Ah, olive oil.
That rich, distinctive flavour, that colour of liquid sun. The very sight of it brings to mind it's heritage: Mediterranean villages baking in the sun. Grecian folks working in the field. Yes, everything about olive oil makes one think of Pitt Meadows.
Yes, Pitt Meadows. Okay, so maybe it is imported from Greece, but for Helen Koutalianos, olive oil is a driving passion. Back in Greece, Koutalianos' family grows olives and manufactures Golden Olive Eleni Extra Virgin Olive Oil. Helen, proprietor of Basil Olive Oil, imports the olive oil to North America. There's olive oil, and then, as they say, there's olive oil, but what sets Golden Olive Eleni apart? Extra virgin olive oil is not olive oil in a chastity belt, but refers instead to the process by which it is extracted. Olives are pressed for oil multiple times, and with each pressing, the quality of the oil decreases. (The oil from some of the later pressings is such poor quality that it is used in solvents.) Second and third press olive oil are always refined, and often chemically treated, but that first press yields pure, unadulterated oil.
Extra virgin oil comes from the first cold pressing of the olives, and is the richest, smoothest, healthiest of all. "For the consumer, it means that they get what they pay for," says Helen. "The finest quality olive oil."
Taken from: The Balanced Life Magazine by Balanced Life
Olive Oil Sampling Sept 23, 2016
Cooking Class Oct. 15, 2016