The highest quality olive oilas the core of everything
June 18, 2018
I’ve just got home and run straight to my desk. I was in urgent need of paper and a pen to tell you about everything I’ve learnt today … everything I’ve managed to confirm. Under the last few rays of sun of the dying day, I strolled through the streets of Tavarnelle Val di Pesa and put my ideas in order. My intention was to introduce, set out the plot and lay out the ending of a story, the story of how Carapelli works to produce the exquisite levels of quality it achieves in its extra virgin olive oils.
Today, I am what I am because of the values that Tuscany has instilled in me. I’m lucky. Truly lucky. Think about it for a moment. I am lucky to live under the glow of the Renaissance. To witness the rebirth of the Classical Age. To relish that search for perfection in numerous cultural and scientific fields, for example. But I’m not alone. Cesira and Costantino enjoyed the same experience when the Carapelli legend began 125 years ago. It was then that they began their search for the highest quality extra virgin olive oil.
I’m being entirely truthful when I say that I have no idea what others do, but that today I have discovered what sets Carapelli apart. Respect, mastery, heritage … These are not abstract concepts that paint a false picture. No. They constitute a reality. The true reality. It may sound a little over-emphatic, but there are reasons for this.
The high quality of olive oil depends, first and foremost, on the natural environment of a particular place. Uncontrollable? Yes. Measurable? Certainly. It takes years of learning to discover the best sites where the raw material can be found. And these sites are located in the Mediterranean Basin. And this is also where the wisdom of centuries and centuries of oil-making wisdom and oil processing has been handed down. But this heritage is only the beginning, the cause whose happy consequence is the best Carapelli liquid gold. I bring up the question of heritage for one very good reason: respect for the brand’s origins and the years of endeavor required to create extra virgin olive oil of the highest quality.
One of the reasons that led me to scribble these thoughts down is that I wish to convey something I learnt about today as soon as possible. The top experts (I shall call them maestros from now on, because they deserve it) tour a number of areas throughout the year in order to select the best produce, whilst also respecting the natural environment. They are truly proactive, since they don’t simply wait to receive the samples. They go out and find them. Do you know how many they analyze over a period of 365 days? Think of a number.
The answer is: 20,000 samples of extra virgin olive oil. In this manner, they not only guarantee high levels of quality, but they even manage to continue improving their oils and update their profiles. It’s not a question of staging some kind of show: Master Blenders are not magicians. They are simply maestros. It takes decades of experience and wisdom to gain the necessary know-how to be able to detect the different nuances that make up an olive oil, so that these can be perfectly blended to satisfy the demanding palate of the consumer (yes, that’s me). In effect, Carapelli’s work revolves around the history of the brand and the consumer.
There is a certain phrase that has stuck in my head. I can usually distract myself with music, but this phrase really made an impression: “If we can’t obtain high-quality extra virgin olive oil, there is no oil at that time.” That’s right. You heard correctly: it’s better not to produce olive oil than to lower the quality. And that says a lot. And this is also the reason why our maestros travel the world in search of the very best. With the know-how that has been passed on to them over the generations they know how to process a high-quality product, whatever its origin. They possess all the necessary Italian wisdom, the knowledge of how to respect a product, how to handle it… And this, down to the very last detail, thanks to a heritage made up of decades of dedicated work. Carapelli produced the best olive oil in the nineteenth century; it made the best olive oil in the twentieth century; and, now, it does so in the twenty-first century. It’s easy to say, but just think how much know-how is built up over this time!
Evening has come. The moon has risen in the heavens as I have told my story. You’ll notice that I haven’t digressed as on other occasions. But I had so much to tell you … and there’s still more. But now comes the ending. And it’s none other than your exquisite enjoyment. I shall ask just one more thing of you: when you savor a Carapelli extra virgin olive oil (no matter which variety), think about everything I've told you here as you do so. It’s for your own benefit. Your enjoyment will be immense.