Monday, August 6, 2007

Olive Oil Afterthought

An anonymous poster on this blog left a comment that jarred my memory a bit. In reference to an earlier post on the ubiquity of fake extra-virgin olive oil coming out of Italy Anon wrote

I found it amazing that commentors, in the article, didn't even consider California olive oil as a substitute. The quality and price are getting hard to beat.
I'm sure there is real wisdom in this comment. There are great olive oils coming out of California although my experience with them suggests that they tend to be pricier and so more suited to featured positions in a dish than for general cooking purposes. I've also had great olive oil from France (James Plaginol was good stuff!), Greece and, more recently, a sublime Australian oil at an otherwise undistinguished restaurant in the terrific town of Roanoke, Virginia. I have no idea what the Australian oil cost, but based on its amazing bouquet and low throat burn factor it was not cheap.

Natural selection in the Mediterranean may have given us the olive, but it was a god who first chose to press it into oil.

Some Australian Olive Oil Links

The Australian Olive Association


Junky POS said...

What about Spanish Olive Oil? For some reason I was thinking they made some of the best also.


Don Luis said...

I grew up with Italian olive oil (also 100% second generation Italian-American, also eaten Italian olive oil nearly every day for 50 years), but living in Puerto Rico, Spanish and Portuguese oils offer better and more varied choices. I also traded my prosecco for cava.

Bob del Grosso said...

Sorry JunkyPos and Don Luis.

I should have mentioned Spanish olive oil too. I used to buy 3 litre cans of really good Spanish olive oil back in the '80's at a very fair price but for unexplored reasons perceived that it did not come into the market here much at all any longer. I have no reason to doubt that it is still being produced and would use it in a heart beat if I was able to get it again.
I seem to recall that "Goya" was an importer that brought in good and affordable olive oil. But haven't looked to them for a long time. I suppose that I should look again!

Scott said...

My favorites these days are Lachaal from Tunisia. OK, it's imported by a local company, but they're darn good.

There is an interesting discussion to be had as to when Olive Oil ceases to be a cooking medium and becomes a condiment.