Dom Paulino masters olives at 97

After 50 years baking bread, Benedictine monk, Dom Paulino Gutierrez, now 97, is still working as Master of the Olives at Western Australia's New Norcia abbey.

The Sunday Times reports that in 1928, young Dom Paulino, aged 18, travelled from northern Spain to New Norcia to begin his religious life.

For more than 50 years he made the monastery's daily bread, turning out 200 large brown loaves from the wood-fired oven every morning. Dom Paulino turns 97 in 12 days' time and he's still working.

He is now Master of the Olives and puts the finishing touches on the monastery's beautiful liquid asset - New Norcia Olive Oil.

It was a search for olive oil that led gourmet shop owner Kingsley Sullivan to New Norcia. He thought it would be a wonderful idea to make bread in Dom Paulino's oven and the first loaves popped out on 8 May 1993.

Since then, more than five million loaves have emerged from New Norcia with mouth-watering names such as olive, rosemary and sun-dried tomato bread and fig and fennel sourdough.

A link with another monastery and its wood-fired oven - this time in Siena, Italy - has resulted in the famous New Norcia Nut Cake.

Apparently the Queen loves it and wrote to the New Norcia Bakery that she was very pleased to see that it was available in a Knightsbridge shop, just around the corner from the Palace.

And the most important name of all lives on. Dom Salvado Pan Chocolatti, a delicious blend of dark chocolate, roasted macadamias, pistachios and almonds named after the man who began it all - a Benedictine monk from Spain, Dom Rosendo Salvado.


SOURCE
New Norcia bread (Perth Now, 11/6/07)

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