Clever Root Fall2017

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6 8 | t h e c l e v e r r o o t McEVOY RANCH Nan McEvoy purchased a 550-acre sprawling ranch in Marin County, California, in 1990. Inspired by her love of Tuscan olive oil, she engaged Dr. Maurizio Castelli, a leading authority on agriculture, to recommend the best olive varieties for the scenic setting. McEvoy Ranch is now one of the preeminent produc- ers of American Cer- tified Organic Extra Virgin olive oil. McEvoy Ranch Traditional Blend Extra Virgin Olive Oil, USA ($24/375 ml.) "Bright and herbaceous with a slightly bitter finish." —Mara Marski JORDAN Where there's wine, there's olive oil, and Alexander Valley in Cali- fornia's Sonoma County is no exception. Jordan Vineyard & Winery produces Extra Virgin olive oil yearly from more than 18 hillside acres of European olive varieties that have been planted on the estate since 1995, including Frantoio, Pendolino and Leccino from Italy and Arbequina from Spain. The Mediterranean climate of Northern California is as ideal for olives as it is for the region's famed wines. Our panel appreciat- ed the earthy quality of this classic California oil. Jordan 2016 Vintage Extra Vir- gin Olive Oil, Alexander Valley, USA ($29/375 ml.) "Very neutral with a smooth finish." —Kate Newton IL FIORELLO Ann Fiorello Sievers, a descen- dent of Italian immigrants, and her husband, Mark Sievers, boast groves of 2,000 trees in Northern California's Suisun Valley that pro- duce fruit from more than dozen olive varieties—Italian, Spanish, French, Greek and Tunisian. They mill for their own Fiorello brand in addition to more than 100 other growers. Il Fiorello Frantoio, USA ($28/375 ml.) "Creamy and buttery with full-mouth engage- ment." —M. M. Il Fiorello French Blend, USA ($28/375 ml.) "Spicy, grassy, fresh and peppery." —Jesse Hom-Dawson TAGARAS This olive oil is made from the Manaki variety of olive, planted with trees widely spaced following the natural contours of the landscape to allow the roots to range freely. The trees are irrigated only by rain blowing in off the Bay of Corinth and soil moisture from the area's abundant natural springs. The result is a smaller yield of oil, but with a greater intensity of flavor and a rich golden glow. Tagaras is imported by a Los Angeles-based family member. Tagaras Extra Virgin Olive Oil, Greece ($25/500 ml.) "Round, buttery and smooth." —Becky Tsadik AVERAGE AMERICANS CONSUME just one-tenth the amount of olive oil of their Italian counterparts, cur- rently the world's leading olive oil consumers (with the Spanish a very close second). But we suspect readers of The Clever Root are not average Americans. Our food- savvy readership knows the olive is one of the world's most ancient and revered foodstuffs: it's seen continu- ous use in the Mediterranean basin since the 8th mil- lennium B.C, and the archeological record shows people have been making oil from olives since at least 6,000 B.C. While products labeled "pure olive oil"—an inferior, processed version that's chemically treated to remove unwanted flavors—can be used for frying, true aficiona- dos use only Extra Virgin olive oil for most food prepa- ration purposes. Extra Virgin olive oil is an international standard created by the International Olive Council, a WHAT WE'RE TASTING produc- Cer- Extra WE INDULGE OUR PALATES IN AN INFORMAL OLIVE OIL TASTING by David Gadd Essence of the Oliv

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