DRIVING AROUND in the stunning Sardegna Region in Italy to visit interesting places I saw in National Geographic channel and social media ads is a dream manifested to reality.
One of my top list stops is the town of Alghero. A phenomenal place with splendid beaches, prominent historical sites, first-class cheese makers, wondrous grapes plantations, and most of all, incredible olive farms. My excitement started building up as I approached “Azienda Agricola Piras Francesco Farm.” It is one of the biggest and popular olive oil producers in the region.
When I arrived, I was warmly received by a vibrant beautiful young lady, Francesca Piras. The only daughter of Francesco Piras (founder/owner) brought me straight to their tasting room. She explained, there are two ways of sampling EVO (extra virgin olive oil). One method is by drinking it in small portion and the other way is putting it on a piece of bread.
She graciously poured their different kinds of biological blends of EVO – starting with the heavy/dark (taste), medium, light, tartufo (truffle), lemon and the fruity mixture, one by one in small cups. I got anxious and hesitant at first when she offered me to drink it. I wanted to say that I only drink olive oil when I do my liver-gallstones detox or with bread or in insalatas or for cooking.
To cut the story short, I surrendered to the moment’s demand. As I took a sip, my palate was captivated quickly by each one’s authentic zest. My world sensory was awakened to a new discovery. I was enchanted. The genius creations of Corax by Francesco Piras (their brand name) are remarkably unforgettable.
After which I was taken to the huge production area where the operations manager showed the delicate process of EVO making. I immediately noticed how their workers put their heart in what they do. No wonder most Italians I know brag that their foods are the best in the world. Now I understand what they meant. Their ingredients are made to perfection and showered with heaps of amore.
Afterwards, I was led towards the grand 120-hectare olive farm, greeted by dazzling olive fruits in different sizes and colors. What an exhilarating sight. While walking, Francesca further explained how their olive trees are deeply rooted in a land of history and tradition.
“Every day our trees breathe fresh sea air and enjoy the perfumed flavors of nature. They are happy and healthy. And by adding our passion and expertise on top of our well-cared harvests, we end up with exemplary products,” she says.
I realized while she was talking in a melodic tone how her father learned the art to be successful. Just like in painting, once focus, precision, passion, faith, dedication, mastery, proper tools, right environment are all set in place, a flawless masterpiece is certain.
To tour the vast Piras estate is not possible in one day. Francesca decided we go to her sleek office. She showed me her dad’s photos and a post from him which touched the epicenter of my heart: “If you can read a man’s soul from his eyes, from his hands, you can read his life story. Because from every man’s hand shows his life struggles, sacrifices, and work.” I was so moved after reflecting on his statement. I instantly felt a great respect and admiration to this great being.
According to Francesca, original olive oil should be deep green in color (not yellow), thick in consistency and have freshly cut grass-pungent-fruity smell, with a nutty slightly bitter taste. A complex composition of aromas and taste, indeed. I love olive EVO not only for its lavish taste, but also for its grand nutritional benefits.
Extra virgin olive oil is composed of powerful antioxidants and monounsaturated fats (healthy fats). It reduces inflammation, lowers risk of heart disease, is good for the bones and joints, diabetes, Alzheimer’s disease, anti- cancer, aids in digestion and kills harmful bacteria. It is also a super make-up remover, can be used in aromatherapy, as a carrier oil and supports liver-gallstones cleansing.
When buying EVO, it is immensely important to check its color, consistency, and smell. Additionally, look over the ingredients, manufacturer’s reliability, and expiration date. An unopened bottle usually lasts for 2 years, from the date it was produced. Though experts advise to consume it within a year before it turns rancid (crayon like taste).
Choose the best quality food, every time. Money spent for your health is the smartest and most gratifying investment you will never regret.