Extra Virgin Olive Oil ~ A Love Affair by Marian
This is the beginning of beautiful friendship with a common bond ~ loving olive oil. Let’s face it; what do we consume that we can’t live without? Of course — Tuscan extra virgin olive oil. It is a love affair without end. In fact, it only gets more seductive.
I planted the first Tuscan olive trees on the Central Coast and either the first or second in all of California. The first small Tuscan trees found their home in our mountain valley a little over a decade ago. That alone is an astonishing fact considering the explosion of the olive oil culture in this country. One of the first things we will be engaged in is to try to explain that culture, because as of now we are inundated with misinformation, fake olive oil in all of our markets, and outright deception.
The health benefits of Tuscan extra virgin olive oil will be a part of this online conversation, and we will have loads of fun with all kinds of recipes (amazing how versatile olive oil can be!). I look forward to sharing some surprising recipes with you and receiving many that we can all try.
Art Gallery of Olive Oil Labels
March 24, 2013
You can’t have a healthy discussion about olive oil without talking balsamic, especially Kathleen’s balsamic!
March 18, 2013
Yet another article, this time in the Los Angeles Times, about the hottest topic in the food world… the domination of fake olive oil in our lives. Russ Parsons reviews Tom Mueller’s “Extra Virginity” The Sublime and Scandalous World of Olive Oil exposes the world of olive oil.
Russ Parsons starts his review with the following: “In 1985, when I was a fledgling food writer, I got a tip on a big story. A friend had just come back from a winter trip to Tuscany. There had been a freeze, he told me. Not just a little “whoops, we lost some leaves” chill, but a mega-momma that had devastated the region. Olive oil, which was just becoming a part of the American gourmet lexicon, had been particularly hard hit.
I reported out the story, calling importers, other experts with contacts in Tuscany, and even olive growers in the region itself. Sure enough, it turned out, up to 85% of the olive trees in the region had been killed. I talked to a farmer who almost wept describing how he had spent sleepless nights listening to the ancient trees in his orchard literally exploding as the freeze hit their hearts.
I confidently wrote a story describing the tragedy and advising my readers that they should stock up on Tuscan oil because there wasn’t likely to be any more for a long, long time.
But the next year, exports of Tuscan olive oil increased.
My story wasn’t wrong, at least in the details, though my believing that anyone could predict anything about the olive oil business was certainly naive. What I had missed was a loophole in Italian regulations so big you could ship a freighter through it — the name ‘Tuscan’ on the label only specified where the oil had been bottled, not where it had been grown or even pressed.”
Read the full review here: ‘Extra Virginity’ exposes the world of olive oil
January 24, 2013
I enjoy watching Paula Deen; after all, in most of us dwells that sugary, fatty genie who coaxes us to culinary and caloric indulgence. But life, especially the good life… is about choices and knowledge.
So what do we know? Type 2 diabetes, and in fact over 90 percent of chronic disease, happens because of bad choices, not bad genes or genies! New research proves that type 2 diabetes is nearly 100 percent reversible without medication or gastric bypass.
Good Fat :: Bad Fat
Like other ingredients used for cooking, such as butter, vegetable shortening, and lard, olive oil is high in fat. However, and most significantly, real olive oil (and I stress real!) is lower in saturated fat (bad fat) and high in monounsaturated fat (good, healthy fat).
It is well understood that saturated fat leads inexorably to an increased risk of developing diabetes. So replacing butter in someone’s diet with olive oil which you find in all of the recipes herein, will lead to a reduced risk of developing diabetes if not prevention.
Some research shows that monounsaturated fat (the good stuff) actually helps lowering blood sugar levels. One study found that blood sugar levels were lower in diabetics who ate a diet rich in monounsaturated fat than they were in those who simply ate a low-fat diet. In other words, if you are diabetic you must cut bad fats out of your diet and increase authentic olive oil. If you are buying your olive oil from super markets I can assure you it is mostly not authentic and adds to the fat problem, if not developing diabetes.
January 7, 2013
Happy New Year!
Couldn’t have said it better myself:
“The Hottest New Grocery Scam Could Be Lurking in Your Pantry Right Now”
“Celebrity chefs have made olive oil a $720 million business in the U.S., but a new book is blowing the lid off an industry that might be built in part on the backs of crooks. That’s the argument Tom Mueller makes in Extra Virginity: The Sublime and Scandalous World of Olive Oil.”
Please READ and if you have any of that fake stuff around, give it to… well, I’m not even sure.
December 27, 2012
Love to share this recipe! Yummy! Skip a whole cup of butter! Sorry Paula D.
Having a taste (one more yummy!) as I write this!
Olive Oil~Pecan Cakes
cooking spray oil for baking pan
4 large eggs
2 large egg yolks
1 cup sugar
4 tablespoons orange zest
1/2 cup chopped pecans
1 cup Carmody McKnight Tuscan Extra Virgin Olive Oil (real extra virgin olive oil or forget it!)
1 1/3 cups cake flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
1) Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Spray a 12 cup muffin pan with cooking spray.
2) Whisk eggs, yolks, sugar, and orange zest until foamy. Whisk in Tuscan extra virgin olive oil slowly until combined.
3) In a small bowl stir together flour, salt, and baking powder. Add the flour mixture to the egg mixture in two additions. Stir in the chopped pecans.
4) Divide the batter into the muffin pan and bake 20-30 minutes until light brown, testing in the center of one cake after 25 minutes.
5) Cool the cakes in the pan for 10 minutes and then invert onto a wire rack.
6) Serve warm or cooled. Can dust with confectioners’ sugar.
December 25th, 2012
When we offer recipes in this blog, not only are they fabulous and absolutely scrumptious, but they are good, good for you. That’s nature’s way, we like to say around here… “taste” that gets to your soul, derives from minerals and micro-nutrients in the soil. Yes, nature’s way. Mother Nature has been around a lot longer than the factory food merchants who package taste with chemicals and unnatural manipulations and have most of us fooled!
It is also about REAL food… where you know where the main ingredients come from, and for sure not out of a package! Why Tuscan extra virgin — REAL NOT FAKE — olive oil is good for just about every part of you body is scientifically documented. If you are not consuming some every day… well, what can I tell you — you’re not paying attention!
The next recipe (below) is created with Tuscan Extra Virgin Olive Oil and sweet potato (a veritable powerhouse of nutritional goodness, the Center for Science in the Public Interest calls sweet potatoes one of the most nutritious vegetables in the land). Laid back and luscious!
Tuscan Sweet Potato Cake
1 cup Carmody McKnight Tuscan Olive Oil
2 cups sugar
4 fresh eggs, separated
1/2 cup hot water
2 1/4 cups cake flour
1 large sweet potato, peeled and grated (2 1/2 – 3 cups)
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 teaspoon vanilla
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. With an electric mixer, beat the oil with the sugar. Add the egg yolks, one at a time. Slowly pour in the hot water and continue to beat until the mixture is light. Sift 1/4 cup of the flour over the sweet potato in a large bowl and toss. This will keep the potato from sinking to the bottom of the cake! Sift the remaining flour with the baking powder, soda, salt, ginger, and nutmeg. Add the dry to the wet ingredients and mix, then mix in the vanilla and the sweet potatoes. Beat egg whites until they form stiff peaks and fold them into the batter. Pour batter into an ungreased tube pan with emovable bottom and bake for one hour testing in center. Invert the pan on a wire rack immediately after taking from the oven. Continue to cool on the rack and serve warm or cold. Serves 12 lucky lovers of Tuscan olive oil.
Cherry Blossoms by the Lake
December 23rd, 2012
IT’S A RAW DEAL! As we mentioned previously Mother Nature has been with us considerably longer than the factory food merchants who manipulate and create health havoc with our food supply.
Consider this: extra virgin olive oil is the only oil that we consume raw. Extra virgin olive oil is the single oil created by simply pressing (milling) the fruit. No refining, heating, extracting, use of chemicals or other process; just cold (no heat applied) pressing of the olives.
Every other oil, canola (uugh!), corn, safflower, peanut, and even market variety olive oil involves a refining process using high heat and wretched chemicals to extract the oil. Extra virgin olive oil reigns supreme, because you are essentially eating a component of the raw fruit. This is the secret of its enormous health benefits and wondrous taste. More extra virgin olive oil please!
December 16th, 2012
My History With Tuscan Olive Oil
I think it may have been the very first olive oil tasting anywhere in California! It is amazing to me how the olive oil culture has come on so quickly and passionately in this country.
It started very casually well over ten years ago. My husband, Gary, and I were interested in olive oil and planting olive trees in our vineyard — it seemed such a natural. An historical imperative… with the Greeks and of course the Romans planting most of Europe with grapes and olive trees.
The only olive trees available in California at that time were the Mission olive trees.