Young Olive Oil

January 25, 2008

We met some new friends over the holidays, Steve and Marguerite Remde. The Remdes own Belle Farms, a small, family run farm in the foothills of the Santa Cruz mountains. They grow olives trees and make Extra Virgin Olive Oil in the Tuscan tradition: hand-picked, cold pressed, and unfiltered to preserve the flavors. Marguerite sent us a bottle of their Olio Nuovo, harvested just last month. It was delicious: almost peppery and cloudy in view. Of course, I’m always looking for something delicious to dunk a piece of San Juan Bakery sourdough in, and this was perfect. To learn more about Belle Farms, you can visit them online at www.bellefarms.com

I am reading Eat, Love Prayby Elizabeth Gilbert.  Her dedication to food while in Italy is truly admirable: the only museum she went to during four months there was the National Museum of Pasta! Last night I found myself reading out loud her account of a soccer fan’s cheering, just to hear myself speak Italian again – vulgarities and all. Her descriptions of the algae-green spinach leaves, bloody tomatoes and tight-skinned grapes make me yearn for the daily visits to Il Mercato Centrale in Florence.  Italy is a foodlover’s paradise and it’s no wonder that Gilbert found comfort there during an otherwise tumultuous time in her life.  I will get back there.

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