New American Olive Oil: Profiles of Artisan Producers and 75 Recipes


American wine and cheese? Sure. But American olive oil? Absolutely. More than a decade ago a California oil won an international competition?in Italy. And upstart American olive-oil producers?many profiled in this book?haven?t looked back, creating artisanal oils that now come in first place in tastings worldwide.
For those whose knowledge of olive oil remains extra-virgin, author Fran Gage sets out all the essentials: buying ...

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American wine and cheese? Sure. But American olive oil? Absolutely. More than a decade ago a California oil won an international competition—in Italy. And upstart American olive-oil producers—many profiled in this book—haven’t looked back, creating artisanal oils that now come in first place in tastings worldwide.
For those whose knowledge of olive oil remains extra-virgin, author Fran Gage sets out all the essentials: buying and storing high-grade oils, understanding olive oil’s basic types, evaluating its health benefits, and doing your own olive oil tasting. She then uses American-produced oils in dishes ranging from rustic to sophisticated. The 75 recipes include crusty snacks (crackers, flatbreads, bruschette), savory sauces (pestos, vinaigrettes, mayonnaises), and scintillating fish, meat, and poultry main courses. For daring tastebuds, there’s a sideboard of desserts—cakes, cookies, even ice cream—that include olive oil as a main ingredient.

“Fran Gage’s new tome on my favorite lipid of all time and the sharp American producers who make it is inspirational, historical, and informative. Most of all, is is delicious both to read and to cook from. The stories of the farmers and artists who grow and create the amber green liquid gold are fascinating and filled with American ideology and old world traditions, forming a new olive culture that is at once ancient and new world.”      
- Mario Batali

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly

Setting aside Spanish, Italian and Greek olive oils, Gage (Bread and Chocolate) profiles 15 American producers and highlights olive oil's merits to demonstrate the difference it makes in food and to emphasize that American oils can be as good as those from Europe. Gage's brief portraits of different oil companies are engaging and informative: at the outset, she explains olive oil fundamentals-production, the industry's American history, classification, food pairing-but the profiles bring it all to life as she describes visiting California groves and her conversations with the passionate people who run them. The recipes use olive oil both subtly (as in a red wine calamari stew) and overtly (mashed potatoes drizzled with olive oil, for example). The dishes, which generally require only intermediate kitchen skills (though sometimes above-average access to specialty ingredients, such as Persian lime olive oil), are mostly Mediterranean inspired, and in Gage's detailed introductions she often recommends specific oil varieties to use. Home cooks will be glad to come across this appreciation of a versatile and delicious ingredient. (Apr.)

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Library Journal

Coauthor of Chocolate Obsession and a well-known food writer, Gage became passionate about olive oil several years ago, after an introduction to "the good stuff" (she now serves on several olive oil tasting and research panels). Here, she offers a wide variety of mouthwatering recipes featuring olive oil, along with profiles of 15 top olive oil producers (all in California) and a thorough guide to choosing, storing, and cooking with olive oil. Highly recommended.

—Judith Sutton
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781584797548
  • Publisher: Abrams, Harry N., Inc.
  • Publication date: 4/1/2009
  • Pages: 224
  • Product dimensions: 7.90 (w) x 9.10 (h) x 1.10 (d)

Meet the Author

Fran Gage writes about food for such publications as Saveur, The San Francisco Chronicle, and Fine Cooking. Her books include Chocolate Obsession (with Michael Recchiuti, STC), Bread and Chocolate, A Sweet Quartet, and Cake. Gage lives in San Francisco.

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