A few years ago when visiting Italy I went to a wine and olive oil tasting at castle in Tuscany. Now I am not much into wine—I prefer beer and/or vodka, but that is for another blog. Olive oil however, I love olive oil. Even before we all were inundated with the Mediterranean diet I would use extra virgin olive oil as a replacement for butter on bread, to grease up a pan to make eggs, on popcorn… you get the idea.
I had become an olive oil snob. To be more specific an extra virgin olive oil snob. I thought everything had to be “EVOO.” Anything else was sacrilege.
So why is this top of mind now you may ask? As I was doing research for a story on olive oil (make sure you catch it in the April issue) I came to the conclusion that maybe I needed to be more open minded.
For example, there are plenty of blends of olive oil grape seed oil and canola oil that are perfect cooking oils; perhaps dare I say better than EVOO?
Now I will never give up using EVOO, and will probably still use it on occasion when a blend will do. But let’s face it; extra virgin olive oil is expensive. If I can get similar flavor and health benefits from a blend for a few dollars less I am going to at least have that blend handy in my kitchen.
My point? Until recently blends have not really caught on with consumers. However a poor fourth quarter olive oil crop is about to drive up prices. If an extra virgin olive oil die hard like me is willing to give blends a shot, I’m sure the garden variety olive oil consumer can be won over as well.
So retailers stock up. Just don’t forget the EVOO either.