There is an ancient Latin saying “Partes humani cultus necessariae vinum ... atque oleum olivarum” which Google translates to “the necessary ingredients of civilization are wine and olive oil.” So it stands to reason that as Phil Coturri emerged from the wilderness as a hippie organic farmer and began to transition to a more civilized hippie organic viticulturist he added olive trees and olive oil to his repertoire.
Olives and grapevines (and cover crop and solarpanels. And a view)
In the early 1990’s Phil partnered with legendary organic gardener Bob Cannard and Italian restaurant magnate Lorenzo Petroni to import thousands of olive trees from Italy. The trees were propagated and sold throughout California and were instrumental in jump starting the nascent California olive oil industry.
However, our early forays into olive oil production were less than civilized. It was mostly trial and error including a hammermill borrowed from Albert Straus of Straus Family Creamery and the misuse of dozens of imported fiscoli, woven fiber disks used to filter and press the oil from the crushed olives. Fortunately, the entire California olive oil industry has come a long way since then.
For one thing, we now press our oil at a frantoio just like the ones they have in Italy. More importantly Phil’s wife Arden Kremer is a lead member of the California Olive Oil Council taste panel certifying California oil as extra virgin. Arden spearheads Sixteen 600’s olive oil production; oil made from those same trees imported over 20 years ago.
Arden in the olive trees
We harvested olives on December 12, 2012 and have released two oils from this crop- a Tuscan blend and a very limited amount of a single cultivar Coratina oil.
The 2012 olive bounty
The Tuscan blend has nutty or woody flavors with a bouquet of green tea and artichoke and finishes with a hint of cinnamon. Arden recommends this oil to finish a Steak Florentine or mixing it into a Tuscan bean salad. It would also be good to finish a bruschetta with bitter greens or a caprese salad.
The Coratina has nose of sweet cherry and cinnamon with a slightly bitter floral taste that evokes wheat grass or a freshly cut lawn. It is a perfect topper on roasted vegetables or over grilled whitefish. It pairs well sharp cheese like Special Select Vella Dry Jack Cheese and would make a mean hummus.
This years oils are truly delicious and we’re really excited to share them with the world. To celebrate the release we are offering a special limited time package of both oils for just $30. Click here to order.
Note-Arden does not recommend using fresh oil (less than a year old) as cooking oil because heating it destroys the delicate flavors and diminishes the health benefits.
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Comment posted by OliveOIlsLand on 10/27/2020
Very interesting article! I really enjoyed reading your article. Thanks for the information.
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