These days, we don’t have the same luxuries I lived by when I was single.
In my book, I wrote about sampling expensive bottles of olive oil, slowly, and sipping them in tastings on warm spoons. After much deliberation, I bought bottles the price of two tickets to the movies. (And we all know ridiculously expensive those are these days.) Well, I haven’t been to a movie theater since Little Bean was born. And we’re not buying expensive bottles of olive oil much anymore.
Certainly, the economy has its effect on all of us. But more importantly, I have learned more about food than I once knew. Before I met the Chef, I glugged olive oil onto everything, sautéeing all my food in those bottles quickly emptying of precious liquid. He gently led me to the bottles of canola, sunflower, and grapeseed oil instead. And back in the thick of making dishes all day long for the cookbook, the Chef and I bought giant cans of pure olive oil — not as good as extra virgin, by any means, but serviceable for all the cooking we were doing.
Still, when a great olive comes through the door, we certainly don’t say no.
Last month, Anita and Cameron from Married with Dinner came over for lunch. (I know. How lucky were we?) When they came in, both of them went right for Little Bean. But not before handing us a small bag, with a jar of rosemary salt from Eatwell Farms and a bottle of Bariani olive oil.
Oh, we love them. (I mean Anita and Cam. But also, those two ingredients.)
Bariani olive oil is something special. Crushed from Mission and Manzanilla olives, this is Italian olive oil grown outside Sacramento. The Bariani family comes from just outside of Lombardy, in northern Italy, and they brought traditional methods and a stubborn insistence on doing things right.
Thank you for those qualities.
This is such a lovely oil. It’s green and silken, not assertive or peppery. Warm and robust, the Bariani olive oil tastes of hot summers and cool evenings, like the handmade press that crushes the fruit, like family business and the green drizzle of olive oil on good mozzarella at the end of a hot day of work. And really, given all this (and because we don’t have to pay importing costs), Bariani olive oil is our favorite olive oil of the moment. Slightly more expensive than the cheap jugs at grocery stores, Bariani Olive Oil is pretty darned affordable for such fine oil.
Since olives don’t grow in western Washington, we’ll call this our local olive oil.
What is your favorite olive oil at the moment? The one that you can afford?