French regulations demand that the origin of the olive oil must appear on the bottle. Look closely. At times, such info appears in mouse type. The FR5 sleuths embarrassed one shady vendor at a market in Aix-en-Provence who was selling olive oil from Spain.
Take the generic phrase “a product of the European Union” that appears on the back-of-the-bottle label of the popular French supermarket brand Puget. Origin of this olive oil: Spain.
So if you want to make sure the olive oil is from France, you should go and see Andre in Gordes, Provence. That is what we did on our food trip. Andre built his beautiful shop in 2003 and started to produce olive oil.
We started the visit with a walk in the olive orchards. We learned everything about the olive tree, the harvest technique by hand and the process to produce the oil: extra virgin first cold press of course.
We then tasted the different oils Andre produces: AOC or tradition olive oil but also basil, rosemary and truffle olive oil. But that is not all: toasts with different tapenades and of course some rose wine.
Kathy, from our group, felt very comfortable with Andre…
Kathy is the “trouble maker” in the group. You will see what happened to her in the afternoon.
After lunch we went truffle hunting. Of course, we needed a dog. We went with Robert, truffle hunter and his dog, truffle hunting under the white oaks in the forest of Gordes. Kita, the dog, was excellent and found 5 truflles in the 3 different areas we visited.
After the hunt, we were invited by Robert to eat truffle toast in his house. He served us toasts with butter, fleur de sel de Camargue, sliced truffles and olive oil. It was simply delicious. He also served us two different types of white wine.
Kathy, again, decided to double the slices of truffle on the toasts. So she removed the slice from one toast and put it on another one. She started to pile up all the toasts from where she had removed the truffles. She finally tried to hide them but doing so, she spilt her glass of wine on the table and on Jutta’s pants…Robert had to take care of it.
I think Kathy should be voted out of the truffle farm too!!! Just kidding. We all love her.
It is actually a very nice group and everyone is getting along great. More adventure to come on our food and cooking tour to Provence.