Filed under: Dining
This year, O&CO. has chosen a truly remarkable Affiorato, pressed from 100% Nocellara del Belice olives from Sicily's Nicola Ravida, whose family estate, "La Gurra," has been producing award-winning Extra Virgin olive oil since the mid-1700s. The term "Affiorato" means "surfacing" in Italian and is used to describe a traditional oil pressing technique. Once the olives have been picked and pressed, oil naturally separates from the olive juice and rises to the surface of the storage vat. The "floating" oil, or "Affiorato," is then skimmed, processed and bottled. The oil was harvested in mid-October 2010 and was just recently bottled and shipped to O&CO. boutiques around the world.
Sicily with its volcanic, fertile soil and long periods of Mediterranean sunshine, results in ideal growing conditions and an outstanding quality of oil. Production of the new Affiorato is limited in quantity (only 800 tins are available in the U.S.) and is exclusive to O&CO. Tasting notes describe it as an all-occasion finishing oil (not to be cooked with) with notes of freshly cut grass, raw artichoke and green apple with a hint of spice and almond. It's a natural for bread dipping but also adds a welcome snap of rounded flavor to fresh vegetables, goat cheese, sashimi or as a finishing drizzle on soup. A liter sells for $60.