Gourmet Olive Oils and Vinegars
So, by now, you may have heard me mention The Tasteful Olive and you may have noticed that I have been cooking with a lot of fancy balsamic vinegars and olive oils. Well, that is because I met some tremendous foodies here in Overland Park, KS who run The Tasteful Olive, a gourmet olive oil and balsamic vinegar store.
Basically, the tasteful olive features rows upon rows of containers, each holding a different flavored oil (mostly olive, but some truffle) or 12-18 year old balsamic vinegar with flavors ranging from lemon to black currant to fig to chocolate to vanilla. Oh, and did I mention, samples are completely free!
The thing to do is give yourself an hour to just go in and try each one separately. Then go back and mix and match (my personal favorite is still the Persian lime olive oil with the lemon balsamic, but you come up with your favorite.) Then buy them and cook with them. You’ll find recipes on their site and this one!
The Health Benefits of Olive Oil
Unsurprisingly, they are big advocates of consuming olive oil at The Tasteful Olive. Jeanne and her husband both espouse it’s health benefits on a regular basis. You can read more about it on Jeanne’s blog.
Baking with Olive Oil
They also want everyone to try baking with olive oil instead of butter because its healthier (and if you use a flavored olive oil, it’s tastier, too.) As such, they hand out helpful charts to anyone considering baking with olive oil that tell you how much olive you need to replace an amount of butter. I have typed the chart in below.
They recommend you use a lighter olive oil (*cough* Hojiblanca from Australia *cough*) but use what you have. Do be careful, though. I have found that olive oil cakes can dry faster than cakes that use butter.
|1 Teaspoon||3/4 Teaspoon|
|1 Tablespoon||2 1/4 Teaspoon|
|1/4 Cup||3 Tablespoons|
|1/3 Cup||1/4 Cup + 2 Tablespoons|
|2/3 Cup||1/2 Cup|
|3/4 Cup||1/2 Cup + 1 Tablespoon|
|1 Cup||3/4 Cup|
By my calculation that means I need 2 1/4 cups of olive oil to make Ina Garten’s pound cake. God bless that woman!
What Are You Waiting For?
You know where to get good olive oil and balsamic (at least in KC, but look for The Tasteful Olive online), now get to cooking!
Picture taken from http://www.thetastefulolive.com.
Oh, and as I’ve noted before, The Tasteful Olive has given me free and discounted bottles of both their gourmet olive oils and gourmet balsamic vinegars so that I could create recipes.