Sometimes flavors can be so full, so rich, so fabulously unique that your mind transports you to a place that you associate with those tastes and aromas. I had that experience, this week, and the journey was magnificent, as well as a surprise. I’ve never been to Italy, though I would love to visit there. Most of my ideas and imaginings about it have been fueled by movies, books and television, so maybe it would be nothing like I imagine, anyway. But, I have visions of rolling hills and old stone cottages, lush green olive groves to shade and cool me in the heat of the day and miles and miles of vineyards. Accurate or not, that’s my vision and it’s where I go when I am treated to an exceptionally delicious dish, or food, that I particularly associate with Italian flavors. So, imagine my surprise when I made this delectable journey, only to find that the ingredients that sent me there are created in the sunny, wine country of California! Mmm….hmmm….I went to Italy in California. Holy GPS Error, Batman!
O Olive Oil is perfectly located, in northern California, where they hand-harvest ripe Mission olives in the foothills of the Sierra mountains. They work alongside the owners of small, family farms to select the best pesticide-free, black, reddish purple and green olives for their pressed oils; and in keeping with their commitment to quality, rush them to the press where they are crushed within 48 hours of harvesting. O also produces their delectable wine vinegars and balsamic vinegars from the fine grapes produced in the Napa Valley. I’m excited about their commitment to age-old organic processes and techniques, while using the best American-grown olives and grapes, to create and meld these sun-kissed flavors in their high-quality olive oil and vinegars!
It is my great fortune to have been selected to test, and create a recipe with, two exquisite O Olive Oil products — their California Roasted Garlic Olive Oil and their California White Balsamic Vinegar. O has partnered with eRecipeCards.com to sponsor a recipe contest, with 24 bloggers competing. I’m so excited and honored to be part of it!
If you’ve never visited eRecipe cards.com before, you need to head right over there and sign-up for your own free eRecipeBox! The site is loaded with thousands of fantastic recipes, posted by bloggers from all around the web. They have an easy to use search feature that lets you find exactly what you’re looking for. Search by Ingredient, Title or Blogger. Save the recipes you love into your own personal eRecipe Box and retrieve them quickly and easily, on future visits. Plus, later in this fun recipe competition, with O Olive Oil and Vinegars, you’ll be able to vote for my recipe, by adding it to your eRecipe Box. It’s going to be AWESOME!!! Just sayin’.
What appealed to me, first, about O Olive Oils, is that they are never infused or blended with extracts and seasonings, after the fact. The olives are cold-pressed and crushed along with whole fruit (clementines, oranges, Meyer lemons, figs etc.), within 48 hours of picking, to maximize the flavor of the blend being created. The true flavors of the olives and the fruit are melded in the pressing; and create a unique and powerful taste experience that you won’t get in other olive oils. The oil I’m reviewing is garlic oil and not citrus, but like all O Olive Oils, the ingredient list is minimally marvelous — Mission olives, kettle-roasted garlic — that’s it! Flavor and then MORE flavor! Simple, pure and delicious !
Today, I want to introduce you to the two products, I personally, have been testing and will be working with for the contest.
1. O Roasted Garlic Olive Oil: What a fabulous combination! Olive oil and garlic are both so good for you and to merge them into one, is absolute genius! When I pulled the cork (yup, a cork – no screw tops) from the top of this bottle I was immediately greeted by the fragrance of the roasted garlic and the “sweet” smell of the olives.
Never before, would I have considered using the words “sweet” and “olive” in the same sentence, but it’s there, an almost fruity smell, that comes blended with the aroma of smoky, roasted garlic. Tasting it, I get the same subtle hint of roasted garlic, not overpowering, but the first sensation on my palate; and then just as you think that the garlic will be the only taste, there is the lingering taste of the Mission olive. This delicious olive oil is light, and yet, still has an almost buttery richness. Fabulous!
2. O White Balsamic Vinegar: Balsamic vinegars are different than wine vinegars. While wine vinegars are prepared from fermented wine, balsamics are made from grape pressings that have never been fermented to become wine. The aroma of O’s White Balsamic (also corked) is at once vinegar, but then quickly reminiscent of a sweet wine. It has to be the grapes, a combination of muscat and malvasia. It’s color is pale gold and the flavor, like the scent, has that same heady “bite” of vinegar, married with the sweetness of the grapes. It’s light and crisp, incredibly robust and flavorful! It is the perfect level of acidity to accompany the buttery richness of O Roasted Garlic Olive Oil, and for purposes of my initial taste-test, I just couldn’t get enough!
I definitely love these products! In the interest of full disclosure, I have to tell you the
tasting testing, mentioned in the picture above, has not been my only time delving into these delicious products. As a matter of fact, lunchtime, snack time, pretty much any time has been enough of an excuse for me to sample them, again. I need to complete my recipe contest entry and photos, very soon, or my “testing” will send me running to the market for new bottles!
By visiting the O Olive Oil Facebook page, I learned that their products will be on sale in most Whole Foods stores throughout the month of June; so, this would be a great time to grab a bottle, or two, or six. I also picked up some great tips and recipe ideas on the Facebook page. One day soon, you’ll see my recipe creation posted there. I can’t wait to share it with you!
So where’s the last place that some incredible flavor has transported YOU??!! I’d love to hear about it and to know what food inspired your perfect “dream-away”!
I received a bottle of O Roasted Garlic Olive Oil and a bottle of O White Balsamic Vinegar in order to test them in my own kitchen and collect information for this review. Additionally, I will use them to create a recipe for a contest, where I could potentially win other O Olive Oil products. No monetary compensation was received for this review and a positive review was not required. As with all Busy-at-Home reviews, the views and opinions expressed are wholly my own, and based on my personal experience with the product.