HUDSON – The minute fine cooks hear about a product that is difficult to obtain, they want it. No matter the wait list. They want it.
In the case of Las Castellina olive oil, rarity is a function of its origin. From the medieval village of Castellina, just outside of Siena in Tuscany, olives come from only 300 centuries-old trees. And, of course, the harvest is contingent on the vagaries of weather – some years producing a plenitude, others a scarcity.
That’s where Olde Hudson Market comes in. Hudson, NY, proprietor Dena Moran is the only retailer offering La Castellina in America. Her long-standing relationship with the Italian grower has provided a level of trust necessary to be the exclusive U.S. retailer. That means anyone in the entire US who wants to taste this olive oil, must order it through http://www.OldeHudson.com. And, depending on the size of the harvest, it might not stay on Olde Hudson’s shelves very long.
It’s the flavor that has sold Moran on this product. So much so that she’s recommending it as a perfect gift. She’s even created a special burlap bag for packaging and a special tag telling the story of just how exclusive this oil is. But, should the promotion be highly successful, she’ll be disappointed. After all, there isn’t much of the stuff to go around. Like the ads say, ‘Quantities are extremely limited.’
No matter the yield, all olives are hand-picked, then pressed within 24 hours. That means small batches and round-the-clock attention to production. Lastly, the grower still uses real cork stoppers and green-glass bottles, both a tradition for over 100 years.
It is sad to say that this kind of attention to detail is rapidly disappearing from the food scene. But it is another reason this olive oil is in such demand. Cooks and gourmets value the fruity, delicate flavor with the slightly peppery finish and attribute those characteristics to the ancient trees and the craftsmen-like methods used in its creation.
Exclusive and limited production coupled with glowing word-of-mouth equals special status. In this case, demand has outstripped supply and only a few lucky foodies in the United States will be able to proudly serve this oil on their Holiday tables.