Growing up in Europe, my taste buds are substantially different. I recognized that the same day we arrived to the United States. I also realized, right then and there, that all foods are not created equal. Which is why, to this day, I continuously strive to bring the flavors of Europe into my home.
Although I have learned to love American food, European standards are different; which makes their flavors richer. Especially 100% Extra Virgin Olive Oil.
Flavor your life states that, at the heart of every European table you will find 100% Extra Virgin Olive Oil; and I couldn’t agree more.
Olive oil has been a staple part of life for most of the world. Over thousands of years ancestors and farmers discovered, grew, traded and created regional styles of oil. The flavors and aromas of olive oil can tell you a lot about the place, landscape, language and architecture of where it came from. The varieties are special.
But Extra Virgin Olive Oil is extra special.
What exactly makes EVOO = Extra Virgin, you may ask?
Well, it’s all in the process. Extra virgin olive oil is actually freshly pressed juice of olives. Made by pressing olive oil, without heat or chemicals. But what makes it special is that a panel of trained, expert tasters trained by the International Oil Council test for taste defects and the presence of positive attributes of fruitiness, bitterness, and spiciness. If the oil doesn’t have the signature fruity taste and harmonious balance, it won’t receive an Extra Virgin rating. Plus they measure peroxide values. They must be below 20 milliequivalents of oxygen/kilo of oil, which indicates the amount of oxidation or aging that’s occurred as a result of exposure to oxygen, light and heat.
That’s quiet the process, I know. But now you understand why 100% Extra Virgin Olive Oil is unique and expensive.
Can you use it for cooking and baking?
100% Extra virgin olive oil has a high smoking point of 400°F, so it is suitable for cooking and baking. But it can also elevate any dish with just a drizzle as a finisher.
How do you store it?
I always store my oil somewhere dark and cool (around 57°F, if possible), not on the counter or near a stove, and never in the refrigerator. I always keep the lid screwed on tight, and use it within six months of opening.
Now, let’s get to the best part. Flavor Your Life’s most decadent Lamb Kofta with Yogurt and Cucumber Sauce recipe featuring Le Stagioni d’ Italia 100% Extra Virgin Olive Oil! Or shall I say, The Seasons Of Italy (translation).
This 100% Extra Virgin Olive Oil is harvested in Italy and has a robust flavor of artichoke and almond, with a medium bitter and spicy aftertaste, as well as a green, ripe, fruity aroma with a leafy feel. It is vegan, gluten free and it contains no additive or preservatives. It absolutely transforms this recipe.
For step by step instructions and the full recipe, please visit Flavor Your Life.
This recipe looks and sounds exotic. But let me tell you, it also tastes exotic! It is a wonderful family dish with a middle eastern twist. I served mine with a creamy risotto and a cucumber mint sauce. That oomph of 100% Extra Virgin Olive Oil woke up all of my senses and then some. You must try it.
Changes to the org recipe: I couldn’t find ground lamb, so I used ground veal. Also, I only used a pinch of cinnamon and a whole clove of garlic. For the sauce, I added a squeeze of lemon too. To me, these small changes made the dish even better. I can’t wait to make this again but will try a veggie version and use minced portabella mushrooms.
What do you think? Will you make it?
Until next time friends.
No matter what your table looks like – no matter what your family looks like – we invite you to gather for your next meal with Extra Virgin Olive Oil.Flavor Your Life