February 24, 2005
One Tough Gazookus Who Hates All Palookas...
Sea Hag don't never tempt me ~ Coolio
I use a lot of olive oil in my cooking. This is largely because the majority of my nourishment is based on Italian recipes. It’s not that I don’t like this new trendy national obsession with Asian food (or fusions of Asian/whatever), it’s just that I’m limited in my capacity. With Italian ingredients, I know what will taste good with what. When I have to throw something together that isn’t exactly following a recipe, I know what compliments what. And I’m constantly winging meals because, well, I’m impatient and forgetful and often key ingredients for one meal or another will not be represented by my pantry.
However, the various olive oil scandals have made me very picky about what olive oil I use these days. Which sounds food snobby. I mean, most people are content to trot down to the local Supermart and grab a bottle of Bertolli and be done with it. Except that there is a somewhat hush-hush scandal regarding Bertolli and other olive oil importers that claims they are diluting their olive oil with Turkish hazelnut oil. So of course I started looking into it and found an FDA study from the 90’s which found that the majority (read: over 90%) of olive oils are diluted with other oils. Bummer. Domestic olive oils (mostly out of California) are also suspect because there are even fewer regulations in place to police US olive oil, and because it’s hard not to notice when you look at the numbers that far more olive oil is produced out of the US than there are olives grown annually. Ooops.
So, I figure the olive oils that have been politic enough to make it to my local grocery store shelf have compromised far too much to be of any actual value. Plus they’re mostly in clear plastic bottles which just won’t do. So, I'm going to try my hand at Bariani (their story here).
Opaque bottle, good background, small company. I figure it's worth dipping my bread into once or twice.