American wine and cheese? Sure. But American olive oil? Absolutely. More than a decade ago a California oil won an international competitionin Italy. And upstart American olive-oil producersmany profiled in this bookhaven’t looked back, creating artisanal oils that now come in first place in tastings worldwide.
For those whose knowledge of olive oil remains extra-virgin, author Fran Gage sets out all the essentials: buying and storing high-grade oils, understanding olive oil’s basic types, evaluating its health benefits, and doing your own olive oil tasting. She then uses American-produced oils in dishes ranging from rustic to sophisticated. The 75 recipes include crusty snacks (crackers, flatbreads, bruschette), savory sauces (pestos, vinaigrettes, mayonnaises), and scintillating fish, meat, and poultry main courses. For daring tastebuds, there’s a sideboard of dessertscakes, cookies, even ice creamthat include olive oil as a main ingredient.
Fran Gage’s new tome on my favorite lipid of all time and the sharp American producers who make it is inspirational, historical, and informative. Most of all, is is delicious both to read and to cook from. The stories of the farmers and artists who grow and create the amber green liquid gold are fascinating and filled with American ideology and old world traditions, forming a new olive culture that is at once ancient and new world.”
- Mario Batali