`Exposing the Value of Olive Oil in New York - Olive Oil Times

Exposing the Value of Olive Oil in New York

Apr. 16, 2013
Lara Camozzo

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The first day of the New York International Olive Oil Competition kicked off this morn­ing, April 16th, 2013, at the International Culinary Center where a packed house lis­tened closely to sem­i­nars led by lead­ing experts and edu­ca­tors of the olive oil indus­try. Tucked out of sight, an expert tast­ing panel spent the day eval­u­at­ing some 700 entries in search of the very best olive oils in the world.

What’s the big deal about olive oil?” asked Curtis Cord, pub­lisher of the Olive Oil Times and host of the com­pe­ti­tion. It’s one of the health­i­est foods on our planet.” Cord noted that Americans still lag far behind other coun­tries in olive oil con­sump­tion. Olive oil enhances and ele­vates the tastes of foods by ampli­fy­ing their fla­vors. So what are most peo­ple miss­ing?”

Today’s audi­ence included olive oil pro­duc­ers, retail­ers, culi­nary and food indus­try pro­fes­sion­als, stu­dents and jour­nal­ists. However, the uni­fy­ing pas­sion of atten­dees was to under­stand qual­ity olive oil — from its health ben­e­fits, to the pro­duc­tion process, to tast­ing for defects, and know­ing what to look for on the shelf — and to give it the expo­sure it deserves.

Olive oil doesn’t com­mu­ni­cate to the aver­age American, so a com­pe­ti­tion like this exposes the prod­uct,” said Steve Jenkins of Fairway Market. What goes on in your kitchen? The most impor­tant ingre­di­ent in your kitchen is olive oil,” Jenkins said, because it makes food taste good while mak­ing you health­ier.”

The ground­break­ing event aims to shed light on these argu­ments in a mar­ket where edu­ca­tion is of utmost impor­tance. Olive oil is time­less, it’s not a fad,” said John Sessler, Chairman of the North American Olive Oil Association. People spend thou­sands of dol­lars on wine, but they don’t under­stand you should pay for good olive oil. It shouldn’t be a crazy idea.”

An extra vir­gin olive oil, its iden­tity con­cealed, is poured for judg­ing at the New York International Olive Oil Competition

Alexandra Marinakos, a sec­ond gen­er­a­tion Greek who moved to Athens 27 years ago, is com­pet­ing with her olive oil from Crete this year. Her small team of four peo­ple have devoted them­selves to show­ing the world their monocul­ti­var Koroneiki Daniolo” olive oil. Marinakos said, One step at a time we’ve been grow­ing. We’re meet­ing all of these peo­ple who appre­ci­ate the art of olive oil.” Greece is known for its cul­ture and tra­di­tions, but Marinakos hopes that one day the olive oil of Greece will raise its pro­file in the world.

We all have the love,” she said, the inten­tion was let’s show them what good olive oiltastes like.’” And this com­pe­ti­tion could do just that.

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