So, I’m out of olive oil. Rather than pay $10 for a couple tablespoons of it at the market, I add it to my Sam’s Club list and head out the door. Now, you’ve gotta understand that I’ve never given another thought to the origins of my EVOO (with apologies to Rachael Ray) prior to visiting Italy, where I paid 26 Euros for a ghastly small bottle which makes everything it touches taste like heaven! (When IS that little bottle going to get here?) In fact, I didn’t know it existed until I took on a glorious Italian surname by marriage. No kidding! Good ol’ vegetable oil was all I’d ever seen in the kitchen before that.
Like I said, I’d never given a thought to olive oil origins – I naturally assumed it was from Italy, of course. Then, on the “oil aisle” of Sam’s Club I noticed a sign that said “California Olive Oil” – gasp – whaaaaaaat? There are olive trees in California? My righteous indignation surprised me and I supposed this is how the Italians and French reacted when they learned that California grew grapes, and not just for eating – if you know what I mean.
I was willing to pay $14 for a 2 liter bottle of Bertolli Olive Oil (which must be Italian – I mean, Bertolli?) instead of the same price for 3 liters of the Sam’s Club Member’s Mark brand because the store brand label said, “INGREDIENTS: HIGH QUALITY EXTRA VIRGIN OLIVE OIL FROM SPAIN, ITALY, GREECE AND TUNISIA.” Are you kidding me? Now I’m confused. (Even more so after looking on a map to see where in the heck is Tunisia, anyway?) How could they cold press fresh olives from the trees of four different countries and bottle it before it goes bad? Perhaps each bottle holds the oil from a tree in XX country and you never know what you are getting? I suppose you could just live in TamiLand and assume your particular bottle of oil came from a tree in Italy…
Just for chuckles I looked at the Bertolli bottle, which read,”INGREDIENTS: HIGH QUALITY EXTRA VIRGIN OLIVE OIL FROM SPAIN, ITALY, GREECE AND TUNISIA.”
Guess I’ll go for more bang for my buck and get the 3 liter bottle. Sigh.
P.S. It has come to my attention that Costco has real Italian olive oil.… go figure…