Gaetano Gargano is in the process of reviving his family’s ancient estate “Il Censo” in the south central part of Sicily in the lofty hills outside the hamlet of Bivona near Palazzo Adriano (the site of the film “Cinema Paradiso”). As part of reconstruction of the land around Il Censo, the Gargano family has begun harvesting olives from an ancient grove adjacent to the property, in a site called Chirullo.
In Chirullo, beside the vineyards bearing the Cataratto, Nero d’Avola and Perricone grapes, and along the hills planted to the ancient Tumminia grain (a type of durum wheat), Gaetano cultivates organically several varieties of olives: Biancolilla, Ceresuola, Murtiddara. The estate, isolated in the high altitude, rolling hills of the hamlet of Bivona in southwestern Sicily, produces a miniscule amount of exquisite olive oil from a grove of 100 organically farmed trees.
The Il Censo olive oil is bottled raw and unfiltered and offers a choice balance when compared to our other olive oils; not as dramatic and masculine as the Bea nor as delicate and suave as the Armato. The “BI-CE-MU” from Il Censo is a revelation, a one-of-a-kind olive oil that will surprise and delight you. The production is very limited. The Il Censo estate also works with a local pasta producer in Sicily to produce ancient grain pastas from wheat grown on the estate. The pastas (fusilloni, paccheri and spaghettoni) boast a gluten composition of less than 20%, while conventional pastas typically hover at around 80-90%. The fusilloni and paccheri are excellent choices when paired with bolognese, a rich pesto, or fresh vegetables with tomato arrabiata, while the spaghettoni is as versatile as it is delicious.