Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Chile Olive Oil Party- Tasting the Oils

Olive Oil is one of those truly wonderful ingredients.  A chameleon of shorts, this ingredient can be found on its own as a drizzle over rich ingredients, blended with acidic counterparts to create emulsified dressings, cooked into savory entrees, and even baked with.  A few months ago I was asked to host a dinner party showcasing olive oil from Chile.  You may not be too familiar with Chile as an Olive Oil producer.  Just making it's entrance into US markets, Chilean Olive Oil is full flavored, with all of the same great health benefits as its Italian or Greek counterparts.  Chile's location, between a desert, the Pacific Ocean, the Patagonia and the Andean range gives it the shelter that Olives can thrive in. 

For the party, I was sent both Smooth and Bold Olive Oils, along with a whole host of ingredients and several recipes to try out the oil in.  First up though, my guests and I did a little taste test of the oils.  I will say- if you haven't taken a sip of pure olive oil before- it can be a little daunting.  The folks over at Chile Oliva, the National Association of Manufacturers of Olives and Olive Oil sent along some helpful hints.  Similar to wine, the method includes swirling, taking a deep sniff in, and then a slurp.  Here, acidic green apples are used to cleanse the palate. 

We started with the Bold labeled version and found that the flavors did in fact pack a punch.  As I sniffed to start the flavor was mild and I was a bit disappointed, but then as I sipped the blend of Arbequina, Frantoio and Leccino olives the bright spice and a peppery back drop assured me of its "bold" flavor.  The Smooth variety had a similar scent to the Bold, but its flavor was much rounder and fuller.  Its flavor was full of sweet grass which balanced with the slightly bitter undertone.  It was clear that while the Bold would adjust the flavors of what it was used in, the Smooth would simply enhance those already present. 

We dove into the rest of the recipes incorporating these great oils which included a Fresh Tomato Tart, a decadent Goat Cheese and Portobello Mushroom pasta and a bright and citrusy Olive Oil cake topped with fresh raspberries and whipped cream.  Stay tuned...

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I like the reflections of the bottled oils in the photos.

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