Friday, January 25, 2008

olive oil



                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 Have you ever had an olive oil you could enjoy sipping from a glass?  

I wondered that question for the past year.  I heard a program on the radio, featuring a fella speaking of such a thing.  He said you are not using high quality olive oil if you wouldn't want to sip it from a wine glass.  Knowing I may never be complete because I likely will not achieve this, I proceed.

The parent company of the coffee project I am with is a specialty food dealer.  They import and distribute pasta, meat, sauces, olive oils and cheeses that we would have to sell some stuff to afford.  I get a free hunk here and there, and we enjoy them thoroughly.  I would say instead, we relish them.  We enjoy the cheese (I)they compare to drinking Folgers in the specialty coffee world.  

That said, I tasted some olive oil off a spoon that was complex and intoxicatingly decadent.  Big words, I know...   Truly, it tasted like I had taken a bite of lip balm, but that's beside the point.  This stuff was unfiltered and hand pressed.  As you can see in the photo, the oil thickens at the bottom.  

The process of creating olive oil is not that different from the process of blending coffee or wine at origin.  The goods with coffee are sometimes single origin and even single varietal lots.  You want control over what you are tasting from the start.  Some green coffees that come from large mills are blended from different farms with different growing conditions.  You get a homogenized product.  That's not necessarily bad, it's just okay, and you know what you're getting, and it's easy to substitute areas with others if something goes wrong.  The same thing holds true of olive oil.  

Check your bottle, and you will likely see olives from three or four different countries.    Like standard orange juice from grocery store, we are tasting, well, orange juice.  Now tasting the place it comes from is where the excitement of coffee comes in, and in this case olive oil.  
This particular stuff I am talking about comes from one place in one country.  (It might be two places in one country to achieve the flavor profile, I can't remember)  The process of cold pressing, extra virgin etc.,  I don't know enough to even speak of.  

All this to say, buy a few different olive oils if you are interested in trying something interesting.  Or check the bottles at the grocery store and see where the olives come from and how that might be related to the price tag.  Or, you can just forget the whole deal and eat some lip balm; same difference...

3 comments:

AJsTigerLily08 said...

so i've considered drinking my olive oil before (b/c i love it SO much)... but now im going all out pretty much b/c you said i can. thanks for providing that big push i really needed! :O) haha

grk said...

Make it count, sister!

Percussivity said...

Olive oil eh? Well I like pesto... and I suppose I enjoy giving bread a little dip in some extra virgin with a sprinkle of fresh parmesan... but I've never considered it as a shot beverage.

What do you chase it with? It seems like it would want to be washed down with something.