Former governor general now shilling olive oil

Former governor general now shilling olive oil

(Image: Arthur Caranta)

Who knew Adrienne Clarkson is a farmer?

The former governor general and her husband, John Ralston Saul, produce olive oil on their farm in Provence and are selling it at The Spice Trader and Olive Pit on Queen West. A limited run of 96 bottles of Sublime Olive Oil have been on sale since last week ($45 for 500 mL), and the Star says that a third of them have been sold so far. Maclean’s describes the oil as grassy, cold-pressed, unfiltered and single-estate with notes of artichoke.

The two have owned a 325-tree olive grove (Verdale, Berrugette, Salonenque and Picholine olives, for those who care) in France for the past decade and have been experimenting with small batches for their own use. It wasn’t until two years ago that they started to sell the stuff at the Olive Pit and Dinah’s Cupboard.

While some scoff at the idea of a former governor general toiling in the fields, working at an olive farm in Provence sounds more like those working vacations that rich hippie folk pay thousands of dollars for. Hey, it’s not like she’s hawking discount furniture in a Jays uniform.

• Notes of artichoke with a hint of GG [Maclean’s]
• From gilded halls to liquid gold [Toronto Star]