Flavor Your Life Oil Blending Event

 This summer, Flavor Your Life sponsored a press event to raise awareness of Extra Virgin Olive Oil from Europe in Canada. The event was held on June 20, 2017 at Aria Ristorante in Toronto. Thirty bloggers and journalists enjoyed a delicious menu of foods that the chef carefully prepared to showcase different varieties of Extra Virgin Olive Oil from Europe. The event aimed to debunk misconceptions around Extra Virgin Olive Oil and inspire the press to educate consumers on this liquid gold.


 What is extra virgin olive oil?

To make sure Extra Virgin Olive Oil from Europe is delicious and healthy, it has to meet certain standards.

The olives — called “drupes” — may be harvested at any time in their ripening process, and there are flavorful reasons for harvesting at certain times. But to be Extra Virgin Olive Oil, the extraction must take place without heat or chemicals, guaranteeing freshness and purity.

Extra Virgin Olive Oil must be low in acid — below 0.8%. Over-processing and careless handling (especially exposure to heat and light) can result in higher acid and lackluster flavor.

Extra Virgin Olive Oil must have a low peroxide content, which assures minimal exposure to oxygen. 

Most importantly, Extra Virgin Olive Oil must taste good. That’s why every batch is carefully considered by a panel of expert tasters. They only apply the official Extra Virgin designation to oils that meet the exacting standards set forth by law, and by tradition over many centuries.




How can I use extra virgin olive oil?

It may start with just a drizzle of a flavor, but olive oil will soon become an obsession. There’s nothing else in your kitchen quite as versatile.

Drizzle on food — whether over a prepared dish or simple sliced vegetables —  to add a rich mouth feel and robust flavor, and balance acid.

Drizzle onto hot foods to release an oil’s aromatic qualities, turning a meal into a multi-sensory experience.

Make a dressing for salads or other dishes. Olive oil accentuates the aromas and flavors of fresh herbs and ground spices.

Preserve roasted and grilled vegetables for days by submerging in olive oil and storing in a cool place; they’ll last even longer if frozen.

Fry unafraid; olive oil has a high smoke point, and can even handle deep frying.

Use it instead of butter, and not just on bread. Try it IN bread, and cakes, and muffins, and even oatmeal.

Pair oils just as you would wine, adding robust oils to complement hearty or spicy dishes, and lighter oils for milder preparations.

Think outside of the Mediterranean. Olive oil can liven up a ceviche, handle an Asian stir fry, and embolden the humblest pea soup.

Olive oil makes a very nice moisturizer for dry skin, as well, but we’ve known that for millennia.




 Take-home Recipes

At the end of the event, Flavor Your Life distributed a gift bag, including recipe cards and informational literature.

Spiralized Zucchini “Pasta” With Peas, Pancetta and Ricotta (serves 4)

Ingredients:

3 Tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil
¼ lb pancetta, diced
4 large zucchini, spiralized
¼ tsp sea salt
Pinch of fresh cracked pepper
½ C frozen peas, thawed
¼ C ricotta cheese, crumbled
Fresh basil

Instructions:

1) Heat a large skillet on high heat. Add 1 Tbsp of the olive oil. Add the pancetta and cook for 5-7 minutes, until crisp. Add the zucchini noodles and sauté for 3 minutes, until crisp-tender. Stir in the rest of the olive oil and season with salt and pepper.
2) Remove from heat and stir in the thawed peas.
3) Divide between serving dishes and top with crumbled ricotta cheese and a sprig of fresh basil.


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Disclaimer: The products provided in this post was complimentary. However, all of the opinions expressed in this review are of my own.