I love the downtime of the holiday season.
I get to spend more time in a place I don’t visit as much as I should: my kitchen. I’ve never been a cook like in the sense of my mother and grandmother kind of cook. But after changing my lifestyle and becoming vegetarian and eventually vegan, I had to learn how to do SOME things. To be honest, the kitchen often intimidated me as I’ve been ridiculed so many times for the “adventures” I tried to take starting in my teenager years. I got about as far as reheating shrimp fried rice and making ramen noodles. These days, it’s different. I love spices and I know what goes with what. I love making sauces, salads and colorful veggie dishes. And yet practically EVERYTHING I make starts with onion, garlic and olive oil. There’s something about those three things that really gets me going. And the more I started to cook, the more olive oil began to interest me. At first, I used to just buy the one that was on sale (I know, all of you cooking masters out there. Don’t judge me). And then I got into flavored olive oils. And then my co-worker told me she cured her arthritis with olive oil. And then a friend told me he drank olive oil as part of a detox plan he was put on by a nutritionist (and I am NOT suggesting you try these on your own. These are just testimonies from people I know). Then I heard about people using olive oil as a moisturizer for their skin and their face. Then I heard about people using it for their hair. Then I found a store down the street from me that sold specialty olive oil (and they are NOT buy one get one free). And then I was introduced to Pylian Estates.
Let’s just say I may be looking for another job to keep up with my olive oil habit.
Pylian Estates is a small family business. I talked to Paul, the owner (super cool guy) a few weeks ago and he was telling me how there is no “mass production” in what they do. Greece (yep, this is where Pylian Estates olive oil is made AND they can trace it ALL THE WAY DOWN to the tree) is made up of small families who do this for a living. His family has been doing this for hundreds of years. How they got into selling it here (and they actually have a restaurant in my hometown of Chicago called “The Country House” where they also help create healthy school meals for over a dozen schools) is people would taste it in their restaurant after they had brought some back from Greece and would want to know where they got it. Paul told me people starting calling after their friends started telling them about this olive oil.
Now, I’ve been hyped up over A LOT of things. But olive oil? I’m trying to imagine calling up one of my girls saying, “Oooh weee, you’ve GOT to try this olive oil.” And even though I was given a bottle of this as part of a campaign for FitFluential, just consider this my phone call to you saying, “Oooooh weeee, you’ve GOT to try this olive oil.”
Never in my life have I tasted an olive oil so smooth. And I have had LOTS of olive oil.
This oil (only harvested once a YEAR) is a single varietal oil (made from one type of oil, the koroneiki olive). That means it’s pure. It’s processed without heat or chemicals and retains all of its natural polyphenols and anti-oxidants (you want those). The acidity of a high quality oil should always be below .08 percent. Pylian Estates oil is .03. (Boom!) The bottle is beautiful without a resealable cork and has the EXACT harvest date on the label.
Paul mentioned that he shaves with this olive oil. Other uses for it include ingrown hairs, psoriasis and a deep conditioner for the hair. That is actually the first thing I used it for when I popped the bottle open.
According to Medical News Today, olive oil intake has been known to help with inflammation and people who regularly consume it are much less likely to develop cardiovascular disease (including hypertension), stroke and hyperlipidemia (high blood cholesterol). I just happen to think that people who consume it regularly will be happy because it’s tastes good.
So if you are just determined to buy me a Christmas present, I’ll take a hug and a bottle of olive oil, from Pylian Estates, of course. 🙂 Because I’m headed to my kitchen to cook and I’m afraid to use it because I don’t want to run out. 🙂
Do you use olive oil? What’s your favorite way to use it?