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Oils & Vinegars

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Silver Medals for Sutter Buttes Natural and Artisan Foods

Two flavored Extra Virgin Olive Oils from Sutter Buttes Natural and Artisan Foods were awarded silver medals at the 2017 Los Angeles International Olive Oil Competition, and a third Sutter Buttes oil, its Meyer Lemon Infused Extra Virgin Olive Oil, received a bronze medal. An award of a silver medal indicates that the oil has superior qualities beyond those expected for a well made extra virgin olive oil, while a bronze medal indicates a well made oil. The two Sutter Buttes oils honored with silver awards were Garlic Herb Infused Extra Virgin Olive Oil, in which fresh flavors of garlic and herbs are infused into Sutter Buttes’ extra virgin olive oil, and Citrus Habanero Infused Extra Virgin Olive Oil, which offers the flavors of fresh hand-picked habanero peppers and Sutter Buttes’ Meyer Lemon Infused Extra Virgin Olive Oil to make an oil with a spicy kick to flavor grilled shrimp, scallops or fresh oysters.
This was the 18th annual competition for the Los Angeles International Extra Virgin Olive Oil Competition, which draws oils from around the world. The 2017 competition received 600 entries from 369 producers. These oils received a total of seven best of show awards, 21 best of class awards, 131 gold medals, 166 silver medals and 89 bronze medals. Among domestic oils, best of show awards went to Halter Ranch, the winner in its class for medium oils, for its 2017 Mediterranean Blend and to Pacific Sun Farms, the winner in its class for robust oils, for its 2016 Tehama Blend.

La Piana Imported Balsamic Vinegars Now Available in Northeast

Italian Foods Corporation’s imported La Piana® balsamic vinegars of Modena now are available in the northeastern United States through Shaw’s and Big Y.

Shaw’s is now carrying the La Piana Bronze Aged Balsamic Vinegar of Modena and Silver Aged Balsamic Vinegar of Modena at its 155 stores in five New England states through Chex Finer Foods of Mansfield, Massachusetts, according to Francesca Lapiana-Krause, Italian Foods General Manager. Big Y has added the Bronze Balsamic Vinegar of Modena, also through Chex Finer Foods, Lapiana-Krause said.

The vinegars are imported from the Modena region of Italy and made from the juice of Trebbiano grapes grown in the region. These produce a rich, sweet and pleasantly acidic balsamic vinegar with intense, but well-rounded, flavor, Lapiana-Krause said. La Piana Bronze Aged Balsamic Vinegar of Modena has a density of 1.18 and a sugar level of 400 to 430 grams per liter. The Silver balsamic vinegar has a density of 1.25 with sugar at 540 to 570 grams.

Italian Foods Corporation also carries Gold Aged Balsamic Vinegar of Modena with a density of 1.32 and sugar at 750 grams along with a line of Romantica vinegars and balsamic pearls. Suggested retail prices of the vinegars, which come in 8.4-ounce decorative bottles, are $16.47 for the Bronze, $22.65 for the Silver and $36.04 for the Gold.

More information about Italian Foods Corporation is available online at http://www.ItalianFoods.com and https://www.Facebook.com/LaPianaItalianFoods or by calling 1.888.516.7262.

Entries Now Open for San Joaquin Valley Olive Oil Competition

The third annual San Joaquin Valley Olive Oil Competition (SJVOOC) is now accepting entries from all olive oil producers in the state of California. To qualify for the opportunity to showcase their flavorful products, olive oil must be made from the most recent olive harvest; deadline to enter is March 24, 2017.

“Giving olive oil producers within California the opportunity and place to showcase their quality products has had a tremendous response,” said Stacy Rianda, Deputy Manager at The Big Fresno Fair. “After a very successful first two years, we look forward to drawing even more producers from even more corners of California.”

There are two classes for entries: Extra Virgin Olive Oil and Flavored Olive Oil. Competition categories in the Extra Virgin Olive Oil class include: Spanish Blends (arbequina, arbosana, etc.); Spanish Singles; Italian Blends (ascolano, etc.); Italian Singles; Other Blends (picholine, barouni, etc.); Other Singles. Competition categories in the Flavored Olive Oil class include: Citrus; Herbal (rosemary; basil, etc.); and Other Flavors (chile, jalapeno, garlic, etc.).

Awards will be given out for gold and silver medals in each category, as well as one overall “Best of Show” in both the Extra Virgin Olive Oil category and the Flavored Oil category. Judging will be evaluated and scored as follows:

Gold Medal: Awarded to an olive oil that demonstrates its type and/or varietal character, balance, structure and complexities to the highest standards. Gold medals will be awarded to those oils receiving scores between 86 – 100 points.
Silver Medal: Awarded to an olive oil reflecting the correct distribution of balance and character of its type or variety; an oil deemed to be well crafted and of excellent quality. Silver medals will be awarded to those oils receiving scores between 76- 85 points.
Best of Show: Awarded to an olive oil recognized to possess special characteristics of the highest quality overall.

Producers may submit multiple entries under one category but may not submit a particular entry to more than one category. All entries must be available for commercial sale at the time of entry. Entries are due by March 24, 2017 by 4:30 p.m. Judging will be held on April 4, 2017 and winners will be announced on April 13, 2017 by 5:00 p.m.

Gold medal and Best of Show winners will have the opportunity to have a booth in the Wells Fargo Agricultural Building on one day during a weekend of the 2017 Big Fresno Fair where they can taste, display and sell their award-winning product. Additionally, educational information will be set up so that fair attendees can learn more about the art of making olive oil, its health benefits, recipes and more.

Each submission must include an entry form, at least two 250 ml bottles of the olive oil with retail labels attached and a $60 non-refundable fee per entry. Entries can be dropped off at The Big Fresno Fair Administration Office or can be shipped to SJVOOC – The Big Fresno Fair, 1121 S. Chance Ave. Fresno, CA 93702 no later than 4:30 p.m. on March 24, 2017. Any entry delivered by mail, freight or express must be prepaid. The administration office is open Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. for drop offs.

Last year, 61 entries from all throughout California were received. Below is a list of the Gold medal Winners and Best of Show. For a complete 2016 winners list, go to: https://www.fresnofair.com/sjv-olive-oil-competition.

Extra Virgin Olive Oils – Gold Medal Winners

Spanish Blends
Enzo Olive Oil Company’s Tyler Florence Test Kitchen EVOO (Clovis)
Rosenthal Olive Ranch’s Arbosana (Madera)
Spanish Singles
Coldani Olive Ranch’s Calivirgin Premium EVOO (Lodi)
Calolea Olive Ranch’s Calolea Mission (Marysville)
The Olive Press’ Picual (Sonoma)
Italian Blends
Winter Creek Olive Oil’s Winter Creek Olive Oil (Winter Creek)
Winter Creek Olive Oil’s Ruscello d’Inverno (Winter Creek)
Coldani Olive Ranch’s Lodi Olive Growers Blend (Lodi)
The Olive Press’ Italian Blend (Sonoma)
Coppetti Olive Oil’s Harvest Blend (Modesto)
Bava Family Grove’s Bava Monticelli Estate Napa Valley (Escalon)
San Miguel Olive Farm’s Tuscan Nectar of the Gods (San Miguel)
San Miguel Olive Farm’s Tuscan Gold (San Miguel)
Italian Singles
Coldani Olive Ranch’s Lodi Olive Oil Ascolano (Lodi)
Other Blends
Bozzano Olive Ranch’s A2 (Stockton)

Flavored Olive Oils – Gold Medal Winners

Citrus
The Olive Press’ Lime (Sonoma)
The Olive Press’ Limonata (Sonoma)
Herbal
Coldani Olive Ranch’s Calivirgin Bountiful Basil (Lodi)

Other Flavors
Coldani Olive Ranch’s Calivirgin Jalapeno Garlic (Lodi)
Coldani Olive Ranch’s Calivirgin Extreme Heat Serrano (Lodi)

Best Of Show

The Olive Press’ Picual (Sonoma)
Coldani Olive Ranch’s Calivirgin Bountiful Basil (Lodi)

For more information about the new San Joaquin Valley Olive Oil Competition (SJVOOC), including downloadable entry forms and deadlines, visit www.fresnofair.com/sjv-olive-oil-competition, email questions to srianda@fresnofair.com or call The Big Fresno Fair office at (559) 650-FAIR.

Ariston Specialties Products Help Your Customers Craft the Perfect Gifts

The fall and the holidays are already upon us. Your customers will be cooking and baking up a storm. Ariston Specialties offers the best ingredients for them.

Ariston’s Lemon infused Olive Oil can be used in cooking and baking. Your customer can use it with seafood, steamed vegetables and also baking a beautiful cake (recipe available from Ariston Specialties upon request).

ariston-pfAriston’s oils and vinegars are not only premium quality and a proven success with the company’s current retailers; they are also reasonably priced for both the retailer and for the consumer. Increase your sales this holiday season with Ariston’s suggested pairings of extra virgin olive oil, infused olive oils and balsamic vinegars. Help your customer create the perfect gift for the foodies on their list with Ariston Specialties’ recommended pairings.

When you call Ariston for a catalog, literature or Ariston’s pairing suggestions, your call and your general questions will be answered by a member of the family!

Ariston Specialties LLC
860.263.8493
AristonSpecialties@hotmail.com
www.aristonspecialties.com

La Piana Romantica Happy Apple Condiment

Italian Foods Corporation is introducing La Piana® Romantica Happy Apple Condiment, a versatile apple cider vinegar-based product imported from the Emilia-Romagna region near Modena, Italy, for the 2017 Winter Fancy Food Show, where it will be available for tasting in the Italian Foods Corp. booth.

The new Happy Apple Condiment melds sweet and tart notes with a combination of apple cider vinegar and concentrated apple juice for a range of culinary applications, according to General Manager Francesca Lapiana-Krause. Packaged in tall, slender 8.4-ounce glass bottles, Happy Apple Condiment has a suggested retail price of $14.99.

The new condiment may be used traditionally as a dressing for fruit or lettuce salads and slaws as well as a base for apple or stone fruit sauces or compotes for pork, and when slightly reduced, makes a savory glaze for poultry. The versatile Happy Apple Condiment also can be used as a sweet and savory topping for pancakes, she said. In addition to the new condiment, Italian Foods’ Romantica line includes Gran Reserva Balsamic Vinegar of Modena and Rosé Condiment. The La Piana line also includes Bronze, Silver and Gold Balsamic Vinegars of Modena.

More information is available online or by calling 1.888.516.7262.

Bellucci Extra Virgin Italian Olive Oil Fights Fraud

As consumers seek ways to determine authentic extra virgin olive oil from the fake, Bellucci, headquartered in Grosseto, Italy, is offering a multi-pronged solution: traceability and sophisticated tasting skills. The company offers precise, detailed information to empower customers in choosing true EVOO products, while ensuring the authenticity of Bellucci EVOO at all levels of production.

Bellucci keeps digital track of each olive grower’s contribution throughout the cooperative milling and bottling process, so any bottle of Bellucci EVOO can be traced to its origin in rural Italy. In addition to its traceability function, the Bellucci App teaches users how to evaluate for freshness and taste for flavors unique to EVOO. Advanced instruction in discerning flavor nuances based on harvests, regions and olive cultivars offers an experience of EVOO as an expression of terroir.

The value of the Bellucci App in communicating with consumers was recognized at the 2015 Anuga International Food Show. Bellucci has also received several awards for its line of EVOO. The Los Angeles International Extra Virgin Olive Oil Competition awarded silver medals to both the 2016 Toscano PGI Organic and the 2015 100% Italian Organic, and the 2016 harvest of 100% Italian won a gold medal at this year’s New York International Olive Oil Competition. A brand less than three years old, Bellucci is already being widely recognized for its flavor and contribution to the industry.

CEO Gerard Jara said, “Our trace-to-source technology allows us to fulfill consumer demand for authentic, fresh, healthy, and honest EVOO at a time when integrity is what matters. The app enables us to connect our customers to the source of their EVOO in small family groves in rural Italy and gives users the skill they need to taste for freshness and flavors distinct to genuine EVOO. They’ll learn how to authenticate EVOO.”

Girard’s New Chef Inspired Dressings

The Girard’s® brand had its beginning in 1939 with a recipe for Girard’s Original French Dressing created by Chef Pierre Girard at his San Francisco restaurant. The restaurant was located on the third floor above the historic John’s Grill (established 1908) located at 63 Ellis Street in San Francisco. This was the first three story restaurant in San Francisco. Over the years, the brand evolved into a retail dressing line, and added many unique chef-inspired varieties. In addition to the distinctive flavors, the brand is also known for its exclusive triangular bottle.

Girard’s premium dressings inspire the home chef to create delicious salads and more. Some of the delicious varieties in addition to the Original French include the ever popular Champagne and Light Champagne, Olde Venice Italian, Greek Feta Vinaigrette, Caesar, Spinach Salad Dressing and Chinese Chicken Salad. Two varieties, Raspberry and White Balsamic Vinaigrette, were recently improved by reducing the sweetness and removing artificial colors and preservatives.

The two new varieties, Vin Rouge (Red Wine) Vinaigrette and White French Dressing, were inspired by French cooking, and will take consumers to new heights. The Vin Rouge Red Wine Vinaigrette is rich and flavorful, with a blend of both Cabernet and Merlot wines. Garlic, onions and shallots round out the savory flavor profile. Versatility is the hallmark of the White French Dressing. It is a unique blend of buttermilk and white wine vinegar, with a touch of mustard and tarragon. It is great on leafy greens or pasta salad.

Girard’s Salad Dressings are part of the T. Marzetti Company, a subsidiary of Lancaster Colony Corporation. Other brands, in both the retail and foodservice markets, include Marzetti®, New York Bakery®, Sister Schubert’s®, Reames®, Cardini’s®, Chatham Village®, Romanoff®, Amish Kitchens®, Inn Maid® and Flatout®.

ENZO Olive Oil Now Counts 125 Awards for its Products

ENZO Olive Oil Company continues to receive wide acclaim at regional, national and international competitions. During the 2016 competition season, ENZO has been awarded 57 medals to date at prestigious events around the world. The honors include Best of Show, Best of Class and multiple gold medals from Italy, Japan and New York, as well as regional competitions throughout California.

ENZO organic extra virgin olive oil is 100 percent estate-grown, utilizing a hands-on approach that results in fresh, premium and flavorful oil. ENZO’s full line of award-winning, California organic extra virgin olive oil includes: Delicate, Medium, Bold, Basil infused, Meyer Lemon infused, Garlic infused and Clementine Crush.

Specialty Food Producers Take Home the Gold

By Lorrie Baumann

La Pasta’s Radicchio, Parsnip & Apricot Ravioli has won the 2016 sofi Award for Best New Product. Radicchio is sauteed with a little bit of balsamic vinegar to bring out the sweetness of the vegetables and then folded into ricotta, parmesan and mozzarella cheese together with roasted parsnips and dried apricots. The filling is then enclosed in La Pasta’s signature pasta with black pepper pasta stripes.

“We got lucky. It happens,” said Alexis Konownitzine, President of La Pasta, “Our chef Kristen made the product and will be at the Fancy Food Show.”

La Pasta already had several sofi Awards for products including its Marinara Sauce and Beet, Butternut Squash & Goat Cheese Ravioli. This year’s winner was selected from among 23 finalists in the Best New Product category by the sofi judging panel of culinary experts in a blind tasting. Overall, 28 products were named winners and 100 named finalists from among 3,200 entries this year.

This year’s judging diverged from the methodology used for the past couple of years, in that the judging was completed before the Summer Fancy Food Show and winners were named at the same time as finalists. This process was designed to make the judging more fair and transparent, according to the Specialty Food Association, which owns the sofi Awards program. The products were judged by criteria that awarded 70 percent of the product’s score for taste, which included flavor, appearance, texture and aroma and 30 percent for ingredient quality, which included a consideration of whether any of the product’s ingredients were artificial and whether they were combined in a creative or unexpected way. One winner was chosen in each of the 28 judging categories, and the top 4 percent of the entries in each category were named finalists. No awards were presented this year in classic, foodservice or product line categories, which were part of last year’s contest.

CFM_Prosciutto-sliceFinalists for the Best New Product award included Dalmatia Sour Cherry Spread from Atalanta Corporation, Jansal Valley Boneless Prosciutto Toscano D.O.P. from Sid Wainer and Son Specialty Produce and Specialty Food, Organic Stoneground Flakes Cereal — Purple Corn from Back to the Roots and Sliced Prosciutto (Domestic) from Creminelli Fine Meats. “Prosciutto is everywhere in the U.S., but we do it differently, using whole-muscle Duroc pork that’s 100 percent vegetarian-fed with no antibiotics ever. We layer it in the tray by hand instead of by machine,” said Kyle Svete, Creminelli Fine Meats’ Director of Sales for National Accounts. “We invest in people, not machines. It’s part of who we are – people, animal, craft…. We have machines to help us do our job, but it’s really about the people. The recyclable tray and the elegant look of it elevates the product and the category.”

“We’re proud of it. We put the ingredients right on the front of the label,” he added. “That’s all there is to it – time, love, pork and sea salt.”

Chocolate-covered Cocomels – 5 Salts from JJ’s Sweets, Gourmet Honey Spread: Salted Honey from Cloister Honey LLC, Wild Boar Salted Star Anise Single Origin Organic Dark Chocolate Bar from Hagensborg Chocolate Ltd., Original Tangerine Sriracha from Just Jan’s Inc., Mr. Hot Stuff Pepper Spread from Steppin’ Out LLC, Clementine Crush Extra Virgin Olive Oil from Enzo Olive Oil Company/P-R Farms, Inc. and Deschutes Brewery® Black Butte Porter Truffle from Moonstruck Chocolate, Co. were also among the finalists for the Best New Product Award.

JulieAnn CaramelsOther finalists were Pineapple Habanero Caramel from JulieAnn Caramels, Frozen Passion Chia Lassi from Monsieur Singh LLC, Chicken Fat (Schmaltz) Premium Cooking Oil from Fatworks LLC, Avocado Oil Mayo and Licorice Mint Tea from Chosen Foods, Inc., Chili Crunch Bar from Vivra Chocolate, Vegan Stone Ground Hazelnut Butter from Karmalize LLC, Raspberry Amaretto Preserves from Robert Rothschild Farm, Orange Artisan Fruit Cracker from Simple & Crisp, Gluten-Free Coffee Brownie from Savvy Girl Baking Company and Dark Moon from Marin French Cheese Company.

In the remaining categories, Brussizzle Sprouts from Pacific Pickle Works, Inc. was named the best appetizer. The Spice Hunter, Inc.‘s Coriander Lime Global Fusion Rub was named best baking ingredient, baking mix or flavor enhancer, Ginger Hemp Granola from Michele’s Granola LLC was the best in the category for breads, muffins, granola or cereal, and Vermont Creamery‘s Bijou was judged the best cheese. Vermont Creamery’s Bonne Bouche was a finalist for the award both this year and last year.

Money on Honey by Droga Chocolates won the sofi in the chocolate category, and Bittermilk LLC‘s No. 3 Smoked Honey Whiskey Sour won the award in the cold beverage category. Bittermilk was a sofi finalist last year with the same product. Non-GMO Salted Caramelized Fig Spread from King’s Cupboard was named the best condiment, and Sea Salt & Vanilla Farmstead Goat Milk Caramels from Big Picture Farm LLC received the award for the best confection. Big Picture Farm won sofi Awards last year for best new product with its Raspberry Rhubarb Goat Milk Caramels and for best confection with its Goat Milk Chai Caramels. Moon Dance Baking‘s Holly Baking Cookie Brittle Cinnamon & Spice was named in the category for cookies, brownies, cakes or pie.

Barnier Pimento Sauce with Preserved Lemon from FoodMatch Inc. was named best cooking, dipping or finishing sauce. Cranberry Pistachio “The Original” from Jan’s Farmhouse Crisps was named the best cracker. Epicurean Butter‘s Organic Cocoa Coconut Butter was named in the category for best dairy or dairy alternative product. “The reason this is something really new and innovative is that this is organic pasteurized cream, organic coconut oil, organic honey, organic canola oil, organic cocoa powder and Himalayan pink salt. It’s good on crepes, pancakes French toast. We actually just love it on a baguette,” said Janey Hubschman, who co-founded Epicurean Butter with her husband John, who’s the chef and still does all the formulations for the company’s products. “It’s got a lovely mouth feel with the butter and the coconut oil and then the finish of the salt.” The Organic Cocoa Coconut Butter is part of a product line that includes 13 finishing butters, of which two are organic. The company has just installed new equipment in its plant that allows Epicurean Butter to produce single-serve squeeze packs. Each of those has 190 calories for a 1-ounce serving, and Hubschman expects that the single-serve packaging will draw a lot of interest from the producers of home-delivered meal kits.

bourbon maple hi res (2)Bourbon Matured Maple Syrup from BLiS LLC was named the best dessert sauce, topping or syrup. Dick Taylor Craft Chocolate‘s Single Origin Drinking Chocolate 72% Belize, Toledo received the sofi Award for the best hot beverage. Dick Taylor Craft Chocolate was a finalist in the chocolate category last year with its 72% Madagascar, Sambirano bar. The Gelato Fiasco‘s Ripe Mango Sorbetto was named the best ice cream, gelato or frozen treat.

Cioccomiel, a spread made from hazelnuts, cocoa and honey, won the sofi Award for the best jam, preserve, honey or nut butter. It is imported by Marcelli Formaggi LLC.

Fermín Chorizo Ibérico Picante / Fermín Ibérico Pork Dry-Cured Chorizo Sausage Spicy from Fermin USA was named the best meat, pate or seafood.

Stöger Organic Austrian Pumpkin Seed Oil was named the best oil. It is imported by Los Chileros, which won a finalist award last year for the same product.

Gustiamo, Inc.‘s Pianogrillo Sicilian Cherry Tomato Sauce took home the sofi Award for the best pasta sauce, while the best pasta was Pastifico Artigianale Leonardo Carassai, made in Campofilone, Italy, and imported by Bravo International Inc.

NorthAfricanChermouladressingwozzWozz! Kitchen Creations, which won the 2015 sofi Award for best salsa or dip with its Kiwi Lime Salsa Verde takes home the gold in the salad dressing category this year with North African Chermoula Dressing. This year’s award in the salsa or dip category went to American Spoon Foods’ Pumpkin Seed Salsa.

Hickory Smoked Spicy Candied Bacon from Little Red Dot Kitchen LLC won the sofi Award this year in the category for savory snacks. The best sweet snack came from Creative Snacks Co. with its Organic Coconut Bites.

Dinner Tonight Black Bean Tortilla Chili Mix from Backyard Safari Company won the award for best soup, stew, bean or chili. ParmCrisps Mini Aged Parmesan Crisps from Kitchen Table Bakers won the award for the best vegan or gluten-free product. Kitchen Table Bakers was a finalist last year for its Jalapeno Parmesan Crisps. Finally, this year’s best vinegar was Balsamic Nectar from Boulder Flavours.

Butter Infused Olive Oil from Ariston Specialties

Ariston is introducing new Butter Infused Olive Oil in its never-ending effort to bring top quality healthy items to the market place. Not only is this a great tasting infused olive oil, it also became an instant best seller.

Ariston Butter Infused Olive Oil is made from 100 percent extra virgin olive oil that is sourced from the company’s own farms and from local farmers. Ariston then naturally infused the butter flavor, which is 100 percent vegan, resulting in a healthier alternative to butter. Creamy in flavor and produced in small batches, this product has Ariston quality.

It is perfect for popcorn. Make popcorn healthy again by adding Ariston Butter Infused Olive Oil and salt to the kernels instead of the long list of ingredients commonly found in microwave popcorn.

Adding Ariston Butter Infused Oil to a seafood dish not only makes them delicious introduces more good fat. Ariston Butter Infused adds a pop of flavor bring your taste buds to another level when it’s added to risottos, rice dishes or pasta.

Combining Ariston Butter Infused with Ariston Garlic Infused oil as a marinade for meats will provide the richness and depth of flavor, and Ariston Butter Infused Olive Oil will make steamed vegetables come to life with just a drizzle of the oil and a pinch of salt.

Ariston Specialties will be exhibiting and sampling all of its products in booth #4162 during the Summer Fancy Food Show.

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