Special/Signature Issues » Belle

Style & Substance: Choice Oils

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When stay-at-home mom Stacy Luks was trying to figure out what type of work to get back into, she knew one thing: She wanted it to connect her to Australia, the country she'd lived in for 10 years.

Luckily, the burgeoning olive oil industry in Australia supplied the answer. And Luks started a business importing styles of extra-virgin olive oils from Victorian Olive Groves, based in the southern state of Victoria.

The industry is "doing well for the same reasons Australian wines are doing well," she says. "The climate is right. It's very much a Mediterranean climate and people are experimenting with all sorts of olive trees."

These finishing oils are a grade above what you can get in the supermarket, and a lot like wine in that you pair them with what you're eating.

Luks sells three types of oils: the delicate Black Harvest Manzanillo (which works with poultry, fish, vegetables and light lettuces); the medium-bodied Harvest Blend (which goes with everything); and a more robust Early Harvest Frantoio (which goes with hearty soups, grilling meats and strong greens like arugula). The oils are $16-$19 and are available at Stonewall Market, 4917 Grove Ave., or through Luks at stacy@piquantpalate.com.

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