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GET FRESH!

As consumers, we insist on fresh bread, fresh milk, fresh fish, fresh meat, and fresh produce. Surely, we also have a right to fresh olive oil. Of course, we do ... but our whole distribution system seems designed to conceal the real age of olive oil from you, resulting in the widespread consumption on these shores of flat, even stale oil.Guess the mystery vase and win a prize

I always include in my oratory, olive oil, unlike some wines does not improve with time. It is just the opposite, at its peak of delicious perfection immediately after it is pressed. This is why people in olive-growing regions around the world are a little fanatic to say the least, as am I, about fresh-pressed olive oil.

Olive oil imported to the UK can arrive months, maybe even a year, after its pressing, and even worse, the oil may have visited two or even three countries before arriving, some even are bottled in a different country! This unfortunately means that the freshness and delicate nuances of the oil is already on its way out or worse lost by the time it reaches our shelves.

Did you know, many olive oils are bottled and labeled without reference to their production dates, making it impossible for you to determine how fresh the oil is. Indeed, the sell by date is the bottling date and not the date of pressing! After all, this natural fresh fruit juice - yes, it is a fruit - is only harvested at a specific time of year at each geographical location.

Another huge problem is olive oil is now being produced in one country and then bottled in another, whilst this practice is legal, the olive however is not so happy about this treatment. You, like me, have probably wasted money on olive oils whose flavours have faded and dulled - maybe even turned rancid.

Each variety of olive has a particular “pepper” kick for purists perhaps the worst crime is blending the varieties of the olive, which can lead to a rampant prickle, “the out of order pepper kick!”

However, what if I could find super-fresh, highest-quality olive oil, made somewhere in the world, anywhere in the world, every three months or so—which is about how long olive oil retains its peak of flavour and intensity.

Also this, delicious, fresh, new harvest oil could arrive at your home four times a year, thereby keeping that incredibly fresh, fruity taste flowing over your breads, salads, fish, meat, and pasta all year round.

Until recently there was no real olive oil harvest to speak of in the southern hemisphere but times are changing, and there are now some fine oils starting to emanate from countries like Argentina, Chile, Australia, New Zealand, and others.

Fresh extra virgin olive oilThis fills the gap for the missing six months in the year for ultra fresh oil!

I contacted Judy Ridgway: author, olive oil taster, and international judge. She has written 55 books, including “The Olive Oil Companion:

As in wine, the possible permutations of taste and texture in olive oils are amazing, that “dandelion prickle” or the powerful “pepper kick”, the oozing creamy, buttery delights. Flavours described as grassy, herbaceous, fruity, and always deliciously intense.

A Connoisseur’s Guide,” and Best Olive Oil Buys around the World.” I invited her to visit me in Trizinia, Peloponnese, Greece to taste a lovely local olive oil.

It was in the depths of winter, early January 2006 when she and her husband Nick arrived, and I took them through my Olive Trail Experience and of course tasting the golden elixir of life!

We talked all things olive; I mentioned my “International Olive Trail”, Judy, in the course of her travels, had been to many countries looking for the freshest and best olive oils of the World. She mentioned David Rosengarten and that he was setting up a fresh olive oil club in America, and later they chose two of my local grower’s oils to present to the newly formed club.

I propose with other experts like Judy to taste new harvest oils four times a year for “The Olive Oil Club Members”- in November, February, May, July and only the best will be selected. The delivery of the really fresh oils will be March, June, August and December. The Olive Oil Club has been formed, I believe that we all deserve to enjoy the the pleasure of ultra fresh olive oil!
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