Made in Italy? Great! But what about Created in Sicily for your Christmas shopping

This year, choosing presents for my friends turned out to be really easy and the best part of it is that they are all created in Sicily.
From colourful Caleca dish sets to Castello pullovers and shirts, from the modern version of Sicilian coppolas (the traditional hat) to salt corals from Marsala, there is really plenty to choose from.

But my two top present ideas for Christmas 2010 are food related gadgets.

One is the elegant <a href=" oil taster</a> produced by Alessi and designed by Lorenzo Piccione, Sicilian extra virgin olive oil producer. Inspired by his experience in his Pianogrillo estate, along with Köbi Wiesendanger, Piccione decided to create a tool to allow people to properly taste extra virgin olive oil.

The result is a small steel olive, inspired by the typical tasting glasses that are used by professional oil panels and by the beautiful Saracen olive trees under which they were sitting while imagining the possible final design.
The Olive Oil Taster is a personal object for each diner, it is not an oil cruet but a tool to allow the full aromatic range of extra virgin olive oil to be tasted or to be used as a small dispenser for direct use.

For tastings, the designers recommend to fill the taster with a small amount of oil, about half a demitasse full. Close the cover and hold the taster in your hand for about a minute to warm its contents. Then open the cover and breathe in the smells of the oil, trying to pick out its features. Finally, taste the oil, letting it wash around your mouth for a moment and inhaling so that it comes in direct contact with your taste buds.

I was also struck by the beauty of the little plate shaped as an olive tree leaf. It seems they really thought about all the details!
I know for a fact that I will not be the only one choosing the olive oil taster as Christmas present, as some of the people in my fall holiday cookery tours that visited Pianogrillo estate were equally struck by the quality of the oil and the olive oil taster and decided to get both as presents to their friends in the US.

The second gift idea is fully Modicana. It is a wonderful <a href="<">chocolate chopping board</a> produced by Bonajuto. I immediately fell in love with it as soon as Pierpaolo send me the picture. It is both nice and useful for chopping Modica's traditional chocolate, but also for cutting and serving the various Christmas torroni (nougat), croccante di mandorle, cubaita, aranciata or cedrata. Of course, the plan is to get both the board and a selection of appropriate chocolate for each friend. I like to think that some friends are more the chilly chocolate type, while others are more vanilla or nutmeg types. And as you can expect, if you have been following the blog for a while, I will keep Salinae (modica chocolate with Mozia salt) all to myself ;)!

Written on
December 8, 2009
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