“….From the moment I first tasted it, olive oil won over my appetite. I can drink it from the bottle. But for the longest time I hated all but the blandest, the most buttery of olives. If I’ve persevered toward liking them, it was because my tongue knew that somewhere buried in that bitter flesh were a few drops of unguent gold — if I could only learn to discern and savor them.
Happily, the rest of the equation had an instant, magnetic appeal. The glass of wine, the bread, the olive oil — all these drew my appetite. I had only to see how to this pleasure the olive itself was the essential pivot. And so we begin without the olives, just the rich and unctuous slice.”
From Simple Cooking, by John Thorne. New York: Viking Penguin, 1987.