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Friday, May 17, 2013

Castelas Ginger Olive Oil


Food souvenirs from my trip to Provence.
Last year, I was lucky enough to ride a bike through a little bit of Provence. It was a magical trip. We visited some incredible places, such as Pont-du-Gard, an ancient Roman aqueduct,

Pont-du-Gard. It's big. Really big.
the hilltop town of Les-Baux-de-Provence, with a medieval castle,

Looking up at Les-Baux-de-Provence. The castle and the town are a step back in time.
and a little olive oil producer down the hill from Les-Baux called Castelas.


We got a tour of their facilities. The picture above is the display to their fancy Italian olive oil press. Of course, no tour would be complete without a visit to the gift shop, where they sell their olive oils, olives, soaps, and candle (both made with olive oil). They let us sample their olive oils and they were absolutely delicious. The black fruit olive oil, pressed from ripe black olives, is very smooth with a background flavor of hazelnuts. It is incredible stuff.

But, the really special oil is the Ginger Olive Oil. It is not an infused oil. The ginger is pressed with the olives and the pure ginger flavor is unique. I have tasted every ginger olive oil I could find since I visited Castelas and nothing even comes close. A little goes a long way when used as a finishing oil. It enhances fish, or chicken, and makes a wonderful vinaigrette.

Something this special doesn't come cheap, of course. Well, if you are in Les-Baux, it's pretty reasonable. Unfortunately, I have no plans to visit Provence this year, so I need to order it from the source. Shipping is more expensive than the oil, but it's worth it. Indulgent, yes. But, I don't often splurge on things like this.

You can visit their main website or go straight to the Castelas store (in English) to order some of this exceptional olive oil. I would not wait too long. Last year, when my stash was getting low, I went looking for it and it was all sold out. I've been conserving it ever since. I ordered two 250 ml cans and they should get here next week. Let the olive oil flow!

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