The Mediterranean Loses Its Monopoly on Elite Olive Oil

The Carbonell olive oil plant in Alcolea, Spain Photograph by Angel Navarrete/Bloomberg

“You can make really great olive oil anywhere,” said Dan Flynn, an olive expert and director of the University of California-Davis Olive Center, ”and you can make really crappy olive oil anywhere.” He was in New York City last week—hardly olive country—for the second annual International Olive Oil Competition. I had the good luck to sit next to him during the awards presentation, where 19 Best in Class honors were bestowed on oils from eight countries. Many more gold and silver awards went to products from a longer list of locations.

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