Fact: Greece is the world’s largest producer of extra virgin olive oil.
Not surprising, especially if you’re aware the fine print on most oil bottles reads “Made in Greece.” Then the real question becomes, who consumes the most olive oil?
Before I give away the answer, consider what you already know about olive oil. Unless you’ve been trapped underground for the past few decades, you know olive oil’s popularity stretches far beyond its Greek and Mediterranean homelands. Americans have adopted olive oil into imitation-French and Italian cuisine, as well as welcomed it into their homes via cooking, dipping, and even some beauty products. And what does that olive oil hand lotion represent?
American consumerism. It was inevitable. When Americans likes something, we buy, sell and eat a lot of it.
Only somehow, Greeks win the prize for eating it too! They consume the most olive oil per capita by a large margin. This means compared to you average-Joe, the average-Stavros sops up a lot more oil on a daily basis. For this to be accurate, Greeks must practically drink this stuff.
To be fair, American olive oil lovers do consume more bottles year-round. We even have our own legitimate “olive oil delivery services” like the Olive Oil of the Month Club from Gourmet Food Clubs. And as I dip this spongy slice of sourdough into a dish of flavor-infused olive oil, I salute what these all-American Gourmet Foodie’s have done to reinvent the oily staple of Greek cuisine.
This month I sampled 2 unique flavor-infused olive oil’s from the Olive Club’s 3-Month Membership: CV Delights’ Sun Dried Tomato Olive Oil and Savor Swinney’s Garlic Infused Olive Oil. These subtle flavors left a strong impression. Here’s why:
I’m not a chef. I’m not even an okay or semi-decent cook. In my case, it probably is for lack of trying. You see when I’m hungry, I’m like a child on the cusp of full-blown temper tantrum. I want a golden egg and I want it now! Only I’d take any old ordinary egg. Scrambled, over-easy. Or any food at all really.
Thus, I cracked open and dipped into these oils within minutes of receiving them. Thank you to whoever bought the bread I found in the break room. If it wasn’t for you, I’d have had no choice but to “go Greek” drink the stuff straight. Something tells me that would not have ended well.
In spite of my enthusiasm, I can be a little picky about flavored olive oils. Why mess with a good thing? And artificial flavoring makes my throat a scratchy (this may be psychological. Don’t know, don’t care.)
I started with the Sun Dried Tomato olive oil, thinking it would prep me for the ominous garlicky punch in the mouth I looked forward to later. The oil’s delicate sweetness and rustic tomato flavor complimented the olive oil nicely. It was tasty enough that I had to take a few extra dips for good measure. And then a few more after that. You know, because I am so good at my job.
A half a loaf of bread later and I remembered the Garlic-Infused olive oil was still waiting for me out back. I tried wafting the bottle to see if it gave off a strong scent, then just gathered my courage and dipped right in. I don’t know how my breath was after sampling, but I can tell you that the taste wasn’t too strong! Plus it was clearly made from real cloves of garlic. I imagine it’d be great to serve along with Italian appetizers.
The break-room bread and I fully recommend you sign up for this Olive Oil Club. Especially if delicious, authentic, gourmet olive oils in a variety of flavors is your kind-of-thing. To order the club, go to Gourmet Food Clubs. That’s all folks!