olive oil

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EAT – Snack on This! Fancy Food Show 2010

This post’s title, Snack on This! I have totally borrowed from friend and colleague Mark Oltz.  Whenever we were looking for new titles to segments on In Wine Country he’d always throw out “snack on this.”  Today’s the last day of the three day Fancy Food show in San Francisco.  There are hundreds of food vendors, from all over the country and all over the world.  You can spend all day there and eat nothing but cheese — some darn good cheese.  I managed to pull myself away from the cheese pavilion to sample other things.  Here’s my list of favorites. Everything’s better with bacon.  The cured meat was everywhere; lots of jamon Iberico legs being carved up. Bacon makes its way into chocolate at Vosges, in a dark choc bar and in a fantastic bacon caramel toffee.  Also saw dried smoked salmon “bacon bits.” Porchetta was on display too. …

SHOP EAT – Olive Oil and Olives

You’re at the grocery store, staring blankly at the shelves of olive oil.  It’s almost like looking at shelves full of wine.  Intimidating.  Confusing.  You just want a decent bottle of extra virgin olive oil.  Do you choose by label, by country, by price?  To make matters even worse, it’s highly likely that bottle of oil you just picked up contains an inferior olive oil that wouldn’t pass a test for extra virgin olive oil.  And even though it is labeled “product of Italy” that oil probably came from Spain, Greece, Tunisia, Egypt, Turkey, Syria, Morocco or Argentina. I went just took a tour of three California olive companies — one olive processor, two olive oil producers. Was organized by the fairly new UC Davis Olive Center at the Robert Mondavi Institute for Wine and Food Science (hey I was at the ground breaking for that center years ago.) The…