Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Bella Blu - School of the Culinary Arts

Joy and I had the privilege to be part of Chef Joel's Cooking 101 class last night at Bonterra Blu in Clyde.  He invited us out to talk to the class about our store and teach about olive oil and balsamic vinegar.  

I shortened our normal olive oil and balsamic seminar to around 15 minutes and provided each person attending with a sample of our Australian Picual Extra Virgin Olive Oil and a sample of our 18 year aged Traditional Balsamic Vinegar.  It was a great time, and I really enjoyed the questions and responses I received from those attending. 

We answered the following questions:

1.  What is Extra Virgin Olive Oil?
2.  How is EVOO made?
3.  How do I know if I am buying a good EVOO?
4.  What is Balsamic Vinegar?
5.  How is Balsamic Vinegar made?
6.  What are some of the health benefits of EVOO and Balsamic?
7.  What are some myths about EVOO and Balsamic?

If you would like to know the answer to any of the questions above, feel free to ask us any time or attend one of our seminars.  At our seminars, you will taste three olive oils and three balsamics to help you better understand what to look for when buying olive oil or balsamic vinegar.

Here are 5 quick tips for buying Extra Virgin Olive Oil:

1. If it does not say Extra Virgin, skip it.
2. If it is not in a dark bottle, skip it.
3. If it says "Product of" or "Bottled/Packaged in" and not "Made in", skip it.
4. If it does not have a "Harvest Date" or "Made on Date", skip it.
5. If you are able to taste and smell it, and it smells or taste old, musty, "playdoey", skip it.

You must learn to trust your nose and taste buds.  They will let you know if it is good or bad.  Your oil should taste fresh, fruity, grassy or evergreen.  It should smell good and it should have a nice mouth feel. 

Trust your instincts - you know more than you think.

-- Jason


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