For thousands of years olive oil has been produced, traded, and cherished, but only recently has it become a truly global consumer phenomenon. Consider this: The 5th annual New York International Olive Oil Competition held in April 2017 saw 910 extra-virgin olive oils from 27 countries—including Slovenia, South Africa, Croatia, and China—vying for spots on the list of the year’s best.
Join Curtis Cord, president of the competition and publisher of Olive Oil Times, for a fascinating (and delicious) day that examines the range, varieties and complexities of olive oils from around the world. You’ll never think of that bottle of olive oil on your kitchen counter in the same way.
Cord discusses a product whose story extends from the Himalayan foothills to the low plains of Argentina; the mangled roots of ancient groves to neat rows of modern farms; and from production so small it doesn’t extend beyond family members to those that fill hulls of giant tankers steaming across oceans. He also reminds us that behind every bottle at the farmers’ market or the discount chain there are people dedicated to their own approach to an ancient craft.
Cord traces where olive oils are made; covers different varieties and harvesting techniques; shares tips on the many culinary uses for each olive-oil grade; and provides guidelines on how to know good olive oil from bad. The day’s highlight is a guided tasting of 20 of the most recent award-winners in the New York International Olive Oil Competition—an event for which Cord offers a behind-the-scenes look. And aptly, a themed-box lunch is provided.