Tasting at Japan Olive Oil Prize

Tasting at japan2This year I was invited again to be a member of the judging panel for the new edition of the Japan Olive Oil Prize. This is an olive oil competition which takes place annually in Tokyo. It is organized by the Italian Chamber of Commerce in the city.

This judging panel is one of the strictest that I participate in, and its tasting is the most exhaustive and comprehensive. The competition is strictly for EVOO of great quality. Only 120 entries were submitted this year. The vast majority were from small to medium producers from Italy, who use cutting edge technology to produce their olive oils. As Marzia Migliorini, the panel leader, said in front of journalists and members of the Japanese industry during the awards ceremony: “These olive oils are not only made by producers of quality olive oil, they’re made with technology of the highest quality”. This technology consists mostly of new generation crushers, instead of the traditional hammer-mills. They use vertical or hermetic maloxors that often use a vacuum system and decanters that work without a final separator. They also filter the olive oil as soon as possible once it has left the decanter. On a side note, the discussion on filtration and its benefits has just started in California. Only Pacific Sun Farms and a couple of companies, or around 2% of the market use filtration. However, it is also worth noting that all the winners and awarded olive oils were filtered.

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Posted on Categories Awards, Olive Oil 101

Olive Oil Tasting in Verona, Italia

Last March I was invited by Marino Giorgetti, the panel leader of Sol D’oro (Golden Sun), to be part of the judging panel of the 2016 edition of this prestigious competition held in Verona, Italy.

As always, participating in an international competition is both exciting and challenging at the same time.

In the olive oil world, the education of each taster is rather personal. Though progress has been made, we don’t yet have a solid, universal approach to tasting. The way each taster judges oils depends on the teachers they had, their country of origin, their country of learning, their levels of exposure to quality production, the amount of panel participation, etc. All these factors create an opportunity for an encounter of relatively uneven backgrounds. Given that, along with being confident in my own good education, I was still pondering how I was going to blend in with this new panel.

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Posted on Categories Awards, Olive Oil 101

Pacific Sun Farms Wins Best of Show, Best of Class and 4 Gold Medals

Pacific Sun Farms Proprietors Select has won the Best of Show award for the large producer category at the California Olive Oil Council competition. It’s the third time that this olive oil has won this recognition at this competition (previous wins were in 2013 and 2015).

The Tuscan Blend, which won Best of Show at LA International, was also awarded the Best of Class at NYIOOC, along with Gold medals for Eva’s Blend, Proprietor’s Select and the Organic Blend. Pacific Sun Farms was the most awarded company at the latter competition (one Best of Class their highest award and 4 Gold medals).

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Posted on Categories Awards, General

Soccer Star Lionel Messi, Dr. Giuliano Poser, Stephen Curry, and Quality EVOO

Last week, Dr. Giuliano Poser, a nutritionist from Sacile, Northern Italy, revealed the diet he’s given to some of the greatest sportsmen of our time, including Barcelona’s soccer star, Lionel Messi.

Lionel Messi has won tournaments and accolades in one of the most successful sports stories in history, though he was battling stomach issues (nervous vomiting before and even during games) and some muscle injuries. Another soccer player from Argentina, friends with Messi, suggested he visit Dr. Poser in Italy.

Messi had the intuition and the humility to try and do something different in his professional life,” he said. What is it? Continue reading Soccer Star Lionel Messi, Dr. Giuliano Poser, Stephen Curry, and Quality EVOO

Posted on Categories General, Health

Pacific Sun Tuscan blend awarded Best of Show

Tuscan Blend Extra Virgin Olive Oil 500ml and 250mlEvery March, judges from the most important olive oil producers countries come to Pomona, California, to judge the LA International Olive Oil competition.

Every year I look forward to this important olive oil event led by the great Darrel Corti, its chairman, and backed by an impeccable organization from LA County Fair led by Mary Ellen Cole. One of the reasons is that I’ve been one of the judges in previous years, and each time I’ve been invited to participate, I’ve felt honored and joyful. Continue reading Pacific Sun Tuscan blend awarded Best of Show

Posted on Categories Awards, General

Starting A New Milling Season

We’re once again getting into a special part of the year for us: this week we’ll start milling the first batches of Arbequina olives.

Approaching the season always brings a mixed bag of feelings. Mostly, it brings enthusiasm. I know that for many colleagues, as it is for me, our jobs are never only about making a living. We really enjoy the wonderful world of olives and olive oil, and we experience a curious passion about it. Therefore, the prospect of seeing many good olive oils being made is a natural source of excitement.

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Posted on Categories General, Milling

What about the other “extra virgin” vegetable oils?

This week I had a conversation with a friend who is taking cooking classes. She asked my opinion on other vegetable oils and how they compare to olive oil. She mentioned that in her classes, olive oil was not often featured, giving room to other ‘extra virgin’ oils. First, I told her, such things don’t exist outside the realms of misleading marketing and honest confusion.
Let me explain: ‘Extra virgin’ is a specific term related to olive oil, its chemistry, and its organoleptic attributes. The definition is an essential part of a European law (Reg.256/1991 amended in recent years) regarding olive oil grades and applies to olive oil only.
Most vegetable oils are extracted using thermal treatments and/or solvents, though in recent years, some of these oils have experienced a significant improvement in the way they’re extracted. Using mechanical means instead of the heat/solvent methods has led to obtaining higher quality products, as in the case of coconut, flax seed, grape seed, and sesame and sunflower oils.

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