IL Fiorello grows and produces international quality, certified extra virgin olive oil. We also help our guests to expand their palates. This is called edible education, and palate expansion.
We host our guests with a comparative tasting of our extra virgin oils and present a tasting plate of healthy food. Much of the food for our tasting plates are grown on our organic farm. We also discuss fraudulent oils and just plain bad or adulterated oils.
We are changing minds by explaining the importance of comparative tastings. By using our own motto: “beyond bread and salad” we attempt to change habits, a very difficult but interesting task. We do not serve bread with our tastings, often we use plant based healthy foods. Everyone knows that you can use extra virgin olive oil and good balsamic vinegar on salads, but think beyond this premise. An example, extra virgin olive oil drizzled on warm asparagus soup. The aroma is enchanting, the health benefits fabulous.
By presenting oils with food pairings, guests can enjoy aromas, flavors, bitterness and pungency. Then they better appreciate differences in our oils, and differentiate from generic oils, that may not even be olive oil.
Most people understand and appreciate this idea, but do they change their habits? Do we really change their attitudes or palates? We don’t know. Our business growth has been exponential, people come back time and time again to taste and buy our oils. Our olive oil club has increased 200% from just two years since its inception. People love our products and hopefully this means we are slowly and carefully educating customers to use better oils and eat better foods.
Our culinary classes emphasize good, clean, and healthy food, the motto of Slow Food. Our Chefs are exploring wonderful ways to pair oils and foods for our tasting plates and our events.
One of our goals is to help people understand what good food really is. If our oils cost more than generic oils, it is because of the intense flavor and purity of the product. Better flavor; use less oil, enjoy it more.
Change is difficult and hard and causes people to question and sometimes distrust. I often hear, but this is what “grandmother” always used to do. Well, Grandmothers are always right but this is a different time and we are faced with different food challenges.
Food used to come from the backyard family garden plot.
Today, you cannot be sure where your food comes from. Let’s go back to that premise of the family garden plot. Some people do not understand that a radish grows in the ground, and that artichokes are huge plants. That tomatoes are really deeply red and sweet and delicious. Food choices are important, chose an apple not chips and a “health food” bar. Don’t eat pre-packaged foods. Read labels and contents. Make good healthy decision. Pair good food with excellent oil. Food is your sustenance and your pharmacy, use it well.
I just listened to a presentation by Marion Nestle PhD who said that, eating is an agricultural act. If farmers don’t grow consumers do not eat. This is really simple and so powerful.
Hope this blog is food for thought and action. Speak and eat in a powerful voice.