Do you need some great olive oil for summer grilling and all of those delicious salads? Amelia Oil is having a summer sale on 2008 Amelia Extra Virgin Olive Oil. We’re already sold out of 1-litre tins but 500ml bottles are 20% off ($15.20) and 5-litre tins are 25% off ($93.75). At these price, our 2008 stock won’t last long.
We still have a good supply of lovely, fresh 2009 Amelia Olive Oil.
Visit our site to place your order: www.ameliaoil.com
We’re so happy the ‘Lemon Tart’ is enjoying her Amelia Oil. Have a look at the Lemon Tart blog to see what she has to say about us.
We always love to hear what yummy things you cook or bake with Amelia Oil. Send us your tasting notes and recipes to ameliaoil(at)telus.net. We would be happy to post a link to your blog.
Amelia Oil will be participating in a live olive oil tasting on line, which is being organised by Olive Oil Tasters. If you would like to participate please sign up on the Olive Oil Tasters site. This tasting will focus on Italian extra virgin olive oil from last year’s harvest and will include Amelia Oil from Umbria and Farmstead Wine‘s EVOO from Liguria. These are two very different oils and this is an excellent chance to experience the diversity of Italian olive oil.
We are offering a 20% discount to the first 20 participating tasters. Please send us an e-mail to request your olive oil so that you can take part in this event that will take place on Jan. 18th.
During the Salone del Gusto in Turin last week I attended the Slow Food Master in Olive Oil course. One interesting point that was raised was the importance (or lack of) low volatile acidity in extra virgin olive oil. For an olive oil to be considered extra virgin one of the main requirements is that it must have less than 0.8% (0.8 grams per 100 grams) of free acidity. But can the consumer really taste the acidity in the oil?
According to our instructor, the average consumer does not perceive much difference in the acidity of olive oil. We were told that the reason for the introduction of this legislation was to encourage better harvesting and processing practices. For example, olives should not be beaten out of trees, fruit should not be harvested from the ground, milling equipment should be kept clean and olives should be processed shortly after picking in order assure low acidity and better overall quality.
It is interesting to note the emphasis placed on low acidity by producers and distributors, while this is rarely part of the information presented on the bottle. Amelia Oil consistently has less than 0.3% acidity but what makes it exceptional oil is our guarantee of freshness, the farming and harvesting practices used, as well as the hygiene of the mill.
Tomorrow I am off down to Amelia to see how the harvest is going. I will also be tasting the olio nuovo and posting my notes here.
Last week I went to Vinitaly in Verona and I spent some time in the pavilion dedicated mainly to olive oil, Sol. It was a great chance to taste olive oil from all over Italy. There are some pretty big differences between the fruity oils of Garda lake in the North and some of the fatty, briny oil of Puglia in the south. Italy is all about diversity from north to south and you can certainly taste it in the oils.
I was on the lookout for a good, light tasting oil for drizzling on fish. I tasted a few from Sicily and Liguria so I will keep you posted if anything comes of these initial tastings.
What tasting all this oil made me realise is how good our oil from Francesco in Umbira is! However, my goal is to eventually import a number of oils that can be used in all kinds of cooking from grilled fish to salads. My olive oil adventure is just beginning.
I love it when people write in with questions. Recently, someone asked if you can fry with olive oil and if it was a healthy choice. First of all, no matter what oil you use, fried food is probably not the healthiest choice (but it is oh so good). That said, olive oil has its ups and downs for frying. Compared to grape seed oil or other seed oils, olive oil has a relatively low smoking-point (375-400F), which means that you will get a lot of smoke if you aren’t careful about the temperature and this could give your food a burnt taste. The other issue of frying with olive oil is that olive oil loses some of its properties when fried: those lovely green tastes are the first to go. However, there are no real negative effects of frying with olive oil and there are certainly few health risks (other than the usual health issues of fried foods). Olive will not become a trans fat on your kitchen stove.
There are not many people who use extra virgin olive oil to fry; this is mainly due to the cost and the fact that it loses a lot of its delicate flavours when heated too high. In Italy, olive oil is still the first choice for frying but often virgin or pomace oil is used (low grades of olive oil). Olive oil also imparts a strong flavour to whatever it is you are frying. This can work really well with some types of fish, for example.
My recommendation is to save your good extra virgin olive oil for finishing dishes. I use it as a condiment to add a little something to soups, pasta, salads as well as grilled meats and vegetables. I have also been known to put it on my toast in the morning, but that is quite extreme.
A colleague of mine at UniSG has a friend who works at the Stazione Sperimentale Oli e Grassi (Experimental Lab for Oils and Fats) in Milan. We decided to send a sample of 2008 Amelia Oil off to Milan to see the exact chemical makeup of this year’s oil. The results came back and our oil has passed the test with flying colours.
For an olive oil to be considered extra virgin, it must have less than 0.8% acidity. We are proud to announce that Amelia Oil only has 0.2% (well below the average) this year. Our oil was also tasted by two expert olive oil sommeliers who declared it to have notes of fresh fruit and almonds with no defects (such as rancidity, mold, metallic taste, etc).
With science standing behind us, we can soundly say that Amelia Oil is truly extra virgin olive oil of very high quality.
If you would like to see the actual test results, click here
I just read a great piece by Anne Menely in the book Fat: The Anthropology of an Obsession. Menely’s chapter, entitled “Oil”, looks at the social relations that are built around producing olive oil in Tuscany and she also investigates the way in which Italians talk about purity, danger and sexuality when discussing extra virgin olive oil. However, Menely begins by looking at the way in which the tourist image of Tuscany is mobilised to sell olive oil in North America. I had to stop and ask myself if this was the case with Amelia Oil?
Firstly, I think my mother and I started Amelia Oil because we wanted to share something really good that we enjoyed on a daily basis. When I moved back to North America, I was disgusted by the low quality and high price of olive oil. It just seemed like consumers here were getting duped without realising it. I hoped I could teach people a little bit about olive oil so they would know exactly what they were getting for their money. Secondly, Amelia Oil was born out of my love for a town called Amelia in Umbria, Italy. I guess this is rather romantic but when you are in love you (and I mean head-over-heels) you want to tell the world about it. Mainly, I have a vision of doing something concrete and positive to help the people in this town that I called home for two years. I want to give something back to Amelia and the Amerini (the people who live there).
Finally, I imagine I am selling a dream but it is something that I lived and I want to share with others. I do think you can taste the green Umbrian hills in our oil but I hope you can also understand the hard work that is behind producing an oil of this quality. I think we are selling something that is really good and that is obvious from the first mouthful.