Who knew there was so much to learn about olive oil. Yesterday at the Giraffe Hotel, Redoro hosted a sit in dinner, complete with a lesson on olive oil and delectable Italian fare. World renowned expert Lou Dipalo, took us on a journey through the Veneto to pick the right olives at the right stage, ready to be pressed into the liquid gold we know as olive oil.
It started off with a history, as it always does. We learnt about the family history of olive oil, starting with the handing of an olive branch. “In the beginning it was the olive branch that brought piece after the flood in the biblical story. Olives are the only fruit which produces oil, and the olive trees can be hundreds of years old,” said Dipalo. He then addressed the scandal with olive oil, which brought a wave of shock to all in the room. During his grandmother’s time in World War II she would sell olive oil for $25 a gallon, but one day she met a man who sold a gallon of olive oil for $10. Long story short, the man put about 5% of olive oil in the container, which contained 95% water. Because oil is lighter than water, the olive oil sat at the top and when poured out it looked normal. A few exhales and gasps were heard around the table after this story.
For the first time ever I had to drink just a few drops of olive oil, straight from a wine glass. Let me tell you, it was interesting. A heavy coat covered my tongue, and it had almost a peppery taste, which was normal according to the experts. Three different olive oils were tried, with accompanying wine, prosciutto, bread and a selection of cheeses. Needless to say there is a special kind of art and science that goes into making this lovely product and we are grateful for the families in Italy producing authentic and traditional olive oil.