My French Canadian grandparents left Canada and settled in Italy in 1960. The family grew up just north of Rome, and my mother was the only one of 5 children to return to Canada. As kids, we used to visit almost every summer, and I remember the dramatic difference between life in Italy and life in Canada. It’s a more rustic, authentic style of living in Italy. The freshness of the foods my grandmother used in cooking always stuck with me. The Italians value natural, whole, real foods. I sometimes wish we had more of those values back home. Suffice to say, my uncle fell in love and married his childhood sweetheart from the neighbouring community, Sacrofano. He inherited her family’s 70 year old olive tree orchard, and has been perfecting his craft ever since. With each small batch, he keeps the tradition of authentic, sustainable olive oil production alive and makes something that he can be proud of. Family productions do not cut and mix in order to have the same taste year in and year out; instead, each harvest brings new olives and a new flavour. The olives respond to their environment, and in the end, it’s Mother Nature who decides how the oil will taste.