We are always looking for good products to share with our home cooks community. A few weeks ago a friend came with samples to taste of this wonderful organic extra virgin oil from the Napa Valley, and also a 12 year and 18 year old balsamic vinegar.
The olive oil is 100% first cold stone pressed. A delicate and versatile fruity oil that has to be used to drizzle on steamed fish, seafood, any salad, and also on fruit salad (with a dash of honey and a pinch of fresh ground black pepper). I would not heat it, too subtle. Good olive oil to introduce to children due to its very low bitterness.
Infused from the same olive oil, we have five different tastes: garlic, basil, Tuscan herb, blood orange, and harissa. The flavors and aromas would vanish if these oils are heated. These infused oils are versatile and few drops produce a wonderful last touch on the most simple recipe.
My preference goes to the harissa for the warm reddish color and a light kick.
For the balsamic vinegars, I was impressed by their low level of acidity. 4% for the 12 year old and an amazing 1% for the 18year old that we carry also flavored with dried fig.
The 12 year old is perfect for dressings. You should try 5 tbsp of unsalted butter that you bring to on medium heat to a brown color and 1 1/2 tbsp of 12 year balsamic that you pour in the hot butter after shutting off the stove. Be careful of the splashes. Whisk well and add salt and pepper. So good over warm green asparagus or roasted root vegetables with shaved Parmesan cheese. Put the left over dressing in the cooler.
The 18 year old is thicker and with only 1% acidity is perfect for a light drizzling over a salad, some reach risotto or in tea spoon with a fresh raspberry.
You can find these great additions to your pantry at www.christopheskitchen.com . We are looking for our next tasting: honey, maple syrup, and different homemade spices and dried herbs mixes.