Olive oil tastings

Azeite Gallo

Olive oil bottles make great gifts. We recently tasted two interesting, delicious, affordable olive oils. The first is Gallo Azeite Novo. It is made from olives that are still green, giving the oil a spicy, fresh taste. The second is Gallo’s Moonlight Harvest. It is made from olives harvested at night and pressed while they are still cold. It has a smooth, fruity taste.

The quality of olive oil can vary greatly from crop to crop, depending on rainfall and temperature throughout the year. That is why, to ensure consistency of quality and taste, Gallo blends olive oil from different regions.

Each year, Portuguese farmers wait nervously to taste the new olive oil in a ritual called “tiborna.” They dip warm country bread into the oil and, to bring out the flavors, season it with a pinch of salt or a pinch of sugar and cinnamon.

You can invite some friends and enact the same ritual at home. Which olive oil do they prefer? The freshness of young oil or the smoothness of midnight oil? You can peer into their souls by observing their choices.

 

It is generally a good idea to buy the olive oil at the airport’s free shop and take the bottles inside the airplane as a carry on.

Star olive oil

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So many people come to Portugal looking for the perfect vacation. We see them arriving at the airport, impatient sun worshipers ready to experience the country’s radiant beauty.

For some of these visitors, what starts with a few days of relaxation turns into a lifetime adventure. Detlev von Rosen, a Swedish entrepreneur, came to Portugal forty years ago and he never left. He bought farmland in the Algarve and began to learn about the soil, the water, the wind and the sun.

He first used this knowledge to cultivate flowers. Later, when he felt ready, he planted olive trees. He discovered that the olives had to be picked by hand and pressed shortly after the harvest. He searched for ways of extracting the oil that would keep it pure.

His results are extraordinary. We could tell you that his customers include Carla Bruni and the Queen of Sweden. However, this is not a gossip blog, dear reader, so we will refrain from name dropping.

Sadly, Detlev Von Rosen passed away in 2016 at age 80. But his legacy lives on in the hands of long-time collaborators who inherited his passion for producing exceptional olive oil.

The oil is sold in small bottles under the name Monterosa, a Portuguese transliteration of Von Rosen. These bottles are hard to find, but you can order them online through the company’s website. If you’re looking for a special gift for a loved one, forget Chanel No. 5 and try Monterosa No. 1.