Okay, I’ve put this off long enough, eh? So please, Come and Eat.
Tonight, I’d like to introduce you to the collection:
This isn’t every can of olive oil we’ve ever purchased together, but it’s close. Yes, that means we moved most of these halfway across the country. Because I am crazy. And because I had a vision of one day having a huge outdoor wedding party, with these as flower vases. (But mostly because I am crazy.)
The collection started when we lived in Chicago, on the far north side near the Indian neighborhood. We’d go to a certain discount grocery store out on Devon, where vegetables and spices and rice were cheap, and buy whatever oil they happened to have that time. Sometimes it was pretty good. Sometimes …not so much. The worst was “El Toro” — third from the right here — but its can is one of my favorites, along with Alafia and La Regina. It makes me think of Ferdinand. Seriously terrible taste, though. Not recommended.
For years, I had no answer to the question everyone who sees the cans asks: which one was the best? You might have noticed that I like to think about (and talk about) food a great deal, so it was somewhat embarrassing to admit that, as long as the oil I eat every day in nearly every meal isn’t El-Toro-wretched, apparently I pay it no mind. Regular con-a-sewer, right here.
Then I found Fortuna. I bought it at DiPalo’s, on Grand Street in Little Italy, and it you live in New York and don’t know what I’m talking about, it’s high time you got off the computer and found out. (Be sure to stop by Alleva Dairy for some cheese while you’re there. I bought the can on the far right there, just after we came to the city. I signed my credit card slip on top of a huge wheel of cheese.) I wanted to buy the cooler looking can — red and blue and very 70’s — but the woman at the counter was having none of it. She all but forced me to buy the Fortuna, and was she ever right. It’s a truly lovely oil, light and flowery. A little of that drizzled on some chickpeas and all’s right with the world. Heavenly days.
So now I have a problem. Do I continue my tradition of buying a different can every time? It’s getting harder. I have to go farther and farther afield to find ones I haven’t bought before — astute observers will note one brand appears twice, mostly out of desperation. Or do I recognize that I have found the perfect oil and settle in for a long and delicious run of monotonous appearances?
And what the heck flowers am I going to find tall enough to put in these cans anyway?
So, what are you up to this week? Paste the address of a post about a food or meal into Mr. Linky. Please paste the address of a particular post, not just your whole blog, so folks know where to comment. (And as always, please put a * by your name if your post features babies/pregnancy.)