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The Serious Eats team selected some of their favorite Gustiamo goods—so you can have a delicious, Italian-inspired holiday season.  

Pistachio Spread: Since first getting our hands on a jar of this pistachio spread, we haven't stopped talking about it. Made from Sicilian pistachios, olive oil, sugar, and sea salt, it's sweet, slightly salty, incredibly creamy, and just flat-out delicious. While it's not cheap, this is one of those specialty products that are actually worth the price tag, and it makes a great gift. Spread it on bread, drizzle it over ice cream, or just eat it by the spoonful straight from the jar.

Colatura: If you want to give the gift of umami, you owe it to your intended recipient to check out this aged Italian fish sauce. Hailing from the town of Cetara on the Amalfi Coast, colatura is made by aging anchovies and sea salt in chestnut barrels for roughly three years, producing a rich, deeply savory fish sauce that can be used as a flavor enhancer for meats, fish, or vegetables. Or, try it as the star of the show in spaghetti con la colatura.

San Marzano Tomatoes: Most of the "San Marzano" tomatoes you see in the supermarket are only so in name—they are the San Marzano variety but not actually grown around San Marzano, Italy, which makes all the difference. These here are the real deal, so sweet and ripe it's like they went straight off the vine into your mouth. If you've been unable to understand what all the fuss is about with San Marzanos, this can will clear it up for you.

Gemelli Faella: If you cook and eat a lot of pasta at home, then you should treat yourself (or a loved one) to some high quality dried pasta this holiday season. Faella, a producer from the famed Campanian noodle capital of Gragnano, makes some of the best dried pasta around. All of their noodles are extruded through bronze dies and dried slowly at low temperatures, which translates to pasta with great flavor, a coarse exterior texture that makes for a better sauce-holding surface, and extra-starchy pasta water (key for making great sauces). Gemelli (“twins”) are a favorite shape of Senior Culinary Editor Sasha Marx, who loves their great chew, which pairs perfectly with tomato sauces, pestos, and the like.

Borlotti Beans: At first glance, the mottled brown skin of borlotti beans signals that they're nothing more than cranberry beans with a fancy Italian name. That's not entirely inaccurate—borlotti beans are cranberry beans, but they're one very special variety of them. Like so many other ingredients, dried beans span a range of quality levels and degrees of freshness, and these borlotti beans are a prime example of what a great bean can be. Cook them up, and you'll discover plump and buttery beans with a lightly sweet, earthy flavor that's well worth the premium.

Tomato Concentrate: Tomato paste turned up to 11. That’s the easiest way to describe this “concentrate” from Pianogrillo. While similar in appearance, estratto, or “astruttu” in dialect, is exponentially more intensely flavored than the regular “double-concentrated” tomato paste used in vodka sauce. It’s made with ripe tomatoes that are lightly cooked and milled into a purée that is then lightly seasoned with salt, extra-virgin olive oil, and bay leaves. The tomato purée is spread out on wooden boards, and sun-dried over the course of several days until almost all of the water has evaporated and the mixture has reduced to a thick, brick-red paste. This process concentrates glutamate levels to produce a deeply savory product with a hint of sweetness. Once you have a jar, you’ll find yourself using estratto at every possible opportunity. It’s a key ingredient in Sicilian pasta c’anciuova e muddica atturrata, and it’s fantastic as a luxury substitute for tomato paste in sauces and braises, or even just spread on a piece of crusty bread as a snack.

Pianogrillo Olive Oil: Along with their estratto, Pianogrillo also makes exceptional olive oil. It’s remarkably well-balanced—smooth and rich up front, with a peppery finish on the back of the throat. Use it as a finishing oil for bruschette, salads, grilled meats and vegetables, soups, pastas, and pizzas, or as the star ingredient in a very special olive oil cake.


This gift box comes from Gustiamo, an independent Bronx based importer that sources some of the most authentic and real food from Italy. Our mission is to improve the quality of Italian food in the United States, while supporting artisanal grastronomic traditions and connecting good farmers + food makers in Italy with eaters and home cooks across the US.