Daily Archives: February 20, 2014

  • Veronica Foods Ultra Premium Olive Oil behind the scenes at the Sochi Olympics

    This year in Sochi, Russia, Oakland’s presence at the Olympiad has more to do with what’s inside people’s stomachs than their athleticism.

    Back in September, John Crisafulli, president of Behind the Scenes Catering and Events, was well into his search for the finest ingredients to feed U.S. and Canadian media members — as well as some American athletes — when he called Veronica Foods on Oakland’s Embarcadero.

    Crisafulli has been serving food around the clock at the Olympics since the 2000 summer games in Sydney, Australia.

    It was this stringent search for quality that led Crisafulli to Veronica Foods.

    Oakland’s own Veronica Foods olive oil behind the scenes at the Sochi Olympics.

    Veronica Foods specializes in what they call Ultra Premium Olive Oil, a strict standard above extra virgin that tests for freshness by taste and chemical composition. For a while now, Behind the Scenes Catering has been sourcing its olive oil and balsamic vinegars through a San Diego store called Baker and Olive based on a recommendation from one its chefs.

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    This year in Sochi, Russia, Oakland’s presence at the Olympiad has more to do with what’s inside people’s stomachs than their athleticism. Back in September, John Crisafulli, president of Behind the Scenes Catering and Events, was well into his search for the finest ingredients... 
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  • Extra virgin? US olive oil industry seeks greater government scrutiny of imports

    Need olive oil? American shoppers are more likely to pick a European brand, which is cheaper and viewed as more authentic than U.S. produced olive oil.

    But U.S. producers contend that “extra virgin” olive oil from Europe may not be as pure as you think. They’ve asked the federal government to intervene by imposing stricter standards on the imports, which now make up 97 per cent of the market.

    Olive oil production is steadily growing, and the domestic industry says it has gone from 1 per cent of the national olive oil market five years ago to 3 per cent today. Most of that is in California, though there are smaller operations in Texas, Georgia and a few other states.

    U.S. producers are seeking to build on that growth in a struggle reminiscent of the California wine industry’s push to gain acceptance decades ago.

    They’ve mounted an aggressive push in Washington, holding olive oil tastings for members of Congress and lobbying for stricter standards on imports. The strategy almost worked last year when industry-proposed language was included in a massive farm bill passed out of the House Agriculture Committee.

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    Need olive oil? American shoppers are more likely to pick a European brand, which is cheaper and viewed as more authentic than U.S. produced olive oil. But U.S. producers contend that “extra virgin” olive oil from Europe may not be as pure as you think. They’ve... 
    Read More →
  • Cretan olive oil harvests down 60%, but could be 'tastiest ever'

    Cretan olive oil experts are predicting harvests to be down as much as 60% on the year before, which could have an effect on the amount of olive oils from Crete hitting store shelves this spring.

    That said, the same experts also believe that this year’s olive oils could be some of the best ever tasted thanks to the unique variety of trees they have on the island.

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    Cretan olive oil experts are predicting harvests to be down as much as 60% on the year before, which could have an effect on the amount of olive oils from Crete hitting store shelves this spring. That said, the same experts also believe that this year’s olive oils could... 
    Read More →