The Flavors of Olive Oil: A Tasting Guide and Cookbook

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9780743214032: The Flavors of Olive Oil: A Tasting Guide and Cookbook

Krasner treats olive oil like wine, and her classification by flavour and aroma characteristics is unique. In THE FLAVOURS OF OLIVE OIL she shows consumers how to evaluate an oil and how to use it to enhance, not overwhelm, their food. In The Flavors of Olive Oil, Deborah Krasner guides readers step by step through the special taste and aroma characteristics of 75-100 different olive oils, classifying them into four distinct groups: delicate and buttery, fruity and fragrant, mild and peppery, and green and grassy, and providing sources for each. Each type of oil is best suited to a particular type of dish, and Krasner includes almost 100 recipes, ranging from appetizers to desserts. Delicate and buttery oils are subtle, and combine well with tender lettuces, fresh peas, mild cheeses. Krasner uses this kind of oil in her Fava Bean Soup and Buttermilk Lemon-Almond Cake with Strawberry Coulis. Fruity and fragrant oils have personality, and stand out drizzled over pasta, mixed salads and mildly flavored meats like chicken breast. It enhances Olive Oil Caramelized Cauliflower and Flash Roasted Salmon with Saba. Mild and peppery oils can surprise you with a warm burn at the back of your throat. Use them for dipping bread and vegetables, or in dishes like Olive Oil Bathed Spring Vegetables or Seared Sirloin Steak on a Bed of Watercress with Parmesan Shavings. Green and grassy oils are the strongest of all, to be used in brushcetta or poured over a bean soup just before serving.

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Review:

Acknowledging the increasing popularity of olive oil, Deborah Krasner's The Flavors of Olive Oil offers a comprehensive guide to tasting, understanding, and cooking with superior extra-virgin olive oil, the cold first pressing of the olive crop's best. Most valuably, the book offers profiles of the best oils from countries including Italy, France, Spain, and the U.S. (as well as international blends). Useful, too, are sections on olive oil grades; label reading (you can tell olive oil from its package); and usage and storage pointers. Though it's hard to derive a unique recipe selection from as basic an ingredient as olive oil, the book also offers over 90 easy, attractive recipes for dishes that include it--from appetizers, sandwiches, and small dishes to salads, pizzas, entrées, and even desserts. Among these, readers will discover delicious versions of familiar friends like tapenade and focaccia with caramelized onions as well as "finds" including White Peach, Corn, and Toasted Almond Salad; Turbot with Fennel, Potatoes, Olives, and Lemon; and Slow-Cooked Boneless Pork Spareribs in Tomato, Rosemary, and Juniper Sauce. As a Jewish cook, Krasner also supplies formulas for enticing Eastern European Jewish classics such as challah and noodle kugel. Also useful is a section that explores the oils through detailed analysis of flavor characteristics--delicate and mild through leafy green and grassy. It's hard to imagine a better introduction to olive oil and its enjoyment. --Arthur Boehm

About the Author:

Deborah Krasner's articles on food, design, and kichen equipment have appeared regularly in a variety of magazines. Krasner is an active member of the IACP, a Certified Culinary Professional (CCP). She is the author of several books, including KITCHEN FOR COOKS: PLANNING YOUR PERFECT KITCHEN.

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Krasner, Deborah
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