All Articles
All Articles

Le Marche


Le Marche

A delicious day in the life and land of Nudo's collaborative community

by Josh Rubin
on 24 November 2011

Since we covered Nudo's "adopt-an-olive-tree" program a few years back, we've been repeatedly impressed by their commitment to bridging the gap between consumers and their food. With a global community of adoptive tree "parents" as well as a localized community of collaborative growers, the Nudo family goes far beyond their fields and presses. It's a close community as well, with owners traveling to visit their trees and help with the harvest. The farm-to-table connection results in an olive oil that bears the innovative personality of those involved. On a recent visit to Le Marche as the brand's guest, we met the trees, farmers, and olive millers who define Nudo Italia.


Beginning our day of immersion we left Casal Dei Fichi—our residence for the visit—early for the olive groves. Driving through Le Marche, it's easy to become hypnotized by the textures of the trees and vines that decorate the landscape like massive bolts of corduroy. We arrived at Rosalio, the Nudo groves, where we picked and raked olives from the branches, which were collected and gathered on nets that ran down the hillside. When asked whether olives could be eaten straight from the tree, Nudo's founder Jason Gibb explained that fresh olives are extremely bitter and even peppery (I tried one anyway. He was right.). He then told a story about a tree that grew by a cove, its olives falling into the sea. Washed in the seawater over time, the olives were found and enjoyed by a passerby—the reported discovery of brining. Gibb's story fits with the Rosalio vibe, which is itself a kind of Italian fairy tale.


Leaving the groves by mid-morning, we arrived at the Corradini olive press to make lemon olive oil. Our freshly harvested olives were separated from their twigs and leaves, washed and sent into a basin where three granite wheels pulverized the fruit. Lemons were tossed whole into the mash, which let off a citrus scent of the infusion at work. After an extended cold mixing and going through a series of centrifugal presses, the oil was finally extracted and bottled, ready to be consumed after sitting for a month. This modern pressing process minimizes the olive paste's exposure to air ensuring optimal freshness and the brightest possible flavor.


Gibb explained that the press charges by weight, so many farmers harvest later in the year when the olives are lighter, having begun to desiccate on the tree. He also notes that older growers prefer the traditional nylon press, which is more of an open-air process that results in an oil that goes rancid more quickly. Tasting oils produced in both the new and old ways I found the difference to be remarkable—olives pressed in the traditional manner had a much more basic, even blurry flavor. Nudo harvests their olives when they are just becoming ripe, paying a higher price to produce a better product.


Lunch came courtesy of Nudo collaborator Paolo Beretta and his wife Paola. The two run an "agriturismo" in Cossignano called Fiorano, where they grow olives for oil and grapes for wine production. Beretta worked most of his career as a dentist—a detail that's evident in his impeccably maintained groves, vines and wine production facilities. Paola prepared our lunch alongside her mother, who were the keepers of a transcendental stuffed olive recipe that they were kind enough to share with us (see below).

nudo-italia-marche-24.jpg nudo-italia-marche-23.jpg

Their "Olive Ascolane" was a delightful appetizer alongside the Fiorano wine. The olives were stuffed, then battered and fried in a mix of the family's extra virgin olive oil and sunflower oil. The fleshy "tenera ascolana" olives are favored in this rustic dish, which is named for the town of Ascoli Piceno. The piping hot morsels were filled with mortadella and parmesan cheese, as well as minced turkey, beef, and pork.


Our route to dinner in the charming village of Loro Piceno was met with a pleasant interruption at Peppe Cotto, the local butcher. The unrestrained character of Piceno serenaded us with a pigskin trumpet—which complimented his bowtie, also made of pigskin—as he served up vino cotto, or cooked wine, with a wheel of sausage on the rim of the glass.


Before leaving, he found time to give a live performance of a composition that was written on a sheet of dried skin. His fat sculptures were truly mesmerizing, decorating the display case with familiar characters and animals. Of all his eccentric performances, it was the puppet show enacted with the carcass of a chicken that left us reeling on the way out the door.


Visiting this community made the experience of tasting Nudo's product even more special. As a region with a blossoming agriturismo business, it's a definite destination to add to any foodie's vacation wish list. In the mean time, to get a taste for yourself, check out Paola's mother's recipe for "Olive Ascolane" after the jump.

Photography by Josh Rubin and Masiar Pasquali

The CH25 is a showcase of creators and innovators from a broad range of disciplines who are currently working to drive the world forward.

Sarah Kunst

The entrepreneur single-handedly changing the landscape for women in tech

Read More
People who live on a planet that is half women but can never seem to find any when they need one, I have solved your problem

Kegan Schouwenburg

Revolutionizing orthotics through 3D-printed insoles

Read More
What orthotics do is they effectively change the geometry of what your alignment is like

Marcus Weller

Using technology to turn motorcycle helmet design on its head

Read More
I was taken aback both by the number of people that doubted it, and by the equally large number of people that got behind it

Vanessa Newman

Redesigning pregnancy for the post-gender generation with Butchbaby & Co.

Read More
I want my customers to feel comfortable and unchanged, in that becoming pregnant didn't take away from or compromise their identity

Eelke Plasmeijer

The locally driven restaurant that’s upending Balinese food culture

Read More
We really try to keep things simple and let the produce do the talking

Corinne Joachim Sanon

The chocolatier bringing social change to Haiti and bean-to-bar chocolate to the world

Read More
Seeing the poverty surrounding me and the lack of jobs and opportunity bothered me

Leopoldine Huyghues Despointes

The young filmmaker and non-profit founder who just wants people to follow their dreams

Read More
I feel confident and ready to accomplish so much more, the movement is on

LaToya Ruby Frazier

Documenting the slow, troubling change in Braddock, Pennsylvania

Read More
I am not a journalist, I am a conceptual documentary artist using my visual expression for building narratives that are unseen and unheard

Dan Barasch + James Ramsey

A quest to make the future brighter—underground

Read More
We both share a passion for groundbreaking technology and a shared love of New York

Jonathan Sparks

Reinventing electronic music by inventing multi-disciplinary instruments

Read More
Recorded music is becoming so cheap, so the value of music is now in live performance

Sabine Seymour

A future where smart clothes are as ubiquitous as zippers

Read More
In the future you will not buy a piece of 'functional' clothing without SoftSpot

Lulu Mickelson

A civic leader bringing change to NYC through design

Read More
Human-centered design is one of the many tools that we can use to better engage the public

Matt Kenyon

Fusing art and technology to disrupt concepts of corporate America

Read More
I want the work to live in the world and circulate, so it can generate more dialogue

Meredith Perry

How searching the Internet helped a 22-year-old invent wireless electricity

Read More
It’s not about where the information is, it’s about how you use the tools

George Arriola and Monohm

An heirloom electronic for the post-smartphone era

Read More
We agonized during the design process as all hyper-obsessed craftspeople should

Douglas Riboud + Justin Guilbert

How a mission to create great coconut water led to a whole new way of doing business

Read More
We’ve made a conscious decision to be as transparent and honest as we can, and let people decide for themselves

Kathleen Supové

The NYC performance artist who’s radically reinventing the piano recital

Read More
I like pieces that are virtuosic, that show off the piano and what it can do, and are awe-inspiring

Joshua Harker

Pushing the boundaries of sculpture with intricate 3D printing

Read More
My intent was to explore and depict the architecture of the imagination, to interpret and share forms evident in the mind’s eye

Alex Kalman

The tiny museum in Manhattan that’s redefining museums

Read More
The mission is to put this small simple and powerful tool into the hands of as many people as possible

Cynthia Breazeal

How an emotional, empathetic robot named Jibo stands to revolutionize communication

Read More
The thing that's so provocative about social robots is that it's fundamentally a community technology

Tal Danino

The bioengineer who’s programming DNA to fight cancer

Read More
[Manipulating genes] is very new, people are just learning how to program these organisms

Roxie Darling

From un-shampoo to transgender identity, the NYC colorist boldly defining the next chapter of hair

Read More
Hair color is as much a science as it is a craft

Tarren Wolfe

The next-generation appliance making kitchens greener—literally

Read More
Our goal is to provide food for everyone in the world, and the best place to start is in our very own community

Melissa Kushner

Addressing the needs of orphans and vulnerable children in Malawi through microenterprise

Read More
Poverty is complicated, there is an increasing temptation and pressure in the development space to oversimplify things

Pauline van Dongen

The Dutch designer blazing the wearable technology path

Read More
I’m fascinated by concepts of change, movement, energy and perception; since they are closely related to the way we experience the world
Loading More...