Karawan Tunisian Extra Virgin Olive Oil and general thoughts on olive oil
I bought a bottle of this medium bodied olive oil last week and have enjoyed it with bread as well as in the preperation of a red lentil soup (provencal sytle, sort of anyway). I found it at a little middle easter food store (yeah, i know Tunisia is not really "middle easter") along with some cheeses i have never heard of. My cheese monger friend turned his nose up when i told him about them. Anyway, i used to buy a Syrian olive oil from a similar sort of shop in Greensboro, NC but dont remember the name. I have been pleased with this oil (much more than the rather tepid and grassy Bariani California Olive Oil i got a few weeks ago). Any thoughts on other Middle Eastern Olive Oils? I tend to prefer more robust oils and in this category the Spanish brand Ybarra is about as good as i have found. Thoughts
This category of extra virgin olive oil I also find appealing--the relatively heavy, soft, fragrant, even sweet and ripe flavors of some Spanish, most Greek, some Italian, and many North African/Middle East oils. I've not tried the Tunisian brand mentioned, but remember that many extra virgin oils imported from, say, Lucca, are mostly blended with exactly these heavier-weights from North Africa and Southern Spain. My grandfather, born in Calabria, would always keep a gallon of El Toro or Ybarra in our Brooklyn basement for a taste of traditional heft--the rest of the family were all too busy extolling the more modern virtues of flavorless products from Bertolli. Enjoy!