BrusselsSproutsSaladx

Perfect for late summer, grab some Brussels Sprouts and marry them with the flavors of orange and cranberry!

This is not a conventional recipe, with exact measurements and precise weights. This is a taste-and-adjust recipe.

Brussels Sprouts, trimmed and sliced thin
Radicchio or Red Cabbage, a small portion, perhaps 10% of the Brussels Sprouts volume
Dried Cranberries, aka Craisins, 1/4 to 1/2C
Agrumato Orange Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Acetaia Cattani Organic White Balsamic Vinegar

Place thinly sliced greens and reds in a bowl. Add dried cranberries. Drizzle with Agrumato Orange from Abruzzo. Add salt and pepper as desired. Toss. Add Acetaia Cattani Organic White Balsamic Vinegar. Toss again. Let sit for 20 minutes for the flavors to blend before serving. Enjoy!

Note: If you would like to mellow these robust flavors, subsitute another great extra virgin olive oil, such as Frantoi Cutrera’s Primo or Ravida, for a portion of the Agrumato Orange.

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Zurich2013_Six

Dateline Zurich:  12th International Olive Congress Zurich Olive Oil Awards were announced in late April and we are please to announce that we have six of the selections in stock.

The Zurich Awards are very selective, with only five (5) Gold Awards granted. Of the five, two were Italian oils — but other “sibling” selections from producers whose oil we carry at Olio2go.  Those were selections from the producers, Titone and Cetrone.

Zurich granted eight (8) Silver and 16 Awards. We have Silver and Award winners in stock (if we could, we would rename “Awards” as Bronze).

Silver Award Winners:

Frantoi Cutrera Gran Cru Nocellara Etnea

Frantoi Cutrera Gran Cru Nocellara del Belice

“Awards”:

Frantoi Cutrera Primo DOP Monte Iblei Gulfi

Frantoi Cutrera Gran Cru Cerasuola

Frantoi Cutrera Gran Cru Tonda Iblea

Titone Bio DOP Valli Trapanesi

Ravida

All of these selections are from Sicily!

Certainly, Frantoi Cutrera has some magic in winning awards. You will find their oils on may award lists. We recommend the Tasting Set Sampler or the full Connoisseur’s Set.

The full Zurich Awards list can be seen here.

nyiooc

The premier New York International Olive Oil Competition was a great success with three days of speakers and the culminating awards ceremony for top extra virgin olive oils. Kudos to the folks at Olive Oil Times for their new event.

It is always fun to attend an olive oil event, and we enjoy the casual, in the hallway, meetings for what one can continue to learn about the world of olive oil. The presentations included formal tastings, discussions on price and value, the pride of countries (notably Spain and Italy), international agreements, and olive oil frontiers (olive oil in India).

When the awards were announced, Italy led the pack in the number of total medals!

We currently have several of the award winners, with more enroute across the Atlantic.

In Stock Now (all 2012 Harvest):

Fratelli Colletti, Silver

Ravida, Gold

Cutrera Primo DOP, Gold

DeCarlo, DOP Torre de Mossa 2012, Best of Class

Titone DOP Valli Trapanesi, Gold

Albereto, Badia a Coltibuono, Silver

Crudo, Gold Medal

Quattrociocchi Olivastro, Gold

Franci, Toscano IGP, Best of Class

Franci, Villa Magra, Best of Class

Franci, Olivastra Seggianese, Gold (coming soon)

Luna Vera, Sardinia, Gold

Olio Librandi, Monocultivar, Carolea, Organic, Gold

 

The full list of awards can be seen here.

Let’s take a look at a great olive oil label and a great olive oil!

This is Primo Olio Extra Vergine di Oliva (Extra Virgin Olive Oil), and the label indicates that Frantoi Cutrera has been producing olive oil since 1906.  The producer is Frantoi Cutrera and the brand is Primo. And on the bottle, the label is written in Italian, English, and French, for sales within the European Union and English speaking countries.

Let’s analyze this bottle from the very well regarded Frantoi Cutrera. The hanging neck tag is the first feature to attract your attention, right?

Red catches your eye to emphasize that this is the new harvest oil and that Frantoi Cutrera has been named the Best Oil Mill of the Year, by the notable guide, Gambero Rosso. This is the 100th prize received by Frantoi Cutrera. On the back of the tag, there’s an extensive list of 40 awards received in the past 9 years!

Cutrera has designed a signature bottle with Frantoi Cutrera pressed into the glass. That’s unique in our line.

The orange and yellow symbol is the EU’s symbol of authenticity, Denominazione d’Origine Protetta (DOP, also called PDO in Europe). There are approximately 30 DOP regions for Italian olive oil. On this bottle, the designation is noted as D.O.P. Monti Iblei Gulfi, and the corresponding green and gold neckband signifies the Consorzio di Tutela Dell’Olio Extra Vergine di Oliva – certifying the oil as DOP to the consortium’s regional standards. (Until recent years, the DOP symbol was blue and yellow).  This area is in southeastern Sicily.

Each DOP region has its own standard reflecting the best qualities of the customs of the region. For this region, the certified oil must have a free fatty acid level no greater than 0.5% and the polyphenol levels must be greater than 150 ppm. Certified oils from this region must also be 90% or greater from Tonda Iblea variety olives. The neck tag has a traceable number that is specific to each bottle. For this bottle, the number is CC 900234.

Below the DOP symbol, it is noted as a Product of Italy. Product of Italy– of course, but don’t read too much into it. (Unfortunately, oil delivered to Italy by tanker, and bottled in Italy, will also say Product of Italy). Here the DOP symbol provides assurances that the olives were grown, pressed and bottled in a very small geographic area, what we might recognize as the size of a county, or perhaps, Rhode Island.

This label also indicates “cold extracted”. Cold pressed is becoming a misnomer, as the extraction process has transitioned from stone pressing in an open environment to centrifugal crushing in a closed system. The process is monitored so the heat from friction is kept at a minimum. If excessive heat is involved, the acidity level rises. With extra virgin olive oil, the lower the acidity level the better. The international standard is for the acidity level to be below 0.8%. Top quality premium extra virgin oils such as Primo have levels below 0.25%.

At the lower edge of the front label, the volume is denoted with 0.75 Liters on the left (noted with the EU “e”) and 25.4 fluid ounces on the lower right edge.

The Back Label

The back label includes more details on this oil, as well as the FDA – required nutrition facts. In this case, the back label notes that the oil is produced primarily from the local olive variety “Tonda Iblea” and that it is produced directly and solely from olives by means of mechanical process. (Lower grades of olive oil are produced by chemical extraction with solvents. Those lower grades are pure, light, olive oil, pomace).

As you continue to read the label you will find details on the regulations for certification within Italy. The business address, web address, telephone number, and email address are also noted on the label. There’s no hiding where this oil originated!

Lastly, we need to look at the product dating and numbering. Lot numbers are required by the FDA. Exceeding this requirement, Cutrera has chosen to indicate the harvest year and best-by date. We support producers who adhere to these higher standards.

A further note on bottle dates: We track these very carefully. Occasionally, there will be a late bottling of oil. Let’s say there’s a 2010 oil bottled (from tank to bottle) in mid 2011. That producer can place a best-by date of mid 2013 on the label. To us, that’s still a 2010 oil, not to be sold past December 2012. With careful inventory controls, we sell out long before that date. Our employees often take these bottles home, and top quality oils that have been well stored are full of flavor beyond those printed dates. But we don’t sell them to you. Look carefully at the picture and you will see this is a 2011 harvest oil (noted as 11/12) with a best by date of November 2013.

This bottle, sealed in Italy, arrives at your table with the same authentic integrity that it possessed when it left Frantoi Cutrera. The labeling carries forth the authenticity. But what can you learn about the characteristics of Cutrera Selections? We enthusiastically invite you to visit our description and give them a try!

To get the freshest Italian Extra Virgin Olive Oil, buy from a retailer who imports often, and warehouses well. Olio2go’s extra virgin olive oil is stored in the dark, in the box, in a temperature-controlled warehouse. Choose a vendor/retailer with strict quality controls and good inventory systems.

Principe di Mascio, Rosso, and Trapetto di Caprafico DOP

Top Award Winners

Some folks choose the grocery store oil, assuming it to be extra virgin olive oil. Knowledgable consumers are skeptical, and true fans of olive oil seek award winners. With any of these selections your choices will be a long way from the grocery store shelves. These 2010 olive oils and their coveted awards represent the best olive oils in the world — and these are the top Italian selections.

We scour the olive oil awards as they are released each year (you can find links on our web site) both to identify the awards received by our current producers and to look for new oils to stock. Five major award presentations have been announced in 2011 awards (for 2010 harvest oils). The last major awards are bestowed in June, and those are the Los Angeles International Olive Oil Awards.

Slow Food – the leading authority on authentic, traditional olive oil, awards released May 2011

“Garland” –
Frantoio Franci estate, oils arriving in June

“Tre Olive” –
La Pennita, Alina, Brisighella
Ravida
Titone Biologica DOP
Frescobaldi Laudemio

“Gli Extravergini dell’Emozione” –
Trappeto di Caprafico Organic DOP
Raro, Madonna dell’Oliva
Colli Etruschi
Villa Magra Gran Cru (2009 currently available, 2010 arriving in June)
Villa Magra dei Franci (arriving in June)
Marfuga L’affiorante
Principe di Mascio DOP

International Olive Oil Awards – Zurich (award released April 2011)
Titone Biologica DOP, Golden Olive
Primo DOP Special Mention, Fruttato Intenso, also Gran Menzione in the DOP Category

Sirena d’Oro di Sorrento (awards released March 2011)
Trappeto di Caprifico, Bio, DOP – Second Place, Fruttato Medio
Titone Bio DOP, Fruttato Intenso, 1st place
Principe di Mascio DOP, 2nd place, Fruttato Medio

National Competition L’orciolo d’Oro 2011 (awards released March 2011)
Principe di Mascio DOP DOP Category, 3rd place
La Poderina Toscana Organic, DOP Category, Gran Menzione
Rosso from Villa Zottopera, Gran Menzione, Fruttato Intenso
Ravida, Gran Menzione, Fruttato Leggero
Raro Madonna dell’Oliva, 1st Place, Fruttato Intenso
Titone DOP Biologica, Special Mention, Fruttato Medio; also Organic, Gran Menzione

SOL/Vinitaly
Olio de la Marchia, Ascolana – Gran Mention, Fruttato Medio
Rosso from Villa Zottopera, Bronze, Fruttato Medio
Trappeto di Caprifico (Masciantonio), Bio, DOP – Special Mention, Fruttato Intenso
Frantoio Franci, Gran Menzione (arriving in June)
Titone DOP Biologica – Gran Menzione