Monday, March 2, 2009

A gift from California: Casa Pau Hana olive oil

I'm in the fortunate position that I regularly receive foods and gadgets to play with. A couple of months ago I received two bottles of oil from Casa Pau Hana in Paso de Robles, California.

First some tidbits from googling.
They have two varietals:
Lucca, of which they have 400 trees of 8 years of age
Arbequina clone I-18, of which they have 800 trees of 6 years of age
(who knew such information was out there, and do we care?)
They also won a Silver Medal at the 07 LA Olive Oil Competition.

We've tried these oils for cooking, salads, and sauces. The Arbequina is much more familiar to us, and quite enjoyable. The Lucca was a new one for me - and I've slurped a lot of oil in my days. The oil is very smooth with a buttery start and a pepper finish. I found it a bit mild for my tastes, but could easily work well in a middle eastern meal or as a marinade for cheeses. I would really like to try this for a trick I picked up from a friend who marinates her shredded mozz for a day before she uses it on pizza - her pizza is the best homemade pizza I have ever had. The Lucca has a long finish that is surely enjoyable.

One nice thing about Casa Pau Hana is that they're small enough that they still handwrite their harvest date on the bottles, and aren't all corporated out with websites and fancy marketing. Of course we wish them the best so that they make the big bucks, but we also hope they stay a hidden treasure.

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