It’s not very often that I review products on Grocery Gal, but I was recently introduced to a product I fell in love with – organic Balsamic Vinegar of Modena and organic Olio Nuovo, or “new” olive oil, by Park Ridge based Villa Gabriella. Many years ago, I was in Italy for the Italian Grand Prix, with grandiose plans to also make it to Modena to visit the Ferrari museum as well as enjoy copious amounts of true Balsamic Vinegar of Modena. Unfortunately, time fell short and I never made it to the lovely town. Not until I tried Villa Gabriella’s Balsamic Vinegar of Modena, did I realize what a mistake I made.

Grocery Gal Villa Gabriella Gift Set Mother's DayWhen the package arrived, the first thing I thought was what a great hostess, housewarming or foodie gift this would make. Oh, yeah, and a gift for myself, too! I was so excited to see everything beautifully packaged, including bonus recipes and story behind Villa Gabriella and their products. I realized I wasn’t alone in thinking what a great gift this was when I saw they has a special sale for Mother’s Day on their website (hint: place your order now and thank me later).

Villa Gabriella Gift Set balsamic vinegar olio nuevoWe’ve all tried balsamic vinegar before, and it’s great. However, have you ever tried true Balsamic Vinegar of Modena? I thought I had when the price of a bottle started going into double digits, but really, I hadn’t. Villa Gabriella’s balsamic is like liquid heaven. Its made with organic Lambrusco and Trebbiano Italian grapes and only natural sulphites; perfect for me and my focus to eat as natural as possible. It’s not as thick nor as sweet as a balsamic glaze, but almost as thick. A little goes a long way, and you definitely want to use right before serving.

I was surprised how their Olio Nuovo, new olive oil, was lighter in both taste and color than other extra virgin olive oils I’ve tried. Upon further reading I found that these olives were from a 2013 harvest, which could explain the extremely fresh flavor and lighter colors. It’s perfect to be dipped in warm, fresh bread with maybe a little fresh pepper added.

I combined their products with a minced shallot and some Austrian Lustenauer Rheintaler Bauernsenf (I’d be a millionaire if I could import this stuff) for a delicious vinaigrette. How good was it? Well, my family ate all the salad before I even had a chance to take a photo!

Villa Gabriella Gift Set balsamic vinegar olio nuevo recipeWhen I have foods as deluxe as Villa Gabriella’s in my kitchen, I sometimes stress out about finding something worthy enough to cook. Villa Gabriella must’ve sensed my fear, because their gift set comes with beautiful recipe cards to inspire cooks at all levels. Spaghetti Alle Vongole (Spaghetti with Clam Sauce) is an easy to make meal with their clear, simple instructions. Side dishes such as Cipolle al Aceto Balsamico (Onions in Balsamic Vinegar) and desserts like Mandarini al Aceto Balsamico (Clementines with Balsamic Vinegar and Pepper) are perfect options for my restricted AIP diet.

Villa Gabriella also offers organic red wines that currently aren’t for sale on their website yet. I can’t wait to try those, or even better yet, for them to have a storefront that I could stop by in Park Ridge. For now, you’ll have to enjoy their products through the web, and it’s absolutely worth it. Shipping prices are extremely reasonable, too. So reasonable, that I’m placing an order for my stepmom right now…!

Villa Gabriella. 847-232-2828