`Italy's OlioCru Wins Top Prize in L.A. - Olive Oil Times

Italy's OlioCru Wins Top Prize in L.A.

Apr. 3, 2013
Nancy Flagg

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OlioCru

Olive oil pro­duc­ers from Italy, Spain and the United States can start don­ning new award seals on bot­tles of their win­ning entries from the Los Angeles International Northern Hemisphere EVOO Competition.

Six win­ners were awarded Best of Show; three from an inter­na­tional divi­sion and three from a domes­tic divi­sion. The inter­na­tional win­ners, in del­i­cate, medium and robust cat­e­gories, were all from Italy: Trappeto di Caprafico, OlioCru and Fattoria Ramerino. California pro­duc­ers won all of the Best of Show awards in the domes­tic divi­sion, includ­ing, Scripps College, Isern & Sons and Apollo Olive Oil.

Of the 516 entries from fif­teen coun­tries, the high­est honor went to Italy’s OlioCru, which was awarded the Marco Mugelli Prize for the best of the best” extra vir­gin olive oils. The top prize was named after the founder of the National Association of Olive Oil Testers who cre­ated oil extrac­tion tech­niques that greatly pre­serve oil fla­vor and health ben­e­fits.

The Los Angeles com­pe­ti­tion, now in its four­teenth year, was orig­i­nally con­ceived as a way to improve the breed of California olive oil,” said Darrell Corti, Chairman of the com­pe­ti­tion. The event later expanded to include inter­na­tional oils.

Last year, Corti split the com­pe­ti­tion into Northern and Southern Hemispheres. Each hemisphere’s olives har­vest at dif­fer­ent times of the year, and this year’s Southern Hemisphere oils will be judged in July, 2013.

Olive oils entered into the L.A. com­pe­ti­tion were sam­pled by a panel of inter­na­tional tasters. The panel was expanded this year to include Toshihisa Suzuki from Japan and Margaret Edwards from New Zealand. Our judges have a great deal of expe­ri­ence and are tal­ented tasters,” said Corti.

Tastings were con­ducted over an intense three day period. Each panel of tasters sam­pled 50 to 60 oils each day. Oils were tested from cus­tom­ary blue glasses that obscure the color so that it will not influ­ence the per­cep­tion of taste. In addi­tion, tasters were not told any­thing about the oil’s ori­gin, other than whether it was in the del­i­cate, medium or robust cat­e­gory. Corti referred to the pro­ceed­ings as the blue glass of anonymity.”

Judges gave awards in Best of Class and in Gold, Silver and Bronze medal cat­e­gories. Best of Show awardees were selected from the cat­e­gory win­ners.

Despite an abun­dance of fla­vor­ful and qual­ity oils, Corti said that he saw unchar­ac­ter­is­ti­cally lower qual­ity oils from a few coun­tries that are famous for their oils. Oil, like wine, is a prod­uct of the agri­cul­tural grow­ing cycle. It’s still mother nature who bats last,” Corti said.

Competition win­ners have the oppor­tu­nity to be rec­og­nized for their qual­ity EVOO and to receive award seals. In addi­tion, the pub­lic will have sev­eral chances to taste the win­ning olive oils at Cheers — L.A.‘s Wine, Spirits, Beer & Food Festival on June 22 and at the L.A. County Fair in September.

See the Complete List of Winners

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