« Silverbrow - redrawn | Main | Valvona & Crolla's blog »

15 August 2007

Olive oil, the slippery slope

Michael is a friend who works for Enotria, a leading UK vintner and lives near me. As I walk past his flat, I am regularly forced to duck as a low flying and weighty, wine catalogue comes spinning towards my head. A week ago however he had something new for me, a bottle of extra virgin olive oil.

Some time ago he had mentioned that he supplies Planeta olive oil and like the whining brat I am, I asked him to get hold of some for me. As good as his word he did and I should say, he very kindly gave it to me, refusing my imprecations to pay him.

Planeta is very special stuff. As you will see from their website, their extra-virgin oil received DOP status for the 2006 pressing (my bottle is 2005), only further proof that this stuff is special - or they have very good lobbyists in Brussels.

Planeta is from Sicily and looks as sun-scorched as the land - a deep mustard yellow colour. The smell and first taste is intensely grassy and herby, but this quickly gives way to a real peppery tingling on the back of my tongue. It is far more complex than Tuscan oils which some people describe as peppery. I think they are generally bitter, rather than peppery and quite nasty. With the Planeta, as the pepper subsides, the grassy flavour lingers.

I think it is so good, that I am sitting here writing this post, enjoying a nightcap of olive oil. Most shockingly of all, Silverbrowess is imbibing as well.

Planeta is not that easy to come by, thus my need for Mike, my olive oil dealer, but it is worth getting your hands on - even if it is almost £15 for 50cl.

Unfortunately, not all olive oils are as delightful as Planeta. There is a great article in last week's New Yorker on the adulteration of olive oil. According to the article, it is a crime that is virtually a pandemic in Puglia, Italy's largest olive oil producing region. I was surprised by some of the big names implicated and it made me wonder whether bog standard olive oil is any better than Castrol GTX. I guess that means it is Planeta only for chez Silverbrow from here on in.


If for any reason I edit a comment, I explicitly say so. I only edit comments if they are rude, abusive etc. I reserve the right to delete comments if I think they're unduly offensive or constitute spam.

Feed You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.

Dear Silverbrown,
Thank you for your wonderfull description of our extra vergine olive oil. I'm really happy you've enjoyed it. Please let us know if you are in Sicily.
Best regards from Palermo,
Philip Roose

Philip - Many thanks for your kind comment. I certainly will be in touch if I'm over.

The comments to this entry are closed.