UP IN SMOKE
The ancient Greek poet Homer called it “liquid gold.” I call it indispensable for any serious griller. I reach for it daily, and like salt and pepper, I can’t imagine cooking without it. Not only does olive oil have well-documented health benefits, it, er, smokes other vegetable-based oils when it comes to flavor.
How do I use it? Let me count the ways:
Olive oil is available in staggering variety at gourmet and grocery stores. Alas, not all olive oils are created equal. Italian versus Spanish. Extra-virgin versus virgin. And to add to the confusion, price is not always a consistent predictor of quality.
Olive oil enlightenment arrived to barbecuebible.com in 2005, when Nancy Loseke joined us as general factotum and Features Editor of Up in Smoke. Happily, Nancy wears another hat—that of professional olive oil taster (trained at the Robert Mondavi Olive Oil Center at U.C. Davis, no less). Nancy is a co-founder of the “The Fresh-Pressed Olive Oil Club”—based on the premise that olive oil, unlike wine, is the freshest and best the minute it leaves the press. Nancy and/or her associates crisscross the globe, ferreting out the best olive oil on six continents. Four times a year, they send out their top picks, and as a longtime member of the club, I want to tell you that these are simply the best olive oils you’ll ever taste. (Read more about the club below, including its exclusive offer to send readers of Up in Smoke a free bottle of olive oil with a trial subscription.)
I’ve asked Nancy to share her top tips for selecting and maintaining the best olive oils:
Visit the Fresh-Pressed Olive Oil Club for more information.
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