[Warming up the extra virgin olive oil for a tasting; photo Courtesy of Redoro]
What could be better commemorating a birthday than sitting at a large table with good company, great food, and amazing wine? It just so happened that my big day this year fell on the same one as the “Extra Virgin Olive Oil Flavor Your Life” event, which featured a tasting, food made from the sampled extra virgin olive oil options and wine, plentiful delicious wine, also made from the same farm, Frantoi Redoro, that produces the olive oil. An educational culinary experience unfolded, as food expert Lou DiPalo shared interesting anecdotes about the nature of olive oil (it should always be in a dark bottle, once you open it, you really should finish it up in six months), while the CEO of the family run Redoro estate, Daniele Salvagno, jumped into the conversation every now and again, even walking around the room and making sure everyone had one extra drizzle of olive oil atop the ultra delectable food, made by Italian Chef Andrea Tiberi.
If you’re like me and sampling olive oil is something you’ve never done before, place a few drops to graze the bottom of a shot glass,twist it in your hands (pictured above) to warm it up a bit, and guzzle a little of down the back of the throat, making a slight slurping noise along the way. Extra virgin olive oil is defined as such as it is pressed without heat or chemicals, also referred to as being cold pressed, and the acidity must be below .8% to also be considered extra virgin. 100% Italian olive oil can be a single variety of olives, or blends of them from several different regions of Italy for a unique taste. Just like wine, the flavor profile can be affected by the climate and soil, and different areas of Italy create different types of oil that vary in their tastes and weightiness depending on the type of food or dish and what may be appropriate.
All of the extra virgin olive oils tasted during the evening came from the Redoro farm estate in Grezzana, located north of Verona and has been creating the aromatic and delicious green-hued oil for over one hundred years. To this day, olives are still hand picked, ground and pressed on location, and certified as DOP (authenticates the origin of the product). What an incredible evening, and way to spend a birthday! The joy of tasting amazing extra virgin olive oil can continue at home with Redoro‘s products, which just began to be sold in the United States. Be on the look out for the brand at reputable food establishments nationwide, starting with Costco. Buon appetito!
Click below for four heavenly recipes, all featuring extra virgin olive oil, courtesy of the “Extra Virgin Olive Oil Flavor Your Life” event.