We've been selling Poggio Lamentano's extra virgin olive oil for years. Now we've worked with Michael Zyw, the artist and farmer who makes the oil, to develop our own exclusve blend.
While Michael grows five different varietals on his farm, for this particular offering he’s set aside the oil from the Moraiolo, one of the most interesting of the bunch. Moriaolo is a very old variety. Its branches point more up than down, making it harder to reach, and requiring old-school hard harvesting.
Michael doesn’t mind, nor do we—the hand-picking contributes positively the quality of the oil. But most new producers don’t want to bother—they prefer that machines do the work. The Moriaolo is rarely seen as a solo variety, either in oil or for eating. Usually it’s blended with other varietals—Leccino, Frantoio and Pendolino are its typical Tuscan associates. Its oil is bigger in body and has a distinctive flavor that forms the backbone of most Tuscan oils.
The oil is classically Tuscan—peppery, green, big, beautiful, delicious. The perfume is amazing—I could smell it for a long time. And the aroma of course just entices you to do what you know comes next—you actually eat it! It’s green, a bit peppery, lively, aromas and flavors both of fresh cut grass and olive fruit. It’s amazingly buttery with a big luscious mouth feel. As is characteristic of oils like Michael’s from the western part of Tuscany, it’s not as intensely peppery as those from closer to Florence.
I’ve been eating it a lot, on toast
—the aroma when the oil hits the hot bread is terrific. Or using it to dress pasta
, topped simply with Parmigiano Reggiano and a lot of great Tellicherry black pepper
. Great too on a steak
—drizzle it on right before you eat it, or on full flavored fish like bluefish. For dessert, try putting some of the oil on a plate, drop a spoonful of great varietal honey
in the middle of it, and then scoop the two together with some warm Paesano bread