There was a tasting of eight olive oils before dinner, but we only got to sample half of them, because you know how people like to stand in front of things and chat and generally get in the way. Rather than fight them, we got glasses of wine and walked away, figuring there would be plenty more oil to taste during dinner.
I like a good, peppery olive oil with a fairly strong green fruit flavor and moderate bitterness. The oils we did try on their own were very mild to my palate, and I think that made them perfect for cooking, as opposed to raw applications. We did start off the meal with an arugula salad though, topped with a lovely ricotta-like goat's cheese and pecans, and a creamy dressing containing olive oil from the producer Bari.
|Roasted fall vegetables (Bari)
|House-made linguine, garlic & herbs, Eve's Dream, cherry tomatoes
bread crumbs (Calivirgin)
|Slow-cooked swordfish, Anson Mills rice, kale,
summer garlic (Pasolivo)
|Oven-roasted chicken, braised chard, carrots
Enzo green sauce
|Ascolano cake, highland bitters, fig conserve,
fig-peach ice cream
There was also an olive oil dessert featuring a cakelet made with Ascolano olive oil from the producer Lucero. With its almost tropical fruitiness, this oil worked beautifully without making the cake taste like, well, olive oil. The fig conserve, made in house of course, was delicious, but the flavors in the ice cream were too mild to discern, perhaps because the bitters in the whipped cream were too strong.
Overall, the meal was a nice introduction to California olive oils. To be honest, we tend to buy oils we can afford, regardless of the region in which they were produced, and regardless of flavor. Hey - they don't offer olive oil tastings at the Giant. But when we're in the market for a high quality oil, we will certainly look toward the olive oils of California, and I'll be keeping an eye out for their quality seal.
* Any products in this post that are mentioned by name may have been provided to Minxeats by the manufacturer. However, all opinions belong to Minxeats.
Posted on Minxeats.com.