My name is Sarah Wolferstan, and I am the English half of Alivu. At a culinary retreat I heard the phrase liquid landscape to describe a wine. The speaker was referring to wine's terroir - the special quality of a food or drink that makes it unique.
When we eat olive oil we are tasting a particular cultivar - or a blend of several. We are also tasting a liquid landscape: the soil, the air, the sun, the plants that surround that tree. Terroir encompasses the work that has gone into making the oil; the journey it's made from field to plate over several seasons, but also the thousands of years' worth of farmers' decisions that have made olive trees what they are today.
As a Cultural Heritage practitioner and environmentalist, I am fascinated by the long-term view of food-making traditions, and the social and economic context of farming, as well as its ethics. As an EVOO Taster - I completed my Level 1 Certified Taster course in 2015, and I'm currently doing the advance course with ONAOO (the oldest and most famous professional school for training professional tasters in the world) I'm in my element telling the story of Olive Oil from its pre-historic origins to the present day.
Please get in touch if you would like advice on which oil to have in your restaurant, or would like me to run a tasting event for your staff or clients, or even give a talk on the archaeology of the olive tree and the history of olive oil.
Photo: Ash Naylor Photography