Product review – Seggiano
Seggiano is the name of the small hilltop village on Monte Amiata in southern Tuscany, where Peri Eagleton and David Harrison have farmed organic olives since 1985.
Twenty years ago they started selling their local Olivastra Seggianese extra virgin olive oil and a selection of wonderful artisan foods from small family food producers. Their brand is SEGGIANO, named in honour of the village where the story started.
Their product range is pretty extensive with some very good options from savoury to sweet as well as their original olive oil and seasonal cakes such as panettone.
Pesto, evo and more
They also sell gift boxes, and I was lucky enough to receive one. The box itself is actually pretty smart (I am a sucker for packaging!) in corrugated cardboard with the Seggiano brand imprinted on the top. My box contained a bottle of Extra Virgin Olive Oil of course, plus a jar of pesto, a fig bomb and a small Panforte, the typical Siena cake. The products look smart (again, the packaging etc) and of good quality, but of course the proof is in the tasting!
Having a sister who is an olive oil expert (and recently published a wonderful book, in Italia, Olio available on Amazon), I came to know a thing or two about extra virgin oive oil and how to spot a good quality one. Seggiano is definitely to be considered a proper, good evo, with a strong aroma, intense flavour and very good to use on salads and as a condiment (rather than in cooking). I enjoyed it on bruschetta, too for a little of a carb treat).
Pesto is not something i make often nor I buy because @bmcboy doesnt like it (he hates the strong garlic), but the Seggiano version actually has no garlic or cheese added, which for our purposes, is great. It also contains, unusually, cashew nuts, which make it slighly more indulgent than the regular version with pinenuts only and actually quite light, with a nice crunch to it. I swiftly planned a pasta meal and even he enjoyed the light, summery flavour with our linguine!
The two sweet option are from different regions, and quite different from each other. The fig ‘ball’ is from the South, from Calabria and I am always partial to the region’s fine figs’, especially when in dried form. My family usually receives a hamper from a friend who lives in Calabria every Christmas and we fight over who picks what… so having the Seggiano ahead of our Italian Christmas is a treat. Their version is perhaps more to be enjoyed, as they recommend on the label, with ricotta or aged cheeses; I tend to agree, as they are not over sweet and with powerful hints of caramel and liquorice.
The nuns of a medieval convent near Siena originally invented panforte, a flat sweet cake made from candied citrus fruit peels, rich spices and toasted almonds.
I admit Panforte isn’t something I grew up with, because it is from Tuscany and I did not visit the region until I was in my teens, not sure why. It is a traditional fruit cake, which goes perfectly well with a cup of tea or a coffee.
I very much enjoyed the Seggiano products, and would not hesitate to buy them for an occasion or as a gift for anyone who appreciates Italian delicacies.
Pastabites received the products from Seggiano complimentary for the purpose of a review; opinions are my own