“Our farm was born out of a promise made to my father-in-law, that of not losing sight of his family’s roots, which involved identifying with olive plantations and the traditions of Sicily. It is now five years since my family and I moved from Milan to the Gulf of Castellammare with the aim of promoting the products of this wonderful land through the recipes of our grandmothers. This is how Mattia Ciato, at the helm of the Tenuta La Nocellara family business in Roccamena (PA), describes the origins of the company, which traditionally produces organic olive oil, which is now complemented by processed vegetables and lemons.
“Today, our catalogue includes traditional processed products such as pesto made with sardines and fennel, the typical caponata, dehydrated tomatoes, but also sweet and sour onions.”
“The extra virgin olive oil production has grown with the addition of new land. Combining this ingredient with our sun-dried tomatoes and roasted almonds has resulted in a pesto called Strica e Mancia,” added Mattia.
“It is available in 330g format and is distributed in niche shops and high-end delicatessens. It is an ideal product for a bruschetta-aperitif or, by adding fresh basil to a pasta dish.”
“Even if we make fresh processed products, we want to do it according to seasonality. The taste of a tomato dried in the July sun, or of aubergines harvested in the summer has no comparison with that of a vegetable grown in a greenhouse. It is our mission to produce high quality products. Recently, we have also developed a line of traditional liqueurs and purchased a lemon grove with plants of the Femminello di Siracusa variety. This is a citrus fruit from which we obtain a limoncello that we have named Trappetello, after the town where we grow our crops. We have also created an amaro (herbal bitter liqueur), called Carrubella, which is a citrusy product, with a woody and sweet aftertaste of carob,” explained Mattia Ciato.
“The production of Carrubella starts in August, when the carob pods are harvested. We roast the pods into small pieces and boil them, adding sugar until a syrup is obtained. Through this infusion process, the locust beans release their typical sweet flavor. This essence is then mixed with a mix of herbs. I wanted to add a touch of the Lombardy Alps, so we added gentian, rhubarb and another dash of Sicily, with the bitter orange. It is available in 0.50 cl bottles.”
“Thanks to an exceptional partner, we are very active in the Swiss market. Sweden, Germany, Belgium and France also speak Sicilian and, recently, we had the opportunity to land in New York with the Caponata di melanzane and the Strica e Mancia. The decision to be present only in delicatessens and high-end retailers, staying out of the large-scale distribution, has allowed us to grow in a premium segment. During the height of the pandemic, we strengthened our presence on social media. We found that the end customer identifies with our stories and therefore supports our cause. That’s why, on the web, even a small business can compete with large corporations”.
“Sicily is a region that energizes us. We have new recipes and new products ready to be tested and launched on the market in 2022. Obviously, in order to accomplish all this, we have extraordinary partners and also farmers who support us with their raw materials, when ours are scarce. Our short supply chain encompasses the quality that our brand is establishing,” concluded Mattia Ciato.
For more information:
Tenuta La Nocellara
90040 Roccamena (PA) – Italy
Cell.: (+39) 348 2996288