Whether I am making my own recipes or cooking my Blue Apron meals, there are three ingredients that I almost always use: olive oil, salt and pepper. Although these ingredients are really basic, it is important to make sure they are good quality. Salt and pepper are easy enough (kosher salt, fresh ground black pepper), but olive oil can be a bit trickier. I have found my favorite all purpose olive oil – California Olive Ranch Extra Virgin Olive Oil. I am Really Into it.
Turns out you need to be picky when it comes to picking your oil. Tom Mueller wrote the book Extra Virginity: The Sublime and Scandalous World of Olive Oil which uncovers the illegitimacy of olive oils being sold at stores. According to him, over 70% of what is labeled Extra Virgin Olive Oil is in fact a blend of other, lower grade, oils. Most of the olive oil labelled Italian is controlled by the Mafia. 60 Minutes did a report about a year ago covering the dark world of food copying in Italy and how farmers are trying to ban together to take back control.
I have been lucky because here in Northern California I have access to a lot of local olive oil. In my small city alone I have three places where I can go do tastings. But it is not always feasible to spend money on expensive oils, and that is why the California Olive Ranch Extra Virgin Olive Oil has been a life saver. It is affordable and available in many stores. I also like the idea that I am buying oil not just from the United States, but from the state that I live in. It supports our local economy and I know that I am getting a good product. I have also tried their higher end olive oils, like the Aberquina Extra Virgin Olive Oil, and been happy with them too. Their website has a wealth of information and I feel like I am making the right decision in purchasing their oils – they clearly have nothing to hide. Plus, they have great recipes to try.
As the basis of so many dishes I make at home, a good quality olive oil is very important to me. Do some research and see for yourself – I bet you will be as surprised as I was at the lack of regulation an quality product that is available to you. My recommendation is to go with a local, pure oil, and I am Really Into California Olive Ranch. Thank you for making my decision so easy!