Olive Oil: Drizzle Carefully
You probably already know that olive oil is a “healthy” fat, but I’m about to let you in on the much needed supplemental information which can otherwise skew those nutritional facts. If you want to (ACTUALLY) enjoy olive oil for optimal health and exquisite taste, I encourage you to read on - the truth I’m about to share will likely surprise you.
First, just for the sake of completeness, let’s run down WHY you want this stellar ingredient in your kitchen cupboard and a staple in your daily diet. The Mediterranean Diet is known as one of the healthiest in the world - especially for heart health as the diet has been associated with a lower level of oxidized low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol — the "bad" cholesterol that's more likely to build up deposits in your arteries. A key component of this diet includes replacing butter with healthy fats such as olive oil (p.s. I’m personally not against grass-fed butter, but let’s not get into that debate here).
If you've ever had the luxury of eating at a traditional Greek household, you'll know they douse just about everything and anything in olive oil - it’s the necessary last step to practically all dishes.
So why is it that North Americans consume on average less than a twentieth as much as Greeks?!
I think I know the answer, and it lies in the taste; we simply don’t have easy access to true olive oil here. Pure cold-pressed olive oil made within single hours of the olives being harvested from the olive tree, crushed and cold-pressed to produce the superior quality and flavour that us Greeks have come to know and love - simply tastes different.
Unfortunately, what you likely know as olive oil (as it’s often wrongly labeled) is a mix of real Greek extra-virgin with a lower quality of olive oils from North Africa and around the Mediterranean. Sometimes it’s even worse, and there’s literally zero olive oil in the bottle (even though that’s how it’s labeled) and instead it’s just a seed oil (e.g. sunflower) with a few drops of chlorophyll and beta-carotene to make it look like olive oil.
Needless to say, this type of weird oil concoction does NOT taste like the liquid gold those joyous heart-healthy Greeks thrive on.
While there are a couple of “hacks” going around the internet these days on how to figure out if your olive oil is “legit” or not, none of them seem to be proven and all admittedly have mixed results. With that said, I did notice an Amazon reviewer share a seemingly useful trick you may want to try…
What olive oil is this "KT" referring to anyways? Well, that leads me perfectly into my pitch...please, bear with me. I’m usually uncomfortable with pushy salesy stuff, but this is a product that’s near and dear to my heart - that my eager father went and ordered dozens of litres of, straight from the family owned and operated company that produces it. It’s the olive oil I’ve been raised on - lovingly trusted, shared and enjoyed amongst our circle of friends and family.
I’ll be honest, I always sort of took it for granted - but upon further investigation of today’s very corrupt olive oil industry, it’s clear that this is something special. There’s something apparently magical about this cold-pressed extra virgin olive oil from Petrina which you can’t help but notice immediately - it’s an almost luminescent green.
My dad claims that’s because they don’t wait to press the olives right after they’re picked, and the fact that they use cold extraction and are extremely diligent with packaging to ensure freshness is maintained. Regardless, there’s no getting around that this stuff is liquid gold - or green...you get the point.
So while I’m not planning on opening up an EVOO shop anytime soon, and it’s way too cold for farmers market pop-ups - I do have several cases of this stuff sitting in my place, ready to share with friends and family who are interested! They come in 5L cases (light-resistant tins as this further seals freshness vs. glass), and have an easy pouring spout attached - although I usually pour a few cups into a mason jar which I keep on my kitchen counter for easy access.
In order to cover shipping costs and support the family operated Agricultural Union of Petrina, I’m selling each 5L case for $60 - and that includes personal Kiki-delivery*. (*Assuming you’re located somewhere in the GTA).
This oil has been a godsend during my transition to a more “keto-ish” diet, after recent learnings and inspiration from scientific thought-leaders such as Megan Ramos from the Intensive Dietary Management Clinic. And of course, the wonderfully intense Dave Asprey - author of The Bulletproof Diet and Head Strong - both of which reference olive oil as a healthy “ketogenic” fat...as long as you’re getting a pure, clean source (which, as I explained is often difficult).
Of course, if you’re a slightly more 'normal' person, simply following a generally healthy whole-foods diet, this is the perfect pantry staple for you too!
Most of us are familiar with the classic salad dressing made up of EVOO + lemon juice + apple cider vinegar, but the possibilities of this delightfully tasty oil go way beyond that. Just remember that in order to extract all of it’s health benefits, you’re going to want to incorporate into cold dishes, or add it to warm dishes as the very last step - as it’s not very heat stable.
Drizzling it over steamed greens, a warm winter soup, or over a delicious baked carb like sweet potatoes, beets, or even just some cooked rice will help make your meal more “complete” and keep you satiated for longer, as it’s “clean” slow-burning fuel that your entire body - including your brain - loves. Fat also makes everything taste better, it's proven.
Since I’m an EVOO fanatic myself, I’ve also learned to utilize it for more extravagant purposes, like in desserts and beverages. Here are some of my favourites:
That last option makes a fab christmas gift - for the health-focused foodie, the extravagant chef, or even just that random person you don’t really know but just so happened to pick for Secret Santa.
So, if I’ve convinced you that it’s worth “upgrading” your olive oil (like we all seem to do with our coffee these days) to this cold extraction variety straight from Petrina, Greece, feel free to reach out and place your order with me directly! I’m scheduling several drop-offs and deliveries across the GTA over the next couple of weeks in time for Christmas, so don't delay!
Email me: email@example.com with your order requests ($60 for each 5L case) including your desired pick-up/drop-off location (delivery to the GTA + surrounding areas included in the price).
*P.S. this olive oil is PDO certified. PDO is the acronym for “Protected Designation of Origin”, a legal definition, similar to the Appellation d’origine contrôlée designation in French wines, for foods (including extra virgin olive oil) that are produced or processed in a specific region using traditional production methods. The production process of PDO oils is laid down by a specific protocol and overseen by a quality control committee, which further helps to maintain the quality of the oil.