(Photo via Telegraph.co.uk)
The olive leaf has always been a symbol of abundance, glory and peace.
In fact, olive oil was always seen as sacred and was used to light the original flames of the Olympic Games many hundreds of years ago.
You have to say, olive oil is an incredible taste of that history and of the Mediterranean.
And one entrepreneur I know here in Toronto has an especially expert taste for bringing in the very best, organic, natural and healthy olive oils around — Karin Arnold, owner of Eva Naturals here in Toronto, Ontario.
1. Blood Orange Surprise
Olive oil has an amazingly smooth and fruity taste in general. Karin’s blood orange olive oil however is what’s really exceptional. It has a unique taste where the orange flavour really hits you — kind of like tasting the orange zest (inside of the orange peel). Frankly it’s hard to say whether it’s an infusion or something else — you’d have to ask Karin.
This California Extra Virgin Olive Oil is made naturally by milling Arbosano and Arbequina olives and adding natural extract to capture the most delightful combination of flavors. The olives are grown in Butte County in Northern Central California. No artificial flavors are added. Blood Orange Olive Oil contains pure extract of the blood orange. (Via Eva Naturals)
It’s one of her most popular olive oils in fact and surprise, you’d never know its name except for the taste! (it looks like any other olive oil) And it is healthy for you regardless: olive oil is one of the top 5 foods that help to keep your cholesterol from killing your heart.
And you’ll definitely keep that in mind when doing…
2. Smooth Fruity Baking
Olive oil is great for your baking. In fact I’ve used olive oil in my quick breads and loaves in place of butter and canola. It’s that imagination about tasting the Mediterranean plus its unique fruity taste — something that canola or butter misses out on.
The trick they say is to use light tasting or mild flavoured, late harvest extra virgin olive oil (Karin’s oils are always extra virgin) because a full bodied one might be too much for your usual cookies or cakes.
The cooking fun continues with…
3. Your Balsamic Tango
Of course Karin wants you to get the full taste for some of the finest that Europe has to offer — and that includes vinegars. Two of her balsamic vinegars however really catch your eye — just because they use ingredients you might never usually see.
The first one is the pomegranate balsamic vinegar. Pomegranate as you know is famed for its healthiness — it has a lot of anti-cancer chemicals in it (avoid prostate cancer), has good chemicals that fight weak bones and some studies have found that it can even boost your sex drive. Combine that with the tang and health benefits of the balsamic vinegar itself and you’ve got a winning combination.
The second one is fig balsamic vinegar. That’s often one you rarely see on a lot of shelves. In fact, it’s an extra sweet balsamic (of course!).
This delightful vinegar is made in the Central Valley in California. The Balsamic Stock is imported from Italy and infused with the concentrate of sundrenched California figs. The sweet and fruity flavor of Fig Balsamic Vinegar is a perfect condiment for salads, cheese, and fresh berries. Roast or grilled meats flavor is enhanced when it is used as a baste.
(Via Eva Naturals)
If you want to know about the health benefits of balsamic vinegar check out the resources at the end of the post.
4. A Wonderfully Safe Gift
An extra bonus of a bottle of olive oil or balsamic vinegar is that it makes a great gift to your coworkers — whether they’re a girl, guy or someone else. It helps to avoid any “misunderstandings” (better than a piece of jewelry if you understand the meaning). As a housewarming gift it’s superb too — something to grace the kitchen with all its exotic glory.
Where Can You Get These Delicious Additions?
Karin’s olive oils and balsamic vinegars can be found at specialty stores throughout Toronto (especially the West End). If you want an updated list you can check here. You can definitely find Karin and Eva Naturals at the St. Lawrence Market every other Friday (click here for the map).
If you’re looking for natural, healthy olive oils and balsamic vinegars you’d definitely have a great time flavouring your best dishes with Karin’s blood orange olive oil or the pomegranate or fig balsamic vinegars. They’re a health packed punch and the olive oils she offers can be used for amazingly soft, tender baking. So if you’re in the neighbourhood here in Toronto, look for Eva Natural items at a specialty store or the St. Lawrence Market.
About Karin and Eva Naturals
(in a Nutshell)
Karin and Eva Naturals believes in making the experience of eating the best it can be. Karin chooses products using an environmentally friendly approach. The things she chooses have to come from either small cooperatives or are made using family traditions and recipes that are hundreds of years old.
PS. Karin usually has dinner with friends, neighbours and anyone else who wants to come to her place near Dovercourt and College. If you want to attend just contact me and I’ll introduce you! This is fast becoming a tradition (Monday at Karin’s) so become a part of it!