Oliveitup was an olive oil promotion campaign launched by The Consortium of Guarantee of Quality Extra Virgin Olive oil (EVC). It was held at The Oberoi, Bangalore and we, the Bangalore food bloggers were invited for a Olive Oil tasting session. Suma, Swetha, Madhuri, Siri and I attended the event.
Olive oil I guess has recently found its place in Indian kitchens after the advent of continental food chains. Earlier if I can remember, olive oil was used only to massage babies or for haircare. With popularity of Italian and other European cuisine, olive oil has become prominent member in our kitchens.Some days back I had watched Aditya Bal do a small series called Olive it up on NDTV Goodtimes and had liked that programme.
I use olive oil only in italian dishes that I try out or in salad dressings. I wasn’t very sure if all Indian dishes could be cooked in olive oil because of the flavor. After this talk and some understanding on the nutritional benefits, a lot of my myths were busted and I guess olive oil will be a regular in my kitchen…though hoping the price of olive oil comes down:).
They had a distinguished Panel who explained the various aspects of olive oil. The Panel comprised of Mr. Keith Sunderlal,Ms. Pina Romano, Mr. Michele Labrile, Ms. Ishi Khosla, Mr. V.N.Dalmia and Chef Vicky Ratnani. Mr.Keith Sunderlal, Project Director of Oliveitup Campaign, explained the various promotional activities in India. Ms. Pina Romano is the President of Interprofessional Organization for olive oil sector. She gave us various statistics on olive oil production and usage around the world.
Mr. Michele Labrile explained the different types of olive oils viz.Extra Virgin which is extracted from freshly picked olives and retains the vitamins, anti oxidants and good fats. Virgin is a blend of refined olive oil with a virgin oil. Lampant oil is oil which cannot be used for consumption and Pomace is a refined version of olive oil which doesn’t have the benefits of extra virgin oil. He actually demonstrated the olive oil tasting process. It is quite a laborious process and I pity the guys who have to do this as a job. We had some small glasses laid on our tables to taste various types of olive oils. He very enthusiastically got us to tasting and there was a chart of instructions given to us on how we should go about tasting the olive oil.
Ms. Ishi Khosla, the renowned nutritionist spoke on the health benefits of olive oil. For me this was the highlight of the evening. She explained about how to choose the right oil, USP of olive oil, health benefits, different types of fats present in oil (sfa, mufa, pufa etc). While picking up teh oils I would always read about MuFA and PuFA, but didn’t know what they were. Well, MuFA is monounsaturated fats and PuFa is Polyunsaturated Fat. Oils with high MuFA content are very good as they lower the risk of breast cancer and heart diseases. PuFa lowers bad cholesterol but also lowers good cholesterol. Olive oil has a high MuFA content. It’s always better to choose a oil which has Mufa content more than PuFA content. I always thought sunflower was a good oil to use, but now I got to know that sunflower falls in the PuFA category. Check out this chart for which oil to use. This was very helpful.
The USP of Olive oil is that it has high MuFA, has good fats,no trans fats, high smoking point and enhances taste and flavor.
Another highlight of the show was Chef Vicky Ratnani, who showed us on how to use olive oil in our regular Indian Cooking. He made a delicious snack which was Root vegetable Tikki with Peach and Bell pepper Chutney, both cooked in extra virgin olive oil. They tasted heavenly and we all gorged to our hearts content.
To conclude the show, Mr. V.N. Dalmia gave us a small talk on Indian Olive Association and the programs they were conducting to promote awareness on olive oil.
It was a nice experience. I thank the entire team of Oliveitup Campaign for having us over. It was fun and very informative.