Bionaturae Organic Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Bionaturae Organic Extra Virgin Olive Oil is made from a unique blend of traditional Italian olive varieties. This olive oil is true to authentic Italian olive oils, with a complex balance of fruity and mellow flavors and a subtle artichoke bite. It is delicate and suitable for cooking as well as eating raw on salad, vegetables, meat and fish.
The certified organic olives are grown on small family farms in the secluded hills of Tuscany and other select regions of Italy. Our olives are grown at high elevations where the environment is very clean and where the fly that normally attacks olives cannot survive. Some of the farms have trees dating back three hundred years. Other farms are so secluded you can only arrive by foot. At one farm on a clear day, you can see a very small leaning tower of Pisa in the distance.
All of our olives are harvested by hand. The harvesters grasp each branch near the trunk of the tree and then strip it quickly right along to the other end. The olives fall to the ground on the top of large burlap sheets that are laid around the base of the tree. The burlap is then folded so the olives gather in the center and are then transferred to buckets and loaded for transport to the press. Bionaturae olives are harvested before they have ripened fully despite the fact that this is more labor intensive because unripe olives make a superior olive oil. The olives are pressed the very same day.
Bionaturae Organic Extra Virgin Olive Oil is bottled every month. Before bottling, the oil is filtered because we believe the sediment in unfiltered olive oil may become rancid. All oil is bottled in dark green glass to protect it from light. Remember that oil can get heated if stored in a cabinet next to a range or oven and that can cause it to oxidize. It is best to store olive oil in a cool, dark place.
Ingredients: Organic Extra Virgin Olive Oil
bionaturae (bee-oh-na-too-ray) roughly translates to mean "organic nature." For the founders of the company it means this and far more. It means the celebration of Old World tradition, of authentic Italian food and of family.
In 1983, three brothers purchased a farm in a very remote location in Tuscany, committed to a dream of living and working on an organic farm. This farm, named Fattoria Terra Rossa or "Farm of the Red Soil" for its rich and fertile soil, cultivated olives, wheat and fruit.
Today, Italy is one of the world's leading markets for organic foods, but at that time, the demand for organic products was virtually nonexistent. One brother still remembers other farmers calling him "crazy for not spraying since the bugs were going to eat everything up." He recalls that that is exactly what happened for the first few years until they learned about and developed appropriate organic farming methods.
In fact, it was very difficult for the family to sell their raw materials in Italy. The brothers started experimenting in their basement with old family marmalade recipes. They adapted these old recipes with a new idea of using only fruit concentrates for sweetener instead of sugar. They used an antique kettle that they still own and proudly state "will be cherished forever." Their unique talent for developing premier organic fruit products led them to open a processing facility in 1989.
The family found a century old pasta factory located in a very small village in the Chianti wine region where they could make pasta with their organic wheat. Even at this factory, modern Teflon dies (dies are the molds or casts used to create the different pasta shapes) had replaced the traditional bronze dies used in the past. Undeterred, one brother recalls convincing the owner to go into the factory basement and pull out the dusty, old bronze dies originally used when the pasta factory was also the first grain mill in the region to use electricity. Hundreds of pounds of pasta were thrown away while the brothers developed their own special recipe.
Today, bionaturae pasta is made the same way using rare bronze dies and is dried at low temperatures, producing a coarse surface that better absorbs sauce. The brothers also formed a cooperative where organic farms could have their olives pressed to oil.
In 1991, the brothers developed the bionaturae brand and trademark with hopes of marketing a line of premier organic foods in Europe. The company philosophy was to make the most authentic Italian foods by staying true to nature and tradition, transforming raw material with artisanal techniques of an Italian past. This simple way of getting back to the old ways proved to be the best way. The bionaturae logo was hand-sketched by an Italian artist and depicts the sun and beautiful hills of Tuscany where olives and wheat still grow naturally in the sienna red soil and heart-warming sunshine.
Although Italians are still committed to their regional culinary traditions, most of the food available today is produced industrially and sold in large supermarkets. The modern "fast food" world has invaded Italy and has truly endangered the antique culinary traditions of the past. The brothers knew that the traditional way was the most natural way, which was the perfect match for their special organic raw material.
In 1995, the brothers formed a partnership with a U.S.-based import company, run by a husband and wife team. A deep friendship of trust and respect grew between the two families who have worked very hard together to market and develop bionaturae products for the North American market.
As sales grew, so did the need for raw materials. To meet the demand, the brothers sought out small family farms throughout Tuscany, and over the years, this network has become very large. All of these farms are located in very remote and secluded hillside locations, where the environment is very pure. Many of the farms border natural reserves where wild boar roam freely in their natural habitat. The varieties of fruit and olives are heirloom and not modern hybrids, with some olive trees being as old as three hundred years. This incredible supply of raw material is the main reason bionaturae products are so distinctly different.
Today, the processing plant and product line have grown, but not much has changed. The brothers instill an incredible amount of devotion and love into every bionaturae product. This passion has brought many rewards, including the honor of being the top-selling organic pasta in the United States. None of this would have been possible without the loyalty of the consumer and their ability to recognize the difference in our products. Thank you for supporting Italy's culinary artisans and for preserving Old World traditions-organically!