation owner/operators of the grove.

Our tour group of 20 walked among the trees and sampled various oils while listening to son Vincenzo and our guide explain the olive business. Vincenzo’s immense pride in the family operation was matched only by the immense flavor of his oils.

The Arpino oil was wonderful by itself, soaked into some fresh, hard-crusted bread, or drizzled onto buffalo mozzarella, local vegetables and meats. Wines, also produced by the DiFolco’s, only added to the enjoyment of the sumptuous, two-hour meal that seemed like two minutes.

Food was the heart of our vacation in Italy, while the Italian family, la famiglia, was its soul. That memorable lunch concluded with a soulful moment between Vincenzo and his mother, Pina Savona, as they talked fondly of their products. (Photo-loving Mary captured an exchange)

Vincenzo was learning English to hopefully attract more tourists. Mama wasn’t so sure. Mary and I would like to return and gauge the outcome of that conversation.