Fresh vegetables, minutely trimmed, cooked, and put in extra virgin oil are called “sott’olio” in Italian. They form a real specialty in Italian preserved products. They need to be made by hand in a laborious, fiddle-y process that can leave one wondering as to how and why they are done. If you have ever tried to trim artichokes, you know what I mean. COLAVITA, a very large Italian food product company makes a specialty of processing vegetables to make “sott’olio” products in their original, small plant at Sant’Elia in Pianisi in Italy’s Molise region, just south of the Abruzzo. Entirely hand crafted, both the form and look of these small artichoke hearts, will make your mouth water. They have terrific intense artichoke flavor that comes from the selection of raw material, careful cooking, and then preservation in really good oil
Colavita Artichoke Hearts in extra virgin oil are a wonderful example that high quality, artisanal products can also be made by a very large company. There are different artichoke hearts on the market. When you taste these their flavor astounds with its preciseness. Their texture is silky. The oil is excellent, lending an added depth of flavor through its own flavor. This is a product which really is another of those “I bet you can’t eat just one” things that quickly has you reaching for more. They should be eaten by themselves because they are so good.