Niasca Portofino: pesto, evo and fine soft drinks from Liguria with love

Portofino is a lovely town located in the Liguria region and it is mostly famous because of its fancy flair. In evidence of that I can say, with some hint of shame, that I saw Silvio Berlusconi' son, PierSilvio (very creative name right?!) jogging along the streets in tight white sportswear once so...
Every summer million of tourists fill up with colors and sounds (I love tourists) this tiny city to relax onto their huge boats or just grab a focaccia with pesto at the local bakery or, why not, explore the nearby bay areas.

Check out these lovely pictures made by my fellow Instagrammer Victoria aka @freelemons

Portofino stands proud between the mountain and the sea and it gets benefits from both world when it comes to food: fresh fish from one hand and oil, basil, nuts and agrumes from the other.
However, as it happens in the gastronomy business, the food production got a little bit lost in the process because the soil is tiny, small producers did not have enough to sustain a business of their own and the hospitality industry was far more profitable. The many farmers of the Portofino area tough soon took matters into their own hands and decided to join in Niasca Portofino: a cooperative of hard working locals who thrive to maintain their hometown's products alive and whose main goal is to let the world know about Ligurian most genuine tastes.
Andrea and Simona are the heart and soul of this company: they were the ones who had the idea of combining forces and asking people to give them their lemons, olives and such so that they could create a magnificient product that could sell. I personally live for people like this and I think that Italy needs more of this entrepreneurial spirit.

Now for the fun part: let's review their products!

They use all that the region has to offer so they have a wide variety of products...My favorite are the soft drinks: Limonata, Mandarinata, Festivo and Pomodoro.

Pomodoro is a super basic tomato juice and the ingredient list is quite short. Needless to say(or not?), this drinks is meant to be mixed with alcohol and it is ideal for making the 'ever green' Bloody Mary. I think it may be the only cocktail I cannot wrap my head around..My taste spots are just indifferent to it. Sorry!

From my least favorite to what has been my best friend during these heated summer days spent in sunny (boiling hot) Rome: the Mandarinata, Tangerine juice. It is not completely fair to call it a juice because it is definitely a sparkling drink but it totally feels like a freshly-squeezed fruit nectar. They are sweetened with cane sugar and infused with flower scents; the tangerine is paired up with irises! A match made in heaven. The excitement does not end here (I have a lot of it...for a lot of food...fiy). There is nothing better than using these soft drinks as an ingredient of boozy cocktail; stay tuned to see what 'recipe' I came up with in my first Vanilla on the rocks post ;)

Lemonade everyone!!!Come closer. THE most refreshing drink in the history of mankind. It doesn't matter from which country you are reading this, you probably love a good lemonade (USA, thanks for the Pink Lemonade...my inner basic bitch thanks you). This gem is flavored with elderflowers. The overall taste is definitely sweet but it still retains that tangy lemony flavour to it.

Festivo as the cutest packaging (which was cured by a local architect for all the line of products btw....fancyyyy). This specific label was made during the Valentines period but it stuck with people because it was so cute so they decide to keep it all year long. If you look closely, all of their labels are different one from the other, well thought out and very Italian-looking if I may say. They are supposed to resemble a postcard from Italy..Do you guys still send those out?

I buy these on a regular basis and that is because I got to know them when I was working in retail and I know that they are good quality. I think that you should always go for the most 'local' choice and by that I mean that: if I feel like having some pesto I should go for a company who is from Liguria, the region that recipe is originally from, if I fancy orange juice I am going to go for a Sicilian brand and so on. I understand that it is not always possible but in Italy is very common to have this sort of behavior: we have a million different regions and recipes so it is easy to find local companies.

Here is their salty products!!All characteristic of Liguria of course and made out of local ingredients.
Tomato sauce, Pesto (garlic and no garlic version), Taggiasca olives (the same kind of olive they use to make their extra virgin olive oil) and...you guessed it extra virgin olive oil (Splendido and Nazionale). The oil is very light and has a distinctive flavor to it...I would use it either for cooking or to finish up some legumes/fish/vegetable dish!

I am gonna end this review with a sweet bang, showing you three of their jams laying peacefully on my backyard's grass ;) Just take it all in and enjoy.

Oh..You can buy these on internet too!I didn't just tease you for nothing.

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