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Top Pick Of The Week

April 5, 2010

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How do you use smoked olive oil? The same way you use any flavored oil. It adds a light, smoky touch to foods. Think a smokin’ hot Caprese salad. Photo by Tanya F | IST.

WHAT IT IS: Artisan-smoked olive oil.
WHY IT’S DIFFERENT: There are lots of flavored olive oils—basil, garlic, etc.—but this is one of the few (and the first American) smoked olive oils we’ve come across.
WHY WE LOVE IT: We use lots of olive oil, and smoking adds something special—the same excitement we get from the silky elegance of smoked salmon.
WHERE TO BUY IT: TheSmokedOlive.com.
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Smoked Olive Oil: Smokin’ New Flavor

CAPSULE REPORT: We bought our first smoked olive oil several years ago. It was imported from Spain and was a very special product. But the world (or at least, the neighborhood) was not yet ready for smoked olive oil. It was discontinued by the store where we purchased it.

Brenda Chatelain and Al Hartman, the couple who produce smoked olive oil under the brand, The Smoked Olive, had never heard of smoked olive oil. It was a sui generis idea in the middle of the night for Al, who worked for four years to perfect the smoking process.

Made from local extra virgin olive oil (the Chatelain-Hartmans are located in Santa Rosa, California, the county seat of Sonoma County), it’s the only smoked olive oil in the U.S. The production process is so complex and unique that they have a patent pending.

There are three varieties of The Smoked Olive: Napa, Sonoma and Santa Fe (with added chile heat), and more on the way. So, what would you do with a bottle?

The same things as with any special olive oil. Just as basil olive oil and rosemary olive oil, to name two, are such enliveners of anything they touch, smoked olive oil does the same for people who love the flavor of smoked foods. In fact, every taste recalls our favorite smoked food, smoked salmon.

See how we used the oils in the full review below. The bottles would be great Mother’s Day and Father’s Day gifts—as well as the appropriate gift to bring to your next barbecue.

     
THE NIBBLE does not sell the foods we review
or receive fees from manufacturers for recommending them.

Our recommendations are based purely on our opinion, after tasting thousands of products each year, that they represent the best in their respective categories.

More Top Pick Flavored, Heart-Healthy Oils

Olivado Flavored Avocado Oils. Avocado oil is just as heart-healthy as olive oil, with a much higher smoke point. These flavored oils captured our heart. Read the review.

Salute Santé! Flavored Grapeseed Oils. King of heart-healthy: Studies say grapeseed oil may be the only natural food that raises HDL. These oils taste great! Read the review.

Sonoma Farm Flavored Olive Oils. From the sweetness of the blood orange olive oil to the hot pepper (cayenne), every one in this line is a winner. Read the review.

INDEX OF REVIEW

This is Page 1 of a four-page review. Click on the black links below to visit other pages:

MORE TO DISCOVER

Smoked Olive Oil: Smokin’ New Flavor

The Smoked Olive Overview

Move over, EVOO; now there’s SEVOO—smoked extra virgin olive oil.

People love smoked foods, so Al Hartman decided to develop a smoked olive oil. He worked on it for four years, creating a patent-pending process: It smokes the oil without exposing it to heat, air or light, so the smoking doesn’t destroy the quality of the oil.

While The Smoked Olive’s process is proprietary, the Spanish smoked olive oil we purchased (La Tienda) involves sending the pressed extra virgin olive to an artisan smoker, who puts the oil in shallow trays over a fire of pine cones. Since foods take on the flavors of the woods they are smoked with, it hasa different flavor from the wood-smoked California oils.

His wife, an entrepreneur with skills on the creative side, put the creative concept together; they then brought the oils to the Santa Rosa Farmers Market, where people know their food.

The smoked oils sold out the first day, and they were in business. Continue to the next page to learn more about the oils and how you can use them in everyday (and special occasion) cooking.


—Karen Hochman

Continue To Page 2: Varieties & Uses Of Smoked Olive Oil

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