Welcome to the world of Olive Oil
Long ago in a remote land on the eastern end of the old world, light, air, earth and water joined forces to materialise nature’s vision of purity. In a harmonious symphony of elements, a tree was born to incubate an elixir within its delicate fruit. Elixir which has granted prosperity to kings through the ages, offered long lives to families and delighted the most demanding palates. And yet, a fragile substance which completely loses its vitality unless handled with extreme care by the skilled and passionate craftsman.
Known to the Romans as oleum, and to most of us today simply as olive oil, it was a substance prized by our ancestors who learned how to recognise and appreciate its qualities and held it a symbol of peace and prosperity. Its earliest signs of cultivation date back to the Bronze Age and beyond, 5000 to 6000 years ago, when it was used as food, body anointment, lamp fuel, perfume and medicine. In the modern world and not too long ago, olive oil was object of medical practice, sold only in small bottles in pharmacies. Today it is an essential food product present in the households of millions of families.
Over the past decade, more and more acclaimed chefs have introduced olive oil as an essential ingredient in the making of recipes. The fruity and herbaceous aromas present in olive oil sharpen the freshness of food, and the natural bitter and pungent attributes add structure and complexity. Moreover, olive oil neutralises the acidity level of salad dressings, mellows the taste of wine in the mouth and brings out all the hidden personality in the shiest of ingredients. It can be found on the tables of most restaurants, and we are all accustomed to contemplating the mesmerizing golden rings drizzled around the plate as it is served by the waiter.
Many have heard that in addition to its organoleptic characteristics, olive oil is extremely nutritious and is the key milestone linked to the popularity of the Mediterranean Diet, deemed the healthiest in the world. Most people are somewhat familiar with the concept of saturated and unsaturated fats, whereas olive oil is rich in the type our cells need to function, and that olive oil is good for the heart, skin and makes people live healthy for longer. There is also some understanding that within olive oil there are different quality grades, whereas Extra Virgin represents the highest quality grade, and that this title is somehow related to the production process. So even at a superficial level, it is clear that olive oil is a subject that deserves some attention.
Yet, olive oil is nature’s forgotten Holy Grail. The pure elixir materialised millennia ago and venerated by our ancestors has been violated by modern industrial practices driven by corporations that place low-quality products on supermarket shelves, to the detriment of gastronomy and people’s health.
Outright fraudulent and low-quality products, supported by deceptive advertising and mass marketing campaigns, undercut honest producers who are going out of business by the hundreds. Thus killing a millenary art and depriving consumers from authentic products. The price cannibalisation practice has turned olive oil into a commodity whose differentiation is primarily based on price. And since quality became no longer the main purchasing decision factor, over time, consumers’ palates became numb to the freshness and complex flavours that had once been sought after in olive oil and learned to believe that overripe, shabby and mild are common flavour philosophy.
This site is the front of a business that aims to change this, to show people what olive oil really is and how it can enrich people’s lives. Keep an eye on this blog as we will be posting here regularly on the topics of gastronomy, cooking, health, fitness, fraud in the food industry and of course, olive oil.