I’m reading Dolce E Salata, a food-centric memoir by chef and food writer Marlena de Blasi, about her and her husband’s move from Venice to the simple life in Tuscany. So far, so cliched, you’ll think from my description. It’s actually very good – mainly for the insights it gives into how people in that region eat. I mean insights you don’t get from news stories on” the wonders of the rural Italian diet”, especially concerning the benefits of olive oil consumption. I mean, we all know they tell us olive oil is great for our health, but what they don’t say is what Marlena reveals:
“We stop along every frantoio and taste olive oil until we find one we like enough to fill our twenty-liter spigotted vase… At the usage rate of one liter a week, the supply will serve until December”.
These guys are knocking back a litre a week – that’s between two of them. Hell! There’s the bloody secret – it’s not what they’re glugging, it’s how they’re glugging! And I’ll bet a great deal of that olive oil is used raw; after all, it’s health-giving properties are killed off by heat. Memo to self: throw that oil round like it ain’t no thang.
How much olive oil do you use? What are your favourite brands, and favourite ways to use it in its raw state?
Dolce E Salata, Marlena de Blasi, Allen & Unwin, 2004.