Monday, December 10, 2012

Edible Gifts: Olive Oil & Balsamic Vinegar


I'm always looking for creative gifts for those people on my list that are hard to shop for.  You know the type...The neighbors, your boss, your in-laws, the person who has everything.  A good Olive Oil and Balsamic are great gifts because they last well past the holiday season, but can also come in handy for the host who will be entertaining a lot throughout the holidays.  Some people may think that all olive oil is created equal.  I say those people haven't been to Taste the Olive!  

I ventured to Taste the Olive recently to pick up a bottle of Greek olive oil.  Little did I know that Greek olive oil is not in season until February or March!    I set out to tasting their variety of oils to pick one that suited me and I settled on a Chilean Frantoio.  As I picked a few to taste, I really didn't anticipate being able to differentiate, but you'd be surprised how unique the various oils are based on their region.  The Chilean oil had a smooth, buttery flavor we all know and love in an olive oil, but it also had a peppery after taste.   The quality olive oils are best eaten raw as opposed to using them in cooking. I like to serve mine with parmesan and balsamic (I picked up this parmesan herb blend to try while I was there) and a crusty bread, drizzled over a sharp cheese, or  of course with a big bowl of pasta, and whoever is lucky enough to get this as a gift will too!

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