VEA Early Harvest Unfiltered Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Extra virgin olive oil, which is world renowned for promoting good health, is actually processed a little differently than your usual oils. Extra virgin olive oil is usually cold-pressed, or processed with very little heat to maintain the flavor and benefits of the olive that can sometimes be lost during other extraction methods that involve high heat.

VEA Early Harvest Unfiltered Extra Virgin Olive Oil is a quality oil made from Alberquina olives picked in early November, when the olives are green and young and the yield is only 50%, resulting in a high-quality oil that embodies all characteristics that a great olive oil should posses.

VEA Early Harvest Unfiltered Extra Virgin Olive Oil really should be featured and be allowed to stand out. A roasted chicken seasoned with olive oil and pepper comes to mind. I have also used to simply dip bread in. Because I am a fan of spices, sometimes nothing satisfies more than a few slices of Italian bread dipped in olive oil seasoned with red pepper, parsley, and thyme.

I cannot stress enough what a great companion olive oil is with appetizers and picnic food. It’s great for dipping breads, and a great compliment for cheeses, fruit and wine. If you are a fan of making homemade sauces, this VEA Early Harvest Unfiltered Extra Virgin Olive Oil will really add a special texture and fresh taste. Make a fresh Bolognese sauce with this olive oil, tomatoes, and your favorite Italian seasonings. Use it to flavor salmons or fresh fish, or to even top off an oven roasted sandwich.

Once you start developing your palate, you will soon start discovering the different textures and undertones in quality oils. This oil is a great way to start because it is still familiar and similar to your average store-bought oils, but once you get a taste, you might never go back.

0 Comments | Posted in Olive Oils and Balsamic Vinegar By Mike Vlachos
Les Costes Limited Selection Unfiltered Extra Virgin Olive Oil by VEA

Olive oil is definitely one of my favorite oils to cook with. It is a higher quality alternative to margarine or butter, and is known for having healthier advantages than either of these. It is high in fiber, to help you feel fuller longer, monounsaturated fatty acids to help regulate blood sugar, and it is high in antioxidants and vitamin E, which are great for overall well-being.

What I have learned recently is that there are many different kinds of olive oils out there, with different flavor profiles that go differently with foods. Some olive oils are great for frying and general cooking, while others are great with certain breads and fish. Some are even sweet. Les Costes Limited Selection Unfiltered Extra Virgin Olive Oil by VEA, an Arbequina olive oil, is an example of the higher end, quality oils that chefs use.

Arberquina olives grow on a variety of trees that are over 200 years old and have a limited yield. They’re grown in soil rich in minerals, which results in adding to the character of the oil, creating a special and thicker textured oil with a nutty aroma.

Alberquina olive oil is great on fish and vegetables, or alone with the right type of bread. I prefer a soft olive loaf, but this is an opportunity to play with your palate and see what pleases you. This is the kind of oil that should be featured on a dish and be allowed to stand out on its own. Its special qualities are too many to be hidden as part of a dish. If you are an olive oil connoisseur, this is a great oil to feature at your next picnic or wine tasting. With its peppery finish and slight chocolate return, it could also go really well with a rich, sweet dish. Pair Les Costes Limited Selection Unfiltered Extra Virgin Olive Oil by VEA up with some of your favorite dishes to come up with new and exciting tastes and flavors.

0 Comments | Posted in Olive Oils and Balsamic Vinegar By Mike Vlachos
Villa Manodori Artigianale Aged Barolo Wine Vinegar D.O.C.G.

Sometimes, without even knowing it, you have all the ingredients to make fresh foods from your own home. Because I am a big fan of spices, different types of vinegars and oils, one of my favorite things to make from scratch is salad dressing. This Villa Manodori Artigianale Aged Barolo Wine Vinegar D.O.C.G. is a great ingredient for those fresh salad dressings that you have to make today.

What’s great about this vinegar is that it adds a fresh twist on something old. Created by Chef Patron Massimo Bottura, this aged wine vinegar is made with quality and flavor in mind, it is fragrant and light, and speaks to fresh Italian cooking that reminds you of the outdoors and the sea. It brings a different taste to the table. Even though you may be a pro at making salad dressing from scratch, just adding this aged wine vinegar instead of your usual, store bought vinegar, will invigorate and freshen even the most common of recipes.

This aged wine vinegar is special for so many reasons. It’s neither white nor red, but a lovely red-orange color that will make your salad dressing look and taste really special. But it’s not just for salad dressing. Aged wine vinegar is great for stews and sauces. Any time you’d like to add a little acid and complexity to a dish, Just add a dash of this vinegar and it will compliment the taste nicely.

Shrimp goes great with this aged wine vinegar. Just add a little thyme and pepper and you’ve got a tasty twist on something new. Add some orange or lemon slices to play up the color. Because it is on the higher end on price points, I wouldn’t keep it just to myself. It’s really great for entertaining and making dishes that are made to be seen and explored.

0 Comments | Posted in Olive Oils and Balsamic Vinegar By Mike Vlachos
Partanna Premium Select Whole Sicilian Black Olives

My kid loves to eat olives, I don’t know why, but I am not complaining. Apparently Sicilian Black Olives have fewer calories than other olives, and this is something that intrigues me, especially with the amount of olives that my kid eats.


The Sicilian olive is a type of olive which is used in the Sicilian cuisine and regional dishes of Italy. The Sicilian olives have a salty taste and a medium size and they are actually fruits, like all the olive species. The Sicilian olives are black and oval and contain fewer calories than the black oily ones.


Specifically, Partanna Premium Select Whole Sicilian Black Olives represent tradition and four generations of olive cultivation. Partanna is an old town in Italy located on a hill, and the olive growing takes place while nestled at the foot of that hill.


It is there in the heart of the Valle del Belice, which is known for its oil production, and exclusive cultivation around the Mediterranean basin, four generations of the family Asaro is committed with passion and dedication to create a natural product and dedicated to the high standards of quality that meets the needs of consumers, as evidenced by the numerous awards received for their products.


Table olive varieties are more difficult to harvest than olive oil, as workers must take care not to damage the fruit; baskets that hang around the worker's neck are used. In some places in Italy, Croatia and Greece, olives are harvested by hand because the terrain is too mountainous for machines. As a result, the fruit is not bruised, which leads to a superior finished product. The method also involves sawing off branches, which is healthy for future production.


Partanna Premium Select Whole Sicilian Black Olives make a great snack and are a great addition to salads or sandwiches. Of course, as with all olives, refrigerate after opening.

0 Comments | Posted in Salumeria By Mike Vlachos
Partanna Premium Select Whole Ligurian Black Taggiasca Olives

A true foodie knows that when it comes to fruit and vegetables, there are many varieties and types within one category. Tomatoes, for example, come in very different varieties that have are different in flavor, taste, coloring and size.  In the olive world this is no different. Though there are many varieties of olives, most of which are black and green, thhe Partanna Premium Select Whole Ligurian Black Taggiasca Olives is a standalone example of the many varieties of edibles mother mature has provided us.

Originating from Italy, Partanna Premium Select Whole Ligurian Black Taggiasca Olives is distinct at first glance because it is red in coloring. Unlike its black and green brothers and sisters, the Partanna Black Taggiasca Olive produces fragrant, sweet and fruity oil when used to make olive oil.

The Partanna Black Taggiasca Olive also comes with all the benefits of olives.  Rich in fiber, Partanna Premium Select Whole Ligurian Black Taggiasca Olives is great to promote digestion. Black olives are also known for promoting cardiovascular health. Rich in healthy monounsaturated fats, the olive provides great oil and frying alternative that helps maintain healthy sugar levels and helps you feel full. Though black olives are known to have high levels of sodium, because it is sweet and mild, Partanna Premium Select Whole Ligurian Black Taggiasca Olives may be a great alternative. Coupled with high levels of Vitamin E and Iron, Partanna Premium Select Whole Ligurian Black Taggiasca Olives is a proud superfood that should always be inside your refrigerator.

For four generations, the Asaro family has been one of the most commonly known names to produce the Partanna Black Taggiasca Olive for general comsumption. Born in 1916, at the foot of the hill on which stands the old town of Partanna,  Oleificio Asaro began a generation’s long commitment to provide customers with a natural, quality cultivated product from the heart of the Mediterranean. The Partanna Premium Select Whole Ligurian Black Taggiasca Olives just might be the next item on your shopping list.

0 Comments | Posted in Salumeria By Mike Vlachos