Sunday, December 5, 2010

Olive Oil

One of our last projects for this trip to Italy was restocking our olive oil supply. We found Sardegna too wet for most of the producers to get into the groves to get their olives so we doubled our efforts in Campania. We lucked out when Audrey at the Vesuvian Institute turned us on to a place she'd visited and their wonderful oil. As you can see here they were pressing the oil during our visit and while filling two 5-liter cans for us, also offered us a taste, poured into a fresh bread roll. MMMMM!
The friendly proprietor explained to us that quite a lot of the oil you see in bottles at the supermarket (especially in the USA) can be more than five years old! Unlike wine, olive oil does not improve with age so fresher is better though most of the Campanians think you can go too far -- as with Tuscan oil, often produced from olives not ripe enough by Campanian standards. For many the peppery taste of Tuscan oil is simply a sign of inferior oil from olives harvested too soon. But no matter where in Italy it comes from, we like to buy fresh oil from just-harvested olives, which is difficult to find in the USA unless you visit our friends at GUSTIAMO who import oil from Italy as soon as it's ready. If you've never enjoyed FRESH olive oil, you're in for a treat though you'll never again settle for the insipid stuff (at least for using raw) available at most places in the USA.
(FTC Disclaimer: The nice folks at Gustiamo give us nothing for the plug. We simply like them and their products)

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