Thursday, April 15, 2010

Dinner, Part 1. (the olive oil)

This came my way recently. It's olive oil. One of my winos has it shipped from Italy twice a year. You may be thinking: really? You can't just go to the store and buy olive oil like the rest of us? And what I mean by that is that's what I was thinking.

I was, upon presentation, instructed not to cook with it but to make some crostini, rub it with garlic, and drizzle over it the olive oil. I promised to do so, but then I thought I haven't ventured above ground for a while, I have a few bottles of wine to kill, why not have a shindig of it?

So I spent a few weeks working on a menu around the olive oil. It coincided with a few science experiments already going on in my kitchen, so it was actually a very good bit of timing. First, the olive oil.
Silvia and Federico Giuntini Masseti are the current residents of Fattoria Selvapiana. They produce Chianti, a couple of crus. and olive oil.
Very good olive oil. You know when you've had something all your life but this particular time, this particular product, you realize you're tasting it for the first time? That is this. Oh, so this is olive oil. Who knew? It is alive, it tastes like grass, a small bite at the end; it has life in it. We had some Trader Joe's brand olive oil nearby. In comparison it tasted like oil, no dimension, no flavor, no nothing, dead oil. I tried my Whole Foods olive oil, too. Dead. Not this stuff, though, and all the next morning I was cataloging everything on earth it would go well with. After exhausting most of life's flora and fauna, I took a nap and came to work.