September 08, 2003
San Rafael - Globe trotting olive oil expert Judy Ridgway has published an oil directory of hand chosen oils from around the world.
Best Olive Oil Buys Round the World is a great aid to purchasing oil and required reading for the olive oil fan who wants to explore some of the globe's newer producing areas. 135 oils from Australia to Uruguay are described in detail. Judy is one of the judges for the international Leone d'Oro awards for olive oil and travels extensively to lecture and write about olive oil. She has visited the production facilities and groves of many of the oils listed.
Her book is compact and packed with information in a very readable format. Each oil description includes product pictures, tasting notes, suggested uses, ranking and essential information such as location, products and tour availability.
The book is divided into novel but useful taste categories: Sweet and Subtle, Good All Round and Strong and Punchy oils. She has also included a section on branded and supermarket oils.
Judy has squeezed a wealth of useful tips and information into an introductory section. She talks about taste and flavor, definitions, cooking with olive oil, nutrition, composition and gives a quick review of each of the world's major growing regions. The layout is clean and easy to read with nice fonts and some short useful sections on varieties, bottles, how to use olive oil, etc.
As usual Ms. Ridgway is brutally honest and quickly cuts through the marketing hype, myths and hyperbole of the industry. She is not afraid to say that organic, unfiltered, cold press, or even low acidity don't always mean an oil is worth tasting. She blasts meaningless terms such as "special selection" and is not keen about corks and pour spouts but encourages "sell by" dates, "High Standard" designation and peroxide disclosure.
California oils which made her list include Davero, McEvoy Ranch, Prato Lungo, Stella Cadente, Storm Olive Ranch, V.J. Buck, Wente and Zadez Estate (Frantoio).
This very useful and informative book can be ordered through Amazon.com.