How can something as simple as Olive Oil make one dish taste better than another dish.
It is the quality of the of the olive oil.
I was pretty excited recently to participate in an olive oil seminar sponsored by Flavor Your Life and by #MomsMeet. From Alissa Mattei, I and other bloggers, learned the rich history and processing details about Extra Virgin Olive oil from Europe.
I received this product for free from MomsMeet to use and post my honest opinions. Compensation for this post was provided and this page may contain affiliate links.
About Extra Virgin Olive Oil from Europe
Who doesn't love Extra Virgin Olive Oil? It's been around since forever, is great for cooking, has many health benefits, and just a little drizzle can add such wonderful flavor to so many dishes.
If you watch as many cooking shows as my husband and I do you realize how much good ingredients can impact your recipes. We have known for many years that good olive oil packs a punch in a delicious meal and I will even confess to using it on my popcorn!
European Extra Virgin Olive Oil is made by pressing olives without heat or chemicals. This is known as the first cold pressed olive oil and is highly valued for many reasons.
In our first session of the Flavor Your Life event we were taken to the olive oil fields of Italy and shown how olives are gown, harvested in October, and turned into olive oil by mechanical means (no chemicals are used).
This first pressing of Olive Oil is tested by a knowledgeable panel for peroxide values and taste. Lower values indicate fresher oil and more rapid processing.
We also learned about the different varieties and the many health benefits of European Extra Virgin Olive Oil. Such as Extra Virgin Olive Oil containing many antioxidants.
Tasting Extra Virgin Olive Oil and what to look for
Our next session in the Flavor Your Life campaign was learning how to taste Extra Virgin Olive Oil and what to look for.
Taste is very important in European Extra Virgin Olive Oil. Most importantly fruitiness.
We learned how a panel of trained, expert tasters tests the olive oil each year for negative and positive properties such as 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.
Tips and Facts of Extra Virgin Olive Oil
I received a bottle of Extra Virgin Olive Oil from Le Stagioni d’ Italia, which was harvested in Italy, to do my own tasting and testing.
This particular Extra Virgin olive oil has a flavor of artichoke and almond, with a medium bitter and spicy aftertaste. It also has a green, ripe, fruity aroma with a leafy feel.
Some details to note about European Extra Virgin Olive Oil.
- Extra virgin olive oil is virtually free of acidity—below 0.8%. If the percentage of oleic acid (fatty acid) is too high, it indicates improper production and rancidity.
● Extra virgin olive oil has a high smoking point of 400°F, so you can use it for cooking and baking.
● You should store your oil in a place that is dark and cool. Keep it out of heat and direct sunlight. Do not store it on the counter or near a stove (which I have been guilty of doing in the past). And also never store it in the refrigerator (also guilty of this). I now store our olive oil in our pantry.
Chicken and MUstard Casserole Recipe
Our final Flavor Your Life workshop was full of delicious recipes all featuring Extra Virgin Olive Oil. While they all looked super tasty I chose to try out the Chicken and Mustard Casserole recipe. I've listed it below for you. By the way it was delicious.
Chicken and Mustard Casserole
Delicious dinner recipe from the Flavor Your Life Campaign
- 12 each boneless skinless chicken thighs
- 12 oz brown mushroom caps
- 2 tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- 2 tbsp ketchup
- 2 tbsp grain mustard
- 1 tbsp yellow mustard
- 1 tbsp brown sugar
- 2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
- 2 cloves garlic
- 2 tsp fresh tarragon
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place chicken thighs in an ovenproof dish. Wash mushrooms and chop roughly (in little pieces). Add them to dish with the chicken.
Mix together the olive oil, ketchup, mustards, brown sugar, and balsamic vinegar in a bowl. Crush the garlic and add it to the mix. Pour this over the chicken.
Put dish in the oven and bake chicken uncovered for 90 minutes. Toss tarragon over the dish before serving.
Serve over buttered noodles with a fresh salad.
Are you ready to get your own European Extra Virgin Olive Oil? When shopping for European Extra Virgin Olive Oil look for those labeled with European Union PDO certification or PGI certification.