Thursday, April 28, 2011

Meet Esther, our Intern from Spain!

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Roberto Avila Interviewed for Grocery Headquarters

Roberto Avila, our director of marketing was recently interviewed for a trade publication, the Grocery Headquarters, about “Olive oils are bringing health benefits, and renewed interest back to Center Store” and here is what he had to say:

“The FDA has determined that eating two tablespoons of olive oil per day can reduce the risk of heart disease,” says Roberto Avila, director of marketing at Borges USA, the Fresno, Calif.-based marketer of the Star olive oil brand. “The health benefits of oil are just tremendous. It’s 100% natural, high in monounsaturated fats, which help lower the bad LDL cholesterol, has antioxidants and vitamin E, no carbohydrates or trans fats and it’s gluten-free. The list goes on and on.”

“There are 600 different varieties of olives,” Avila notes. “There are more varieties of olives than there are grapes, so it gets pretty complex.”

Borges is working on mono varietals and region-specific olive oils, Avila says. “We have one made from an Israeli olive that is produced and bottled in Israel. It is kosher for Passover.”

To read the whole article Click Here!
Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Olive Oil: A Natural Painkiller?

Excerpt From Huff Post by Leo Galland, M.D. Leo Galland, M.D.  Practicing physician, author and leader in integrated medicine.

Could a traditional food have pain- and inflammation-reducing effects similar to over the counter pain medicine like ibuprofen?

Scientists from Italy, Spain, the U.S. and Australia have discovered that extra virgin olive oil can provide significant health benefits, including the ability to help reduce pain and inflammation.
This robust, flavorful oil is an example of the food as medicine concept, that foods can have a powerful impact on health.
. Eating Healthy With Olive Oil
Extra virgin olive oil can contribute nutritional support in the fight against such health problems as arthritis, cardiovascular disease, high cholesterol, and in pain management.
A research study from Spain has shown that higher olive oil consumption is associated with leaner body weight, an important factor in prevention of chronic conditions.
Another study from the universities of Navarra and Las Palmas de Gran Canaria in Spain looked at how diets including olive oil might offer protection against depression: Bad Fats Linked to Depression
Natural Painkiller Discovered in Olive Oil
Recent research has identified the antioxidant called oleocanthal, which is only found in extra-virgin olive oil. Scientists at the Monell Chemical Senses Center, in Philadelphia, found that oleocanthal in olive oil has a potency strikingly similar to that of the drug ibuprofen in inhibiting the cyclooxygenase (Cox) enzyme that causes pain and inflammation. Their findings were published in the science magazine Nature.
Given the side effects of common pain relieving drugs, finding a nutritional way to reduce pain and inflammation could be a solution for people suffering from pain.
In another study Italian researchers explain that the characteristic pungent and bitter taste of virgin olive oil have been attributed to phenols in the oil that have potential antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, chemopreventive and anti-cancer benefits.
Research on Health Benefits of Olive Oil
At the meeting of the "International conference on the healthy effect of virgin olive oil" that took place in Spain in 2005, numerous benefits of virgin olive oil from the research were outlined. They looked at the consumption of olive oil from the perspective of issues such as cardiovascular health, cancer and longevity. With respect to anti-aging they noted: "The more recent studies consistently support that the Mediterranean diet, based in virgin olive oil, is compatible with a healthier ageing and increased longevity."
Consumption of olive oil has been associated with:
  • Reduction of total cholesterol and an increase in the high-density cholesterol (HDL-C), which has a protective effect on blood vessels.
  • Improved sensitivity of cells to insulin, which helps to prevent the Metabolic Syndrome. Preventing Metabolic Syndrome is important, because the syndrome increases the risk of cardiovascular disease, diabetes, high blood pressure and obesity.
  • Decreased risk of cardiovascular disease, high blood pressure and Alzheimer's disease.

Potent Antioxidant Power of Olive Oil
Phenolic compounds are potent antioxidants found in virgin and extra-virgin olive oil. These compounds give unrefined olive oils their distinctive flavors and high degree of stability.

Studies indicate these compounds may be able to:
  • Turn off the activity of genes that produce the kind of inflammation that causes coronary heart disease.
  • Decrease production of inflammatory chemicals called thromboxanes and leukotrienes.
  • Decrease the production of the most damaging form of cholesterol, oxidized LDL cholesterol.
  • University of South Australia researchers note that compounds from the olive were found to be antimicrobial against various bacteria.

And olive oil is just the beginning of anti-inflammatory foods. Learn more about fighting pain and inflammation in his article: Natural Anti- Inflammatory Foods and Supplements That Help Arthritis

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

North American Olive Oil Association Press Dinner

We recently participated in the North American Olive Oil Association press dinner in New York City.  The menu featured olive oil across various uses in the appetizers, salad, pasta, main course and dessert.  The food was incredible!

Mache lettuce, pencil asparagus & quail egg salad

Risotto mantecato, baby calamari, mussels & parsley. Traditional risotto is made with cheese and butter; this dish was made in a slightly different way, using olive oil to create the rich flavor

lowly braised beef shoulder, extra virgin olive oil mashed potatoes & crunchy prosciutto: This dish will featurd a preparation similar to confit (cooking meat in its own fat), with the beef cooked in olive oil instead of its own beef fat. This style of cooking with olive oil is a somewhat newer, healthier preparation to achieve the rich flavor that comes from the confit-style of cooking

Red wine poached pear terrine, olive oil-rosemary sorbet
Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Tips For a Simple Easter Celebration

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Spring Frittata with Asparagus, Sweet Onion, Baby Potatoes, Mint and Feta Cheese

To see the video CLICK HERE
  • 1 cup diced sweet onion (Vidalia, Texas or Mayan Sweet)
  •  1 large clove garlic
  •  Olive oil for sautéing veggies
  •  4-5 baby potatoes (boiled ahead of time and then thinly sliced)
  •  1 cup chopped asparagus
  •  2 Tbs chopped mint
  •  5 large eggs, beaten
  •  Approx. 1/3-1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese
  •  Country toast as needed (optional)
    Use a 10-inch nonstick pan with a good splash of olive oil to saute 1 cup of diced Vidalia onion and 1 large minced clove of garlic until they soften up.

    Then add 4-5 1/2-inch thick sliced, cooked baby potatoes and 1 cup chopped asparagus and let those cook along for a few minutes.

    While you are keeping your eye on that, take a minute to chop 2 Tbs of fresh mint and also beat 5 large eggs in a mixing bowl.

    After 7-8 minutes, spread the potatoes out evenly in the pan, add a little more olive oil and add the chopped mint and the beaten eggs.

    Immediately turn the heat down to medium low on the pan and also turn the oven onto the broiler setting.

    Let the eggs cook along for a minute or two to start to set up, then sprinkle some crumbled feta cheese over the top and pop the pan underneath the broiler to finish up.

    It'll take another 5-6-7 minutes to finish under the broiler and you can make some toast while that is happening.


    Substitute regular cooking onions and use a different cheese if you like
    Friday, April 8, 2011

    Fig and Kalamata Olive Tapenade

    Adapted from Tassajara Cookbook, by Karla Oliveira (Gibbs Smith Publisher, 2007).

    If you’re not sure how to incorporate healthy figs into your entertaining, try this! A very simple, yet striking spread, this Fig and Kalamata Olive Tapenade marries sweet, earthy and salty in a tapenade that is an absolute pleasure to eat.

    Serve this with Middle Eastern flat bread, fresh feta cheese and garlicky olives. This would also be great on cheese sandwiches or on top of grilled or roasted fish or chicken.

    Picture from
    5 fresh black figs
    1 tablespoon capers, rinsed
    1 tablespoon kalamata olives, pitted
    1 tablespoon olive oil
    2 teaspoons balsamic vinegar

    Trim the hard step end from the figs and then blend everything together in a food processor until smooth; cover and chill. It’s best if used that day, but will keep for another day.

    Makes 1 cup.

    Read more:
    Thursday, April 7, 2011

    Oil reserves!

    Tuesday, April 5, 2011

    Let Frank help you decide which Olive Oil to use!

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