Sunday, March 04, 2007

Olive oil 101 questions

Because of my four years living in a very talkative commune, I tend to overinvolve people when I seek input. This isn't a negative tendency from my perspective, but may get on other's nerves. I also have a lot of direct contact with union organizers, and really appreciate how involved they try to make everyone in order to generate a sense of ownership in a project to ensure its success. Given that, I asked for questions that my colleagues might want answered in an Olive Oil 101 class. These were their responses:

I would love to know a bit about the history.

What oils (either specific brands or specific taste profiles) work with what dishes?

I'm looking for the practical applications of different flavors.

What are the foodie terms used to describe different oils?

Are some oils better for cooking, and others for dipping or tossing pasta?

What is extra virgin oil?

How should you store olive oil?

Seriously-----is oil healthful?

What accounts for the large variation in price of oil?

Those seasoned dipping oils---what's that about?

Can we grow olives in Michigan?

Which olive oils are the best to use for every day cooking?

What is the difference between filtered and unfiltered olive oil?

Is it best to have the most recent year, for an example 2006 as to 2005? If you do have a 2005 harvest does that mean that the oilive oil is in bad condition?

Why shouldn't you store it in the refrigerator?

Does it go bad if it becomes frozen?

What makes a good olive oil?

What is the difference between the olive oils that Zingerman's carry and the ones that are found in Wholefoods?

How should you pair the best bread to the best oil?

More questions may follow as they leak in.