Last week was an incredible week for olive oil. The Fairway-sponsored New York International Olive Oil Competition returned for its second year, bigger and better than ever, at the International Culinary Center in Soho. There were three great days packed with olive oil celebration and elation as olive oil producers, lovers, and experts from all over the world gathered to taste, talk, and delve into the world of olive oil.
There were olive oil tastings, lectures, and conversations galore. Fairway Market’s Steve Jenkins was there, of course, speaking about buying olive oil and curating a world-famous, inexhaustibly wonderful olive oil department. Our Director of Trade and Product development Lori Levy captivated the audience with her wise insights on navigating the labyrinth-like process of importing olive oil. And while we were chatting and learning, 15 expert judges were busy blind tasting and rating a collection of 651 oils from 25 countries among 24 categories.
It’s truly a testament to Fairway’s unparalleled olive oil program that we carry so many of these award-winning oils. They are truly incredible: and great olive oil will not only make everything you eat taste better, it will make your LIFE better. Take home these oils, or get ‘em online. You won’t regret it.
You probably think of the land down under as a leading wine producer, but fine olive oil from the Australian continent is just as exquisite. The Reserve Hojiblanca (pronounced okee-blanca) extra virgin olive oil yields aromas of fresh-cut grass and tropical fruits combined with a little bitterness and slight pungency at the finish. This oil is named after a variety of Spanish olive that originated in Andalusia, Spain, and now also grows in northern Victoria, Australia. The Picual is equally delicious, redolent with fig leaf aromas, along with balanced bitter and spicy notes. Cobram Estate was the first Australian olive oil producer to be certified as “Extra Virgin” under the Australian Extra Virgin Code of Practice, and it makes its Reserve oils with a proprietary technique they dubbed “Ultra Premium.” After the perfectly ripe olives are picked, pressed within four hours, and allowed to setle, an expert panel of tasters check for the “Reserve” quality before it can be bottled and classified with this distinction that conveys an exceptional fragrant and complex quality.
Ego Sum Subtle and Intense:
Finally this extraordinary olive oil has arrived. It comes from groves near Ciudad Real in Castile-La Mancha. From cornicabra, picual, hojiblanca and arrbequina olives. The SUBTLE has little evident bitterness and less pepper (pungency), and is redolent of fresh herbs and apple. The INTENSE offers that brilliant early-harvest bitterness and peppery pungency, and a rush of autumnal vegetation and green leafiness. Both are completely lovely. This oil has won medals at Europe’s most prestigious competitions as well as the New York International Olive Oil Competition this April. EGO SUM (meaning ‘I am’, in Latin) is a drizzling oil, a finishing oil, for use at the table, and with all manner of foods, cooked or raw.
(Pronounced ‘bah-zee-LEE-po.’) From just ten miles east of Seville comes Fairway’s newest superstar, the multi-medal-winning olive juice called Basilippo. This is a ‘Seleccion coupage’ (special cutting), pressed from arbequina and verdial olives, offering fragrances of grass, tomato and apple. It has an up-front bitterness that is delicious, and a peppery finish, perfect for pasta and barbecue.
The Basilippo belongs in your kitchen. Get it here.
Naturvie ‘World in Love’
If love could take a form, it would be this extra virgin olive oil from Naturvie that embodies emotion in the way it’s made with a passion to connect land and tradition. Everything smells and tastes better when you’re in love, and this oil — bursting with aroma and the flavors of green grass, apples, bananas and ripe fruits — will thrill the olive oil-lover inside of you. Made by the Sanchez-Mohino family using olives cultivated on their estate called El Hoyo, in Oliva de Merida, of the Extremadura region of Spain (the same region that produces the prized Bellota ham), the olive varieties in this bottle hail from the top olive-oil producing Mediterranean countries: Frantoio from Italy, Koroneiki from Greece, Cobrancosa from Portugal, Picholine from France, and Manzanilla Cacerena from Spain. Only an oil like this that connects the heart of all these countries is worthy of the title love. And the Sanchez-Mohino brothers who own Naturvie make sure that their olives are handled with as much care as true love is lasting and special. Their olive groves are more than 100 years old, they use only the best 10 percent of their crop, and their olives are picked by hand and transported to their mills in small boxes to prevent bruising. Then, their supreme oil is extracted within two hours of being harvested and bottled by hand to preserve its taste and texture that is as good as a first kiss. You’ll fall in love with this oil – we promise you.
Our beloved, TWO new Baena D.O. unfiltered extra-virgin olive oils are real stunners from sprawling Andalucia, near Cordoba. Huge, spicy bite and long, lingering peppery finish, a perfect EVOO if we ever had one, for plunking directly on your table in order to sanctify, amplify, consecrate all kinds of dishes. The superstar cultivar (olive variety) is PICUAL, the Spanish nuclear weapon. We offer it unblended, a MONOCULTIVAR. The other offer from Cortijo is their ‘Coupage’, a blend of picual, picudo and hojiblanca. Both are certified organic, and both are AMAZING – complex, a symphony of flavors and fragrances. Both are EARLY-HARVEST, offering super-high polyphenol levels and their resultant pungency and pepperiness, the attributes we seek from the olive oil we love most. This oil is SO FINE it makes us weep.
Thick, sweet, fragrant, and fruity, our brilliant Portuguese extra-virgin olive oil is from the Ribatejo region of northern Portugal. The name refers to the shape of the Galega olive and its pointed-head shape. The greenish golden oil is thick and sweet, which yields a markedly fruity oil, with obvious fragrances and flavors of ripe fruit, tomato, wild herbs, cooked artichoke, and green apple. It has a long, yet delicate finish. We recommend it for any usage whatsoever, because it is so agreeable to us, so delicious — one of the most impressive olive oils we’ve ever encountered.