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 Craft Cocktails for your Significant Other and enjoy your Time in the Kitchen… you are really going to like this site!

Click Here To View All the Recipes

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.  

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.  The biggest now blends Spanish olive oil into it’s bottlings to boost it’s flavor.  At the last 2 winter fancy food shows I have 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 were that they were sampling at the booth. 

Don’t get me wrong there are some very good California producers like “Chacewater” from Lake County who work with more vibrant varietals and have better production facilities but for the most part just like the better European producers 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 by 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.


Click Here To Learn More About Artisan Pasta
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.

Click Here To View Pasta Recipes
Click Here To Learn More About Wine and Balsamic Vinegar
Click Here to learn more about the world’s best EVOO
Click Here to View Bitters and Mixology Page
Click Here To View Our Cocktail Recipes
Magic in a bottle... Cocktail recipes from Dale De Groff
Click Here To Learn More About Bean To Bar Chocolate
Click Here To View All Recipes
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.
Click Here Or On The Image To Learn More About Riso Carena
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.
Click Here Or On The Image To Learn More And View The Recipes.
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.
Click Here To Learn More About Artisan Foods by Ranise