Sunday, January 28, 2018

SF Fancy Food Show - Part 1 of 3

The euphoric excitement of the San Francisco Fancy Food Show has ended and the blissful reality of my life is settling back into my normal day to day routine. I've been spending the last few days pondering the best way to represent the many companies, owners and products I viewed at the show. Since it is almost impossible to write about each vendor at the show I've decided to break down the blog post into 3 separate articles based on the products that inspired me to cook either from my personal experiences in the past  present or future endeavors. Here's the line up: 
  • Olive Oils
  • Innovative products
  • Specialty Food Favorites
Let's start with olive oils. For me olive oil is like sunshine after a rain... its essentials and always welcome. I use olive oil in my daily cooking, in salad dressings and an agent to boost flavor to most dishes. For some blog post readers who also view my Lady E Cooks Facebook page you might have seen my recent repost of how olive oil is made. The video featured the process of three granite wheels churning and crushing freshly picked olives (along with pits and leaves) into a rich paste. A process called cold pressed where the paste is pressed for hours causing the juice of the olive to drip slowly into vats. Ultimately the oil is separated from the water resulting in an "unfiltered olive oil". I'm sure there are a variety of ways to manufacture this golden liquid and for those who know me, knowledge is my "sweet spot" of happiness. But, in the end much like you...I just wanna grab a bottle off the shelf, crack it open and pour...lol.You might ask, but which olive oil is the one to buy? My answer to most questions is ...It depends.
 
It depends on what you're using the oil for? Salads? Might want to choose an oil with subtle hints of fruit. Cooking? Searing? Roasting? An oil with a rounded note might work. These are my favorites from the show:
  • Enzo Olive Oil
  • O Olive Oil
  • Lucini Olive Oil and California Extra Virgin Olive Oil.
All of the olive oils mentioned above I personally buy and I have in my pantry. They each serve a different purpose for cooking and preparing meals. Enzo Olive Oil has a light flavorful note that pairs well with dishes highlighting fish, fruit or salad. I primarily use it to make herbed salads dressings. It has a fragrant flavor without being too overwhelming or sweet. However, it is flavorful unlike safflower oil or grape seed oil.  Bonus, its reasonably priced.  The olive oils shown in the photo are enhanced with either the essence of lemons, clementine or garlic which elevate all dishes that you prepare. I love having this option to experiment with all sorts of hot or cold food and these olive oils provide me that option. Excellent olive oil that is award winning and one of my favorites. To learn more about Enzo Olive Oil go to http://enzooliveoil.com/ for details.
 Next up...O Olive Oil has a rich full flavor that isn't greasy or oily on the tongue. Sound a little like the adjectives used to describe wine ... well, probably. Ever heard of an olive oil tasting. No? Go immediately if not sooner to one. For a foodie ... it's a good time to discover an olive oil just by tasting it alone like a fine wine. What I love about O Olive Oil is that it is interchangeable from a simple salad dressing to cooking a roasted chicken in the oven. It can be used for both. O Olive Oil adds a richness without being overpowering much like butter. Its a great oil to have on your shelf if you're not one to stock up on a variety of oils and just want one good overall oil. However, you use it ... it will not disappoint. In addition, O Olive Oil not only offers versatility in preparing dishes, but they also make a variety of vinegars to pair with their olive oils. To find out more about O Olive Oil click the following link: https://www.ooliveoil.com/

Last, but certainly not least is my go to olive oil for searing, roasting, marinating and dipping sauces is Lucini Extra Virgin Olive Oil. I can't buy a bottle big enough to keep it  in my cupboard. This is a rich, full bodied, heavy yet not greasy olive oil. I've tried to use it for salad dressings, but my preference is the lighter olive oils. It adds a richness that certain dishes require. For instances when I make my homemade pomodoro sauce ... the other oils are too light. This oil is perfect for long, slow, low heat cooking. Its rich enough to enhance the dish and bold enough to hold up to hearty herbs, like rosemary and whole garlic cloves. This company also makes a extra virgin olive oil called "California". One of my BFFs swears by this version of their oil. I prefer the Lucini ... but each to his/her own. To find out more about Lucini https://www.lucini.com/ see the beautifully designed website.

Whichever olive oil you choose or how you choose to use it .... remember cooking with love makes any recipe taste better.

Au bientot,
Lady E