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Friday, June 8, 2012

O Olive Oil Taste Test

I was recently selected as one of twenty-four home chefs by and O Olive Oil to participate in their Rite of Spring Recipe Contest. To participate in the contest, I have been asked to write two posts. One, is a product review for the complimentary samples I graciously received from O Olive Oil, and for the other post, I must create a new recipe using these products. This post is for my product review. 

For the contest, I chose to receive a combination package of O Tahitian Lime Olive Oil and the O Ginger Rice Vinegar. I wasn't quite sure what I would make but figured, like every other recipe I create, I would experiment with whatever it was I had on-hand at the time I received the products. I was so excited when the products finally arrived. I had heard of them, but had never tasted them myself. The package came securely packed in bubble wrap, then wrapped in it's own O Olive Oil box to prevent breakage along with styrofoam peanuts to protect it even further. (By the way, you're never to old to play with packing materials. It entertained my 15 and 10 year old for hours!) When I saw this, I knew that quality was top on their priority list. When I opened the box, I was even more impressed with their product packaging. It was colorful, had a easy to read font, and I also loved the crisp, clean look of the bottles. 

O Olive Oil is the original maker of specialty organic citrus-crushed olive oils since 1995 and premium barrel-aged wine vinegars since 1997. They travel the world to source the finest extra virgin olive oils and their products are sold in gourmet, natural food,  specialty stores, as well as on-line in the United States, Canada, Japan and Europe, and Latin America.  1n 1995 Greg Hinson, co- founder and president, combined his passion for citrus and healthy eating by crushing whole organic citrus with fresh California Mission olives to create an unparalleled new product category—the extra virgin citrus olive oil.  These oils are considered "pressed", and are neither infused nor flavored after pressing, as is common in the industry. This means that their oils have a deeper flavor than infused oils. 

In 1997, Hinson started hand crafting varietal wine vinegars, using the same simple natural process.  O Olive Oil is one of the few remaining vinegar makers in this country using the old world Orleans method of natural aging in wood barrels rather than mechanically force-aging the vinegars.  I was also interested to learn that in recent months, consumers have expressed their concerns about potential lead found in European vinegars, particularly balsamic vinegar, with the highest concentrations being found in Modena-style balsamic vinegars. In California, all retailers selling European balsamic vinegars are now required to post notice that these vinegars contain lead according to The California Safe Drinking Water and Toxic Enforcement Act of 1986 or Proposition 65.

In response, O has developed three new balsamic vinegars:
O California Balsamic: dark, rich, and dense  (Sonoma)
O California White Balsamic: a sparkling dance of sweet Muscat and Malvasia  (Napa)
O Port Balsamic: Sweet Port meets our own rich California balsamic  (Napa/Sonoma)
These vinegars are made in California in the traditional balsamic manner, oak-aged over time and under rigorous supervision. They hand craft them one batch at a time in order to certify their quality and healthful goodness. And most importantly, each of these vinegars has tested out at levels more than 30 times lower than even the rigorous safe levels established by California’s Proposition 65.  
And now, my taste test. I have one word...AMAZING! I wanted to get the full effect of the olive oil so I purchased a loaf of fresh ciabatta bread, broke off a piece, then dipped it into the oil. This O Tahitian Lime Olive Oil made with crushed Tahitian limes and fresh California olives was delicious all on it's own. It had a strong lime flavor, but not too overpowering, and it was smooth and thick just like an olive oil should be. Next, I added some of the O Ginger Rice Vinegar, which is hand harvested using fresh ginger root from Jamaica, Fiji and India and is steeped in the finest sweet California rice vinegar.  I dipped my bread in and the recipe I was going to make just came to me....stay tuned!

About eRecipeCards
eRecipeCards is the home for food lovers. Once you set up an account, you are automatically given an eRecipeBOX, a place to save recipes for fast easy retrieval, whether your a home cook or have a blog of you're own. They handle all of the storing, filing and organizing! And, if you contribute frequently,  you will also become a Blue Ribbon Contributor. 

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  1. Aren't small food producers the best?

  2. I just tasted my Olive Oil this evening, fabulous!!

  3. Isn't it?! I'm definitely going to buy some more varieties.


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