A Conversation with Frankies
From their New York kitchens, Frankies tells us more about one of our favorite pantry staples: their Extra Virgin Olive Oil.
terrain: Can you tell us a bit about the minds behind this tasty olive oil?
Frankies: Frank Falcinelli & Frank Castronovo opened their first restaurant together in 2004 in Carroll Gardens, Brooklyn: Frankies Spuntino (an Italian word for "snack"). They starting pouring a similar olive oil when the restaurant first opened - a quality oil, but they were looking for something unique. That coupled with the fact that they were pouring so much of it created the perfect conditions for the Franks to start importing their own olive oil, and they wanted something very special.
They went to Sicily to meet with their friend Tommaso whose family has been producing olive oil for centuries. With Tommaso's help, the Franks created an oil that cannot be duplicated. The first Frankies Spuntino regulars started asking if they could buy the oil and that’s when they knew it was time to bottle it up for the neighbors.
terrain: What’s special about the Nocellara del Belice olives you all use from Sicily?
Frankies: Tommaso's families trees are between 300 and 400 years old and grow in the Protected Denomination of Origin (DOP) certified valley of Nocellara del Belice in Trapani, Sicily. Tommaso's is consistently rated in the top five DOPs in all of Italy. Each tree is hand-pruned and each olive is hand-picked. The warm Sicilian sun, the rich volcanic soil and the steady saline breeze from the Mediterranean combine to make this olive oil ripe, bright, and fruity, with imitable grassy and peppery flavors.
terrain: Your olive oil can be used in so many delicious ways. Do you all have a favorite way to enjoy it?
Frankies: We use it in absolutely everything, but you don't need much more than some good bread to enjoy it. Try it as a base for salad dressing, a flavorful coating to roast vegetables or top crostini. A perfectly simple and delicious plate of pasta consists of nothing more than al dente pasta, red pepper flakes, grated Pecorino Romano or Parmigiano Reggiano cheese and a healthy splash of Frankies Extra Virgin Olive Oil.
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