The new harvest from fall 2016 is arriving, (October to November), the olives are harvested, milled into oil, racked and settled, and ready for us to enjoy. Just like wine, climate factors into the flavor and yield. That is why we celebrate and trust the producers who guide us to the differences from one year to another, and the ‘super tasters’ who judge its tastes for trophy worthiness. It is rewarding to meet the producers, owners of the land, and staff who are proud of what they produce. We taste every new shipment and work with the owners for tasting notes and pairing suggestions to guide us to pass onto you.

Family Reserve Picual 2016

Castillo d Canena Private Reserve just arrived and it is consistently award winning. The Picual varietal, which we have in stock now is bold and delicious from this current harvest. Very green in color, it is an early harvest, organic, and pressed within 4 hours of harvesting. Tasting notes of tomato, herbs, almond and green banana.

For this dressing we used a 4-1 ratio olive oil to Arvum Sherry Vinegar aged in the solara method of wood barrels and you can see the green color of the oil with the sherry vinegar and salt, with the tomatoes and tuna and cracked Arcona olives, spring onions and parsley. The Picual olive oil compliments the ingredients and has a rich and bold flavor.

Biodynamic Castillo d Canena

Castillo de Canena Biodynamic Extra Virgin Olive Oil just arrived.   Canena, in Spain has the utmost respect for the environment and commitment for sustainable development.  This oil is produced with integration and harmony with the surrounding ecosystem and the cosmos itself, adhere to the biodynamic calendar as the Romans did.  They produce their own compost from biodynamic treatments for the fertilization of the soil.  High in polyphenols, exceptionally delicious, and robust and perfect for dipping.

HOW TO TASTE EXTRA VIRGIN OLIVE OIL
The best way to discover the oil and flavor is to sip it without any bread or food. This will allow you to savor the oil’s flavor without distraction. Expert oil tasters, (there is a certificate program just like a sommelier for wine) use a 4 step approach. First look at the color, then swirl to release the aroma, sniff to smell the ‘nose’, slurp, (which means take some air with the oil in your mouth), and then swallow. Allow time to taste the complexity in your mouth and throat. Sometimes there is a delay in the peppery taste.

Questions to ask yourself: does it taste like tomato plants, stone fruit, herbal oregano, thyme and rosemary, nutty like almond, bean, banana…let your mind go wild. Do you like it?

More Questions: is it buttery, fruity, grassy, earthy, vegetable. Is it delicate, spicy, bitter, medium or bold and robust? Does it have a big peppery finish?

Now how to use it…a simple guide.
A Delicate olive oil is made with olives harvested in the later stages of ripeness. The oil will have a smooth and buttery taste, you’ll notice a fruitiness in the nose, no bitterness at all, and a slightly peppery finish. Delicate olive oils are ideal for baking or as a substitute for butter or mayonnaise and vegetable oil . It’s especially nice in cakes and muffins.
Because of the buttery flavor and richness of a delicate EVOO, they work well with lobster, crab and shrimp as well as milder white fish.

A Medium EVOO is made with a combination of olives harvested in both the early and mid-stages of harvest. This oil offers a fruity taste, a grassy scent, and a peppery or spicy finish. Medium olive oils are fantastic on vegetables and in vinaigrettes, and make delicious bread dipping oils.

Salads – Medium-intensity olive oils work nicely on any greens, from mild butter lettuce to peppery arugula. This vinaigrette recipe is simple and flavorful and adds a more acidic vinaigrette, with wine or cider vinegar.

Makes 1/3 cup   -  Ingredients
1 clove garlic, pounded with a mortar and pestle to a paste
1 tablespoon wine or cider vinegar
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
Kosher salt – a few pinches
Freshly ground black pepper – a few grinds
3 – 4 tablespoons Extra Virgin Olive Oil

In a small bowl, add the garlic paste, vinegar and mustard and whisk to combine. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Slowly add the olive oil, whisking to incorporate. Taste and adjust.

A Robust olive oil offers bold flavor, a balanced bitterness, and a very prominent peppery finish. You’ll also enjoy a fruity scent to the nose with this oil. Robust olive oils are best used for bold flavors: grilled or roasted meats, tomato dishes, and as a finishing oil. A natural for pairing with beef or lamb.

Bold intensely flavored oils are perfect as a finishing oil drizzled on soups, roasted vegetables, and pastas to add a bold, punch of flavor. They are also fabulous with a crusty bread for dipping. We love a robust, grassy olive oil on tomatoes.

A healthy choice= A Spoonful of Olive Oil a day keeps the doctor away

Olea Blue from Greece

How is Olea Blue different from other Extra Virgin Olive OIl?  Known for its rich flavor and potent phenolic content (antioxidants) up to 10 times more potent than many oils.  From early harvest Koroneiki olives grown on family farms in Greece, it is rich in flavor with a slight bitterness and distinctive yet pleasant peppery after taste.  The higher the phenolic content, the greater the health benefit.  We have 3 levels, from 800-1100, 1150-1450, and the highest at 1500 polyphenol count.  Watch on our event calendar for a class devoted to the eduction of this oil and the health benefits.

oil and vinegar cruets

A new arrival are these porcelain oil and vinegar vessels from France.  Beautiful ceramic with raised relief and pouring tops.

Dark Chocolate Every Day

As for another healthy alternative, a piece of dark chocolate every day satisfies your sweet tooth. Bittersweet Chocolate with olive oil and sea salt from San Francisco, this one has a winning wrapper and 68% cocoa.

Tuck this into your backpack for your next trip!

 

 

 

Carol Sapoznik
Life happens in the “and” moments – the places where we let more in, allow new directions of thought, create connections, remain open to all possibilities.
After 4+ decades at Crate & Barrel, I'm writing on retail, travel, marketing, the arts, causes that matter, & everything along this journey forward.

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