Ever feel the temptation to sip olive oil out of a shot glass like a fine and rare whisky? This is what olive oil lovers have been known to do. And you will, too, when you taste this exquisite, fine Greek olive oil. Open the bottle of pale green nectar, hover your nose over the top and inhale. Once your eyes roll back down to the normal position, drizzle a little in a spoon and give it a slurp. PEPPER! GRASS! BUTTER! SPICE! My, what a rich, smooth, fatty, elixir of life! This is the Kasandrinos cold-pressed oil experience. ~
For the true, true stories behind this incredible foodstuff, read on.
Despite the admirable strides made by domestic olive oil producers in the states, there's still something to be said for looking to Greece, the motherlode of all things olive.
Kasandrinos International is a family owned business, operated by the brother and sister team, Effi and Tony Kasandrinos. Together they import the same Greek organic extra virgin olive oil they grew up on from their fathers village in Greece. The pair is passionate about health, fitness and truly great food. Effi resides in Las Vegas with her husband Brian and daughter Ava while Tony calls Fort Worth, Texas home where he is stationed as an active duty U.S. Marine with 17 years of service.
You've heard about this amazing oil, shouted from all the Paleo rooftops: now, it's here and ready for your pantry. Prepare yourself for one heck of an oil, from top to bottom of the bottle, until the last drop is gone and you're back for more. The color is bright, the flavor is assertive, and the health benefits are all in the research. Kasandrinos is a great addition to anyone's cooking toolkit.
When I first tasted this oil I decided it was one of the best I've ever had. The bright flavor, the mellow punch of the peppery notes, even the color all contributes to the experience of tasting this oil. Taken on its own the peppery punch is strong, but put it on your paleo bread or a piece of hard-aged cheese? Wow. Mellow it out by making a vinaigrette and that's a complete winner.
Why Kasandrinos Olive Oil is so good for you
First, it's Extra Virgin. That's important, because Extra Virgin is the highest quality and most expensive olive oil classification. It should have no defects and a flavor of fresh olives. In chemical terms Extra Virgin olive oil is described as having a free acidity, expressed as oleic acid, of not more than 0.8 grams/100 grams and a peroxide value of less than 20 milliequivalent O2. It must be produced entirely by mechanical means without the use of any solvents, and under temperatures that will not degrade the oil (less than 86°F, 30°C).
For an olive oil to qualify as "Extra Virgin" the oil must pass both an official chemical test in a laboratory and a sensory evaluation by a trained panel recognized by the (IOC) International Olive Council. The oil must be found to be free from defects while exhibiting some fruitiness.
Their olives come from a particular variety of olive tree which makes the taste so special: the Koroneiko olive tree. The Koroneiko olive tree is the most common in Greece and is one of the more unique olive tree varieties because it requires a warm and stable climate, which the Southern Peloponnese is known for. The Koroneiko tree is one of the few olive varieties that produce olive oil that have a two-year shelf life in comparison to most olive tree varieties which have a typical shelf life of 6 to 8 months. It is important to know that many olive oil companies elect to blend different varieties of olive oils in order to increase the shelf life, so the olive oil originating from the Koroneiko olive tree is in high demand. Kasandrinos is 100% Greek organic extra virgin olive oil.
Here are some of the amazing nutrients in Kasandrinos Olive Oil
Polyphenols are a class of antioxidants found in Greek organic extra virgin olive oil. Greek organic extra virgin olive oil is full of polyphenols, a type of antioxidant that helps protect your cells from damage. One of the most important health components of olive oil is hydroxytyrosol, a potent polyphenol. Hydroxytyrosol can slow the aging process in the skin by stabilizing the cell plasma membrane.
Tocopherols (Vitamin E)
Extra Virgin Olive oil is an important source of tocopherols (vitamin E). There are as many as 5.5 mg of polyphenols antioxidant in every tablespoon of olive oil (15 ml) and 1.6 mg of Vitamin E per tablespoon of olive oil. Total proximate of antioxidants: 7 mg in every 15 ml of olive oil.
How to use Kasandrinos Olive Oil:
Extra Virgin Olive Oil may make a great morning beverage (just kidding), but it can do so much more! The peppery bite is mellowed by the freshness of the olives, making it perfect to:
- Add to salad dressing, especially peppery greens like arugula
- Pour on bread - any kind you like from homemade sourdough to paleo breads
- Use as finishing oil for any warm dish - the heat brings out even more flavor
- Add to a green smoothie for extra good fats
- Use to cook low-temperature foods: oil-poached fish, anyone?
- One square chocolate + drizzle of olive oil + sea salt = mind-blowing appetizer. You're welcome.
About Kasandrinos, in their own words
Sure, there's Crossfit devotees and doubters out there, but this company is honestly one amazing thing that's come from the social community inherent in the gym. Here's the story, as told by the Kasandrinos team:
"The story Of Kasandrinos International literally began in a box. Not just any old box but a Crossfit box. When Tony was stationed in Philadelphia, he was training at Crossfit Center City. It was no stretch to say he spent every minute away from duty in this gym. One day he had a case of his families Greek organic extra virgin olive oil that his uncle gave him in the trunk of his car and decided to share it with a few people. Over time, word built up with all the foodies and everyone was asking for their own bottle to take home. Fast forward a few months to when Tony and Diane Sanfilippo attended a Movnat seminar in West Virginia. At the community picnic table one afternoon, Tony decided to share the same Greek organic extra virgin olive oil with fellow attendees. Suffice it to say, the single case of oil he had on hand all but evaporated by days end.
On the long drive back to Philadelphia, Diane managed to convince Tony to start a business. The rest is history. Tony started a website, began importing Kasandrinos olive oil from the viliage in Greece and the demand has done nothing but grow ever since! After a year, Tony asked Effi to become his business partner and they formed what is today, Kasandrinos International producers of Greek organic extra virgin olive oil and many other amazing products."
Here are answers to some of your most important questions!
How should Extra Virgin Olive Oil be stored?
Olive oil should be stored in a cool, dark place away from light and heat. When olive oil is exposed to heat, light, and air the valuable nutrients in theGreek organic extra virgin olive oil begin to oxidize and it will begin to lose its fruit flavors. The best containers for olive oil are dark glass or a tin.
Can you cook with EVOO?
It's a common misconception that you can't expose olive oil to heat. EVOO is suitable for sautés, sauces, marinades, vinaigrettes, in addition to being a great finishing oil. The temperature should be kept below 350 degrees to play it safe.