Did you know the majority of domestic olive oils, like domestic wines, come from California? One of our favorites, Wonder Valley olive oil ($33), is making us forgo the Italian stuff on our salads and more.
Wonder Valley is made by Alison Altomari, one of California’s youngest olive oil experts. She lives in Franklin Hills and is an advisor to the California Olive Oil Council, which certifies that oils are extra virgin (EVOO) quality. We’re sold on its bright, grassy flavor and--sorry, but looks matter--the beyond beautiful label, which shows a goddess holding an olive branch aloft. (Altomari’s artist husband, Jay Carroll, is responsible for that one.)
We’ve taken to setting the bottle right on the table with our meal and some crusty bread, so that we can savor the experience together with our guests.
And just like wine produced by small vineyards, this oil is rare--only 600 bottles were harvested in November, so after this batch, we’ll have to wait until the next harvest.