Oh dear. I’m afraid I may have gone and done something rather rash.
Something that may cause the church of Rome to excommunicate me or my Neapolitan ancestors to turn over in their graves.
Let me say for the record that I only use 100 percent Italian-olive extra virgin olive oil. The only brand I use is Monini, which is the oil they use IN Italy.
But I ran out of olive oil Friday, and since my people can’t eat meat on Fridays of Lent, I was off to the store, in the snow, to buy olive oil to complete the pressed tomato and fresh mozzarella panini that Giada De Laurentiis (Who I adore) recently showed off on her Food Network show, Everyday Italian.
As a talented writer for a major American newspaper, I naturally had about $6 in my wallet. Shaws Supermarket had a 50 percent off sale on Red Island “Premium Australian” extra virgin olive oil, which ended up being $4.99 for a 500mL bottle. The next closest thing from Italy ran about $12, so I quickly grabbed the Aussie brand, did a self checkout and ran out of there like I’d stolen something.
It was amazing. Though not as dark and bold as some of the premium Italian olive oils I’ve tried, the Australian brand was distinctively fruity, like an oily wine flavor. Dipping it on some semolina bread, it was very smooth and fragrant. I’m very impressed.
The oil uses a blend of picual, barnea and frantoio olives, and for the price I paid, it’s certainly worth a try.
I’m not saying I’m going to switch, but Red Island certainly gives a person something to think about. Let’s just hope the 50 percent off wasn’t some sort of clearance sale.
Those Aussies sure do it right — wine, meats and now olive oil.