March 2010

2 lbs. small heirloom potatoes, cut into 1” pieces
¼ cup jarred capers, drained
1 Tablespoon Sicilian oregano
1 small red onion, cut in half, and then into thin
half-moon wedges
2 tablespoons of Balsamic Vinegar (Try Manicardi #12)
½ cup Sicilian* extra virgin olive oil
Ravida Sea Salt to taste
Freshly ground black pepper to taste

*Try Zisola, Olio Verde, Titone DOP, Ravida, Santisi, or Villa Zottopera DOP

1) Place the cut potatoes and 1T salt in a 3 qt saucepan and cover with cold water. Over high heat, bring to a boil, reduce heat to medium and simmer just until the potatoes are tender. Immediately remove the potatoes from the heat and drain in a colander. Rinse the potatoes under cold running water for 1 minute. Allow to drain well; Place potatoes on a kitchen towel to absorb the extra moisture.

2) In a large bowl, place the cooled potatoes, capers, oregano, and onion. In a small bowl mix vinegar a large pinch of salt, a few grinds of pepper. Using a whisk, slowly add the olive oil. Add the dressing to the potatoes and toss to coat. Season with additional salt and pepper. Allow to sit for 1 hour before serving.

Serves 6

The Washington Post Logo
Washington Post: FDA Pressured to Combat Rising “Food Fraud” –March 30, 2010 (Print: Page A1) Online Link.

In a nutshell, what is labeled ‘extra virgin olive oil’ on the grocery store shelves may actually be modified with “low-grade soybean oil, colored with chlorophyll and flavored with beta carotene”. We could get into a long discussion on supply and demand, and how Italy’s consumption plus the exported product totals far more more olive oil than they produce—and whether the junk is dumped in the U.S. Instead, let’s look at two methods of production and bottling.

While olives are harvested between October and January, in Italy, the pipeline from plant to grocery store must be continuously supplied throughout the year. What do you do if you don’t have enough supply? Do those producers modify their products? One wonders.

At Olio2go: our suppliers run out. The harvest is the harvest. They pick, press, and bottle—most often, on their own estate. The pipeline is not continuous throughout the year. With each coming harvest we do our best to assess our needs for the coming year. As we approach summer and place additional orders with our producers, they often can’t be filled. There’s no more oil.

So, when you are staring at the shelf in the grocery store, it is fair to consider the authenticity of the mass produced product. As you consider the label and the price, give thought to journey from field to store.

We support petitions to the FDA for better standards to “which would make it possible for companies to sue competitors that sell and adulterated product.”

Some day I am going keep track of how many ways I use olive oil in the course of a day or week….in the past few days, the meals and snacks have included Chocolate Olive Oil Cake (Mosto Novello), fried eggs with Olio Santo, Tabbouleh (with Capezzana Olio Nuovo), Bruschetta (Capezzana), and the list goes on.

We're even more inspired with the new cookbook found on the Olio2go site. This one is Simple Italian Snacks. We’ve also just added Mario Batali’s fabulous Molto Italiano, and next week we will have his new release, Molto Gusto.

Mugolio Pine Bud Syrup

Exquisitely different!

Perhaps this sounds most unusual — Mugolio Pine Bud Syrup. It brings forth the essence of the forest, and for me it is also reminiscent of rosemary.

For the perfect Easter dessert, try something new!

The Bojon Gourmet Blog has a great entry on making homemade ice cream with Mugolio. Don’t miss the fabulous photos!

On this Sunday morning, The Washington Post’s feature story in Travel appeared to be about Hoboken. In reality four stories had elements of Italy! Below the fold, Baroque and Happy in the Noto Valley, covered the Ragusa area of Sicily. Going Our Way: Braving the Old Country on Your Own, featured 9 days on the road in Sicily (note to the Post: why no map?). The Navigator: When in Rome, Watch Your Driving, revealed nasty nasty parking tickets and other vehicle violations arriving months after pleasant trips in Italy. And the Hoboken article? All about Buddy Valastro (aka TLC’s Cake Boss), the Italian American cake baker in his family’s 100year old bakery in Hoboken (Carlo’s), and jaunts to his friends’ locations: Picolo’s Cheesesteaks, and Fiore’s Deli. Ah, the interweavings of Italian American lives, with cannoli and mozzarella in America.

The Navigator piece also featured Kathy McCabe, our friend who publishes the Dream of Italy newsletter. Many Olio2go customers have received sample issues with their fantastic olive oil deliveries!

Jimmy Fallon, Mario Batali Cooking Video from New Yorker Mario Batali on Jimmy Fallon made tasty Fettucine with Lobster and Budding Chives…but what’s the olive oil??!! Why, that’s Tenuta di Capezzana Extra Virgin Olive Oil. Thanks to our friends at Manicaretti for finding this!

….as seen on New Yorker Video…

Sirena d'Oro Olive Oil Awards

The first awards of the new season

The first award winners for the new season

Titone and Mascio, Available at Olio2go

Both! We have two award winners!

From Umbria and Sicily, we have two of the award winners from Sirena d’Oro di Sorrento 2010— and they are already in stock at our Olio2go warehouse.  The Menzioni de Merito and Category Finalists are linked for your full review.

Principe di Mascio DOP and Titone Biologica DOP, have both received recognition from the Sirena d’Oro di Sorrento olive oil awards, just announced this past week in Naples. These 2010 Awards are the first for the 2009 harvest extra virgin olive oils.

Principe di Mascio DOP received a Menzione of Merit as well as being named a Finalist in the Fruttato Medio category.  This terrific oil is produced in Umbria, in the area of Colli Assisi – Spoleto.  This is the second year in which we have carried this lovely and well-crafted extra virgin olive oil. You can read more about it and purchase it here.

Titone Biologica (Organic) DOP, also received the Menzione of Merit designation, and was named a Finalist in the Fruttato Intenso category.  Titone has long been among our favorite extra virgin olive oils.  It is certified organic and brings forth the fullest flavors of Sicily. It is from the DOP area known as Valli Trapanesi, far to the west in Sicily. Of course, Titone is available for prompt transportation to your home or office at Olio2go.