This past week I heard author Malcolm Gladwell speak at Elliott Masie's Learning 2009 conference in Orlando. Of course, one his best sellers is Tipping Point, which "is that magic moment when an idea, trend, or social behavior crosses a threshold, tips, and spreads like wildfire." I can't help but believe this is happening with high quality Extra Virgin olive oil. Quality olive oil production is not only about the old world of Italy, Spain, France and Greece. Similar to the spread of wine, the new world has caught on. Australia, California, Argentina, Chile, South Africa, Tunisia, and New Zealand are producing oils that have earned a place in our pantry.
Now, here comes Brazil. With their growing economy, Brazil might be about to enter the world stage. Thanks to the wonders of social media, I recently met an enthusiastic evangelist for Brazilian olive oil, Laura Reinas. I have included below a post from Laura about Brazilian olive oil (http://www.naosocomidinha.blogspot.com). It is good to know through Laura that we can track the progress of olive oil production in Brazil. A bottle of Brazilian olive oil might be in our pantry in the not so distant future. Perhaps, I should order the Portuguese version of Rosetta Stone.
"Yes, We Have Olive Oil!
The olive groves, very diffused throughout the Mediterranean, took place thanks to the speed of the Cretan and Phoenician ships, and the adoption of olive oil as the local currency, which made planting trees very important economically for the people of the region. These plantings are now spread around the world with their seedlings taken by settlers to countries such as America, Argentina and Chile.
And following the logic that Argentina and Chile produce quality olive oil, why not Brazil?
There is a responsibility for producing a quality olive oil that reflects Brazil’s rich cultural and economic history. Currently producing Brazilian olive oil carries a big task in cultivating a large estate of olive trees in ‘Serra da Mantiqueira,’ bordering the states of Sao Paulo, Rio de Janeiro and Minas Gerais. The seedlings adapted to the climatic conditions, which are not very favorable conditions of the Mediterranean region, because in Brazil, we have a lack of sandy areas and harsh winter.
There are 37 varieties planted, especially the Grapollo for oil, and Ascolana for table olives.
While the first harvest has been frustrated because of hailstorms that occurred in the region, the expectation remains that Brazil will produce quality olive oil on a large-scale basis as in European countries, such as Portugal and Spain, old world examples of success and tradition in the production of large quantities of fruit.
This step in the production of domestic olive oil can also help the Brazilian economy, reducing dependence on imports and helping in agriculture.
In the future you can look forward to your table and pantry including a bottle of high quality Extra Virgin olive oil from, yes, BRAZIL!"