In the southeast of Sicily lies the Monti Iblei region. It's the same part of the country where Modica lies, the city that's home to the amazing old chocolatier, Bonajuto. It's also an important area for olive groves. One olive in particular—Tonda Iblea—is a protected fruit, growing only in this small area of Sicily. It's the only olive used to make this olive oil.
Each region of Italy has a particular style of olive oil. In the north, Ligurian oils are sweet and soft, famous for pairing well with basil in pesto or with fish. In the center of Italy, Tuscan oils are big, bold, grassy and bitter. And down south, in Puglia, they are peppery. Sicily is a different island, though, with famously complex cuisine, and its oils are similarly nuanced.
Tondo is a perfect example of how baroque Sicilian oils can be. It starts off soft and sweet, then big fruity notes take hold and finally the clouds part to open up a slight bitterness in the finish. Atop pasta or vegetables or even steak, it is unparalleled. It doesn't dominate foods. It coaxes their flavors out in a nearly sensual way.
The most recent harvest from fall 2015 has a bright aroma that reminds me of freshly cut grass, lemon, and chives. The flavor is delicate, buttery—you could dip lobster in it. It has notes of spinach and lettuce. The finish is smooth with only a whisper of pepper.