Wednesday, January 20, 2010

What a nice way to spend a Saturday afternoon...

This past Saturday, I dragged, yes dragged, Jim to a tasting of extra virgin olive oil.  It was put on by the Italian Ministry of Agriculture to help people in understanding the difference in Italian products.  Did you know that the "good stuff" has Certification Marks to prove it is what it states on the bottle?  You will find it on wines and food products.  Look for the DOC or DOP.  You will pay more, but the product will be far superior.  I think we both loved sipping on six delicious DOP EVOO and actually tasting either the citrus, herbs or best, the peppery after taste  Wow, there is a difference!

Whether you choose to purchase the "good stuff" or what you find on the shelf in your local grocery store, keep in mind a few tips. 
  • It should be in dark, glass bottles
  • Live in a cool, dark area
  • Air, light and heat are not friends of EVOO
  • The ideal temperature is 57 degrees - how about a wine fridge?
After the tasting, we wandered over to a table that discussed the differences of balsamic vinegar.  This turned out to be my favorite part of the day.  Did you know Balsamic Vinegar (aceto balsamico tradizionale), is from Modena - only?  It's located in the Emilia-Romagna region of Italy and is aged for at least 12 years by cooking the juice of certain grapes and moved from barrel to barrel of different sizes and woods creating a must (mosto).  Most of us cannot afford the real deal at about $150 for 3 ounces - ouch, but there is definitely a difference in what we can afford.  I tasted five different bottles, ranging from inexpensive to pricey and amazed at what most of us consider balsamic vinegar.  Many are nothing more than sugar and food coloring or carmel for flavoring.  I bought a great bottle from Salumeria from the North End at a fabulous price of $30 since it's usually found for $34 - $38.  Try it and you will never go back.....

It makes me want to plan another trip to Italy.  Anyone with me?

fino a quel momento (until that time)



  1. Are you already familiar with Nudo? If not you should check them out. You select the region in Italy and they send you olive oil a few times a year. or goggle them.

  2. Thanks for the tip! I use olive oil like water!