Pacific Sun Gourmet Olive Oil Blog

Stay Informed with Pacific Sun Olive Oils

Reflecting on Olive Oil Competitions

July 31, 2014 | General | Comments ( 0 ) Pacific Sun Blog
A couple of weeks ago I had the good fortune to once again be invited to judge olive oils at the LA County Fair. The event was a good opportunity to exchange notes with other colleagues, to meet people from overseas industries and to hear about their experiences.
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Learning in Tuscany: A Visit with Balduccio Olive Oil and the Martz Family

July 11, 2014 | General | Comments ( 0 ) Pacific Sun Blog
On my last visit to Tuscany, our friend Marzia Migliorini organized a tasting of Californian olive oils. Marzia and her colleagues do outstanding research work in Tuscany, which over the years has become a meeting point for those truly interested in olive oil excellence. I, along with some other California producers, brought oils to this tasting at the Chamber of Commerce of Florence.
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Learning in Tuscany: A Visit with Nico Sartori of Altomena Olive Oil

May 9, 2014 | General | Comments ( 0 ) Pacific Sun Blog

Last March I visited Tuscany. Every time I go there I learn a lot. In fact, it was in Tuscany where the late Marco Mugelli -- with whom I studied -- worked to develop fascinating innovations and groundbreaking ideas for quality olive oil making. It was in one of Marco’s classes, in 2008, where I met Nico Sartori, the miller and inquisitive mind behind Altomena Olive Oil.

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BIOL Competition: Tasting Olive Oil with Children

April 7, 2014 | General | Comments ( 0 ) Pacific Sun Blog
The Puglia region of Italy produces the largest amount of olive oil in the country. Along with Sicily and Calabria they make up more than three quarters of Italy’s total production. In the city of Andria, every year during the month of March, something important takes place: the largest organic olive oil competition in Europe gives away the BIOL Prize. I had the honor of being invited to serve on the jury for this edition (next year the BIOL will have its 20th anniversary).
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Pacific Sun Olive Oils Under the Microscope 2014

February 6, 2014 | General | Comments ( 0 ) Pacific Sun Blog

We’ve made it a good habit: Every year we share with you how our olive oils perform when subjected to chemical analysis in the laboratory. Even when the parameters are, in our opinion, forgiving, the results can tell a lot about the olive oil in question, its integrity and qualities.

Let’s see what happened with our recent production.

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Olive Oil Conversion Chart

December 17, 2013 | General | Comments ( 0 ) Pacific Sun Blog

Olive oil has been an essential part of the Mediterranean diet for centuries. Not only is it used for dressings, bread dips, grilling and pastas, it’s used for baking. So why not include this heart-healthy ingredient in your own recipes that call for butter or margarine? To make substitution simple, we would like to share our handy butter to olive oil conversion chart with you.

 

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Autumn Cooking: Roasted Butternut Squash with Herbs and Olive Oil

October 16, 2013 | General | Comments ( 0 ) Pacific Sun Blog
We would like to share a fresh, nutritious way to prepare butternut squash using Pacific Sun Tehama County Blend -- its gentle bitterness pairs well with the sweetness of butternut squash. By keeping it simple, only five ingredients in all, you can enjoy the flavors of two seasons melding together deliciously.
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Eat Real Festival, Part II

October 2, 2013 | General | Comments ( 0 ) Pacific Sun Blog
We’re truly happy to have participated in the fifth annual East Real Festival at the Jack London Square in Oakland this past weekend. Once again, our friends at the Food Craft Institute organized the festival successfully. We were the only olive oil producer at the marketplace, which gathers food artisans of the highest quality (bakers, jam makers, pasta makers, coffee roasters and a growing generation of fermented food specialists).
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Brined Table Olives

September 30, 2013 | General | Comments ( 0 ) Pacific Sun Blog
Of the many memories the book “Zorba the Greek” left with me, there’s one particular scene that stands out. It’s when Zorba and the younger man who befriends him (the narrator of the story) have bread and olives for breakfast. I always felt – perhaps influenced by the reading of Nikos Kazantzakis’ novel – that olives represent that ancient world more than any other food. Read on to learn more about table olives.
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Eat Real Festival at Jack London Square, Oakland

September 24, 2013 | General | Comments ( 0 ) Pacific Sun Blog
This coming weekend, September 28th and 29th, we’ll once again be attending the Eat Real Festival, now in its fifth year. The festival, organized by the Food Craft Institute, is a mix of street fair activities, educational workshops and a fine products market.
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Great Pasta Made in California, Part II

September 10, 2013 | General | Comments ( 0 ) Pacific Sun Blog
Last week’s entry, which highlighted Baia Pasta, the artisanal company owned by our friends Renato Sardo and Dario Barbone in Oakland, triggered a series of conversations with friends that has prompted me to share more on the subject of pasta.
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Great Pasta Made in California

September 6, 2013 | General | Comments ( 0 ) Pacific Sun Blog
It was seven years ago when I met Renato Sardo. I was working with Apollo Olive Oil when I received a phone call from this Italian fellow who wanted to come and visit us. A few years down the road he founded Baia Pasta (baia means “bay” in Italian), an artisanal Oakland based company that produces small batches of dry pasta -- “pasta asciutta” as opposed to fresh pasta.
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Olive Oil Freshness, Part III

August 28, 2013 | General | Comments ( 0 ) Pacific Sun Blog

On a recent visit to my native Argentina, a group of old friends gathered for a traditional “asado” (the typical BBQ) on a sunny Sunday. While the meat was cooking slowly, as the local tradition dictates, I offered some of my friends an olive oil tasting.

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Olive Oil Freshness, Part II

August 20, 2013 | General | Comments ( 0 ) Pacific Sun Blog

Recently we discussed aspects of freshness in olive oil. We also discussed Italian expert Pier Paolo Arca’s visit to California and the tasting sessions we had with him. In his view, the presence of freshness -- the vitality and durability of the positive attributes in olive oil -- is a characteristic of great olive oil.

Arca also talks about “neatness” when referring to great oils. Neatness is a clear presence of the good flavors that are not diminished or conditioned by viscosity or/and not so pleasant tastes and odors. 

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Olive Oil Freshness

August 8, 2013 | General | Comments ( 0 ) Pacific Sun Blog
I had the good fortune to spend some time tasting olive oil with Pier Paolo Arca, an olive oil expert from Oristano, Sardinia and president of the Moniferru competition. He is a regular juror at the Los Angeles County Fair. This was the second time Pier Paolo and I were in the same group. In the course of two days of judging, we were able to discuss and exchange notes on more than 70 olive oils.
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Olive Oil Could Save One of the Largest Gothic Cathedrals in England

July 14, 2013 | General | Comments ( 0 ) Pacific Sun Blog

York Minster is a Gothic cathedral that was built over the course of three centuries (from the XII century to the XV century) in York, North East England. While it’s considered a landmark of medieval architecture, the monumental building has been experiencing deterioration, especially since the feverish industrial revolution.

Read more to find out how olive oil might stop its decay. 

 

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More on the Goodness of Olive Oil

June 24, 2013 | General | Comments ( 0 ) Pacific Sun Blog

In our last blog entry we mentioned a recent study indicating that olive oil could reduce the risk of Alzheimer’s disease. This week we learned two other benefits that regular consumption of EVOO may bring.

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Olive Oil Helps Protect Against Alzheimer’s Disease

June 14, 2013 | General | Comments ( 0 ) Pacific Sun Blog
The journal ACS Chemical Neuroscience reports that a new study conducted by a team led by scientist Dr. Amal Kaddoumi at the University of Louisiana at Monroe, has found that EVOO can reduce the risk of Alzheimer’s disease.
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Vitamin E in Olive Oil

June 2, 2013 | General | Comments ( 0 ) Pacific Sun Blog
Tocopherols are a group of closely related, fat-soluble alcohols constituting vitamin E and similar natural compounds. In the case of olive oil, they exist in the form of alpha-tocopherol (90%), which acts as a vitamin E as well as anti-oxidants. They’re critical to preserving the integrity of the olive oil since they react against the peroxide radicals, which are the primary products of the self-oxidation of fats.
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Pacific Sun’s Proprietor’s Select Wins Best of Show at COOC Competition

May 14, 2013 | General | Comments ( 0 ) Pacific Sun Blog
We’re truly happy to announce that the California Olive Oil Council competition selected our Proprietor’s Select as the Best of Show (in the large producer category), along with awarding the other four olive oils we sent (our new Organic Blend, Eva’s Blend, Tuscan Blend and Tehama Blend) with gold medals.
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Pacific Sun Awarded in Tuscany, Italy

April 22, 2013 | General | Comments ( 0 ) Pacific Sun Blog
We’re very glad to announce that our Tuscan Blend, which is made with Leccino and Frantoio olives, typical cultivars from Tuscany now growing in California, received a ‘Menzione d’onore’ (honorary mention) at the Premio Il Magnifico competition in Tavernelle Val di Piesa, Tuscany, Italy.
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Pacific Sun Olive Oils Under the Microscope 2013

April 9, 2013 | General | Comments ( 0 ) Pacific Sun Blog

Last year we shared with you the details of how our olive oils performed in the chemical analysis EVOO undergoes to measure for quality.

These parameters indicate the careful creation of the olive oil in question, giving you a picture of its constitution in terms of how it was made, its durability and nutritional facts. Read on to learn about this year's oils ...

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More on the Mediterranean Diet

March 25, 2013 | General | Comments ( 0 ) Pacific Sun Blog

Last month, the New York Times published an article highlighting a new study that was conducted in Catalonia, Spain. The article states, “About 30 percent of heart attacks, strokes and deaths from heart disease can be prevented in people at high risk if they switch to a Mediterranean diet rich in olive oil, nuts, beans, fish, fruits and vegetables, and even drink wine with meals.”

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New Year, New Olive Oils

January 31, 2013 | Milling | Comments ( 0 ) Pacific Sun Blog

Our milling season is finally coming to a close. Both Italy and Spain refer to milling season as “the campaign,” and this year has felt truly as such -- it’s been two and a half months of hard work. We have turned hundreds of tons of olives into olive oil.

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Our Sincere Thanks

December 26, 2012 | General | Comments ( 0 ) Pacific Sun Blog

Another year has passed. As a family-owned company dedicated to and involved with quality EVOO and its culture, we’re very happy with what we’ve accomplished during 2012.

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News from the Mill Fall 2012

December 21, 2012 | Milling | Comments ( 0 ) Pacific Sun Blog

We are half way through olive oil production this season. The weather patterns have kept the olives from ripening completely so we’ve seen lower yields and greener olive oils. But that hasn’t stopped us from making some wonderful products.

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Olive Oil Filtration, Part II

November 6, 2012 | General | Comments ( 0 ) Pacific Sun Blog

A week ago, the tasting panel at UC Davis tasted two different pairs of 2011 Pacific Sun olive oils. Each pair included a filtered and unfiltered version.

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Filtration: A New Quality Practice

October 31, 2012 | General | Comments ( 0 ) Pacific Sun Blog

During the recent Sensory Evaluation Master Class at UC Davis, led by Italian experts Marzia Migliorini and Pierpaolo Arca, a presentation regarding the filtering of olive oil took place. This was quite interesting, considering this practice is virtually unknown to California olive oil producers.

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Pacific Sun Olive Oil's Harvest 2012

October 19, 2012 | Harvesting | Comments ( 0 ) Pacific Sun Blog

Every fall we find ourselves enthusiastically facing the season’s challenge: during the last days of October we’ll be milling olives again!

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New Report from the UC Davis Olive Center

October 16, 2012 | General | Comments ( 0 ) Pacific Sun Blog

Last year, the UC Davis Olive Center shook consumers and retailers with a study that found 70% of the imported olive oils to be defective -- not really Extra Virgin as their labels claimed.

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Our Daily Bread: Modern vs. Traditional Methods and Our Health

October 10, 2012 | General | Comments ( 0 ) Pacific Sun Blog

Bread has come under attack lately due to the different gluten-free and low-carb diets that radically question its worth. I became interested in one of these diets, the Paleo Diet, since someone close to Pacific Sun, Rob Wolfe, wrote an interesting book on the subject. I know that many people have improved their health by following his diet suggestions, and I can appreciate that.

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Melis of Sardinia: The Oldest Living Family

September 19, 2012 | General | Comments ( 0 ) Pacific Sun Blog

The Melis family: nine siblings -- six sisters and three brothers. Combined, the family has lived 818 years. After seven years of research throughout the five continents, Guinness World Records found that the Melis’, a family from the little village of Perdasdefogu, located in the rugged province of Ogliastra, Sardinia, is the oldest living family in the world.

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Pacific Sun Olive Oil Recommended by

August 14, 2012 | General | Comments ( 0 ) Pacific Sun Blog

While the Mediterranean may have been the hub of fine olive oil production two decades ago, Tom Mueller, author of Extra Virginity, believes the U.S. olive oil industry is quickly catching up (if not surpassing) foreign oil as the leader in fresh and flavorful, high-quality olive oil.

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Sensory Evaluation Master Class at UC Davis

August 10, 2012 | General | Comments ( 0 ) Pacific Sun Blog

July 27th & 28th, Pacific Sun and The Olive Center at UC Davis came together to host a wonderfully in-depth class, welcoming Italian presenters Marzia Migliorini and Pierpaolo Arca. The Sensory Evaluation Master Class was a sold-out event, bringing together 60 attendees from every sector of the California olive oil industry. 

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Learning from the Italians

July 11, 2012 | General | Comments ( 0 ) Pacific Sun Blog

Recently I traveled to Italy and the issue of attitudes and appreciation came back when, once again, I was surprised by the level of attention Italians give to their food. We all eat and enjoy tasty food though there’s something outstanding in the quality of attention Italians bring to it.

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Studying in Sardinia

July 3, 2012 | General | Comments ( 0 ) Pacific Sun Blog

Due to the generosity of Pacific Sun, I was able to take an olive oil tasting class in Oristano, Sardinia for ten days at the beginning of June. I am excited to tell you about my wonderful learning, dining and cultural experiences in Italy! 

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Mayonnaise, Part III

May 17, 2012 | General | Comments ( 0 ) Pacific Sun Blog

After the articles I wrote about homemade mayonnaise were published, a couple of conversations with friends were sparked, moving me to write a bit more about the subject.

Read on to learn why we find value in eating food in its purest, simplest form. 

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Homemade Mayonnaise, Part II

May 9, 2012 | Recipes | Comments ( 0 ) Pacific Sun Blog

After writing about homemade mayonnaise last week, I’ve continued to ponder the subject. Curious to learn more about commercial mayonnaise, I went to a couple of supermarkets (one in the Bay Area and one in my hometown of Chico) to study the many brands of mayonnaise available to consumers.

Almost all of the commercial mayonnaises were made with highly industrial oils such as canola, corn, soy or palm, along with what mayonaise manufacturers consider "necessary" ingredients. 

Read on to learn how we use the simplest and purest ingredients to create satisfying recipes such as Olive Oil Aioli.  

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Homemade Mayonnaise with Olive Oil

May 1, 2012 | Recipes | Comments ( 0 ) Pacific Sun Blog

It was 2007 -- while I was working at Apollo Olive Oil -- when Marco Mugelli last visited us. Marco was seriously into developing a culture around pairing olive oils with food.

During one of our conversations he mentioned that a simple way to bring appreciation to this subject was with homemade mayonnaise. A French professor in Paris once taught Marco this recipe...

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Under the Microscope -- The Goodness of Pacific Sun Olive Oils

April 24, 2012 | General | Comments ( 0 ) Pacific Sun Blog

There are different ways to consider the profile of an olive oil and one is through certain chemical analyses. These analyses can tell quite a bit about the oil’s quality. In fact, in order to get a certification of Extra Virgin, olive oil has to undergo a set of tests in a laboratory. 

Read on to learn more and see how Pacific Sun's oils measure up...

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Spring is Here: Time for Fresh Cooking

April 16, 2012 | General | Comments ( 0 ) Pacific Sun Blog

Until the food chain became highly industrialized, the concept of eating seasonally did not exist. Eating what was in season was simply the way things were. Not only did we eat what was available, we saved and stored foods like grains, cured meats, dried fruits and preserves.

Spring is here and we have plenty of fresh ingredients that pair well with olive oil: asparagus, artichokes, beets, and spinach. Let us share with you this recipe for artichokes that we’ve learned from a Southern Italian chef.

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Wine and Olive Oil Tasting in The City by the Bay

April 6, 2012 | General | Comments ( 0 ) Pacific Sun Blog

It was at beautiful Fort Mason, San Francisco where the Rhone Rangers organized their annual wine event. The celebration was a gathering of American winemakers, whose work focuses on the varietals from South West France, and wine lovers who came to enjoy the fruits of the winemaker’s labor.

The event was impeccably organized. We happily participated with our olive oils along with other artisanal food producers (cheese makers, chocolate makers, etc.) on a brisk and sunny San Francisco Sunday.

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The True Value of Good Olive Oil

March 30, 2012 | General | Comments ( 0 ) Pacific Sun Blog

On March 17th I participated in an olive oil festival held at The Pasta Shop in Berkeley, CA. The Pasta Shop is a one-of-a-kind store where everything they carry has been carefully selected and all food items are of true excellence.

Part of the festival was a Q & A session with producers. Along with Dewey Lucero (our neighbor at Lucero Olive Oil) and Brady Whitlow from Corto Olive Oil, I took part in the panel and had a very pleasant talk with the attendees and my colleagues.

Interested in the details of our conversation regarding the valuation of olive oil? Read on.

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Beer and Olive Oil – New Encounters, New Opportunities

March 12, 2012 | Recipes |General | Comments ( 1 ) Pacific Sun Blog

Historically, beer and olive oil have had divergent paths. Beer flourished as a refined product mostly in Northern European countries, where butter or lard was used as an essential fat.

Not much experimentation with olive oil took place; consequently, it was not recognized as a culinary staple until very recently.

In our days, with the emergence of new olive oil regions like ours – a place without vast culinary tradition -- new opportunities are to be explored.

Read on to learn how we recently explored one of those opportunities by combining beer and olive oil to make a savory sausage dish.

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Tom Muller’s New Book: Extra Virginity -- the Sublime and Scandalous World of Olive Oil

February 29, 2012 | General | Comments ( 0 ) Pacific Sun Blog

Tom Muller became an instant friend of honest olive oil producers after writing his celebrated piece, “Slippery Business,” for the New Yorker Magazine back in 2006.

His new book, Extra Virginity, has renewed that friendly feeling to a point of gratitude. Finally, an articulate and passionate voice has presented the message of thousands of small and medium producers of real olive oil: we don’t play on a level field.

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Winter Root Vegetable Soup: Healthy Enough for Hippocrates

February 21, 2012 | Recipes | Comments ( 0 ) Pacific Sun Blog

Winter is the ideal season to prepare thick, creamy soups out of the root vegetables we have at hand. The soups are excellent vehicles for enjoying fine olive oil. 

We are happy to share a recipe that we hope will inspire you to go to the farmer’s market close to you and experiment with those veggies we don’t often cook with: turnips, Jerusalem artichokes and parsnips, to name a few.

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Simple Pleasures: Cooking with Extra Virgin Olive Oils

February 13, 2012 | General | Comments ( 0 ) Pacific Sun Blog

Coming out of the demanding and at times exhausting milling season, we begin to enjoy the fruits of our labor. Of course, cooking is one way we do this, and with the new olive oils, it is incredibly rewarding.

Let us share two simple recipes from Provence, France, which offer a good opportunity to enjoy quality olive oil. You can use them for salad dressings, dips or sauces.

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Olio Nuovo e Vino Vechio

January 26, 2012 | General | Comments ( 0 ) Pacific Sun Blog

Olio nuovo e vino vechio or “new oil and old wine,” as the Italian proverb goes, refers to the fact that while wine benefits from aging, olive oil does not. In fact, the younger the olive oil, the more intact its goodness and health promoting properties remain.

As with any vegetable oil, the decay of olive oil is inevitable over time. Though, if the oil is well crafted, it will carry a significant dotation of polyphenols -- the most important preserving compounds.

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After the Crush: News from the Mill

December 14, 2011 | Milling |General | Comments ( 0 ) Pacific Sun Blog

If you’ve had the chance to visit an olive oil mill in production, you probably know how exciting it can be to taste the fresh, pungent oil as it comes out of the centrifuge. A process that started in the olive grove just months ago comes to a delicious end right in front of you.

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Love at First Crush

November 2, 2011 | General | Comments ( 0 ) Pacific Sun Blog

I don’t know why, though I do know that at any age -- and perhaps particularly when we’re children -- we find learning delightful. When we have the chance to see something from beginning to end, the pleasure we get from learning seems to become a big one.

This coming Saturday, you, your children, your family and friends have the opportunity to experience the creation of olive oil during our open house. If you care to understand the great potential it holds, you’ll see how the noble olive can yield wonderful oils bursting with nutrients and unique flavors.

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Don't Take Olive Oil for Granted

October 26, 2011 | General | Comments ( 0 ) Pacific Sun Blog

Maybe you’ve heard that California is experiencing a very light olive crop this year. Perhaps one possible good use of this unfortunate event is to sharpen our appreciation for the availability of olives and olive oil in California.

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Autumn Bounty

October 11, 2011 | General | Comments ( 0 ) Pacific Sun Blog

As we approach what for us is one of the most significant moments of the year, the production of new olive oil, we ponder how nature works to bring precise and beautiful synchronicity to our lives, and our kitchens. Autumn harvest brings a large list of great vegetables, fruits and herbs that are ideally complimented by fresh, quality olive oil.

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Say Yes to Cooking with Olive Oil

September 29, 2011 | General | Comments ( 0 ) Pacific Sun Blog

For a healthy diet and tasty meals, begin incorporating more olive oil into your food preparation. Whether sautéing, frying with low to medium temperatures or enjoying it uncooked, olive oil is by far the best option for culinary oil.

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Bulk Olive Oil: Reasons to Buy Olive Oil and Use It Liberally

September 15, 2011 | General | Comments ( 0 ) Pacific Sun Blog

When you have an abundant quantity of good olive oil at a reasonable price, you’re more apt to use it generously. This will help restore home cooking, which is needed for health, pleasure and social reasons.

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Marco Mugelli - In Memoriam

September 7, 2011 | General | Comments ( 2 ) Pacific Sun Blog

On August 24th, scientist, agronomist, researcher, passionate olive oil maker and teacher Marco Mugelli died in Tuscany, Italy.

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Tomatoes and Olive Oil: Best Friends Forever

August 31, 2011 | Recipes |General | Comments ( 0 ) Pacific Sun Blog

As we are approaching the end of summer, some tomato varieties are reaching their peak. Field tomatoes need a good dose of warm weather and even with this unusual mild summer we’re finding great tomatoes at our farmers markets and local markets and co-ops.

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Good Friends, Slow Food and Summer Salads

August 10, 2011 | General | Comments ( 0 ) Pacific Sun Blog

This week, a group of Italian friends from the Slow Food movement visited us at Pacific Sun. After touring the olive oil mill, we had dinner at Farm Star Pizza in Chico, California. A delicious salad there inspired us to post these great summer salad ideas.

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Pacific Sun Olive Oil Wins ‘Best of Show’ at Napa County Fair 2011

July 12, 2011 | General | Comments ( 0 ) Pacific Sun Blog

It’s a pleasure to announce that Pacific Sun’s Proprietor’s Select Ascolana Extra Virgin Olive Oil won the “Best of Show” title at this year’s Napa Valley Olive Oil competition.

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Quality of Imported Extra Virgin Olive Oil Often Unreliable, Study Finds

July 8, 2011 | General | Comments ( 0 ) Pacific Sun Blog

Nearly three-quarters of samples of top-selling imported brands failed international standards for extra virgin olive oil according to a new report by researchers at the University of California, Davis, and in Australia.

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More Recognition for Pacific Sun Olive Oil

June 28, 2011 | General | Comments ( 0 ) Pacific Sun Blog
Pacific Sun Olive Oil awarded a Gold Medal and two Silver Medals at LA County Fair
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New Study - Olive Oil May Decrease the Risk of Depression

May 24, 2011 | General | Comments ( 0 ) Pacific Sun Blog
A recent study conducted at the University of Las Palmas, Spain, suggests that eating a heart-healthy diet with olive oil can lower the risk of depression, says researcher Almudena Sanchez-Villegas, PhD, associate professor of preventive medicine at the University of Las Palmas de Gran Canaria in Las Palmas, Spain. The study included more than 12,000 people.
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Four More Gold Medals

April 11, 2011 | General | Comments ( 1 ) Pacific Sun Blog
Gerber, CA – Pacific Sun Gourmet proudly announces that four of its gourmet California extra virgin olive oils were awarded Gold Medals by the judges of the 2011 Yolo County Fair.
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