December 8, 2003 | Ask Gael
I Need Gifts For All My Obsessed Foodie Pals.

        As soon as my new friend, the olive-oil king of Palermo, showed me these squat little ceramic carafes pretending to be black and green olives—midway between kitsch and classic—I had to have one. Better yet, two. But Manfredi Barbera, a fifth-generation olive squeezer, has only just dispatched the first batch to the U.S. Inside the roly-poly green fruit is a half-liter of unfiltered jade-green oil from hand-harvested ogliarola olives milled, Barbera boasts, within twelve hours of picking. It’s fruity and spicy, ideal for bruschetta, bean soups, and rustic Sicilian-style dishes. In the black carafe is oil from the same olive, picked later, ripe and wrinkled. It presses golden and lighter—ideal for seafood.

At Todaro Bros (212 532 0633), DiPalo Fine Foods (212 226 1033), and Fairway, where it sells for $16.99 (212 595 1888 or 212 234 3883).
Cafe Fiorello