Thursday, August 30, 2007

Pugliese Olive Oil




I can’t leave Puglia without a mention of the exceptional Olive Oil specific to the region. The only problem is that all of the images I have of the vast fields are characteristically similar; some better tended than others.

It is estimated that there are over 50 million Olive trees in the region which includes the DOP’s (denomination of protected origin) of Dauno, Terra di Bari, Colline di Brindisi, Terra d’Otranto. Only Extra Virgin Olive Oil is made here which is best used “raw”, to dress salads, coat Carpaccio, drizzle on Pizza, in bread and to preserve vegetables. It is the reason that the Antipasti’s remain the highlight of many meals. Below are some examples of Olive Oil in regional dishes...

To enrich a Carpaccio of pesce Spada


Olives fresh from a family farm



In homemade Pepperonata


Atop Pizza

As a central flavor in a Tratorria's lunch Antipasti Mista


In the exquisite local bread


The flavors of raw local Olive Oil range from a sweet taste with a light “itch”, spicy with an artichoke finish, nutty (almond) with a tomato scent, a green herb bouquet with a bitter bottom etc.

31 comments:

Ben said...

mikey-

two things. one, is you gotta read the article in one of the past three issues of the new yorker about the olive oil mafia in puglia. Scams, fake extra virgin that's really some b.s. veggie oil. No joke, it seems mad, so stay away from any olive oil wiseguys that appear sketchy.

two, and i'll second margaret's thought. if you can figure out a way to import one of those three wheelers you've seen out on the farms over there, do it. I'm down and will cop one to cruise round long isle on...

love and besos, ben

Margaret said...

hey Ben - i could see a whole new life for you, cruising around with the best local food goodies for sale out the back of your mini-truck!!

So with this olive oil - does a kitchen or a household have a favorite they use for everything - or a different olive oil for each kind of preparation?
Seeing how essential olive oil is to so much cooking, I hope you'll figure out how to get some of the good stuff here for all us amateur chefs!

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