Blending, or rather the ability to combine, in the right proportions, olive oils with different characteristics, origins and availability from year to year, obtaining a superior product which differs from the ‘starting ingredients’, is an ancient art, an artisan skill, still unknown to most and which marks out Italian blendmasters – the blending professionals”.


With these words, on 26 November 2014, Giovanni Zucchi opened the launch of his new book Olive oil doesn’t grow on trees – The art of blending: how quality olive oil is created, published by Fausto Lupetti and distributed in major Italian bookshops from mid-December 2014.


Giovanni Zucchi is the CEO of Oleificio Zucchi SpA, a family run business which has been operating in the cooking oil industry for over two centuries. In Olive oil doesn’t grow on trees, he wanted to introduce a profession to readers which is not well known but indispensable: the Blendmaster, the specialist in the art of blending extra virgin olive oils from different olive varieties and origins to create unique blends with specific qualities.


The author relates first-hand how his passion for olive oil started, and what the creative job of a blendmaster involves. He explains how to decipher, through tasting, the composition, qualities and defects of many samples of olive oil, to select the best raw materials needed to create the blends. His view reveals a different approach, involving all the senses, which discloses to the reader some surprising secrets about one product, extra virgin olive oil.


Beyond the narrative itself, lies an unexpectedly mouth-watering journey through the world of haute cuisine. The book contains also 12 extraordinary original recipes from Claudio Sadler, specially created by the Michelin-starred chef from Milan, making extra virgin and flavoured olive oil the stars of the kitchen.


Olive oil doesn’t grow on trees is an enjoyable read which, while dispelling industry myths and clichés, opens an important door to start learning about the reality of top Italian cuisine.