Have you ever bought a bottle of olive oil for waaaay to much yuan only to drizzle it over your salad and find it to be a pale yellow color with no taste at all? It’s disappointing. As a Lebanese American my recipes use a lot, a lot, a lot of olive oil! I’m totally fed up with what I can get here honestly and figured I’ll just bring more olive oil with me the next time I visit the USA- I already brought in 20 liters of olive oil on my shipment but that’s all done! (Remember I’m a food hoarder…)
Now that I’m out I’ve been on the hunt for good olive oil. It seems that it doesn’t matter how much I spend or the brand, I end up with a sub par olive oil. It’s disappointing. Why is it terrible?
Like fake milk and fake Louis Vuitton’s, fake olive oil exists in China! GASP! Before I tell you how to test if your OO is real or fake let me tell you about one of my experiences at a market…
Last year I visited a Christmas market in Shanghai. One of the vendors was selling Olive Oil and insisted that I try it. I laughed at the idea that whatever he was peddling would be even remotely as good as the olive oil that I get from Lebanon. Pavlos (yes the same guy that sells the best Dry Aged Beef in China!) was very proud of his Kastro Grove Organic Extra Virgin Olive Oil that he insisted I try.
Like good wine there’s a method to tasting olive oil. First you pour a taster into a small cup than wrap your hands around it to warm it up a little. Smell it. Then sip. It has a subtle grassy flavour, and leaves a little tingly sensation in the back of your mouth. It was amazing! I’ve never tasted anything like it before. I would go so far as to say that Kastro Grove Organic Extra Virgin Olive Oil is among the TOP TWO best olive oils I’ve ever had.
Ok back to testing your olive oil to make sure it’s real. There is an easy way to test if the EVOO you bought is real or fake.
The refrigerator test: Place some olive oil in the refrigerator for a few days. If the oil thickens or even solidifies and turns cloudy, that’s a good sign, since OO is a monounsaturated fat which will thicken when chilled. YES!! Kastro Grove Organic Extra Virgin Olive Oil passed this test with flying colors!
Another way to ensure the quality is to buy from a single family farm. It is often the middle men who cut different oils into OO, but buying from the source you are more likely to have good, high quality olive oil.
That’s why I love Kastro Grove. Their olive oil comes straight from the grove to your table. No middle man to cut the oil with cheap oil (and you know that happens a lot, especially in China).
Extra bonus? Kastro Groves is certified organic by TUV Austria.
They use Koroneiki variety olives that produce a mild flavor with exceptionally low .5% acidity levels. Did you know it takes 8 kilogram of 70% ripe olives produce 1 liter of Kastro Olive Oil? That’s a lot of olives! The oil is then bottled -unfiltered- after 3 months of natural sedimentation process.
Pavlos is the 3rd generation owner of the grove and every year Kastro imports a very limited quantities of their organic olive oil to China.
Kastro Grove Organic Extra Virgin Olive Oil has the perfect flavour to be drizzled on salads or to roast your favourite vegetables. I can think of about 57 things I’m going to make with it… Tabbouli, Baba Ghanouj, drizzled over Humus, drink it straight from the bottle…
And this recipe for Pan Roasted Baby Potatoes. It’s not the first time I pan roast baby potatoes, but admittedly it’s my first time roasting them in olive oil (I usually use butter). Using high quality olive oil really accentuated the flavours of the thyme and potatoes. The potatoes were crispy and delicious! Just keep in mind the potatoes are going to get dark… They’re not burning so relax. If you put too many potatoes in your pan, stir them so that the ones that aren’t touching the bottom of the pan are.
If you don’t serve them right away, drain the excess oil and reserve. Drizzle over the potatoes before serving.
Kastro Grove Organic Extra Virgin Olive Oil is available in 2 sizes: 500ml for 200RMB or 250ml for 100RMB.
There are three really easy ways to order:
- On-line Store: http://weidian.com/i/1559490361?wfr=c
- Customer service/ WeChat Account: 15121005004
- Look for Kastro Grove Organic Extra Virgin Olive Oil at local markets throughout the city, like Jiashan Market
Using high quality Kastro Grove Organic Extra Virgin Olive Oil really accentuated the flavours of the thyme and potatoes. The potatoes were crispy and delicious!
5 minPrep Time
30 minCook Time
35 minTotal Time
- 2 pounds (1kg) Baby Potatoes, washed and quartered
- 1/2 cup Kastro Groves Organic Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- 10 sprigs Fresh Thyme
- 2 Garlic Cloves, minced
- 1 1/2 teaspoons Sea Salt
- 1 teaspoon Crushed Black Pepper
- Garnish: Additional sprigs of Thyme
- In a large heavy bottom skillet, heat the olive oil on medium heat. Sprinkle over the oil a layer of salt to cover the entire bottom of the pan.
- Place the potatoes cut side down in the pan. Fry the potatoes for 8-10 minutes. If all of your potatoes are browned, reduce heat as low as possible, add the sprigs of thyme and garlic and cover and cook for 20 more minutes. If they're not all browned go to the next step.
- Reorganize the non browned potatoes so that they're sitting in the pan cut side down. Cook again on high for 10 minutes or until the potato bottoms are browned. Reduce to low and the thyme and garlic. Cover and cook for 10 more minutes.
- Potatoes are done when they can be easily pierced with a fork.
- Serve hot in oil or drain the oil and serve later at room temperature.
- Season with additional sprigs of thyme.
**While the steak was provided for free bottle of Kastro Groves Organic Extra Virgin Olive Oil, all thoughts and opinions about this product are my own**