Oil and haiku


Two month ago we were in Tokyo. We went there to present our new oils and more in general, this year’s produce. This trip also gave us the opportunity to discover new facets of a culture that never fails to fascinate and surprise us. This time in particular we focused on haiku, the 17-sillable lyric considered to be the most perfect form of Japanese poetry.

Below is an example of haiku, which was written by one of the masters of this form of art, Matsuo Bashô (1644-1694).

No oil to read by…

I am off to bed but ah!…

My moonlit pillow

Bashô lived at the time when the Jesuits had just arrived in Japan and planted the first olive trees. According to Luigi Caricato, specialist in olive oil and author of many books on the subject, at first the locals did not really like this type of oil. However, this was soon to change, with the introduction of ‘tempura’.

Professor Tetsuo Sakamoto believes that the name of this delicate dish derives from the word ‘temple’. Apparently, the Spanish missionaries relished upon deep fries, to such an extent that the Japanese thought that this dish was to be consumed in temples, hence the word.

And just as we discovered haiku, our Japanese friends are now rediscovering the delicate flavour and beneficial effects of extra virgin olive oil. Our oils were a great success, and this is not surprising, since the oil produced on the shores of Lake Garda combines admirably with the refined dishes typical of Japanese cuisin.

We thanks Mr Shigenori Matsumura, for providing the picture of our Garda Dop and cherry tree flowers on the background.

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