Magazine article Out

Gold Rush

Magazine article Out

Gold Rush

Article excerpt

WITH COUNTRIES LIKE CHILE AND TUNISIA IN THE MIX, ITALY NO LONGER HAS A MONOPOLY ON TOP-NOTCH OLIVE OIL.

Greek men used to smear themselves with olive oil, what Homer described in The Odyssey as "liquid gold." It seems unfair, then, that Italy - not Greece - has become the gold standard for olive oil. Until recently, Greek oils were routinely and covertly shipped by tanker to be mixed with inferior oils from Italian producers. Happily, that's changing. More and more countries in the Mediterranean basin and beyond are reconnecting to ancient traditions by producing high-quality olive oils. The olive tree is a remarkably tenacious plant, able to grow all over the globe, and today olive oils coming out of places like Chile, Croatia, and Tunisia rival - if not trump - those from the Boot in terms of taste and value.

Wine country is oil country, and olives, like grapes, draw from the land in which they are grown; it's common to see knotty olive trees alternated with leafy grape vines. …

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