Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Spain is the Source of World's Largest Olive Harvest

Ever wonder how so much olive oil can come out of Italy? Some of the most famous -- and expensive -- Italian brands blend oils from other countries, especially Spain where most of the world's olives are harvested. Hazelnut oil is also commonly used as a blend.

Throughout Europe, the oils are clearly stated on the bottle. And because the U.S. does not require such strict labeling, many brands produce two product lines: one for Europe and one for outside Europe.

One of the purest and most difficult-to-find is a Santa Chiara Extra Virgin Olive Oil called "Costa dei Rosmarini" produced in Northern Italy's Liguria region. Santa Chiara is delicate, light and fruity with a slight peppery after taste that many chefs, like Carlo Middione, prefer as a finishing oil.

Santa Chiara distributes just one line of Costa dei Rosmarini, so the same bottle purchased in Italy can be purchased in the U.S. If you can find it! Vivande.com is well stocked with Costa dei Rosmarini and you can buy it today.

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