“This Olive Oil to South Africa, is not possible,” said the lady behind the counter at the Poste Italiane in Ravello, Italy. This was not exactly what I wanted to hear given that I had carted these 6 rather special Extra Virgin Oils halfway across Europe, and which were now starting to weigh heavily on me in more ways than one. One thing I was determined not to do was carry them home on the plane. The excess charge would be a bitch and I have one of those faces that custom officials like to talk to.
“These bottles, they break,” she went on to explain. “But if you write them as books, they will carry them.” she continued.
The two ladies at the other counters nodded their heads in agreement and who was I to argue? I’m a fanatical Olive Oil fan, and if lying to the customs officials of both Italy and South Africa is the best way to get them home, it’s a risk I’m prepared to take. Especially seeing as it was their idea – that would definitely stand up in a court of law. So books they became; big, heavy books, and possible slightly greasy if not handled carefully.
Today I’m thrilled to say they’ve arrived safely, and with no undercover customs officials in tow, as far as I know. Each is a spectacular oil and I can’t wait to pour generous wallops of it all over my food. I thought I’d share them, if only for the benefit of packaging designers and marketers. Each maker has attempted to give its oil a special story. Note the size of this first one, packaged like a fragrance – a 750ml fragrance. It makes quite a statement.