“Well, well, well…what do we have here? Looks like somebody didn’t heed the first commandment of fitness – Never eat before you exercise!” That’s what I was thinking as I looked at my daughter sprawled on the floor at the entrance to Earth Fare (my favorite grocery store, mind you!) barfing up her lunch after working out for all the customers to see. Eww! The store clerks were so gracious to clean up the “accident” and even brought her a hot ginger tea for her to sip to settle her stomach as we ate our dinner there. Wow, now that’s a grocery store! Nevermind the memory of our family grossing out their customers, they will have my business for years to come…if they let us back in…Lol!
Changing gears, I want to discuss picking out a good virgin olive oil, and making sure “she” (I refer to my olive oil in the female) is pure, first cold-pressed, bottle sealed tight, and extra-virgin. I don’t know about you, but there is nothing prettier than seeing a beautiful Italian, deep olive colored, quality olive oil stored in vintage bottles. The authenticity and quality of extra-virgin oil is so important to me that I don’t mind dropping a few extra bucks for a good one – as well you should. This is not an item to skimp on, and luckily a good 17 oz bottle of olive oil ranges from $7 on up, though I have paid more. I love Mezzaluna’s infused olive oil that they serve in their restaurants for dipping bread in, and was delighted when I was able to purchase it right from them! They make up batches of their fresh rosemary-lemon infused oils and store in old wine bottles with corks for $20, and I am telling you, I enjoyed every drop of that delectable oil over meats, vegetables, pasta, and bread. Good olive oil to me is like fine wine, and although I don’t drink, I am a conniseur when it comes to fine oils, vinegars, butter, cheeses, etc.
I go through a lot of olive oil in my house, on average a bottle a week, as I use it to season my pots before cooking vegetables, beans, rubbing down meats before seasoning, making salad dressings, and drizzling over pasta. To preserve the integrity, and avoid spoilage through prolonged shelf time, I only buy what I need for a week’s time, a 17 oz glass bottle size. I ONLY buy extra-virgin olive oil in glass bottles, not plastic, as it helps preserve the oil better. My favorite brand is Colavita or Carapelli. Make sure it is 100% Italian extra-virgin olive oil and “first cold pressed” – that’s the best. And make sure you screw the cap on tightly after using and store in a cool dark place – preferably away from the stove area, to help preserve the integrity of the oil. There is not a day that goes by that I don’t reach for my olive oil in the kitchen when I am cooking.
So there you have it. Invest in quality, buy small, and be liberal with your use in the kitchen. And be adventurous and experiment with different flavor infused olive oils or types. I have several different bottles of olive oil that I use for different tastes I want in dishes. I have a California estate one that is divine over roasted asparagus or grilled salmon, and a garlic herb infused oil that is stellar drizzled over a grilled vegetable antipasto. Either way, the health benefits are definitely there, and you can rest assured that you are doing your body a beautiful favor with every drizzle.