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There is so much talk of eating healthy, and I think it's a priority for most people. But when it comes to choosing what is good for us, it can be difficult to know what to pick. I admit I have felt this way about olive oil, there are many varieties! Do I pick virgin, extra virgin, cold press, and where should it come from? Some say it's okay to cook with, some say it's not. Help!
Thanks to the Flavor Your Life campaign it all becomes more clear! This campaign was created to provide education to U.S. consumers so we can make good decisions when purchasing extra virgin olive oil. It is supported by the European Union, Unaprol, and the Italian Ministry of Agriculture. Here are some things I learned from this campaign:
- Olive trees completely damaged by frost may regenerate from ancient roots.
- Extra Virgin Olive Oil is made without heat or chemicals, by pressing the drupe (fruit) of the European Olive tree.
- When the olives are harvested makes a difference in the outcome of the oil.
- Different climates have an impact on taste. Oil from Spain, Italy, Greece, and France would each be used for different recipes or occasions.
- Oils are tested for perixide and acidity, both of which indicate the quality of the oil.
- Olive oil has a high smoke point (400° F), so I can sauté and bake with it.
- Oil should be stored in a cool, dark place but not on the counter, near a stove, or in the fridge.
When shopping for European Extra Virgin Olive Oil, look for the country of origin. Always check the best buy date. You can also look for the European Union PDO certification. These products have specific requirements for production and processing. Another item you might see on the label is PGI certification, which is less strict than the PDO certification. Some olive oils, like Zucchi, even have a QR code so you can trace their origin. In fact, Flavor Your Life has chosen to partner with Zucchi for this campaign. They are a 200 year old company that has been owned and managed by seven generations of their family! That means they have the highest quality oils, and a lot of experience to ensure you receive the best product.
As part of this review campaign, I received a bottle of European Extra Virgin Olive Oil, a stainless steel oil dispenser, a pamphlet from the Flavor Your Life campaign, and a stack of recipe cards. I recommend looking over the entire campaign website, especially the recipes section. There are so many mouthwatering suggestions!
This recipe is delicious. I can't wait until my garden is ready to harvest and I have fresh squash, basil, and tomatoes to use!
Next time you are out for groceries, grab some European Extra Virgin Olive Oil and Flavor Your Life! What will you make with it?