Nicely done piece in the NY Times Opinion pages today on the adulteration of Italian Olive Oil. The animation is clever – not very NY Times, but an effective departure from their norm. The story presents a timeline of Italian olive oil, much which doesn’t really come from Italy, but is shipped in by tanker truck from other countries. Once it hits Italian shores, it is frequently blended with soybean or other cheap oils, mixed with beta-carotene to disguise the flavor, and chlorophyll for coloring. Then it is labeled “Extra-Virgin” and branded “Made in Italy”. According to the Times, about 69 percent of the olive oil for sale is doctored.
Jump over and watch the short animation. This is why I love olive oil tastings, such as the ones held by City Market and New Seasons Markets.