Olive You: A Course Dedicated to Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Held in November: 1995 Euro
It’s hard to imagine a product so misunderstood by the population that consumes it. Italy is at a deficit every year for extra virgin olive oil, meaning we can’t produce enough for our own national consumption.
But wait, you say. The oil that you buy in your local supermarket is Tuscan extra virgin, isn’t it?
It isn’t. Not even close. The world of olive oil is as corrupt as the narcotics trade. It conspires to keep us in the dark.
This is why we’ve created our programme. In just a week you’ll learn how to taste, select, critique, pick and then press olive oil, producing some of the best that money can buy (everyone that comes takes home 1 litre of the stuff that we make as a class). We’ll spend the week in the kitchen cooking with it as well, learning how to be stingy with the pour in the kitchen, generous at the table.
One morning of the week we’ll load up le pignate (a sort of earthenware jar), lining the embers in the baron’s stone fireplace. Then we’ll go off to pick and then press our olives. Afterward we’ll return to a massive feast of perfectly cooked morsels, each emanating from a different pignata (one with rabbit and green olives, lentils, pig cheek and cabbage, three kinds of local beans, a lamb ragù, dried figs in red wine and bay leaf, etc).
We’ll make fresh pasta from scratch for each meal, we’ll simmer rabbit and chickens in wine and olives in giant ceramic crocks, we’ll cook countless locally-grown vegetables and in general, get to know the region, belly first.
If you’ve ever wondered about extra virgin, or you just like spending time in the gorgeous Italian countryside, in the kitchen and then around the table, this is the week for you. You’ll never think of extra virgin the same way again.