Food for thought Archives - Mazzone Olive Oil

Blossoms of Hope ~ Boccioli di Speranza

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For the olive growers and olive oil producers of the southeastern Italian province of Puglia, this year’s explosion of flowering olive trees is of particular significance.

In March of 2018, last year, this region carpeted with endless miles of olive groves was hit with a devastating 3-day freeze that destroyed 80% of their crop. An economic, cultural and psychological catastrophe!

Puglia, alone, produces nearly 40% of Italy’s premium extra virgin olive oil.

However, this year, like the redeeming promise from God, the olive trees in Puglia are bursting with beautiful white blossoms, each small flower signifying a hope in the “fruit of light”, an olive that will relinquish its precious cargo of liquid gold in November.

Although songs of victory are yet to be sung, as 6 months must pass avoiding damaging hail storms, unrelenting heat waves, or parasite attacks, we at Mazzone Olive Oil are optimistic that Puglia will recuperate from last year’s debacle with an extraordinary extra virgin olive oil, naturally high in healthy polyphenols and low in acidity. The perfect combination of health and flavor.

For producers of authentic 100% premium extra virgin olive oils, there are always challenges aside from weather. We deal with rampant fraud, falsified products, the advance of a grove destroying bacteria, as well as countless economic and bureaucratic obstacles. 

…But for this year, we are optimistic and take faith in these tiny blossoms that point towards a brighter future.

First Drops of Mazzone Extra Virgin Harvest 2016.

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Wednesday marked the beginning of the new season at Mazzone Extravergine in Ruvo di Puglia.

This year’s harvest has started a month early as climate conditions have us racing to collect the olives from family groves of Coratina varietal olives.

Yields throughout Italy are low this year, nearly 40% off of last year’s bumper crops.  This is important for the consumer to know that this situation will encourage traditional large volume/ low cost producers to look for “creative” ways to bring oil to the market. Meaning: be aware that unless you know the producer, the product could easily be from sources outside of Italy.

Mazzone Olive Oil will absorb any increase in production cost in order maintain price levels in 2017. We can do this because we control the the process from the tree to the table.

5 Things to know about your Extra Virgin Olive Oil

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Olive Oil Times recently published a simple yet effective list of things that you should be aware when purchasing olive oils.

First of all, and most obvious, check the “best by” date. If it is close to expiring or past, it most likely is not poisonous, but surely not worth the extra $ for the extra virgin.

Second, quality extra virgins have an aroma like fresh cut grass or even garden tomatoes. If there is no pleasant aroma, there is a good chance it has been deodorized to mask old age, rancidity or poorly processed olives.

Third, if it smells like s barn yard, feed it to the hogs. Odors such as hay, mud, rotten fruit or wet cardboard are signs of an oil that has oxidized and will lack all the benefits you paid for

Fourth, if it has a “nosey” flavor like vinegar or wine…well, no comment except that good evoo’s impart their flavor on the back part of your pallette, Save fruit forwardness for a nice red wine from Puglia (like our “Nero di Troia” from Mazzone)

And fifth, have you ever tried to eat an olive off the tree? I don’t reccommend it. But the extreme bitterness of healthy olives are what make a great olive oil. Take a sample, smell the aroma, sip it and swoosh it around in your mouth. It should smell fresh, like green grass, have a pleasant bitterness on your tongue and cause a sting in your throat. Farmers even have a classification for the bite of olive oils: “One, Two or Three Cough” oils.

So keep an eye out for these characteristic and your next bottle will be great, better yet, come down to the Sararota Farmers Market or visit us at the shop on Tamiami Trail and pick up a fresh bottle of our Coratina Monvarietal Extra Virgin.

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Mazzone Olive Oil “Going Global” – Taking Artisan Olive Oils World Wide

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The hardest part of selling and marketing extra virgin olive oils is getting people to try your product.  At Mazzone Olive Oils, our first job is to make olive oils that are compelling and relevant to the palette of consumers world-wide.  For the most part, we, as master olive oil artisans since 1930, this is a job we cherish and think we are pretty good at doing.  But how do we convey this to the huge number of olive oil consumers that are unable tell the difference between a blended “off the shelf” low quality oil and a premium “Coratina” monovarietal extra virgin olive oil like Mazzone?  The answer….one person at a time.

Engaging and convincing the olive oil consumer is done with patience, solid information and tasting.  We must rely on getting the people to sample our Mazzone Olive Oils and explain what they are experiencing.  There are very few people that really know what a premium extra virgin olive oil is supposed to taste like, so we must use our communication skills to explain the healthy “bite” of polyphenols, Tocopherol and Oleuropein (I will explain these in a future article), the importance of “terreno” (terrain), “clima” (climate) and olive variety that create subtle changes in flavor from year to year.

For this reason, we at Mazzone Olive Oil have embarked on a mission to criss-cross the world educating and sampling our Artisan Olive Oils.  From the sleepy southern Italian village of Ruvo di Puglia where Mazzone was born in 1930 to Sarasota Florida and onward to Shanghai China back to Zurich Switzerland.  We have been participating in local trade shows and farmers’ markets around the world for decades taking Mazzone to the global community.  Our goal is to make our customers part of the “Famiglia Mazzone” teaching them to look forward to experiencing the new flavors that each year’s harvest will bring from their Italian family back in Ruvo di Puglia.


Extra Virgin Suicide

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Extra Virgin Suicide

There are so many olive oils on the market. Often customers will ask us what is the difference between Mazzone Olive Oil and oil bought in most grocery stores.

This article by the New York Times does a great job of revealing the sad truth.

Mazzone Olive Oil is a family tradition, proudly producing Unfiltered, First Stone Cold Pressed, 100% Extra Virgin Olive Oil. We do not use herbicides and we treat our olives with the utmost care during harvest and pressing.

That is the only way we feel anyone should be producing olive oil. We are proud to be authentic, viewing our customers as friends, and loving what we do!