THE ROLLING, VERDANT HILLS OF TUSCANY. SUNFLOWERS AS FAR AS THE EYE CAN SEE. Pasta, parmigiana and pizza a plenty. The snow-capped mountainous regions of Italy have given us more than the usual fare. Olive oil, in particular extra virgin olive oil, has become one of the calling cards of the Mediterranean.
With landscape and climate in some areas similar to the Caribbean region, olive oil production doesn’t happen in far off lands. Rather, in neighbouring Argentina, olive groves are cultivated and some of the best extra virgin olive oil in the world comes from our side of the hemisphere.
As health fads come and go, and people jump on and off the coconut/grape seed/avocado oil bandwagon (more on this in future issues), one thing remains true: high quality extra virgin olive oil is not only a super emollient, but it also bursting with flavour, beauty and health benefits. If you’re wondering why the foray into European territory, the reason is simple: extra virgin olive oil is now a global commodity. Having realised the gargantuan array of companies that produce olive oil, there is still some mystery surrounding the theories of good extra olive oil versus the oils that have been adulterated.
To help decipher the vagaries of the world of olive oil, Trinidad-born Chef Kashia Diaz Cave, who runs a café and city of Meriden charity in Connecticut, USA, expounded after we struck up a conversation about the olive oil she uses.