Olive Oils from Argentina For Your Exploration
By Francine Cohen
Olive oil is one of the culinary cornerstones of a healthy diet steeped in Mediterranean food culture and most of us associate this product with that region of the world. But it should come as no surprise that there are other places from which to source olive oil; and next week comes the opportunity to explore the olive oils of Argentina.
To introduce chefs and restaurateurs to an alternative, quality source of oils, and explore expectations that Argentina will become one of the world’s top 10 olive oil producers in the world, a selection of olive oils will be presented at the Argentine consulates in New York this month (NYC -5/11, Toronto-5/14).
These events are initiatives of the Federal Council of Investments of Argentina (CFI). “We are proud and exhilarated to present these olive oils,” notes the CFI’s Secretary General, Eng. Juan Jose Ciacera. “North Americans know Argentina’s bounty of gourmet foods and wine, and now our olive oil will take its rightful place on the culinary stage,” adds the Secretary General.
Open to the trade only, these afternoon long events combine an olive oil tasting from the country’s producers including: Argentine Olive Oil Group, Comañia Central de Inversiones S.A., Emprendimiento Andino S.A., IQM Timbo S.A., Jorge Piuzzi, La Provista, La Riojana Coop., Olivos Argentinos S.A., Rolar de Cuyo S.A., Zuelo S.A. set to the sounds of Argentina’s tango music. David Rosengarten will be on hand to impart his knowledge about Argentina’s olive oils and Pichet Ong will present an olive oil cake that’ll make you think about the culinary applications of oil in a whole new way.
One new thing to look forward to is the oil from the Arauco olive. The Arauco is a variety which offers a highly floral note and has been cross pollinated from a number of different varieties which have grown in Argentina over the last 400 years; ever since the Jesuit missionaries first in introduced the first olive oil plantations, with cuttings from Spain and Portugal, in their attempt to settle the nomadic indigenous peoples by introducing agriculture.
In addition to the Arauco, the other prevailing olive varieties will be savored at the Argentine Olive Oil Experience. There is Frantoio (with green herbs and mild fruit balanced with an agreeably spicy-bitterness). Manzanilla has notes of herbs and fruit, noticeably apple peel and sharp spice. The world famous Arbequina, which is softly sweet and mildly fruity is balanced by hints of spice. Picual is slightly bitter yet fruity, with subtle spices, green leafy aromas, and with hints of citrus and grapefruit. Additionally, a number of blends will be on hand for tasting.
These agricultural offerings are representative of some of the finest prize winning oils of South America. All are premium extra-virgin, many prize winners listed in the industry book of “The 100 Best Extra-Virgin of the World.” This extraordinary collection reflects the scope of Argentina’s olive oil varietals (and blends). Four of the presenting oils are certified Kosher, and several certified Organic.
To attend please RSVP to: Emily@ruskininternational.com or call (212) 749-5511.