Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Extra Virginity

After reading Extra Virginity, I had the urge to try some good, high-quality olive oil. But, I also got the feeling that a lot of what I have been eating is fake. Apparently, Italy is a hub of "fake" olive oil production, where a bunch of oil of different grades from all over Europe gets brought together and packed as "Italian Extra Virgin". (The Mafia must sense a market.) Los Angeles is also a hub of US fake olive oil production and packaging. While Europe and the US have standards, they are only loosely enforced.

Davis, California, however, has a lot of research and legitimate oil production. I guess that would be the place to go. On his website, truth in olive oil, he does list some good oils.

One interesting tidbit from the book is that people have been trained by marketeers to desire "poor" olive oil. High quality olive oil should have strong tastes, while old, "stale" oil lacks some of the strong flavors. Alas, marketeers have helped train us to prefer "smooth" tastes that represent poor olive oil.

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