A few months ago fellow blogger and Heston enthusiast In Search of Heston got in touch with me to say he had found some Ferran Adria oils on offer in Morrison’s. I wasn’t able to find them locally and he offered to send them to me and after lots of procrastination I failed to book a courier. Then a few weeks later I found a bottle of the oil in a B&M Bargain – the least likely outlet for the worlds greatest chef to be peddling his wares. I doubt that when El Bulli was at the height of it’s power that Ferran would ever have imagined that his oil would find its way to a B&M Bargain in a northern town retailing at 99p a bottle.
Now being the culinary maverick he is Ferran has decided to take the idea of an oil made from olives and infuse it with olives. Not being a culinary maverick myself I had always imagined the point of infusing a product with something was to add extra depth, flavour or complexity to it and not to make it taste like itself, but then I’m not forging the future of the culinary arts so I’d best keep quiet. I’d be interested to see if this idea takes off though and we may get potato infused mash or tea infused tea – the possibilities are endless. Perhaps it is the future of food or perhaps it is the reason why I found the oil for 99p in B&M Bargain, you decide.
I don’t actually like olives that much, I can tolerate them when they’re in a dish and am happy for a hint of olive in my oil but if there’s a plate of them on a table I tend to leave well alone. It is probably for this reason that I bought the extra olivey olive oil back in April 2014 and am only getting around to writing about it one year later. The big issue with this is that that the oil went off last June – obviously that won’t stop me trying it as what is is a bit of gone off oil between friends. It does mean that there is no guarantee that what I taste and write about will be an accurate description of what Ferran intended. So here goes….
I gave the bottle a good shake as instructed to allow the little bits of olive that had sunk to the bottom to spread throughout the oil and poured a bit onto a plate. I had some stale bread which I thought would be the perfect accompaniment to out of date oil and dipped it in. The oil itself was thin, pale and quite watery, I don’t know if this is because it is not good oil or because it was nine months out of date but it certainly lacked richness and depth. It was perhaps the most olivey tasting thing I have ever eaten. The oil tasted more of olive than an olive. It was really intense and quite bitter and because of that I thought it was horrible. Again I have no way of knowing if that is what it should taste like or if those extra nine months of steeping had intensified the flavour to crazy proportions.
If I see any Ferran oils again I will try a different flavour and taste them whilst in date and maybe then I could be more positive, but for now, it’s a thumbs down Ferran.
Ferran Adria Olive Oil with Black Olives 99p for 200ml