Just a note to tell you how much I have enjoyed your oil – it has a magnificent texture and a truly remarkable harmony, and a deep, complex bitterness that I have rarely tasted anywhere else.
Mr. Mueller knows a bit about olive oil. Author of Extra Virginity: The Sublime and Scandalous World of Olive Oil, Mueller is considered a leading educator and consumer advocate in olive oil and his investigative work on the corruption, fraud, and criminality involved in the oil trade made for fascinating reading in a 2007 New York Times story, accessible here.
So, when he contacts a producer directly (in this case, Javier Aguirre, Commercial Director of Spain’s Potosí 10 S.A.) to wax eloquent about that company’s oil, you’re inclined to think it might be something special. And, in fact, it is.
But don’t just take Mueller’s word for it. The same stuff has picked up numerous accolades both for the current vintage and in years past. For instance, Flos Olei: a guide to the world of extra virgin olive oil rated it “Best In the World” in both 2012 and 2013 (in two separate categories).
The oil in question is the Fuenroble Premium Quality Extra Virgin Olive Oil, which is now available in select Canadian specialty food stores (price approx. $25). Those looking for a rich, complex, beautifully textured and highly distinct EVOO need not look much further. Made from the Picual variety of olive harvested October – November 2012, it carries the denominacion de origen (DO) Sierra de Segura (province of Jaén).
Aroma: Intense, grassy, tomato leaf, green apple skin, hint of almond and banana.
Palate: Smooth, velvety, complex green tomato and herbal notes; zesty, grassy, leafy flavours with a bracing but not unwelcome hit of bitterness; long, moderate to assertive peppery finish.
Says Dolores Smith of The Olivar Corp (which imports this, as well as other top-flight Spanish EVOOs into Canada): “I fell in love with this oil upon tasting it two years ago at an International Cooking With Olive Oil Techniques event in southern Spain for culinary schools. It is a beautiful example of Potosí’s modern approach to early harvest and leading-edge extraction techniques applied to the Picual variety prevalent in the Jaen region of Spain.”
In spite off the best efforts of Mueller, Smith and other fans of great EVOO (myself included), educating consumers has been as difficult (and in some cases unrewarding) as making the stuff. Smith, who has been tenaciously trying to enlighten restaurateurs, retailers, and regular consumers to the incredible flavour, versatility, and health benefits of EVOO for over five years has admitted she is feeling as if she is on a Don Quixote idealistic quest to bring about a new consciousness. That said, consumers need people with her passion, knowledge, and drive, to bring us unique niche market, gourmet products that provide more than a run-of-the-mill experience.
Fuenroble Premium Quality Extra Virgin Olive Oil is currently available for purchase at the following locations with more to come:
Harvest Wagon – Yonge St., Toronto
The Naked Vine, Highway 50, McDonald’s Plaza – Bolton
Max’s Market – Bloor St. W., Toronto
Pimenton – Mount Pleasant, Toronto
Scheffler’s – St. Lawrence Market, Toronto
Village Cheesemonger Inc. – East Liberty St., Toronto
Vincenzo’s – Waterloo
Springbank Cheese Co. – Calgary
Chef Mathew Brook at Guelph’s private golf club (Cutten Fields) is using it in his kitchen, and Chef Matt Kantor, who will be opening his restaurant this summer, will be incorporating it into his dishes. Matt has created culinary events illustrating molecular gastronomy in tribute to El Bulli restaurant in northern Spain.