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Gifts for the Gourmand

Jill Newman

The French purveyor of gourmet specialties from Provence, O&CO, has created a myriad of tempting gift packages for the epicurean. Employing ancient recipes and techniques, O&CO cultivates offerings such as its 12-year-old Traditional Balsamic Vinegar ($112 for 3.4 ounces), a recipe that requires aging in barrels similar to fine wines that was initiated by the family of Acetaia Malpighi back in 1850. Its sweet and sour taste with woody and fruity notes and a syrupy consistency enhances the flavors of pasta, meat, fruit (especially strawberries), Parmesan cheese, and ice cream. Among its other holiday offerings is a Trio of Balsamic ($92) that provides a taste of three distinct flavors: Premium Balsamic Vinegar of Modena that is refined in several wooden casks until it reaches its peak sweet-and-sour balance and syrupy texture; White Balsamic with Oregano offering a light, crisp flavor; and the sweet Fig Balsamic. Specialty olive oils from the Puglia and Umbria regions of Italy also employ ancient traditions where fresh fruits and herbs are pressed right along with the olives. A gift package of four olive oil varieties (basil, lemon, chili and mandarin) is $72. (877.828.6620, www.oliviersandco.com)

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