Thursday, August 16, 2007

New Yorker Article on Olive Oil Fraud

The article "Slippery Business" on Italian olive oil fraud that appeared in the August 13th issue of the New Yorker is causing quite a stir. Tom Mueller reports on Italian olive oil fraud including blending olive oil with hazelnut, vegetable or canola oils, or claiming that the olive oil comes from a particular region when in fact it has come from a different country. Some of those shipments have made their way to the States.

We want our customers to be rest assured that Olinda Ridge olive oils are of the highest quality and 100% made in California. We are certified annually by the California Olive Oil Council, which is the consortium that approves our claims that we are 100% extra virgin olive oil. Our extra virgin olive oils are tested at an acidity rate of .3% or less — much lower than the .8% requirement. In addition, our organic olive oil has another annual process of certification to ensure it is organic. We are proud to be among the superb olive oils handcrafted with care and integrity that has bloomed in California.

The New Yorker article has some amusing tidbits, including olive oil fraud in antiquity. Overall, the article gives a good glimpse at the olive oil industry in Italy and is definitely worth reading.

See also the California Olive Oil council press release on the subject.

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Monday, August 13, 2007

Easy Eggplant Side Dish

I love eggplant. That’s why I was so excited to discover this dish when I went to Sicily in February to visit family. My cousin’s wife served this cold eggplant side dish along with a heaping bowl of pasta. And it’s relatively easy to prepare. It doesn’t require presoaking in salt or frying in tons of oil. With the basic recipe, you can get creative and add your own seasoning. I’ve even extended it to Easy Eggplant Parmesan. I’ll add this recipe soon as well.


1-2 medium eggplants
pinch of salt
2-3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 clove garlic, minced
Fresh basil or parsley

  • Slice the eggplants in circles, approx. ¼” thick.
  • Heat up a griddle pan, preferably with ridges to give that grilled look.
  • Toss a pinch of salt across the pan.
  • When the pan is hot enough, lay down as many slices as will fit in the pan.
  • After a few minutes, start turning around the slices that are browning (you’ll see the grill marks if you are using a ridged pan). When the other side is sufficiently browned, remove the slices and add new ones. Keep doing this until you go through all the slices.
  • In a deep serving dish, layer the eggplant slices, alternating with a few drops of extra virgin olive oil and the minced garlic. Top it off with a few leaves of basil or parsley to garnish.

Yield: 1-4 as side dish
Serve warm or cold

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Sunday, August 5, 2007

Sacramento Bee Digs Us!

In an article about the Elk Grove farmers market in the Sacramento area, The Sacramento Bee mentioned visiting our booth:
“Olinda Ridge won a gold medal at the Olive Oils of the World competition in 2006, a good sign that I was in for a treat. There were three varieties of extra-virgin oils to sample, master blend (spicy, peppery and a little sweet), Olinda gold (buttery and light with a slight grassy aftertaste) and olio organico (bold flavor with a slight artichoke tone and hotness). It was a tough decision -- all were quite delicious -- but I chose a bottle of Olinda gold for $15. Then I headed over to the Sacramento Baking Co. booth to pick up some bread to dip in the oil.”
The article appeared in the TASTE section on August 1, 2007.

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