I buy a lot of olive oil with a focus on 2 groups. My everyday olive oil for cooking and general use is California Olive Ranch, a high quality olive oil produced here in California, in the event the name does not give that away, and the best part is Costco regularly stocks it. The second group of olive oil is that which I enjoy as a compliment to a dish, as a dressing, or on its own with some bread.
Produced in small batches, often at favorite vineyards I also buy from, these olive oils are distinctive and each year will be different in subtle ways. I probably have 25 different varieties of olive oil in my wine cellar, so it’s time to start writing about them.
Elena Fucci’s Titolio olive oil is grown in the volcanic soils of Basilicata, Italy from groves of Ogliarola de Vulture olive trees of approximately 40 years of age. Harvested by hand and milled between granite stones, which is how “cold pressed” olive oil is produced, it is a small batch passion project.
Honestly, the first time I tried this I didn’t like it that much. It is very spicey and powerful, which is kind of surprising when you look at the bright color of the oil. Fennel, pepper and dill come off the nose and the taste will stay with you well after the oil has left your palette. I really started to appreciate it when paired with some vegetables and charcuterie; with food this olive oil is a star.