We have noticed that many in the olive oil world, are using the new 'buzz word', ULTRA PREMIUM. What does it really mean? This might seem a little deep, but well worth a read.
The IOC, The International Olive Council, have the most slack of all chemistry standards in the world. Oils that just meet their specifications, pass the basic of of tests. Their tests do not include DAGS or PPP's which are an integral part the chemistry analysis.
Most commercial Olive Oils, are soft column refined, which strip them of not only bad flavors and smells, but nutrients. Sad really, when Olive Oil is a fruit juice, and the expectation should be fresh, tasty and nutritious.
Ultra Premium, should indicate Extra Virgin Olive OIls, that not only far exceed the IOC standards, but go a step beyond the more rigorous, and highly respected COC (California Olive Council) and AOC's (Australia Olive Council) standards.
We are the only suppliers of Ultra Premium Extra Virgin Olive Oil in eastern Canada.
Check out the links
Who can we trust? Disappointed yet again, in those who should know better.
Knowing what to look for on a bottle of olive oil should not be complicated. We have recently had yet another very vague label come to our
attention. There are names that we should be able to trust, in the
world of 'good, fresh, gourmet', etc, and we want to honor those who
offer an honest product. It is a challenge.
Our job is to not
only to provide fresh, high quality products, but to help customers
understand what to look for when they are not able to pick up a bottle
of Liquid Gold EVOO. We know that a 'best before date' only indicates a
2 year timeline from when the product was bottled, not crushed. It can
sit for an unknown length of time, sometimes a year or more, before it
is shipped to the bottling destination. If the product is not a regular
commercial brand, there are certain expectations. The crush date should
be voluntary, if not mandatory on the label, or at least a lot number. We recently found
one with neither of these, nor a best before date!! With nothing on the
label to indicate any of this necessary information, who's to know if it is the latest season's crush, last, or worse, the year before. Some grocers mix them up, so how the heck do they even know!?
Before you pay for the bottle you pick off the shelf of your trusted grocer, look for something that will give you a clue about when the olives where crushed. If you can not find the information you deserve to know, then bring it to the attention of the manager, or owner of the store. Keep in mind, if an olive has been picked, and crushed within 4 to 6 hours, kept out of high heat, light, and air, it can have a fairly long shelf life.
We at Liquid Gold specialize in Pure, Fresh, Extra Virgin Olive Oils, high quality flavored Olive Oils, and lovely Balsamic Vinegars. That is our focus.
* By definition, any olive oil that has had seed oil or olive pomace oil added to it isn’t extra virgin. Most adulterated oils typically have relatively low percentages of non-olive oils in them, as the greater the dilution with seed oil, the easier the fraud is to detect. Clever fraudsters will just add enough ‘other stuff’ so as to just make it difficult for authorities to definitively say that “yes this oil is fraudulent” without having to resort to expensive sophisticated testing and lengthy court cases. An adulterated olive oil that contains 90% extra virgin olive oil and 10% canola oil will still have a high level of monounsaturated fat* and will therefore solidify at fridge temperature. Next to the authentic EVOO, it will look exactly the same.
If you visit a Tasting Bar, and come across a claim like the one
below (or sometimes labelled "Starred" to imply it is aged), be very
careful to ask for the ingredients list. Many White Balsamic Condimento,
are thickened with guar gum, corn flour, Xanthan gum, and loaded with
added sugar. White Balsamics do not age well!!
When in doubt, go to the those who know. We asked the producers of both authentic Consortium Balsamc and Condimento producers at Acetum of Modena Italy, some questions regarding the 'truth in aging White Balsamic.
Q. White balsamic condimento is not solera aged? A."Correct, normally we don’t follow the solera system for the white balsamic condiment"
Q. It is a blend of Trebianno grape must and white wine vinegar. A. "Yes. It’s just the combination of Trebbiano grape must and white wine vinegar (this too from Trebbiano Grapes).
Q. It is aged only briefly, in either white oak or stainless steel, usually not more than 5 years. A. "Correct. In fact, if you age it, like the regular balsamic, in wooden barrels, the product tends to discolor, hence, there is only a minimum aging in stainless steel and/or white oak new wooden barrels only. It’s a delicate product, much like a white wine.
Q. The must is
reduced over a higher heat, more rapidly to avoid the colour transfer
that comes with the "caramelizing" process of dark product.
A. "Correct. While on regular balsamic, there is always cooked must (cook
over slow fire for a long period), in White Balsamic, the must is only
concentrate (under vacuum conditions) so to preserve the color and the
delicate flavor of white grapes. There is additional filtration and
separation (before the cooking) from the grape skins, which otherwise
will impart color (much like wine).
Aceteum comments further
"Unfortunately, the North America Market is full of false and misleading statements....It’s sad that still today people are presenting the product (after so many years) in a wrong way. It would be like saying, I buy Carlo Rossi Jug Wine because it’s 15 years old.
Further point of sadness is that – unfortunately – since there are no standard of identity for Balsamic Vinegar in North America, there is almost nothing we can do about it...The only way is to keep educating our clients about what’s valid and what’s not.In this case is not difficult since it’s easy to understand that if you age a white product (such as white wine) in an old barrel for 15 Years the product cannot possibly came out white."
Over the course of the past few months, many new and regular customers are asking, "so now what do I do with it?" As it is not a part of our North American culture, most of us have not experienced fresh olive oil.
When customers come in, taste, fall in love with this beautiful elixir, they are amazed. But they are also a little unsure of just what to do with it. Fresh oil can be used in almost any application where butter or vegetable oil is used. (I will include the butter to EVOO chart at the end of this article)
We use EVOO (Extra Virgin Olive Oil) for two reasons, taste and health. Fresh oil has many 'tastes'. A little like wine tasting, tasting oils conjures up palette pleasing notes such as "fruity, grassy, peppery,bitter, nutty, with notes of apple, artichoke, or cucumber. Types of olives or cultivars, are as different as grapes that make wine. Some are mild, some medium and some will sit you down and take your shoes off. In these categories, they will range from creamy and buttery to clean and fresh. If we think of our oil as a spice, we start to pair them with the foods we are preparing. As we become more comfortable with using our fresh oils, we will find more of them in our pantries.
When using EVOO in food applications, there are a couple of things to consider. Without getting too technical, bigger more robust oils have higher poly phenols or antioxidents, while milder, softer oils have less. When we heat EVOO, some of the phenols dissipate. If using the oil for high heat, you might want to consider a more robust oil, and save the softer ones for cold applications such as salads, dipping and finishing. Keep in mind, fresh olive oil has a relatively high smoke point, some up to about 420F. Mediterraneans have been using good quality EVOO for all cooking, for generations. Since the heating of the oil removes the fruity character, a mixture of 'the good stuff' and safflower oil (one high in monounsaturated fats), might be a good alternative. Some chefs use a virgin oil, or olive oil instead. But here goes the problem of finding them fresh.
So relax, and start drizzling, sauteing, dipping and frying your way to a healthier, tastier way of food preparation.
Butter Olive Oil
1 tsp 3/4 tsp
1 tbsp 1 tbsp
2 tbsp 1 1/2 tbsp
1/4 c 3 tbsp
1/3 c 1/4 c
1/2 c 1/4 c + 2 tbsp
2/3 c 1/2 c
3/4 c 1/2 c + 1 tbsp
1 c 3/4 c
Welcome to 2012!
I am reading a 'fresh off the printing press" copy of Tom Mueller's "Extra Virginity". Tom has a way of melding history, facts, myths and story telling, into a real page turner. As I turn those pages, I find my self saying "who knew?" again and again.
If the Keshen Goodman does not have a copy, I will donate one to them. We do carry the book at our store in Halifax, and will have them in soon at the Charlottetown Store, for those of you who want one of your own.