We looked long and hard for an oil to call our own. We finally chose this one. Zingerman’s Olive Oil is made by Marina Colonna on her ancient estate in Italy's Molise region, a little over 100 miles due east of Rome. Made from hand picked Peranzana olives pressed the same day they’re taken from the tree, this extra virgin olive oil is hugely flavorful.
If you’re making oil in the southeast of Italy and looking for an olive that does it all, you can’t do much better than Peranzana. It grows well in the scorch-then-snow climate and ripens before frost reveals itself. It releases enough oil when pressed to make a business case for planting it. Its flavor is bold enough to stand up on its own, it doesn’t need blending with a “fixer” varietal that gives it a kick. It’s not too bold, though, so eating it does not provoke a hot, peppery, green-grass battle with every food it touches.
A decade ago, after I visited Marina Colonna’s farm, we selected from the dozen or so olive varietals she grows and presses separately and chose this one for a bottling she’d do just for us. Every year we’ve tasted again. Every year we’ve chosen the same varietal. Peranzana makes a lovable, delicious, authentic oil. You can use it in your kitchen to marinade, to dress, to douse, and to liven up just about any dish. I’d avoid cooking with it since that drives off some of the great aroma that you’re paying for, but any use after the dish is cooked is fair game. It shines on beans, raw vegetables and just-grilled meats.
Extra virgin olive oil
Smooth and assertive flavors
Harvested in fall 2022, this oil smells like fresh cut grass. The flavor is pleasantly bitter, reminiscent of spinach or kale, with a moderate but not overpowering amount of black pepper spice.