If you like… to eat and drink well… love Bean to Bar Chocolate… everything you ate on your last European Vacation… look forward to “The Hour” and to making a Craft Cocktail for your Significant Other and enjoy your Time in the Kitchen… you are really going to like this site!

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Olive Oil is still a “Slippery Business”

The trade continues to be fraught with lies and deceit.  I happen to have a really good palate for olive oil as I have been consuming olive oil from great producers for over 2 decades and selling it at retail or wholesale since 2005.  I have given hundreds of seminars on the subject and I make a point to specifically sample olive oil at trade shows and specialty shops around the Western US and Hawaii so that I know exactly what is available to consumers.  It is not a pretty picture.

It still amazes me what you see on the shelves of grocery stores considering the publicized controversies associated with the trade.  Even more amazing is the whining from commercializers who for decades knowingly doctored their oils with seed oils and worse.  Producers who served up the most unhealthy refined oils imaginable as EVOO  now feel like they are being unfairly treated.  They’re behavior is a lot like the Wells Fargo ads you see where they are asking clients for a fresh start promising not to steal from them ever again.

Recently one Spanish bottler whose label claims the contents are Spanish olive oils but in fact recently was caught blending oil from North Africa that was graded as Lampante (lamp oil) into their product.  How these scam artists are still best sellers in the American marketplace amazes me.

It is not just the European commercializers the biggest names in California are at best produce mediocre olive oils that are flabby and tasteless.  At the fancy food show I made a point to sample the oils of California’s #2 grocery store brand and I was shocked at how poor all 3 of the varietals that they were showing off at the booth.  Don’t get me wrong there are some very good California producers who work with more vibrant varietals and have better production facilities but for the most part you don’t see them on grocery shelves.

 

Refined oils including those labeled as simply  “olive oil”, “pure olive oil”, light olive oil” and “olive oil pomace” are all refined oils, not olive oil in any stretch of the imagination.  European tasting panels would rate them as Lampante and not fit for human consumption. 

Sad thing is, a lot of the oils on shelves today that claim to be Extra Virgin Olive Oil are not any closer to being genuine than these pseudonyms.

 

Giuliana Direct Fresh Harvest from and Olive Oil Importer you can trust

Everybody needs an olive oil for all around use in the kitchen and Giuliana Direct’s Fresh Spanish Harvest is the best value in the marketplace.  It is an incredible bargain at $15 – $16 for a 500 ml. portion!

This is Real Ultra-Premium Olive Oil.  Ultra-Premium = Extra Virgin with Higher Standards from better origins and producers that have better mills. Free acidity under 0.3%, polyphenol count over 400 we are speaking of much higher standards than entry level.

Yes you can cook with it as its smoke point is over 400°, it makes beautiful salad dressings, is the perfect bread dipper and is a wonderful finishing oil or brightener.   Comparable to olive oils from better producers in the $20-$35 range.

Fresh Harvest is light years better than the oils they serve up in olive oil specialty shops (tourist traps I call them) where they charge you $28 for a 375 ml portion and where more often than not the oils are not very good, sometimes “lampante” and not even olive oil.  As soon as you see butter flavored olive oil in a shop I highly recommend not even bothering to taste.

Best of all we start transitioning into the new harvest early in the year so you will be consuming the freshest olive oils in the country.

There are only a few places in the country where this Giuliana Direct Fresh Harvest is available this year.  If it is not available where you live send us an email or give us a call and we’ll get you squared away through our shopping site and we will ship it to you for FREE.  

The Best Value in Real Extra Virgin Olive Oil available in the US is Giuliana Direct Fresh Harvest from Estepa Spain
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A Few Thoughts About Artisan Foods
Gluten Free Pasta La Rosa and La Veneziane

Gluten Free Pasta

 La Rosa and La Veneziane Gluten Free Pasta are not like anything that is out there in the world of Gluten Free pasta.  Unfortunately I have had occasion to try just about everything that is GF on the market from both the US and Italy including a corn pasta from another very good importer of Italian Regional Foods.  The big difference in La Rosa and La Veneziane is that they cook up and taste a lot like our other Artisan Pasta made of Durum Wheat.  There is a little difference in flavor but the bite and the texture are fleshy, they take the sauce beautifully and just are joy to eat.  If you are on a Gluten Free diet these are the best.

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Riso Carena Certified Organic Rice and Legumes From Lombardia Italy

Riso Carena Lombardia Italy

Riso Carena is a family-run farm in the Po River Valley, in the heart of Lombardia. For decades, the family has cultivated and produced fine quality heirloom rice, legume and grain varieties. The risotto mixes are perfectly balanced. We hear over and over how delicious these products are and we couldn’t agree more.
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San Nicola dei Miri Organic Piennolo and San Marzano Tomatoes From Italy

San Nicola dei Miri

Offers organic Piennolo and San Marzano tomatoes from the foothills of Mt. Vesuvius.  This unique terroir creates the most incredible sweet and mineral rich tomatoes on the planet.  They are the perfect building blocks for the red sauce of your dreams.  It is really easy to produce a great meal when you have the right ingredients.
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Ranise EVOO and Sauses from Liguria Italy

Ranise ... Liguria, Italy

Everything Ranise produces comes from an agricultural wonderland in Northwestern Italy in the foot hills of the Alps but also not far from the coast.  The cuisine is a sensational mix of farm and sea.  Their Sauces, Taggiasca EVOO and Tapenades are superb for all occasions.  Use Ranise sauces when you want an authentic pairing with Alta Valle Scrivia’s pasta.
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