1 day ago
Olive oil has been a long journey for me, starting in culinary school. We used both Italian and French Extra Virgin oils and learned of the extraction techniques and quality levels.
Christophe added a healthy edge to classic cuisine with some simple, base concepts. Any time we sautéed in butter, we used half butter and half Extra Virgin olive oil.
When the preparation called for it, he'd grab one of his special bottles of E.V. from Provence or Nice. He preferred these oils, pressed from only black olives.
My experience grew. Chef Uncle Larry kept this ultimate bottle of Tuscan oil rat-holed away in the Chef's personal step-in cooler. He'd bring it out with a huge grin, plopping it on the boards. We watched as it slowly warmed and un-congealed. The opaque mass grew a wonderfully golden hue of green on the edge. Within the bottle, the congealed oil transformed into clouds as it, ever so slowly, thawed, creating the gentlest current of warm oil all about the lumps and clouds.
Soon, the thaw was complete. He would have something ready for it. Always, there was bread straight from the oven. He would lustfully slather a healthy pour over just a pinch of freshly cracked pepper mixed with some sea salt on a chop plate. On the side would be some random garnishes like roasted peppers and fresh thyme, olives, tomatoes, or roquette.
Once, I caught a very reputable Italian importer in town passing off a cut oil as Extra Virgin. All I did was lay out various oils in front of us. We tasted, smelled, and admired the various viscosities. At least he was honest when he got caught. Together we agreed his oil didn't seem to match up to the others. He admitted what he had done and left, with his 55gl drum of cut oil.
If you ever get the chance to try Magni, do it. It is the quintessential Tuscan oil; peppery, buttery, floral, and smooth. Chek the web for articles on counterfeit oils. California Olive Ranch is a great producer, available everywhere
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